How to dominate like LeBron
Lebron James. The man is a physical specimen who has dominated the NBA, the greatest basketball league in the world for the last 16 years after being drafted number 1 straight out of high school.
While almost everyone else from that 2003 draft is now long out of the league (incredibly LeBron’s current head coach Luke Walton was picked 32nd in the same draft!) this year LeBron has signed with the biggest team in the association, the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron’s 2018 – 2019 season continues to put the rest of the league on notice with current averages of 27.0ppg, 8.7rpg, and 8.1apg in a whopping-ly taxing 35 minutes per game.
So how does LeBron do it? Well, his personal trainer Mike Mancias has shared his secrets – LeBron’s 5 Pillars.
We couldn’t resist taking the chance to sit down as a team and discuss the simplicity of his plan and how you too can dominate life like LeBron.
Let’s bring in the team
- Gus McSweyn, Pascoe Vale Podiatrist
- Naveena Seethapathy, Pascoe Vale Physio
- Mike Fitzsimon, Pascoe Vale EP
Team, LeBron’s 5 Pillars are a great insight into what goes into keeping his body and mind at a top level. What are your thoughts? What can we learn? How can we follow these in our own lives?
Strength and conditioning
Pascoe Vale Physiotherapist, Naveena Seethapathy
Strength and conditioning very important, not just for the sporting elite, every single one of us, especially in the context of sedentary work that so many of us are engaged in.
My thoughts are:
- James works out 5 to 7 times a week during the season and wakes up at an ungodly hour of 5am. For this discipline is the key. Muscles do not magically become stronger when we sleep, strength is the reward for hard work and being out of your comfort zone. People often wonder why they’re not getting faster or stronger after running 5kms every single day for the last 5 years. Well, there are no improvements because there is no new stimulus, the training load needs to be a little bit extra from what you had previously completed.
- Functional exercises: It’s great to include exercises which use large groups of muscles and more closely resemble everyday activities or sports specific activities
- Variety: James’ insta feed is littered with a variety of exercises. Functional, core, spin, versaclimber, pilates, pool, cable and pulleys, gym ball, yoga… Routines need to be changed frequently to challenge the system as the same muscle works differently in different contexts. For example, a muscle that works as a prime mover in a particular action might act as a stabiliser for another action. Every muscle is important, not just the “beach muscles”. Focus on what your body needs for your life, sport or activities.
- James is a fervent devotee of the core. A little background, for the last decade or so, the core has been touted as the missing link to maximise performance and reduce injury risk. Initially, the aim was to isolate it and train it. Now, new research points to engaging the core whilst working out the other parts of the body. James uses gym balls and balance pads to boost his workouts. Anyone up for balancing on a gym ball while doing your biceps curls?
- James seeks help. James’ team of strength and conditioning, dietary, medical, physical and mental coaches are important to him and his performance. For most of us having our own personal chef on hand is out of the question. Well, the rest is easy, engage your trusted health professionals like the team I work with at PridePlus Health to get you performing at your best.
- Finally, James strives for “Greatness”, a motto that has grown to be a hashtag and mantra for many. For me strive for greatness translated into layman’s language is to strive for the best version of yourself.
Sports medicine and athletic training
Pascoe Vale Podiatrist, Gus McSweyn
Sports medicine and athletic training are a big focus for LeBron, which involves utilising the tools available to be able to get the most out of your body as well as protect and prepare against injury.
Whether this is the implementation of increased external supporting structures. These aid in more efficient functioning or redistribute load (ie. LeBron’s fancy looking Blue orthotics, the application of rigid taping pre-game or appropriate footwear) or the increasing of the capacity of his internal stabilising structures (strength & conditioning) to be able to cope with the high intensity demands that we ask of our body or in LeBron’s case 35 minutes of elite level basketball repeated at minimum 82 times a year.
Pascoe Vale Exercise Physiologist, Mike Fitzsimon on Nutrition, Recovery and Mental Preparation
Nutrition is fuel for performance – a healthy combination of food and liquid helps us think more clearly, feel more energetic, cope with stress, move better and heal more quickly from injury. A delicious, healthy, varied, simple, and timely nutritional plan is important!. Complex carbs before exercise and protein/carbs post. Hydration super important before, during and after. Eating before exercise is essential and post-exercise – a small amount of food and water, then a larger meal 1-2 hours post. Routine, planning, shopping and storage of food will make life easier.
Recovery should commence immediately at the end of the workout – stretching, foam rolling, icing, passive and active recovery are all important. Walking for 5 – 10 mins and stretching/foam roller (active) are good options. Rest and ice (passive), massage (passive) are also options. Schedule lighter workouts between heavier ones to keep moving and mobile but to aid recovery.
Goal setting, imagery, visualisation, help improve movement and performance. Thinking about the muscles you are using or the technique you will move with help you engage with exercise more effectively. Be prepared for some post-workout muscle soreness for up to 24 – 48 hours, the amazing benefits will follow. Choosing activities that you enjoy doing will help you improve and maintain motivation. Group exercise can be more enjoyable or getting away from it all and going solo is great too!
Your PridePlus Health team are here to help you dominate life like LeBron. Whatever your goals are, whatever your hurdles that need to be overcome are, we can help.