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Interview: Tom Brady’s longtime body coach on Michigan alum’s routine and health

We spoke to Alex Guerrero about what has kept the GOAT ticking.

Tom Brady And Alex Guerrero Host Grand Opening Of TB12 Performance & Recovery Center In Boston Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TB12

Michigan alum, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has appeared in ten Super Bowls and has won seven of them. Now 43, Brady is the epitome of longevity in sports. But how does he do it?

Someone behind the scenes and usually by Brady’s side is Alex Guerrero, TB12 co-founder, and Brady’s longtime body coach. Guerrero has helped Brady craft diets and workout routines that maximize Brady’s energy and peak performance capabilities. Much of Guerrero’s focus resides in the practice of pliability, something that Brady credits to extending his career and keeping him at the top of his game as we head into the 2021 NFL season.

I caught up with Guerrero recently to talk TB12, pliability, and what it takes to feel as healthy as Tom Brady and have a workout like him.

Tom recently said on HBO’s “The Shop” that when he first met you he was struggling with how to take care of his body, his right elbow hurt every time he threw the ball. But once he started working with you that pain in his elbow went away, he started feeling great — what were those first days and weeks working with Tom like? How did the process unfold from Tom having pain to feeling great?

When I first started working with Tom, he couldn’t toss a ball without feeling pain. I worked with him using what would later be coined as muscle pliability, and he noticed a difference within two days of receiving his treatment. From there our friendship and partnership began, I remember one day in 2012, we were sitting in Tom’s living room during a break in their offseason training and we reflected on the impact our work together had made on his ability to improve his performance. I asked myself: If what we’re doing works for you why wouldn’t it work for everyone? And so, the TB12 brand was born.

What are the essential do’s and don'ts of Tom’s diet, and how do these choices enhance his health and performance?

First of all, there are no restrictions when it comes to his diet, if he is craving pizza, he will have a slice of pizza. His diet includes lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, and recovery fluids. One of the keys to enhancing his health and performance is hydration. Tom drinks anywhere between 12-25 glasses of water per day, our recommendation at TB12 is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day for optimum performance.

Has Tom’s fitness regiment, how he exercises/prepares evolved through the years, or has it remained consistent in approach since he has worked with you?

Our work together is tailored to his needs at the moment; however, the approach has remained the same to enhance his muscle pliability and performance. His workout routine includes pre-workout pliability, cardio & strength building (band rotations, deadlifts, deceleration lunges, etc.), and post work-out pliability to boost recovery.

The NFL’s Scientific Advisory Board announced a grant of $4M funding research of hamstring injuries — you said on social media that the answer is pliability in regards to how to prevent the uptick in hamstring injuries we are currently seeing. How does pliability work in the prevention of this injury and others we may see at high frequency in the NFL?

Pliability helps prevent injury regardless of your activity level. Daily Pliability works to help prepare your muscles for the demands of your life and enable them to fully recover so you can keep doing what you love. Pliability describes the state in which your muscles are long, soft, and resilient, enabling them to absorb and disperse forces – in both daily life – and operate efficiently. Pliability primes your muscles for efficient performance, so you can train better, recover faster and prevent injury.

Not everyone is Tom Brady, but how can the average person, average athlete apply the same methods as Tom in their daily routine and see progress specifically with longevity?

For applying some of the practices of pliability that Tom works on, you can roll out your muscles pre-and post-workout. One of the best ways to experience deep-tissue manipulation is with a TB12 Body Coach whose process is modeled after my work with Tom. If you don’t have access to a Body Coach, you can perform pliability work at home using devices like the TB12 Vibrating Pliability Roller, our Vibrating Pliability Sphere, or our Mini Sphere. The second way to get pliable is to pursue a lifestyle that minimizes inflammation, provides adequate nutrition, and keeps you hydrated. A lifestyle that supports your pliability also has to include a good amount of sleep, which helps your brain to recover and develop. The result of pliability is that you recover faster, play better, and spend less time on the sidelines.

TB12 is a brand that continues to grow, with that in mind where do you see the company five years from now?

TB12 is really a holistic approach towards optimal performance, recovery, nutrition, and longevity both on and off the field and can be applied to anyone. We are hoping to change the game for health and wellness globally and help people live their lives to the fullest and do what they love for as long as possible.