After missing the last five games of the 2016 regular season and all of the New England Patriots’ postseason run, Rob Gronkowski is focused on staying on the field in 2017.
To help his cause, he turned to the man who’s defined longevity on the football field – Tom Brady.
According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Gronkowski has been working with Brady and his trainer Alex Guerrero this offseason to improve his diet and incorporate more stretching into his workouts.
Guerrero, as noted by Guregian, has been the subject of some controversy – he was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission, sued by the federal government, and banned by the FTC from selling certain products. Chris Sweeney of Boston Magazine once called him a “snake oil” salesman. Still, Gronk, like many other Patriots has bought into his practices.
Gronkowski said of his new plan: “I wanted to find a way to make me feel good all the time and not worry. Coming here has definitely put me in that right direction … I’m getting massage therapy, I’m learning about hydration, I’m learning about nutrition. It’s helping me expand my game.”
Brady has even been involved, according to Guregian. Once a day, Brady cooks Gronkowski one of his favorite plant-based meals.
“Tom’s my chef,” Gronkowski said. “I told him I’m only eating them if you have them ready for me. And he said, ‘Deal.'”
However, Gronkowski hasn’t fully bought in. He isn’t eating avocado ice cream yet, and there is reportedly a protocol if he breaks the rules and has off-limit beverages like alcohol or coffee. According to Guregian, for every drink Gronkowski consumes that’s not on the diet plan, he has to have three glasses of water to make up for it. It’s not a tough punishment so much as a laborious one – Gronk’s Super Bowl parade performance would have resulted in a lot of glasses of water.
Gronkowski is reportedly 12 weeks into the program and says he can already feel the effects. He told reporters, “I feel looser. I feel my mobility has increased a lot. I feel way more pliable.”
For as often as Gronkowski has wowed on the field, he’s also had to spend time off of it dealing with injuries. If Brady and Guerrero’s methods work on one of the most oft-injured stars in the league, the benefits may be hard to deny.