Getting your basketball fitness routine sorted out to include games, practice sessions, weight training and stretching is tough. When I was playing competitively, all I wanted was for someone else to tell me exactly what I should be doing and when to do it, so I could be my best. So here is how I would structure a week to include basketball practice and strength training.
Off Season Basketball Training – Speed and Strength
Train hard in the off-season with weights and some speed training if that area of your game is lacking. Your goal should be to get as big, strong and fast as you can get in the off-season, so your body is ready to go during the season. If you didn’t go hard in the off-season, you probably should have. It’s the best time to get the fastest results from your strength workouts.
Full Body Workouts
Do full body workouts 3 times each week for beginners and intermediates, or 2 upper body workouts and 2 lower body workouts each week for advanced weight lifters. Bodybuilding workouts will not be perfect and can make you slower and more likely to get injured. Doing a basketball specific weights program will be far more beneficial for you.
Weight Lifting For Basketball
The aim of lifting weights during your season is to maintain the muscle that you built during the off-season. Because you are doing so much basketball training and playing as hard as you can, your body does not have the capability to recover from the games and hardcore strength training. Train smart and maintain what you have got.
In Season Strength Training Workouts
In-season strength training should consist of 1-2 full body weights workouts each week, depending on how much training you are doing and how much playing time you are getting. You will have to see what works for you.
Keep Training During the Season
Do not skip weights altogether during the season, as this will lead to a loss in strength and muscle mass and will affect your conditioning especially toward the end of the season and during finals. It’s not uncommon to see a player who has skipped their strength workouts lose 5 kilograms during a season and not dominate like they did early in the season.
Do Not Train Before Playing Basketball
Do not lift weights on game day. You want to be able to put everything into your game. If it’s a tight match and comes down to the last minute to decide the winning team, you want to be the fittest person on the court, not burnt out from a morning weights session.
Most players will have one or two basketball practices each week. For highly competitive players it may be even more. These are probably the best days to lift weights on. Either before practice, after practice or whenever you can fit a weights session in will work. If you have a day off practice or games, you could fit the training session on that day. Just find a time which works into your schedule that you will actually do, no blow off to go to a party.
Basketball Nutrition Tips
Eat enough food. This may seem unimportant, but it is vital to your success with strength training and your performance on the basketball court. You should be getting the majority of your energy from good carbohydrate sources including wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice, white or sweet potatoes and oatmeal. You will also need to eat your vegetables to keep enough nutrients pumping into your body. You need the nutrients for muscle repair as well as normal bodily functions. If you can’t get enough vegetables you should look at taking a multivitamin supplement as well as trying to increase your vegetable intake.
If you get these 7 things worked out, you can continue to get stronger for basketball while fitting it into your training schedule. It takes a bit of planning and a lot of hard work and discipline, but is definitely worth it in the long run if you want to take your game a long way. Michael Jordan did. Lebron James did. Will you be next?