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Whether you’re a die-hard NFL fan who stayed up until dawn to watch the Super Bowl, or – like the What We Do In The Shadows characters – you thought everyone was talking about a particularly superb owl, there is one thing on which everyone can agree: Tom Brady, winning another title at 43 years old, is impressive.
And a little depressing for the rest of us.
Brady, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, won his seventh Super Bowl last night, as he guided his side to a comfortable 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. It was his first season with the Buccaneers after a 20-year spell with the New England Patriots, and he has no intention of retiring.
Seeing Brady calmly go about the habit of winning again – despite the fact he is the same age as his opposite number’s mother, despite the fact he is more than a year older than Matt Hancock, and despite the fact Madonna’s version of American Pie was in the charts when he started – left many asking: “What is his secret to avoiding middle-age? Can I have some? And will he ever die?”
Well, when you hear about it, you might not be so keen. Here’s the Tom Brady Guide To Never Ageing. Buckle up.
His daily schedule
It has been reported that a day in the life of Tom Brady looks, precisely, like this:
5.30am – Wake up, drink electrolyte water and smoothie
7am – Breakfast with his partner, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, their two children, and sometimes Brady’s son, John, from a relationship with his former partner, actress Bridget Moynihan
10am – ‘Beach time’
Noon – Lunch
3-5pm – Training or a workout
5-6pm – Post-workout pliability session
6pm – Dinner with his family
7pm – Review films, strategy with his coach, plus charity work
7.30pm – Family time, reading to his kids
8.30pm – Bed time
Fun! Gisele must love it.
No caffeine. No white flour, no white sugar. No dairy products, no gluten. Also any vegetables that could cause inflammation, like tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and aubergine. Instead, it’s all about dark leafy greens, grass-fed protein, legumes and whole grains. It’s an 80/20 plant-based/animal protein diet, and on game-day, he also has an almond butter and jam sandwich.
Oh and water. Gallons and gallons of water. Brady tries to drink “a couple of hundred ounces” of electrolyte-charged water each day, which is around six litres. Assume, then, that any gap in the daily schedule is spent urinating. It just has to be.
Over the years, Brady’s workouts have switched from weights-heavy, team-based routines to being specifically tailored to his status as a senior citizen of the NFL world. His schedule is reportedly micromanaged by trainer Alex Guerrero, Brady’s business partner in his health and wellness brand, TB12, and always begins with a “deep force” massage – a strong, four-minute massage that prepares 20 muscle groups for a workout.
The main session, outside of team practice, might begin with 40 minutes of resistance bands, then a routine involving planks, lunges, squats and crunches. Heavier weights are avoided in case they tear muscles, which Brady needs to keep pliable and resilient.
After that he’ll have another massage, to flush the lactic acid out and improve recovery, before a workout with his teammates or surfing session. Tired? One more to go: another pliability session before bed, to make sure those aches and pains are kept at bay.
Other bits and bobs
Meditation, of course. In order to become “emotionally stable and spiritually nourished”, Brady practices the transcendental kind, as well as a spot of yoga. According to Guerrero: “Emotional stability allows you to have spiritual awareness. I always tell him and Gisele they’re the most spiritual nonreligious people I know.”
Brady has previously cited the book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom as a favourite for Toltec wisdom beliefs, and used to keep a statue of the Hindu God Ganesha – “remover of obstacles” in his locker.
Meanwhile, he’s interested in keeping his reactions sharp with frequent brain-training and neuroscans. He uses apps like BrainHQ, which was designed for people with memory loss or cognitive damage, to improve his reactions on the pitch and allow him to scan the field, decide on a play and throw a pass all in a split-second.
Mathematicians among you will have worked from the above daily routine that Brady gets a firm nine hours per night, or tries to. He is famously keen on sleeping: in 2002, when he won his first Super Bowl, he made headlines for taking a nap right up until 12 minutes before kick-off.
Today he takes sleeping just as seriously. The mattress has a layer of diamond memory foam. The bedroom thermostat is fixed to between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
He makes sure to have looked at his last computer, phone or TV screen at least 30 minutes before bed. And the pyjamas are “bioceramic-infused sleepwear” from sponsor Under Armour, which cost $200 and supposedly improve “energy, promote recovery and improve performance.”
See, there’s absolutely no reason why you too can’t be winning Super Bowls at 43...