If you haven't noticed, Rob Gronkowski is having one hell of an off-season.
The 28-year-old juggernaut of a tight end was seen guzzling beers during the Patriots' Super Bowl parade back in February, hopping in the ring at WrestleMania in the spring, and partying shirtless (with a cheerleader on his arm) at a friend's wedding.
So, uh, yeah: The man likes to live large and let loose.
But Gronk knows that reaching athletic immortality requires the tips and tricks today's top ageless pros use to stay fit for life. And who better to learn from than Tom Brady?
The 40-year-old quarterback knows a thing or two about training hard and smart. Aside from putting in the work on and off the field, Brady's invested in recovery (he has his own line of performance-inspired sleepwear with Under Armour) and he's primed his diet to be as nutritionally impactful as possible.
Seriously, there's nothing in Brady's diet that doesn't serve a purpose (the man doesn't even touch dairy, coffee, white sugar, white flour, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, and pretty much all fruit). And while his health philosophy has received a lot of flak from health and nutrition experts, at $200 a pop, his book TB12 Nutrition Manual sold out more or less immediately. People want to know how to eat like Brady—Gronk included.
“Just looking at Tom [Brady], seeing what he does every day, what he eats, talking to him, personally one-on-one, just learning about the body with him, just seeing how flexible he is, how pliable he is, how loose he is all the time, every day and ready to go, I just felt like it was the time in my career where I needed to devote myself at all levels,” Gronkowski told the Boston Herald.
“Tom’s my chef. I told him I’m only eating them if you have them ready for me. And he said, ‘Deal.’”
It makes sense as Gronk's injury history is as colorful as his favorite pastimes. He's suffered spine injuries (surgery to repair damaged disks and a fractured vertebra), a sprained ankle, broken bones (same forearm in 2012 and 2013), and a torn ACL and MCL, according to the Boston Globe.
Of course, it's not like eating wild-caught salmon, quinoa, and kale are going to make the 6'6," 265-lb tight end immune to the physical wear and tear of football, but some lifestyle tweaks could give Gronk the edge he needs to feel and perform at his best.
About three months ago, he went to Brady and his body coach Alex Guerrero—owner of TB12 Sports Therapy Center at Patriot Place—for some sage, holistic advice.
“I just felt like I had to add on to what I was doing," Gronkowski told the Boston Herald. "Find a way that my body will respond so I can perform every day. Be in prevention mode for injuries happening. I definitely feel like a brand new guy just being able to do exercises here (at TB12). Exercises that help stabilize your core, exercises that help me and my whole body.”
Only time will tell if the targeted training and nutrition plan will lengthen the expiration date of Gronk's NFL career—or at least keep him on the field a bit more. So far, he's seeing the benefits.
Oh, and allegedly Brady's preparing a plant-based meal a day for Gronk.
“Tom’s my chef," he admitted to the Boston Herald. "I told him I’m only eating them if you have them ready for me,” Gronkowski said. “And he said, ‘Deal.’”
Though there's one part of the program Gronk's not willing to commit to just yet: going dry. Brady, like many other athletes, doesn't drink. But Gronk isn't quite ready to give up booze and partying. That's not to say he isn't serious.
“Rob has been really committed,” Guerrero told the Boston Herald. “He’s done a great job. The foundation has been set. Certainly, we’re not done.”
And that's certainly good news for New England Patriots fans... not so much for every other NFL team hoping to dethrone the Super Bowl champs.
For the full story, go to the bostonherald.com.