Fitness

Train Like the GOAT at His New Back Bay TB12 Location

Will Tom Brady’s new TB12 sports facility in Boston turn you into an MVP? Probably not, but at least it’ll help you feel like one.


Illustration by Jeannie Phan

I have a confession: My affection for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots is lukewarm at best. For one, as a born-and-bred Ohio State football fan, I’ve been groomed to be suspicious of anyone who played for the rival University of Michigan. Plus, I already have the Ohio bandwagon to ride—I don’t need to jump on another.

All rivalries aside, I can’t help but admire Brady’s robust fitness regimen, which has allowed him to remain dominant on the football field—not to mention given him plenty of lucrative business opportunities through his TB12 brand, including products for athletes as well as a sports-performance-and-recovery center in Foxborough. When the facility expanded to Boston this past summer, I wondered if I (and my tweaked knee) could benefit from face time with a GOAT-approved trainer.

Walking inside the meticulously sterile Back Bay location, I notice a juice bar to the left and TB12-branded T-shirts, whey protein bags, and vibrating spheres that claim to help with muscle “pliability” (that’s the magic word in the TB12 training method) covering the entirety of the wall to the right. I try to count just how many times I see Tom’s face, but lose track.

After a few minutes, my body coach—that’s what TB12 calls its physical therapists and athletic trainers—materializes, walking me through double doors to a large turf area littered with foam rollers and resistance bands. But more on those later—first, it’s time for a chat about my diet, injuries, and medical history in a private exam room. To help with digestion, my coach suggests eliminating dairy, gluten, and anything sweet after dinner, due to their inflammatory properties. “That’s what Tom does,” he assures me—which becomes an integral part of the pitch. “Tom doesn’t lift weights, Tom sticks to plant-based foods, and Tom doesn’t like strawberries.” By the time it’s over, I feel like I know Boston’s favorite QB personally.

From there, I’m instructed to walk and then run on one of the facility’s special treadmills, to help my trainer analyze my gait. Afterward, I complete a series of exercises on the turf, including squats, planks, and bridges. Then comes the diagnosis: My knee pain, my coach says, is from weakness in my hip. “An easy fix,” he tells me confidently before whisking me back into the exam room for soft-tissue work—like a massage, he explains, but a little more intense (read: ouch!). We cap off the appointment by foam-rolling, an integral part of the TB12 method.

So after spending an afternoon at TB12, do I feel like a pro quarterback? Not exactly, though I did leave with more knowledge about my body and several more tools in my toolbox. But the truth is, you can’t buy good genes—even for $240 per session. I have a strong feeling Tom Brady’s parents blessed him with stellar ones, and that’s something no amount of money, or vibrating pliability spheres, can change for the rest of us mere mortals.