It hasn’t been a dream off-season, what with the Saints forced to franchise him when they couldn’t agree on a new contract, and now his head coach Sean Payton suspended for a year thanks to the bounty scandal. Nevertheless, record-setting QB Drew Brees told Made Man what he’s doing right now to get better while the other guys just get old.

MADE MAN: Do you get any downtime after a season?
DREW BREES: I definitely take a few weeks off. When I say “off,” it’s not like I sit around and do nothing—chasing the kids around in itself is burning calories—but I stay out of the weight room. I do a lot of cross-training. Hiking with my wife. Riding the bike. Stand-up paddle boarding. But I do splurge a little bit, because I try to be very disciplined with my eating habits during the season.

I think the misconception for me was, ‘I’ve got to throw all this weight on the squat bar and the bench.’ There’s a place for that, but particularly when you get older, it’s about training smart.

MM: So it’s double cheeseburger time.
DB: I try to stay away from dairy, but the big bacon burgers and chicken-fried steak are vices. I love root beer.

MM: When does the organized regimen resume?
DB: I start up again in late February. Not football-related stuff yet, but weight training and functional fitness training. I don’t really start throwing routes until April. It’s in phases: get away from football through February, March is functional fitness, April, May, June is when we’re back in that mode of getting ready for training camp.

MM: Do you have a trainer overseeing everything?
DB: I do. Todd Durkin trains a lot of pros, from football to baseball to basketball to MMA to hockey. I’ve trained with the baseball guys, when we’re still far from the season and baseball’s geared up for spring training. Todd’s always on the cutting edge. Every season he has a few new things.

MM: How does your schedule work?
DB: In the gym, four times a week for two hours when I get started. When we get into July, probably six days a week for four to five hours, depending what you’re doing. It’s a mix of stretching and working out, throwing, running, bodywork, Pilates. I mix it up so my body’s always challenged.

MM: Does the routine change based on injuries?
DB: I’ve had to rehab shoulders during the off-season. You’re putting more emphasis on those things just to get back to normal. Playing quarterback, I focus on core strength, balance, joint integrity. So much shoulder stuff I do is injury prevention; you’re trying to protect that joint from the wear and tear of throwing as well as the hits you take. So much is recovery. I do a lot of stuff on a consistent basis to make sure I have every edge possible.

MM: What training mistakes did you used to make?
DB: I think the misconception back in high school and college for me was “I’ve got to throw all this weight on the squat bar and the bench.” There’s a place for that, but for the most part, particularly when you get older, it’s about training smart. It swings more in favor of functional fitness, using your own body weight, focusing on your core…

MM: Speaking of unconventional workouts, you’re a spokesman for Kinect on Xbox 360. What games do you play?
DB: Track and Field is probably my favorite. Table Tennis. Those are my top two.

MM: How often do you play?
DB: My job keeps me pretty busy during the season and my kids aren’t quite old enough yet (they’re one and three), but I have a feeling in the very near future I will be playing much more.

MM: Destroying them at Table Tennis will be satisfying.
DB: Exactly.