Tom Brady is not only arguably the NFL’s greatest quarterback (if not the leagues’ best player of all time, at any position), but at 42 years old he’s also the oldest player in the National Football League who isn’t a place-kicker.
Tom Brady’s Workout Program
He also plans on staying in the league as the New England Patriot’s starting quarterback for another three years, at least. The thought of a 45 year old handling the fast rush of monstrous incoming defensive lineman (who are in many cases half his age) seems daunting to say the least, but Brady shows absolutely no signs of slowing down any time soon.
So what’s the secret behind Brady’s amazing longevity and continued success in the NFL? He lays it all out in his book “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance”.
THE TB12 METHOD
The TB12 Method -named for the six time super bowl champion and four time NFL MVP’s two initials and his Jersey number- was developed by Brady and his long-time personal “body coach” Alex Guerrero.
Brady first sought out Guerrero’s help early in his career when he was having trouble with chronic pain in a throwing elbow that simply would not heal. Through a use of unconventional holistic techniques that focused on stimulating deep tissues, Guerrero helped the star New England Patriot’s quarterback recover his elbow.
Brady and Guerrero have continued their working relationship over the years, and the result is the TB12 training method. With its combination of nutrition, hydration, and a unique approach to strength training (no weights) the TB12 method is not only suitable for football training, but offers a more effective way for athletes in all sports to maintain mobility and more quickly recover from injury as they age.
In Football, Injuries are the Norm. But Does it Have to be this Way?
Football is a high-impact contact sport characterized by often brutal collisions. It’s also a sport in which players are constantly pivoting to change direction; football players often need to come to abrupt stops and then suddenly take off again at full speed. As a result, otherwise healthy and strong football players are subject to a whole host of musculoskeletal injuries that age them prematurely.
Among the most common injuries are torn and strained ligaments in the knees, hamstring, and shoulders. Large muscle contusions, sprained ankles, and shoulder dislocations are also common place. Quarterbacks are especially prone to injuries.
PLIABILITY VS DENSITY
Key to the Tom Brady workout program is the concept of muscle pliability. In the book, and all the other literature related to the TB12 method, muscle “pliability” is defined as muscles that are “longer” and “softer” thanks to a different style of workout routine.
How is the Tom Brady workout different from the majority of football training routines? Well, for starters, whereas most football players in High School, College and the Pros spend hours at the weight room, with the TB12 method you never lift a weight.
Instead, the exercises Tom Brady uses to keep his muscles pliable involve the use of various looped bands that offer different levels of resistance and can be used to perform a bunch of different exercises. These exercises provide what’s called a self-myofascial release or SMR. It’s essentially a deep tissue massage that lengthens and strengthens muscles without making them rigid or “dense” the way conventional weight training tends to. Instead, this football training regime makes the muscles more “pliable” to use Brady’s preferred terminology.
It all seems to make sense too, a lot of sense actually. Do you ever notice that the day after a weights-intensive workout that you feel cramped and sore? Most trainers will tell you that this “muscle bound” feeling is the result of not performing presses, lifts, and curls correctly. But could it not be the case that weight training is inherently flawed?
With the looped resistance bands used in the TB12 method, on the other hand, after multiple sets with dozens of reps you still definitely feel an intense burn, but without any of the stiffness the next day. In addition to the variable resistance bands, the TB12 method makes use of vibrating foam rollers post workout for quicker ,muscle recovery. It’s all about the “prehab” concept, or making muscles inherently more injury resistant.
It’s easy to see then how having more flexible and pliable muscles could be a definite advantage on the football field. As Brady mentions in his book, over the course of his incredible lengthy NFL career he’s noticed that it tends to be the players who work the hardest in the weight room who end up getting hurt the most. In contrast, with his own tailor-made Tom Brady workout program he’s been able to keep his muscles more flexible, he’s been able to avoid many of the ligament tears that can cut short a quarterback’s career. With having muscles that are also more pliable, a player’s also better prepared to withstand the heavy hits.
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