At one point in his Hall of Fame career, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s standard response regarding the intended remaining duration of his career was 10 more years. Several years later, his new goal is forever. In a Sports Illustrated article articulating Brady’s meticulous training routine, Brady commented LeBron James could actually play ‘forever’ if he took some tips from him.
Sports Illustrated published an in-depth story Thursday on how Brady’s meticulous lifestyle has helped the 37-year-old quarterback maintain his momentum for 15 seasons. Alex Guerrero, Brady’s body coach and business partner, told SI that everything Brady does, from his workouts to vacation days to his sleep schedule, is “calculated”.
During the interview, Brady thought LeBron James should take some training tips from him. “God, what if LeBron James trained how I trained?” Brady asked in the article. “He really could play forever.”
Brady was in no way putting down James, or his training, but in a way marveling at what benefit the routine he and Guerrero have sculpted could do for an athlete of great physical prowess.
For Brady, an NFL quarterback that wants to play into his 40s, this routine to keep playing “forever” has made him faster and stronger than on the day he was drafted. He doesn’t care if you believe that. “I am,” he says to Sports Illustrated. “I’m more durable, too. But given where I started, I wouldn’t say that like it’s some great accomplishment.”
For Tom Brady, football is his obsession. In the beginning Brady worked, trained, and recovered through injuries like most athletes.
“You’ll hear people say, ‘Football doesn’t define me,'” says Guerrero. But that’s not Brady. “Football isn’t what Tom does — football is Tom. This is who he is.”
Brady discovered, with the help of Guerrero, what he could perform in his career without the normal worry of injury and recovery time. Before working with Guerrero, Brady did face different game injuries that took a lengthy amount of time to recover from. This is where Brady’s comment about LeBron came in during the SI interview, and Brady was probably referring to the injury Lebron incurred this week.
Other than one freak injury, a torn left ACL in ’08, Brady has not missed any time since he started with Guerrero, about 10 years ago.
Brady said in the interview that in the beginning he would worry about injuries after they happened, but that was just reactionary and focused on “rehabilitation as opposed to preventative maintenance.” As if he was “guiding a plane 30,000 feet into the air without having prepared for mechanical trouble.”
Guerrero challenged all of his notions on training and health.
Teammates describe Alex Guerrero as Brady’s Mr. Miyagi, reported Sports Illustrated. They say he knows the quarterback’s body better than Gisele Bündchen, Brady’s wife. “I do have my hands on him a little more than she does,” Guerrero says, laughing.
The secret to his longevity is more encompassing. “Everything,” says Guerrero, “is calculated.” It is a mixture of Chinese philosophy and advanced sports medicine. Brady’s routine and training is scheduled out to the day for the next couple years, well into his forties. His goal is to have a balanced life, while football is his obsession, caring for all aspects of his life. While he still physically trains every day, including time with his wife and 2 children is also essential to his health and balance. He eats according to the Chinese seasonal diet, which is eating different foods for each season. Also, eating by the 80-20 rule of an alkaline diet, which is supposedly beneficial enough to reverse aging or even fight cancer.
While Tom Brady’s goal at this point is to play forever, his routine that has kept him performing all these years may be what Brady decides he wants to do after football in the sports rehab center he opened a year ago. Recollecting how much good it has done for him, he still remembers the doctor who told him his knee would never be the same after the ACL tear, that he wouldn’t be able to run around with his kids. “Which was all bulls***,” he says. “That knee feels as good as my other knee.”