Tom Brady‘s famous diet is low in meat, high in fiber and free of sugar, strawberries, coffee and more. But he does have the occasional cheeseburger or treat — he just doesn’t call it a “cheat day.”
“I don’t plan ‘cheat days’ … I actually don’t believe in the idea,” the New England Patriots quarterback told PEOPLE in September. “The way I eat makes me feel great. But I believe in the ideas of balance and moderation, and if I’m in a place with incredible food, I’ll absolutely try it.”
As Brady explains in his new book, The TB12 Method, he’ll switch up his diet on special occasions — like a trip to Italy with wife Gisele Bündchen.
“Last year, my wife and I went to Italy, a country that presents a lot of temptation,” he writes. “… In Italy I definitely ate some things that were not TB12-compliant! My brain and body needed that downtime.”
“I won’t always turn down a cheeseburger or an ice cream cone,” he adds. “I just won’t have one every night and I won’t have ten of them, either.”
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In his book, Brady also details the “core concepts of muscle pliability” to which he credits his continued success in the punishing NFL at age 40.
“The improvement I’ve seen in my training is less about any particular movement and more about changing the focus of my training to incorporate pliability,” he tells PEOPLE. “Before and after every workout, my body coach Alex performs deep-force muscle work to make sure my muscles are long, soft and primed for activity.”
Designed in collaboration with Guerrero, the mobility program makes up the bulk of the book, and is also the focus of the TB12 Training Center in Foxboro, Mass. The techniques range from strength-building movements using resistance bands to stretches with vibrating foam rollers and massage balls.
The muscle pliability program hasn’t been scientifically proven to work — a New York Times review of The TB12 Method found no studies or clinical trials on the concept, and Stuart Phillips, a professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and an expert in muscle physiology, told the Times “It’s balderdash.”
But Brady touts the program as the key to his success, and his continued prowess on the field shows that he is clearly doing something right. With the book, he and Guerrero hope to supply “everyone, everywhere” with the muscle pliability program.
“I’d gotten to a place early in my career where I thought physical pain and strain was part of the job. Through working with Alex we’ve improved my muscle pliability, which protects my body, and our resistance band exercises have helped me develop the optimal functional strength I need to succeed on the field,” Brady tells PEOPLE. “I’m definitely a stronger and faster quarterback now compared to my 20s.”
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