Is the world ready for a serious, health-conscious Rob Gronkowski? We may soon see because the irrepressible Gronk is taking a page out of his quarterback’s book — er, $200 “nutrition manual”/”living document” — by adopting the Tom Brady diet and fitness plan.
In Gronk’s case, it makes sense if he hopes to be as fit as Brady by the time he’s 40. Although he’s always been strong, Gronk, 28, has had a number of season-shortening injuries. His third back surgery ended his 2016 season at eight games and kept him out of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl run, and he’s now legitimately concerned about the future. To that end, he has been working with Alex Guerrero, Brady’s body coach and business partner at TB12 Sports Therapy Center.
“Just looking at Tom, 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’s Karen Guregian.
Brady’s methods, which include an emphasis on diet, electrolytes and stretching exercises, and his coach have come under scrutiny and ridicule, but it clearly works for him, with his 40th birthday arriving this week. Guerrero has been banned by the Federal Trade Commission from selling some of his products and was sued by the federal government, but Brady is taking the approach to a general audience, with a self-help book coming out next month in addition to that cookbook and other items at TB12.
Gronk started the program in May and says he has been learning about proper hydration and nutrition as he uses resistance bands to help stabilize his core. His diet is improved and he says he has gotten his quarterback to fix one meal a day for him. But let’s just say that not all parts of the Brady diet, famous for avocado ice cream, fit the Gronkowski lifestyle. He will not be giving up alcohol. Instead, Guerrero has him drinking at least three glasses of water for every one beverage that is not approved.
“I just felt like I had to add on to what I was doing. Find a way that my body will respond so I can perform every day. Be in prevention mode for injuries happening,” Gronkowski said. “I definitely feel like a brand new guy just being able to do exercises here [at TB12 near Gillette Stadium]. Exercises that help stabilize your core, exercises that help me and my whole body.”
Brady is on a mission to improve the diet of several of his other teammates and ordinary civilians, even if that means the food industry is in his crosshairs.
“When you think about nutritional supplements, you think about other types of training methods and training techniques. I think that’s a great thing,” he said in a WEEI interview almost two years ago. “I think when you talk about a green supplement — it’s vegetables. It’s eating better. So much of my diet is based on an acid-alkaline principle, which to me does reduce inflammation in my body. When you run around and take hits all day for a living, that’s a really positive thing for me. I would love to encourage all my teammates to eat the best way they possibly can, to have high school athletes [do the same].
“That’s not the way our food system in America is set up. It’s very different. They have a food pyramid. I disagree with that. I disagree with a lot of things that people tell you to do. You’ll probably go out and drink Coca-Cola and think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s no problem.’ Why? Because they pay lots of money for advertisements to think that you should drink Coca-Cola for a living? No, I totally disagree with that. And when people do that, I think that’s quackery. And the fact that they can sell that to kids? I mean, that’s poison for kids. But they keep doing it. And obviously you guys may not have a comment on that because maybe that’s what your belief system is. So you do whatever you want. You live the life you want.
“Like I said, what I’m trying to provide for athletes and for people and all the clients that we have that come in, is a different way of thinking, a different way of methods. You need to be outside the box, you need to think differently if you want to sustain what for me is my peak performance, the very best that I can achieve as an athlete every day. And I learned that a long time ago.”
More from The Post: