Tom Brady, the legendary football Quarterback for the New England Patriots, likely needs no introduction, as he is one of the most famous names in professional sport.
Mr. Brady is one of only two players to win five Super Bowl Championships, and the only football player in the history of the sport to Quarterback in eight-editions of the Super Bowl.
What’s more, at 40+ years old, Mr. Brady is the oldest Quarterback to win a Super Bowl Championship.
Thus it is obvious that Tom Brady is in a league of his own when it comes to understanding what it takes to be a high-performing Athlete.
But what ‘cross-overs’ or parallels could there be to Endurance Sport as Mr. Brady makes his living one 6-10sec. ‘play’ at a time?
And how can his approach to “sustained peak performance” be applicable to cyclists and other Endurance Athletes?
Tom Brady is a widely considered one of the greatest football players of all times, and at 41-years old, he knows a thing or two about peak performance. Photo Credit: PatriotWire.com
To explore those questions we read his manuscript and found there to be numerous valuable “takeaways” from a book that is sometimes heavy on personal promotion.
First, the book begins with a premise that is intriguing for a sport like cycling that sees Athletes performing optimally, well beyond the physical maturity we experience in our early 20’s.
The TB12 book premise states that when we are young, our muscles are “pliable”, a state that allows them to be long and supple.
But in order to build adequate strength and endurance to be competitive in sport we embark upon training routines that both shorten and tighten our muscles.
This often leads to acute or over-use injuries that decrease our ability to sustain peak performance.
Although this notion is mostly applicable to “impact sports”, which cycling is not, it is still relevant to Endurance Athletes in one major way:
It is common for Endurance Athletes, of all levels, to emphasize hard workouts that will increase performance without balancing them with rejuvenative activities needed to restore our bodies ability to perform optimally.
What’s more, this is true regardless of the reality that the sport of cycling is steeped in a culture that emphasizes recovery as a method to achieve our highest capacities.
In his book, Mr. Brady outlines 12 areas that have helped him achieve “sustained peak performance” at the highest levels of sport into his 40’s.
Of those twelve, we have outlined the most relevant topics that apply to Endurance Athletes:
#1: Pliability Is The Missing ‘Leg’ Of Performance Training
Mr. Brady states that “pliability” is the least understood aspect of sustaining peak performance beyond our physical peak.
By “lengthening” and “softening” muscles throughout the body, but especially the areas necessary to perform our daily tasks, we can achieve a better balance of strength and conditioning as well as superior longterm health.
In practice, we suggest incorporating yoga or stretching routines into weekly training regimens as well as a proper warm-up and cool-down with every ride.
Tom Brady hopes to share his unique methodologies of preparation through his TB12 Method Book and help everyone thrive.Photo Credit: SimonAndSchuster.com
#2: Balance And Moderation In All Things
Mr. Brady opens this section with the notion that “to much of a good thing is no longer a good thing.”
We couldn’t agree more, although we live in a world in which extremes are lauded, it is moderation that can create abundance.
By balancing hard-work and proper rest, an Endurance Athlete can continue to pursue peak-performance well beyond their physical ‘peak’ that takes place very early in adulthood.
#3: Hydration, Nutrition, & Supplementation
In this section, Mr. Brady outlines what we all know, but often lack the discipline to follow through with…
Namely, we should drink more water, fuel our bodies with high-quality food, and utilize supplementation as a way to amplify our nutrition choices.
In practice, the book recommends consuming half of our body-weight in ounces of water every day, but it was the notion of supplementation ‘amplifying’ nutrition that caught our attention.
This means knowing of any deficiencies you might have through proper blood-work.
It is not uncommon for Endurance Athletes to be ‘low’ on iron or Vitamin D due to the high-stress and continuous nature of our workouts, thus it might be necessary, even with a good diet to supplement with these nutrients.
#4: Brain Exercises
Mr. Brady introduces the concept that our brains need to be trained just like our muscles do, which is a novel idea.
It is said that reading, learning, and otherwise stimulating our brains, as we age, is absolutely critical to keep our minds sharp.
So why not incorporate regular study-sessions about your sport, activity, or goal-event to help keep you stay sharp and feeling focused on your upcoming event?
#5: Rest, Recenter, & Recover
In order to give our bodies the best opportunity to rejuvenate, Mr. Brady believes that Athletes should emphasize sleep, meditation, and even technology enhanced “sleep-wear” to effectively recover from training sessions and prepare for optimal performance.
If there is one thing on this list that we hope will resonate with Endurance Athletes, it is the need to emphasize the “re-center” component of recovery.
By exploring meditation, “sound bath” sessions, or a restorative yoga practice our bodies and minds can properly reset allowing us to perform optimally at our next event or training session.
The TB12 Method: How To Achieve A Lifetime Of Sustained Peak Performance is a book that transcends traditional "stick and ball" sports and covers topics that can be applied to Endurance Athletes too. Photo Credit: TB12Sports.com
Although Tom Brady has become somewhat of a polarizing figure for his unconventional approach to training and preparation, one thing is for sure, he is actively achieving his highest potential.
Despite the sometimes heavy promotion of his TB12 brand of products throughout the book it is worth understanding Mr. Brady’s training methodologies so that Athletes of all levels, but especially those past their physical prime, can consistently achieve their best, or what Mr. Brady would call...
A Lifetime Of Sustained Peak Performance!
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!
-Brian and Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching
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