The TB12 Method: The Basics
The TB12 Method is more than just a training regimen — it’s a holistic lifestyle.
At the core of it all is pliability, the practice that sets the TB12 Method apart. In short, pliability work keeps muscles long, soft, elastic, and ready to absorb impact at all times. Most training regimens promote strengthening and conditioning as the only two factors to improve performance, but with that comes pain, soreness, and injury. What if we could eliminate that pain?
Our main focus is on achieving long-term health and well-being, which is why everything we do, in one way or another, helps improve our overall pliability and vitality.
Pliability is important for a number of reasons. First off, pliable muscles are capable of 100 percent muscle pump function. They have functional strength and promote circulation of blood and lymph to facilitate recovery and healing. We’re all born with natural pliability and strength. By our mid-twenties, we’ve begun to lose our natural pliability. It’s normal to think that strength is what helps us achieve our goals — conventional wisdom dictates that we should strengthen even more as time goes on. In reality, pliability is what we really need to help restore our natural balance and maintain muscle durability.
Ability allows athletes to achieve — durability allows them to continue achieving. Pliability makes both possible.
Our approach to exercise is not about having the biggest muscles, it’s about having the most functional muscles. We don’t buy into lifting heavy weights — that practice has been over-glorified and excessively marketed. We want to make sure you have the energy and vitality to do the things you love to do. Exercise is part of engaging in a joyful life, and it should lift you up, not slow you down.
Lifting heavy weights can lead to muscle imbalance and compensation, which leads to injuries. So, most of our exercises use resistance bands instead, which allow for a big, fluid range of motion. Bands also help build strength and power while still keeping your muscles long. We focus on sport-specific exercises, too, that train your muscles for the job you’re asking them to do.
Perhaps one of the easiest, most important things we can all do right now to enhance our pliability is properly hydrating. Drinking enough water helps our bodies maintain good metabolism and digestion, lubricate our joints, and keep oxygen and nutrients circulating to our muscles. Drinking plenty of water, at least half our body weight in ounces every day, is key. Adding electrolytes to your water as often as possible is very helpful, too, as we naturally lose electrolytes every day. Reduce or eliminate your intake of caffeine, soda, and alcohol. All three can be very dehydrating and set you back.
A large portion of the TB12 Method is dedicated to what we put into our bodies. Like hydration, we’re all capable of making changes to our food choices. Eating poorly can undo many of the great benefits we get from exercise. The TB12 nutrition philosophy is focused on consuming nutrient-dense, real, whole foods that give you the fuel to perform at your peak. Focus on eating real food, not processed food. An organic and mostly plant-based diet of nutrient-rich food properly fuels your body and prepares it for an active lifestyle. Choose locally-sourced produce to make sure you’re getting the most out of what you eat. Most supermarket foods have traveled long distances and been frozen and thawed before reaching the shelves, meaning some nutrition could be lost by time you eat it.
Lastly, we can’t fully maximize our bodies’ potential unless we do it in conjunction with our minds. From self-esteem to mental focus, cultivating the right mindset is just as important as physical health. Mental toughness is a learned behavior. Focus on learning from experiences that don’t work out — often they become positive events. Take time to center yourself every day, whether it’s through meditation or just by doing something you love. Do brain exercises to maintain brain fitness and sharpness. Don’t forget to ensure cognitive rest by sticking to a regular bedtime and sleeping for at least eight hours every night.
THE TB12 METHOD
Adopting the TB12 Method, one habit at a time, will lead to progress. Challenge yourself. Be the best version of you. Our goal is more than just better training — it’s better living.
- Pliability is the core: We start with deep-force muscle work to promote pliability, as it keeps our muscles long, soft and primed for activity.
- Workout for function: It’s not about having the biggest muscles, it’s about having muscles that can do the job you need them to do.
- Hydration as foundation: Drinking water helps maintain good metabolism, digestion, joint lubrication, and pliability.
- Food as fuel: Eating poorly can undo the gains from pliability, exercise, and hydration
- Train your brain: Exercise and rest your mind like a muscle, since it’s a very important part of your body.
Our app has some great resources to help you get started on the TB12 Method. Check it out!