May 07, 2021 10 min read

You know how Tom Brady is. Football fan or not, you’ll recognize him as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in the entire history of the NFL.

He’s been at the top of the game longer than any quarterback to pick up a helmet, and he’s been snatching victories from his opponents at a rate unlike anybody else. A record like that is bound to raise a few eyebrows if you’re curious about how he’s managed to keep himself on the top of his game for as long as he has.

American football arena with ball and trophy cup on green grass

Tom’s Trophies

If you’re somehow unsure about who Tom Brady is and you’re wondering why you’d want to take his workout advice, we should talk about his records for a second. Tom Brady isn’t just “some quarterback” he’s up there with some of the greatest quarterbacks in history, and he’s been keeping it up for decades now.

He spent his first 20 seasons (2001 - 2019) playing for the New England Patriots where he was widely regarded as their pillar of success, and recently he’s proved that victory follows him wherever he goes by pulling The Buccaneers across the finish line.

Starting with the most basic element of his career, Tom Brady is one of the oldest pro players to hold a spot in a regular starting rotation in the game right now. Right now he’s 43 going on 44, and he’s still carrying teams of dudes half his age to victory.

He’s achieved a bevy of records over the course of his quarterbacking career from Most Games Won by a Quarterback (currently 264) to Most Fourth Quarter Comebacks (Atlanta never stood a chance). He’s currently tied with the late Otto Graham for Most Championships in Pro Football History. At this rate, though, he seems well poised to overtake Otto’s record.

The Tom Brady Diet

Tom Brady’s diet is pretty extreme. He’s easily one of the most agile and physically fit human beings on the planet right now. When you’re putting in the kind of effort it takes to get your fitness levels up this high, you need to be smart about how you’re fueling your workouts.

Your diet needs to be tight and it all has to be specifically tailored for your workouts. Tom Brady’s diet is all about eating organic, locally grown, whole foods. It’s the kind of diet that involves a lot of fresh eating and careful consideration of the kinds of foods you’re putting on your plate.

You want to make sure you’re avoiding added sugars, and trans fats. Things that your body wants to hold onto like alcohol,   marijuana and gluten are definitely out as well. Tom Brady’s diet routine is pretty straightforward. He wakes up at around 5:30 AM every day and starts his day off with a berry and banana smoothie.

From there he launches straight into his daily workout and rewards himself with a post-workout breakfast with eggs and avocado. Lunch is made up of salad with nuts and a little bit of fish for protein.

As his day progresses he snacks on clean snacks with lots of protein and healthy fats like hummus, guacamole, or mixed nuts throughout the day. When dinner rolls around he’ll opt for something robust like roasted veggies and grilled chicken.

Being Picky Pays Off

The Tom Brady diet cuts out a lot of different foods. This part of the diet is probably the hardest to say whether it really makes a difference one way or another, but it’s hard to argue with Brady’s results. Some of the omissions are obvious like making sure you’re avoiding processed foods, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

You want to make sure that everything you’re putting into your body during this diet and routine is  natural and full of useful nutrients. Things like artificial sweeteners and added sugars aren’t going to cut it. You’re going to have to start cutting out alcohol too.

It’s a huge source of glucose you’re not really going to be using very well. Every beer you drink is like a can full of white bread. The rest of Tom Brady’s restricted list is a little more strange. He’s been cutting out caffeine, monosodium glutamate (MSG), iodized salt, dairy, nightshade vegetables, most foods containing soy, GMOs, or gluten.

There’s evidence on either side of the arguments for or against having these things in your diet. MSG, for example, is about the same as salt, but some folks will swear up and down that it’s giving them a headache. There are studies that show that MSG can do that, but it takes three times the daily recommended intake to get you to that point.

MSG does make things taste incredible though, so if you’re trying to cut down on your portion size, you might as well cut it out so you’re not going to feel tempted to overindulge.

Cut Down on Combos

Tom Brady’s meals are carefully constructed to keep his high-protein intake separate from his high-carb meals. This is a great way to keep your body from just stockpiling all of the nutrients you’re taking in throughout the day while allowing you to eat your fill for each meal.

Fruits are pretty high in natural sugar. If you’re looking for the ideal time of the day to slip in your fruits make sure you’re not combining them with your other meals. They’re best used as a glucose boost right before your workouts or just afterwards when you’re trying to keep your energy up after an intense session.

Drink Your Water

You should be drinking a ton of water. Tom Brady’s diet involves drinking water pretty much all day long. When we say drink a lot of water, we mean a lot. Tom Brady’s book says he’s drinking about half of your body weight in water every day.

Water is going to keep your hunger down, it’s going to keep your body hydrated during your workouts, and it’s going to keep your digestion as efficient as possible. This comes with a caveat from Brady though he says you should avoid drinking water during or around meals.

You should be saving that room in your stomach for your food. Because this diet and workout routine is so intense, you should be making sure you’re getting all of your protein and carbohydrates. Your body needs fuel, and you should be taking every opportunity possible to fill your tank full to the top.

Mind Your Bedtime

Tom Brady swears by this one, and it makes a lot of sense when you get down into the nitty-gritty mechanics of it, this diet tip is what’s going to make or break a Tom Brady routine devotee. Make sure you’re not eating your dinners within three hours of going to bed.

Your body isn’t going to be burning as much energy while you’re asleep. If you’re trying to follow Tom Brady’s diet, then you’re going to have to make sure that you’re only adding energy that you’re going to be using later.

Keeping yourself from chowing down too close to bedtime is going to be a great way to keep you from building up fat from unused glucose. When you’re fighting against less fat, you’re going to have a much easier time getting the physique you’re looking for. 

Nothing is Truly Off Limits

Everybody knows that you are what you eat, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to totally ban every single thing that isn’t a perfectly clean piece of freshly grown fruit. You’re able to dabble in some of your favorites once or twice a week.

You don’t need to totally ban every single ounce of fat or droplet of grease, you just need to be smart about how often you’re veering off of your diet tracks, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite foods every now and then.

Keeping your body in good health and feeding yourself well is about making careful decisions about what you’re eating in comparison to how often and intensely you’re working out. Don’t torture yourself in the name of fitness, it’s hard work, but it’s not supposed to feel like hell the entire time.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws the ball to running back Danny Woodhead

Brady Knows Best

Tom Brady does most of his workouts with resistance bands. Resistance bands have the combined benefit of increasing your flexibility and burning up energy quickly without bulking you up too much. Resistance band exercises are an amazing way to get the kind of quarterback physique that Tom Brady has.

The workout routine that Tom Brady sticks to is surprisingly simple. It’s mostly just bodyweight exercises and some high-rep weight lifting paired with resistance bands. It’s not really the kind of workout routine that you’d expect from one of the top athletes in the world, but it goes to show that dedication and diet are just as important to fine-tuning your body.

Because he’s so regular with his workouts and so mentally dedicated to his diet, his pretty simple routine yields incredible results without requiring all manner of strange or overly complicated workouts.

Warm-ups

Tom Brady’s warm-ups are pretty simple just like the rest of his routine. His warm-up is based around getting his heart rate up, getting the blood pumping, and limbering up his muscles.

Typically it’s something like crisscrossing resistance bands over his shoulders and chest in an “X” shape and running in place until his body feels ready to move onto the next step.

This is also a good time to get in your pliability work. Take some time to stretch and loosen your body up so you’re able to get your resistance band workout done without risking injury.

Banded Standing Row

This is a great exercise for your back muscles and your arms. Do one set of these until failure. You’re probably going to get a ton of reps out of this, which is great because you’re going to be aiming for endurance energy burn for this workout. 

  • Wrap your bands around a pole, whatever you have either at home or at the gym that you can stand up next to with your arms by your side. 
  • Pull the bands towards your belly button area while slightly separating your hands as you approach your belly
  • Stop when you make it all the way to your belly button and pause for a moment
  • Slowly return to your starting position and repeat

Banded Push-ups

Everybody loves push-ups. They’re a full-body exercise that pushes your body to its limits and they scale with you as you get stronger. You’re never really going to outgrow push-ups, and adding a resistance band to them is a great way to challenge yourself even further without the need for extra equipment.

  • Grab the resistance bands with each of your hands, draping the bands over your back. They should be increasing the downward force on your body
  • Get your hands about shoulder-width apart, directly underneath your body
  • Slowly lower yourself down to the floor
  • Press your body back up towards your starting position, make sure you’re not allowing the resistance bands a chance to slip out of place during this exercise

Banded Core Rotations

Banded core rotations are an exercise that you can really only do with a resistance band. It’s a clever exercise born out of the unique aspects of a resistance band that you can get done pretty much anywhere you’re looking to get a workout done, you can take this on a road trip or to your local gym.

  • Loop your resistance band through itself around a vertical pole that’s going to be sturdy enough to withstand the rotational power of your abs
  • Grab the end of the resistance band with one of your arms straight out in front of yourself
  • Place your other hand, palm outward straight out in front of yourself, and brace it on the resistance band
  • Slowly and deliberately twist your upper body away from the resistance band
  • Return to your starting position and repeat until failure
  • Switch sides, mirror with your arms and repeat
Muscular fitness man preparing to deadlift a barbell

    Deadlift

    Deadlifts (especially when you hook grip) are what people widely consider to be the ultimate full-body workout. Tom Brady’s workout is all about strengthening your body while keeping yourself limber and deadlifts are one of the best exercises for that. The action of hinging at your waist and driving your power through the floor is going to be great for your joints and the strength of your body overall.

    • Stand by your barbell with the bar right above your mid-foot
    • Grab the bar, bend at the waist while keeping your legs straight at first
    • Once you have a good grip on the bar bend at the knees and drop into a sort of squatting position until your shins are touching the bar
    • Keep your back straight, lift your chest and get your body ready to pull your weights off of the ground. 
    • Pull your weights off of the ground, driving with your legs, keeping your back flat, and continue lifting until you’ve reached an upright position
    • Hold for a second and lower your weights to the floor, repeat

    Banded Bicep Curl

    This take on bicep curls is a simple way to work your biceps without having to find weight. If you’re tight on space, or you’re like Tom Brady and you’re looking for a way to get massive numbers of reps to skyrocket your endurance (important if you want to become the best quarterback in the world) without building bulky muscle, then this is the exercise for you.

    • Start by standing fully upright, get your band underneath your feet, and grab it in each hand with your palms facing upwards
    • Keep your arms by your sides and curl your resistance bands all the way up until your forearms meet your biceps
    • Lower your arms back to your starting position and repeat until failure.

    X-band Squats

    Squats are great for your lower body and they’ll strengthen your lower back as well. If you find yourself sitting a lot, it’s a good idea to slip some squats into your daily routine. Adding a band in is a great way to increase the resistance you’re working against once your squat sessions start going a little long, and you can cross the resistance bands to up the challenge even further.

    • Step into your resistance bands, cross them in front of your body, and slip them over your upper arms, grabbing them with your hands to increase the tension
    • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart
    • Lower your body towards the ground, keeping your back straight
    • Drive your upper body back up into your starting position
    • Repeat until failure

    Post-Workout

    Cool down with one more pliability session. You can keep your muscles happy with a foam roller or some simple stretches after your workout. Keeping your muscles pliable after a workout is great for keeping your recovery periods short and they’ll treat your nerves well.

    Tip-Tom Shape

    Getting a body like Tom Brady’s isn’t an easy feat, but it’s definitely doable. You’re going to have to take the time to turn your diet on its head and you’re going to have to really commit to the workout routine and load up on some good workout supplements, but once you’ve gotten those things down, you’re going to start shedding pounds and honing your body to a fine point.


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