Tom Brady’s Performance Secrets | Podcast #211
Did you know that the secret to a good performance in anyone’s career does not only involve the physical well-being?
In today’s podcast, Dr. J. discusses Tom Brady’s performance secrets. Watch as he discusses the important things that Tom did to achieve his successful breakthrough in his career. Also, learn about the importance of pliability training, using electrolytes for hydration, meat diets, maximizing sleep, the importance of visualizing and all other good things. Continue for more and don’t forget to share. Sharing is caring!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
03:42 Putting Less Weight on Muscle
07:08 Anti-inflammatory Diet
10:07 Having Enough Sleep
So, first off, Tom Brady… just to get a little background knowing the Patriots quarterback about 20 years in the NFL. Uhm- he- he got injured actually against Kansas City back in 2008. He tores ACL, uhm… one of the defensive ends came up and- and- kind of like did a- you know, chop block right at his knee, took out his- I think his left knees, ACL. So, out for the whole year. Up to that point, Tom is, you know, if you look at a lot of interviews, he had said that he felt like the- the worst shift out of his whole career at that point, from a injury, pain and inflammation standpoint. That was kind of a turning point, it just happens to be against the Kansas City Chiefs where Tom kind of look and re-evaluated his diet, his lifestyle, how he was training, the people that he was bringing on board in his health team to help support him. He brought on someone by the name ___ [01:50], she was like an oriental Chinese me- medical doctor. And basically, they made a couple of diet tweaks.
Number one, they did a lot of a- adjustments in Tom’s Training. So, Tom was doing a lot of conventional lifting, which is great. The- the younger you are, the more you can- you can deal with that because uhm… you know, you’re more anabolic hormonally and you have the- youth on your side. And essentially, he was looking at what’s called Pliability training for Pliability. So, you… you train for muscle building, a higher percent of your training is muscle building when you’re younger, and then a small percent is pliability when you’re younger as well. And that actually switches. So, the older you get, you… he’s training more for pliability, meaning, making his muscles softer and more supple, kind of mire like a raw ribeye steak, then like beef turkey, right? Thing of a nice flower by steak, you can move it, it’s spongy, think of beef turkey, it’s tough, right? It- it can reap really easy. So, the whole goal is you want your muscle strong, you want them functionally strong, but more importantly, you want pliability because you can have a strong muscle but think of the beef jerky analogy, it’s gonna tear very easily, A.K.A. injury. And kind of a typical sequence that happens in professional sports. I’ve had a couple of professional athlete patients- is- you start out, you’re working great, and then you get your first injury. Maybe a year and two years and three years in, and never quiets heals right. You may lose a half a step, you may lose a step. Now that tissue is inflamed, you- you’re kinda feeling it… you’re feeling inflammation, and then you’re more susceptible to your next injury a year later. And then your third injury, and then you can’t quite get a full season there without being on… the- the injury reserve list. And then you start losing two steps and then you’re out of the league. This kind of a general pattern, uhm, that we see with athlete and how they get injured.
So, number 1, what are the things that Tom did, is he shifted a lot of his trainings. So, he was doing less of the weights. Weights are still good, when you put on muscle- but there’s lot of compression, there’s a lot of inflammation that happens. So, lots of stress on the body that happens, and you’re already playing in the NFL, you’re already getting whacked anyway, so… the goal is, to provide force in a way that’s gonna cause muscle growth, muscle stimulation, muscle contractility. We want muscles to turn on and off fast. That’s the goal. The faster the muscle can turn on and off, the more it can absorb force. Think about it, if you’re turning that shock absorber in a little too late, then you’re not really able to utilize that- do that shock absorber in the- in the field of play. So, Tom’s using a lot of band movement. So, he threw a lot of rubber bands, uhm partly because bands do a couple things, if you- like- I have uh- some bands over here, I do a lot of band movements. What bands do is- they increase resistance as your muscles are at the strongest position. So, for bench press, tied a band around my back. Let me- let me get a band, one sec.
So, here’s a band right here. So, if I get this band, right, and then wrap around my back. I do bench press, which I will do this throughout the day. So, I’m right in this position here, okay? The band is actually the- the least tight right now. There’s a least force on it. I’m in my most vulnerable position. Well my- my joint angle is the most acute, the smallest, right. Imagine, you know, the angle of the joint being pulled to my forearm, my bicep, it’s the smallest, right? So- as I elongate, it actually gets more force occurs. At the end, I have the largest amount of force. So, you can see that with a push, like this. Well, you can imagine it with a military press, you can imagine it with a dead lift, going down as well. At the tallest, I’m the strongest, that’s where the force is the most. At the bottom it’s the lowest. Now, one of the reasons why that’s helpful is when the joint angle is the most acute, that’s where injury in training inflammation can occur the most. So, with the band, it’s kind of a- adaptive, in your strongest position you get the most force, and your absolute most supple position, you’ll get the least force. So, that allow you to train your muscle more for pliability and there’s less compressive force that you put your muscle into. So, what that does is it’ll- it creates less inflammation that keeps the tissue more supple, and more like that beef tenderloin kind of ribeye that’s raw versus the beef jerky. That’s important, allows the muscle be more functional and to work better over time, ‘kay?
Number 2, hydration. Half your body weight and ounces, this is a good Brady principle, uh… not to mention adding additional electrolytes to your waste. So, one of the things that we add in with patients, is we’re adding a lot of like, Redmond’s real salt, or, you know, uh- high quality Himalayan sea salt which is really- could be may even add an extra potassium and magnesium, because electrolytes are very important, so your nerves work well, right? You drink too much water and not enough electrolytes, you can get a condition called hyponatremia, where you have low electrolytes, low sodium, and that prevents your- it can stop your heart, right? You can have cardiac arrest from it. So, it’s really important, you wanna make sure we have really good contractility, we have really good cellular communication with minerals and we need good hydration to also do that. So, training, hydration.
Number 3, also anti-inflammatory diet. Now here’s the thing, it’s really interesting. If you study Tom Brady’s diet, there’s a lot of key blob there that have kind of misnomer Tom is like, a vegan. If you look at his and part of this is because one of his major chefs seem to be a vegan chef. But if you read, if you really dive in to Tom’s uh- TB12 method or you look at some of the articles, he has this vegan chef that does a lot of his recipes but he eats about 20-25% meat. Now, all organic, even has- he has red meat, grass-fed organic, right? He does lots of poultry, lots of fish, lots of chicken, lots of good high-quality protein, 20 to 25%. Tom also does some amino acid protein powder. So, he does a high-quality grass-fed whey protein as well. So, he’s doing some amino acids, he’s doing extra amino acids. I’ve seen- I’m not sure if I started on his book but I’ve seen it in his locker before. I’ve seen pictures, it seems like he does do creatine as well which is really important for the mitochondria. He does do uh- extra amino acids derived from a whey protein, he has do high quality, you know, multi-nutrients B, uh, C, you know, all of your- your culated minerals, and then in particular, 20 to 25% animal protein.
Now, one thing Tom also does is he kind is on a hybrid paleo-autoimmune diet. He avoids the night shades like crazy. These are the- these are the tomatoes, the potatoes, the eggplants and peppers. These are the TPEP for sure. Uh, why is this important? Well, uhm- night shades have a compound called alpha solanines in them. And they can be a little bit more irritating to the joints. Now, not everyone reacts this way, so you- you may or may not benefit by cutting nightshades out. In Tom’s situation, he- his joints feel better, he is less inflamed when he doesn’t have the night shades in there. So, again, if you’re an athlete, and you’re using your joints a lot, using your muscles a lot, night shades maybe a thing to cut out. Tom also has lot of nuts and seeds which are an autoimmune template typically wouldn’t be allowed and that’s why I’m calling it a hybrid. Not quite a full autoimmune template. He’s also having some butter. From what I understand, he is not doing any cow’s milk, from what I get he eats a lot of nut milks, uhm- coconut, almond milk, those type of things, lots of good healthy fats, fish oil, coconuts, lots of healthy meats. And he typically does not do a lot of fruits and carbs surprisingly. Now that may change because he talks in the book eating more seasonally, so that means he may be eating more starchy tubers in the winter time when it’s colder. And he may be eating more fruit in the spring, in the summer, when that’s more in seizing ‘cause he really talks about eating a lot of wholefoods seasonally, and adjusting his carb intake based on the seasons. So, I’ve seen a lot of data on that as well. And that’s probably being applied as well. So, I wouldn’t be surprised and like the Kansas gamers really called yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens in sweet potatoes or some really good healthy starchy tubers, just the FYI.
So, we hit the diet component, we hit the hydration component, we hit the exercise component. Couple things Tom also does to sleep, hitting 9-10 hours of sleep per night which is really-really important. Uhm, sleep is gonna tap into your growth hormone levels. 10PM to 2AM, we’re gonna be maximizing growth hormone, super important. Uhm number 2, is we’re also going to be uhm… really getting testosterone, getting a lot of our good anabolic hormones improved as we get good night sleep. So, he used 9 to 10 hours a night. He also add- adds some infrared sleep wear which is really interesting. That’s supposedly designed to reflect a lot of this… this body energy back inside to stimulate healing. That’s another component that is happening there as well, uh on the healing side. So, he’s maximizing sleep, and he is also maximizing some of this infrared sleep wear to really help improve healing on that side of the fence.
And then if you go look at a couple other things, it’s not really ___ [11:02] well. If you go look back to Tom’s, uhm days playing at University of Michigan the late 90’s, uhm… it seemed like he uhm… is about to quit football at one point and he saw sports psychologist. So, there’s some other things that’s Tom- uh Tom is doing on the mental, emotional side. I think he did a lot of visualization potentially a lot of NLP, a lot of visualation- a vi- visualization rehearsal where he puts himself in position to visualize, you know, hey, I got the ball, there’s a 2 minutes left, it’s the last try. But I think that’s really important because one of the things Tom has, you know, made himself known for is being a clutch quarterback in tight situations. And, how many times do you really have the ability to be in a tough situation where you have the ball and you’re driving down the field to make that last-minute win. Not too many times in a season, right? But if you can go in your head and visualize that success, you can do it multiple times, or at least every day, right? So, what does that mean? I think people can take the idea of visualization, and incorporate it with their health, with their life, with their work, with their family and they can visualize for 5 or 10 minutes a day, and what it is they want to be, do or have in their life and they can visualize it like it’s done. I think it’s important we- you really kind of fire off neural circuitry, and that neural circuitry is really important because the more it fires in that way to come up with those thoughts, those images in your head, uh, the more likely those circuits will fire in real life as it’s achieved. Because it’s like walking a path. The more you walk a path in the woods, the more that path is clear the next time. And it’s clear the next time, and then you can see it’s a hundred percent clear. It- it’s effortless to walk because you have all this resistance of dead brush around you and then you have this clear direct path that makes it really easy that this is the way you need to walk. And that’s how your brain works, and it’s very important. So, doing a lot of visualization techniques, I think are very important, you can do very, you know, very small reversals techniques like NLP where you really go into things and- and you almost step back like, you see your life on a screen and you’re sitting in the theatre watching yourself. So, it’s not like you’re actually in it living it, you are actually sitting back in the- in stands and you’re watching yourself on screen, that’s really important. A lot of NLP techniques that- that’ll do that where they’ll see themselves on the big screen, and they’ll also jump into it so they can see it from multiple perspectives, uh to- to really get the- those neural pathways wired for success, right? The more those pathways seem familiar, when that sympathetic nervous system, and that stress comes on, right? This is what’s important for winning is you need those pathways to feel like it’s familiar, or the sympathetic nervous system stress will activate that limbic system, that flight or fight, and it may not go your way. It’s really easy to be negative and scared in those situations for obvious reasons.
Alright, so we talked about some of the nutrient. We talked about diet, we talked about some of the training, we talked about some of the mental-cognitive things. Uhm… we talked about water hydration. Uh, we talked about sleep. Uh, what else? Anything else you guys wanna chat about on top on that? One of the component I would say is, Tom also talks a lot about uh… acid alkaline balance, or I should say ___[14:13], I’m not sure how important that is per se, my opinion, I think if you’re just eating, you know, a- a healthy serving, a palm, or fist, or full hand to get protein, and you’re eating good fats and you’re eating, you know, relatively an unlimited amount of vegetables and- and a healthy uhm- colored fruit and such, I- I think acid alkaline balance tends to be a natural uhm, byproduct, right? You tend to be more alkaline naturally, I don’t think that that show the goal, it’s probably more of a natural and byproduct of you eating these types of anti-inflammatory foods. Because the goal is, that you’re eating anti-inflammatory, right? Or keeping inflammation down through the right kinds of exercise, more pliability, less weight-based, and the older you get. Number 2, anti-inflammatory through high-quality good fats, Omega-3’s, also, I didn’t really added a paleo template/autoimmune-paleo-template that Tom’s eating. He is also going a hundred percent in gluten-free as well. That’s really important. Every now and then I’ll see him add in some grains, but he is really specific on going a hundred percent gluten-free. And then also nightshade-free as well because that really helps with the joint pain and the joint inflammation. And then we talked about the sleep, we talked about the infrared sleepwear, we talked about more of the band training, the more of the band training to help as well, uhm which is essential because that just provide- puts less compressive force and really strengthens the muscle in a more pliable type of atmosphere. Uh, hydration, electrolytes, no more than 1 to 200mg of caffeine a day, partly because of caffeine’s diuretic effects, uh, which you can lose water as well as minerals on top of it.
Right ya’ll, I’m gonna open up for some questions here. Hope you enjoyed this chat here so far. Let’s try to give you guys a lot of the- the really good information here that you can, you know, start applying in your own life and and your own health. Uhm, yeah, and I’ve been studying Tom Brady for long time so I just try to give you guys that actual simple steps. Alright. Let’s see here, I’m gonna try to grab questions pertaining to this topic here first. Uh- uh- see here, see if you guys can be on track. Yeah, so and I’ve also- couple questions here, I’ve also seen Tom does seem to take some adaptogenic herbs. Uh, I know Alex Ferreira’s does, is he had the Chinese medicine background, so I imagined he may be adjusting some of those adaptogens accordingly, according to what Tom needs, or stress, etc. Not really specific, a lot of these things are more proprietary but, and from the reading that I can estimate, there is some type of adaptogenic herb consumption. Well there’s ashwaganza- gandha, or ginseng, or Luther oil, there’s definitely something going on there as well. See here…
Alright. Any other questions guys? Let me know. If not, I’m gonna end this call here. Lot of questions coming in but I gotta keep it on topic… to this podcast. Alright, so let me just highlight a couple of other things here. Uhm… let me just see here. So we talked about the hydration, we talked about the food, we talked about the training, we talked about sleep, we talked about cutting out, you know, certain uh- foods that are gonna be the more inflammatory. We talked about the acid alkaline balance. And I think, more important than the acid alkaline balance like I mentioned, is inflammation. Inflammation will affect… alkalinity or acidity far more than just the PH of your food. We do a lot of this PH testing, like take a food in, like burn it and then look at what the PH of that ash is. And the problem is in your body, it’s not like this bomb incinerator where you just buy stuff, it goes into your stomach, there’s acids that break it down, it re-lowers the PH to everything, to about 2 before it gets released in your stomach into your small intestine, then the bicarbonate comes in that brings it back up to 7 or so. So, you can see here, there’s this kind of roller coaster effect of the PH and how it shifts in the body through our acids, through our enzymes, through bicarbonate, all these really important things. So, more importantly, the biggest thing that will affect your PH is going to be just- is the food acid or alkaline? just the fact of exercising, you will increase acidity in the body, and you will see if you test your own PH after a sprinter. Some uhm… you know, intense training, you will see more acid in your urine. And also, we have buffering system where we breathe out CO2, we create bicarbonate in our body, right? So, we have a lot of regulatory systems through urination of acid, through breathing off a CO2, the bicar- bicarbonate buffers that happen, uhm- with uhm, you know, in these buffering systems in our body. So, these are all-natural ways that we do. And remember, grains are gonna be 10 times more acidic on average than meat sour. So, many people think of meat as very-very acidic. Remember, grains are 10 times more acidic because that PH scale of 1 to 14, 7’s neutral in the middle, that’s water. That’s one a logarithmic scale, so something that’s on a 4, which may be what a grain is, compared to a meat somewhere around 5, on average. Uhm, it’s not a- it’s not a 1 to 1 ratio, that- that’s a 10 to 1. So, if you’re at a 4 and then you go to a 5, that’s logarithmic. It’s 10 times more acidic at a 4 than it is a 5. So, just hope you- that makes sense. So, when you look at this PH scales it makes more sense to everyone.
Uh, let’s see any last questions here so far. Uh… awesome. Hmm… “Did Tom go through any gut bug issues?”. I mean, here’s the deal, you’re not gonna get all the nitty-gritty, and if you noticed all the- all- more of the nitty-gritty about Tom has really come out- let’s just say in the twilight of his career, the last 2 or 3 years. Uh, and I think a lot of that is design. I think, you know, he’s kind of achieved where he’s- where he’s at, he has momentum in what he’s doing. So, I think he’s not really worried about people copying everything that he’s doing. I think a lot of it, it’s kind of intuitive to how conventional strength coaches uhm… train their players. It’s just lifting, lifting, lifting, lifting, and he’s putting a lot more focus on the pliability, and- and the functionality of his muscle and the recovery.
Uhm, let’s see here… “Cold thermal therapy”. I- I mean, I would guess, that Tom would personally be in- incorporating some of this, I can’t say for sure. Uhm, doing cold showers or doing cold thermogenesis whether it’s like uh, a liquid nitrogen type of uhm, a cold tank therapy, or doing a- I think really cold showers. I do cold showers every day, I think they’re very anti-inflammatory, there’s a lot of good data on the literature. Uh, it’s a systemic inflammation reduction capacity, so, I do like it. Uhm, one thing I noticed myself, is, I’ve done a lot more of the band workouts. And one day I can tell you, is in the moment after a really good, you know, a push, or a press, or a pull, or a squat, or bend, with really good quality bands. After I’ve done that, 10 or 11 reps, I am so fatigue. But, it’s a different level of fatigue. My heart’s going, my muscles feel fatigue, but my recovery standpoint, I don’t feel the same level of depletion or excessive soreness. So that’s- I think, partly where Tom is talking about with some of the bands, is you’re not creating as much of an inflammatory response. I think you’re still stimulating the muscles to grow and be strong. So there is this, there’s balance being immobili- okay, we want the muscles to- we wanna tell the muscles to be strong, we want the mu- the muscles to adapt and grow and contract fat and absorb force, but we don’t wanna create so much inflammation where they become tougher and thicker and lose their pliability. I think that’s some of the benefits that you get with the bands. And uhm, just be careful like, make sure you’re getting good quality bands. You don’t want cheap bands that break, ’cause you could get hurt. And you want bands in my opinion, if you’re- you know, big or- and you need more force, you need to buy high quality, more heavy-duty types of bands that are out there, who just keeps that in the back of your head. Uhm, did Tom go through any gut big issues? I kinda- I kinda answer that already, can’t say for sure, but he’s working with high quality people on the natural medicine side. So, uhm, if he did I ima- I imagine he’s had the- the support that I will be providing my patients too.
Mmmh… “How does he handle stress?”. That’s a great question. Uhm, if you go back, like I mentioned earlier, he was seeing a psychologist in college. Uhm, and more of like- and it seems to be, like, and more of an NLP type of psychologist. So, it sounds like he does a lot of visualization, and which is really important. If you just think about a lot of the self-talk that we have kind of behind our heads so to speak? Most people, would not be friends with their inner self talk. If you just kinda write down every now and then, you get negative, and just write down or just think about some of the things that you’re telling yourself, most people wouldn’t be friends with that person, in their life. So I think managing self-talk, and I think NLP can do a lot of really good things to help control that self-talk is also EFT which can be helpful, EMDR, all these things uh, that are really-really important.
Alright ya’ll, I hope that’s helpful for ‘ya. Again, this is really part that we make kind of revisit this topic if- if uhm… Brady wants a Superbowl in 2 weeks, ’cause it’s pretty saddening that to win that many victories and uhm… also, it did- to highlight the techniques on the natural medicine side, because, everyone wants to perform better with their kids, everyone wants to be injury-proof, they wanna be functional in their muscles, they wanna be able to play with their grandkids when their 70 or 80 years old just like they were on their 30’s and 40’s, right? Who doesn’t want that? So, even though this is something that a professional athlete does at the highest level… I’m just tryna like, like zoom- zoom out now, zoom out big picture, I want ya’ll to be able to take these principles so you can perform your best in your job, be injury-proof and then take it with your families and friends and just really have a- super-active energized life, and be bulletproof essentially.
Alright ya’ll, it’s Dr. J. signing out. I’m so glad we had this chat today, and I’ll be back later on this week. Thank you and make sure you subscribe, thumbs up, give me a share, maybe we’ll get this video about the Tom and he- he can give me great on and s- and see how it end. Maybe he’ll give me some things that we can add. And maybe I’ll even get him on a podcast. Who knows, that’ll be pretty awesome. Alright ya’ll, thumbs up, share, hit the bell, subscribe. Take care. Bye.