On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
Tom Brady’s scouting report from the 2000 NFL Draft reads as such: “Poor build, skinny, lacks great physical stature and strength, and gets knocked down easily.” As a result of this less-than-favourable report, Brady wasn’t selected by the New England Patriots until the sixth round, as the seventh quarterback, and the 199th player overall.
To this day, Brady still gets fired up by that scouting report and uses it to fuel his motivation.
“That kind of gets me fired up because I’m thinking ‘what the hell do these people know?’ That sounds like Joe Montana right there,” Brady said in an interview years later. “When people tell you ‘Hey you can’t do this. You can’t do this,’ and you keep overcoming that, you build this confidence in yourself and this belief in yourself that even when nobody else believes in you, that ‘I’m still gonna do it.”
I’m more of a thinker obviously than a physical specimen. There is a comfort in the known, as opposed to being uncomfortable with the unknown. There are not many things that I unknow in football. You call the play. I see the defense; I know what to do.Why Tom Brady Will Never Quit | Men’s Health
Hindsight is always 20/20. Who would have possibly known that the “skinny” kid with the “poor build” would transform into one of the greatest athletes of all time?
Widely considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time, Brady’s career has been remarkable for its longevity, amongst many other things. He’s the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl in three separate decades, and at age 43 during Super Bowl LV, Brady is the oldest player to be named Super Bowl MVP and win a Super Bowl as the starting quarterback
If you ask the Buccaneers quarterback himself, he’ll tell you that his diet and lifestyle have played a huge role in his success and career longevity. After all, Tom Brady’s daily routine had become legendary in and of itself.
Tom Brady’s training routine & diet
On a typical day, Brady wakes up at 6am and begins his morning by drinking 20 ounces (just over half a litre) of water with electrolytes. “I add electrolytes to virtually everything I drink,” Brady wrote in his book, The TB12 Method. After that, he showers and drinks a breakfast smoothie, which typically contains “blueberries, bananas, seeds, and nuts,” he says. “It’s nutrient dense, high in fat, high in protein, and high in calories.”
Lunch is “often a piece of fish, but always with lots of vegetables,” and dinner is similar – “another nutrient-dense meal that includes a lot of vegetables.” In between meals, Brady is often snacking on protein shakes (“his self-branded protein powder, almond milk, and — of course — more electrolytes”), TB12 snacks which are usually an assortment of fruit and nuts, as well as chips and guacamole, hummus and raw vegetables.
On game day, though, Brady likes to keep his diet simple — opting for a smoothie and an almond butter and jelly sandwich.
As part of his TB12 diet, Brady steers clear away from a number of food items. According to his former personal chef, Allen Campbell, the quarterback’s diet contains “no white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil.”
“I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt. [Tom] doesn’t eat nightshades, because they’re not anti-inflammatory. So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants.”
Additionally, Brady and his family stick to all organic ingredients for their meals. “80 percent of what they eat is vegetables. [I buy] the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it,” Campbell said. “And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon.”
While Brady has stuck to this diet for the most part, he admitted to Men’s Health in a 2019 interview that he’s relaxed on his routine — “I have a friend who freaks out if it’s not the most organic this or that, and I’m like, ‘That stress is going to harm you way more than eating that chip is.'”
“If I’m craving bacon, I have a piece. Same with pizza. You should never restrict what you really want. We’re humans, here for one life,” Brady said. “What’s changed as I’ve gotten older is now if I want pizza, I want the best pizza. I don’t eat a slice that tastes like shit and then wonder, ‘Why am I eating shit pizza?'”
When it comes to his off-season training routine, Brady aims to workout four to five times a week. Training sessions usually begin (and end) on a massage table with deep muscle work by his trainer Alex Guerrero. Brady is a big fan of resistance bands, using them to perform a variety of squats, lunges, shoulder and plank movements. For the quarterback, hitting the gym isn’t solely about building strength and muscles, but rather about increasing functionality on the field.
How strong do I need to be? I only need to be as strong as what it takes to withstand the hits of the season. Trying to lift the max weight possible, I don’t do those things anymore.Tom Brady Details a Day in His Hectic Life | ABC News
Another one of Brady’s strategies for maintaining longevity at the highest level is getting plenty of sleep and recovery time. The Super Bowl MVP usually goes to sleep at 8.30pm every night.
“I do go to bed very early because I’m up very early. I think that the decisions that I make always center around performance enhancement, if that makes sense,” he explained in an interview with WEEI radio in Boston. “So whether that’s what I eat or what decisions I make or whether I drink or don’t drink, it’s always football-centric.”
“I want to be the best I can be every day. I want to be the best I can be every week. I want to be the best I can be for my teammates. I love the game and I want to do it for a long time. But I also know that if I want to do it for a long time, I have to do things differently than the way guys have always done it.”
Before you go…
Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.