FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Alex Guerrero has been called a “quack”, a “glorified snake-oil salesman” and has been sued twice for fraud.
Critics and medical experts have questioned the TB12 Method that he and Tom Brady — the New England Patriots legend he’s personally coached and trained for nearly a decade — put together that’s resulted in a Center just steps away from Gillette Stadium, a tome and an app.
Guerrero did a sit-down with For The Win on Wednesday, the same day a report said he’d been banned from the Patriots’ sideline and team airplane. He wouldn’t comment on that report, but he had a lot to say about “the Method.” A professor at McMaster University has called “plaibility” — the central tenant of The Method — “balderdash” in an interview with the New York Times. He’s “infuriated” a sports medicine doctor who also ripped apart Brady’s alkaline-heavy diet.
So how does Guerrero respond? In a visit to the TB12 Center, we tried to find out.
(This Q&A has been condensed and edited.)
HOW TO YOU SUM UP THE TB12 METHOD?
It’s unique to each individual. It’s a very customized program for each person because everybody’s body type is different. Different heights, weights, their daily acts of living are different. The TB12 Method is about allowing people to sustain their peak performance however they define it so they can fulfill their daily acts of living pain free.
SO IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING A BETTER ATHLETE, IT’S ABOUT THE WHOLE BODY AND MIND PERFORMING AT THEIR PEAK LEVEL? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY?
That’s what I would love people to take away. We believe you should see the body as a whole even how it relates to pain and injury. People are affected emotionally and spiritually by pain. So you can’t separate those two things when you’re trying to make people feel better.
HOW DOES THAT WORK WITH INJURY PREVENTION AS WELL AS TREATMENT?
The concept of “pliability” is a new word for most people. They talk about flexibility, but that has more to do with ligament laxity than it has more to do with the muscle contracting and relaxing. Even if you don’t have any pain and you’re in your 20s and 30s and yet you exhibit bad mechanical behaviors, over time, you’re going to have pain. I tell a lot of clients who come here that are older, “You’ve worked hard your whole life, you’ve made money and you do great and you get to the point where you can enjoy your life’s work and you hurt.” To me that’s not the purpose of what your life is about. The Method is going toward young people understand that prevention is as important as recovery.
WHAT IS PREVENTING THIS FROM GOING INTO THE MAINSTREAM?
I would think it has a lot to do with misconceptions. People don’t know or haven’t tried it. You don’t get it until you come here. I think some people are quick to judgement and other people are like, “I’ll try it.” We say often times, you can’t unknow what you know, the only way to really know something is to give it a try. We don’t feel like we need to stand on the rooftop and scream it to everybody. We are who we are and our beliefs are what they are. We feel it’ll resonate with people when it’s important for them.
WHAT MISCONCEPTIONS DO YOU WANT TO CLEAR UP?
Some people think we’re anti-weights. We just don’t believe you should do weights at the expense of pliability. If heavy weights are something you want to do, great, but if it creates biomechanical differences left to right, then that’s an issue. That’s one thing I’d like people to understand: we’re not anti any of those things. We just want to make sure that people can go get pliability. If you’re going to do it, you’ve got to make sure you’re creating new neuropathways to make your body understand, my muscles can contract at 100 percent to support this.
BRADY HAS TALKED ABOUT HOW PLIABILITY ACTUALLY HELPS DISPERSE A HIT FROM AN OPPOSING PLAYER’S HELMET TO HIS BODY. IS THAT TRUE (WHICH, AS WE MENTIONED, HAS BEEN CALLED “BALDERDASH”)?
If you take a rope that is really tight, for example, and you hit it with a hammer, it’s probably going to snap. You can take that same rope and make it so it’s not so taught and tight, it’ll fray a little bit, it might smash some of the fibers, but the rope’s not going to break. It’s the same principle as your soft tissues. Pliability is really just keeping your muscles in a way they can support the force of impact that’s been brought to them.
WITH CONCUSSION TREATMENTS AND HEAD INJURIES, DOES PLIABILITY APPLY TO HEAD INJURIES?
That’s entirely different program. It’s part of the Method – we do that here, but I wouldn’t say that pliability helps prevent concussions. It’s part of the neuro-cognitive piece, it’s all the cognitive exercises that create new neuropathways. The brain can learn and act like any other muscle can. There are a lot of other things that go into the concussion program that aren’t necessarily in the pliability sector.
WHAT’S SOMETHING ABOUT TOM THAT THE PUBLIC DOESN’T KNOW?
As good of a football player that everybody gets to see he is, he’s an even better person. His humility, his kindness, I think that are things people don’t get a chance to see. Because of his success, they don’t get to see how wonderful of a father and a husband he is.
WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP FOR YOU AND THE CENTER?
The next thing for Tom and me is education. We really want people to learn about this and then we want to provide an education to health care professionals so they can offer the same type of service to more people. We want to start a certification program and we want health care professionals who are like-minded and can understand how they can really help the people they care for to do better.
IT’S INTRIGUING YOU DIDN’T SAY THAT YOU WANTED TO EXPAND TO LIKE 20,000 MORE TB12 CENTERS
When Tom and I started the Center, it really was with the idea of helping people understand a new way of doing things that could be beneficial to them in their life. It isn’t about making a New Year’s resolution in January and by March it’s over. We can help people, with ‘I can do this.’ This isn’t just for Tom Brady who’s an elite athlete, this is for the mom who is at home and taking care of kids and trying to care for her family. It’s the corporate executives and it’s for all those high school kids so they can learn so they don’t get trapped in some of the stuff Tom got trapped in early on. This has become kind of a movement for us.