Who Are You Calling Old?

The Aging Athlete: How to stay at the top of your game after 40 if you are not Tom Brady.

The Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday and one of the questions I get a lot is how can I stay in shape and continue to compete with these young bucks when I just hit 40.  Whether you like him or not Tom Brady is competing at a level that no other quarterback in the NFL has ever done.  Right now, he can be considered one of the greatest quarterbacks if not the greatest of all time.  How does he do it?

Tom is not the only athlete to play professional sports at a high level past 40 years old, ESPN produced a top 40 over 40, click here to see the long list, but some of the names that stood out to me are Jamie Moyer (49 y.o., MLB Pitcher), Jaromir Jagr (NHL; just turned 44), Gordie Howe (Last NHL season 44 y.o.), and Darra Torres (Olympic Gold Medalist at 45 y.o.) to name a few.

There are many factors that go into the longevity of a professional athlete, emphasis on professional, factors that mere mortals like us reading this blog are unattainable.

First off, we all do not employ personal chefs who can shop for the freshest ingredients nor make the foulest smelling food actually taste good.

Secondly, I do not know about you but I do not have on my payroll a personal physical therapist, masseur, trainer, and sports psychologist getting you back in focus.

There are a lot of other factors that we all miss because we are caught up in the hype of these famous athletes.  Factors like good genes, perfect skeletal alignment, and the millions of dollars sized carrot dangling at the end of a stick.

So how is a guy like Tom Brady, who wakes up every morning and puts his pants on just like I do (one foot at a time), able to achieve such success at such a high level as the NFL.

Well, folks in case you did not know it, Tom Brady, has written a book detailing how you too can achieve the same athletic feats as he does if you do everything like him.


In my opinion, you should not believe everything you read especially when it is coming from some superstar.  Not that there is nothing good to come from these books, but you need to read between the lines.

For instance, reading the books of the super rich on how to get rich if you follow their systematic approach.  It is not the system that got them there it’s the desire that picked them up from their boot straps to work harder, go into debt or do anything at all costs is what really matters.  The same goes for athletes like Tom Brady.

According to Julia Belluz of Vox Media’s Article, the book The TB12 Method by Tom Brady, details Brady’s 12 principles for “sustained peak performance” — all the exercises, massage techniques, diet supplements, and stretches that have, he claims, kept keep him on the field to the ripe-for-pro-football age of 40.

In the book, “Brady suggests an anti-inflammatory diet (which he describes in his book as trying to keep his pH levels at neutral by avoiding foods that overly acidic) helps him stay healthy and recover quickly on the field.”

However, “the only post-exercise diet that’s been shown to speed recovery, Joyner said, is getting enough carbohydrates to replenish glycogen that’s been depleted after a workout, or protein to help with muscle building. “That’s been clearly demonstrated,” Mayo Clinic exercise researcher Dr. Michael Joyner added., but anything beyond that hasn’t been.

So, if it’s not all of that than what is it?

Instead, Joyner thinks the reason for Brady’s success is better explained by the fact that he’s able to adhere to a healthy diet while avoiding weight gain and serious injury. The specifics of the diet matter less than that fact. “The one thing that works is consistency and adherence,” said Joyner. (Which goes back to what I said roughly 6 paragraphs above.)

In another article I found on the Internet, The Age of the 40-year-old Sports Star written by Kevin Fixler of the Daily Beast, he interviewed Teemu Selanne, a Finn and 21 y.o. NHL veteran who claims “You have to do the things right and make sure that you look after your body in every each way. A lot of times young players, they don’t get that message that, look after your body and do the right things with recovery and eating habits and drinking habits. The older you get, you start paying attention about recovery stuff and all the things that get you be ready game to game. The older you get the harder it gets, but there’s a lot of things you can do, but you got to be very disciplined about that.”…

(So, I ask, what else could it be?)

… [In this same article] Dr. Michael Joyner (of the Mayo Clinic) suggests “These guys (athletes) get addicted to the kind of fame. I think participating at a very high level is a bit of a nine-ring circus: You’re making a lot of money, ESPN or whoever is following you around, and I think that it’s addictive.”…

…”Players like Peyton Manning, Teemu Selanne, Steve Nash, and Derek Jeter, even in a system where more and more aging athletes are able to persist in their chosen sport, are still the exceptions to the rule. Yet, because of major progress in sports science and the predictable choices set forth by massive financial motivators, they’re also a far cry from that enduring image of Y.A. Tittle crumpled up on the field in his final game.”…

Are you still with me?

Here is the point, whether you are the MVP of the NFL or you are trying to win another master’s level tournament there are things that you can do stay be the best version of you.  If you put in a little more effort, hard work, and dedication you to can improve your performance and become the Loudoun County Coed Soccer League MVP.

AID Performance Physical Therapy, has taken all the feedback from you the customer and now offers all the services that athletes like Tom Brady have access to at an affordable price.  We now offer not only physical therapy but we also offer massage, nutrition, and performance training all in one location (and if you are super motivated we have a friend who is a sports psychologist too).

We are here to help you make the best decisions about your health and performance, call today 703-723-6758 or respond to this email, and schedule your free discovery session with one of our experts in massage, diet, physical therapy and performance training.

Thanks again for reading, if you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover please reply to me and I will do my best to answer them.

Yours in health and wellness.

Andrew Dombek, PT, MSPT, CMTPT, CGFI

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