TB12 Method Summary

Have you ever been training for some physical event and then you get injured? It throws off your whole plan and maybe even makes you miss your race or event. This happened to me enough that I started looking for other options. A friend told me how Tom Brady’s methodology, the TB12 Method, helped my friend recover from arthritis and get back to work and biking, so I decided to explore more.

You may know Tom Brady as the ultra-winning Patriots quarterback, but he has branched out and tried to share his methodology and his physical therapy company with the world. I read Tom Brady’s book, The TB12 Method; below is a summary and my review of it:

A simple summary of the TB12 Method

  • The majority of what Brady recommends is common sense and best practices. For instance, eating healthy including many fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, getting good sleep every night, taking a multivitamin, etc.
  • Some of the ideas are new innovations to traditional concepts. For instance, continuously hydrating with electrolyte-filled water, focusing on resistance band exercising instead of weightlifting for muscle-building activities, using brain training games daily, etc.
  • Some of the ideas are out there and less proven scientifically. For instance, avoiding nightshade foods, making up the term pliability, wearing bio-ceramic infused clothes to help your body recover faster, etc.

TB12’s overall main ideas are broken into “12 principles”.

The TB12 Method Summary

The 12 Principles of the TB12 Method

  1. Pliability is the missing leg of performance training – and the most underutilized and least understood
  2. Holistic and integrative training
  3. Balance and moderation in all things
  4. Conditioning for endurance and vitality
  5. No-load strength training
  6. Promote anti-inflammatory responses in the body
  7. Promote oxygen-rich blood flow
  8. Proper hydration
  9. Healthy nutrition
  10. Supplementation
  11. Brain exercises
  12. Brain rest, recentering, and recovery

Actions I’ve taken since reading the book

  • Bought and use a vibrating foam roller
  • Take vitamins daily
  • Occasionally do resistance bands workouts
  • Sometimes add electrolytes to my water
  • Better prioritize sleep
  • Eat much healthier with more fruits, vegetables, and non-packaged foods, and eat less meat

Tom Brady’s out-there / unconventional ideas & methodology

Wondering what some of his out-there ideas mean? Below is a brief explanation:

  • Pliability – Do things to create long soft pliable muscles. It seems very similar to stretching to me. But it’s more about making the muscles soft and able to take impacts better. But the idea is also a little wonky – he talks about “positive trauma” to your muscles which is a fancy way of saying to use a vibrating foam roller or do a rhythmic deep massage. I think Brady is trying to coin a term more than anything else.
  • Use resistance bands and do not do heavy weight lifting – Brady argues most athletes don’t need to be able to bench 300 pounds for their sport. By training to lift that much, you’re doing overkill and not focusing on the kinds of motions that are native to your sport. He also says heavy weight lifting makes the muscles tighter making it more likely to be injured when you take blows to the muscles. However, I don’t think only using resistance bands holds true for all athletes. For instance, linemen in football need to be able to explosively push very heavy people. That motion is similar to a bench press.
  • Nightshades – I’m uncertain why he says this… Brady doesn’t really give an explanation other than he thinks certain fruits and vegetables cause more inflammation than other fruits and vegetables.
  • Bio-ceramic clothing – This clothing is actually very interesting. I spoke with a Ph.D. student and friend who studies bioengineering. He reviewed multiple studies on this topic, and they seem to indicate that bio-ceramic clothing can potentially help improve performance, but it may also be a placebo effect. However, intentionally giving myself far infrared radiation close up to my body via clothing still makes me a little nervous – what if we may realize in the future this kind of radiation is harmful to you? My understanding is that more research needs to be done to determine if it’s safe or not.

Would I recommend this book?

I’d recommend reading the book and incorporating some of his recommendations. I don’t fully endorse everything in the book but at least pieces of it. Overall, I’d suggest giving it a read with an open mind and seeing what you think. Let’s all try living healthier!

Want to keep learning? Check out other valuable learning resources I bookmarked.