You don’t see many NBA stars playing well age 35 or older like Lebron James has done this season.  I believe Steve Nash is the only player older than Lebron to lead the league in assists.  Nash was 36 and Lebron is 35.

I’ve written several blog posts throughout the years about Lebron and his training.  I’ve stumbled across a few more items so thought I’d share them with you.

The older an athlete gets the more that athlete’s training is designed to get him/her to recover better as opposed to performing better on the court.

What do I mean by that?

Early in one’s career, you are younger and you’re trying to ooze as much athletic potential and growth out of the athlete.  Get them bigger, stronger, and faster.

At a certain age, you reach a point of diminishing returns on the gains that can be made.  You also learn it takes you a little longer to recover from games and hard workouts then it did when you were younger.

Thus your training is focused on maximizing the athletic abilities you have.  At the same time, trying not to tear your body down in the process of doing that.  Thus, keeping your body fresh and optimizing your potential to recover better.

That is where Lebron’s training is focused on.  His trainer, Mike Mancias, has stated they don’t work on a lot of jumping components.  Lebron already knows how to jump and any training they do is focusing on reducing the wear and tear on the legs.

Here are some key points of emphasis for Lebron’s recovery gameplan:

  • Strength – Stay strong by starting with core strength and then work your way out.
  • Nutrition – During the season, he stays pretty clean and avoids fried foods and artificial drinks/foods. He also takes some supplements to help provide him with added nutrients that he needs due to his the high stress he places on his body.
  • Recovery – He loves contrast work – hot and cold tubs. Spend about 5 minutes in hot water then 5 minutes in cold and repeat for several cycles.  Especially done after games.
  • Wearables – He used to wear the Whoop band to keep track of key data needed in recovery. I don’t know if he still wears the Whoop, but YES, I do!
  • Nap – To help with performance he will take a nap on game days. I don’t know how long, but from my experience a 60 to 90 minute nap would really help performance.

Obviously, Lebron is a once in a lifetime talent.  If you do focus your efforts on doing some of the above items, it won’t necessarily get you to heights like Lebron.  But, I do believe it will absolutely make you be a little bit better athlete then what you were before.

Cover photo courtesy of Lebron James Instagram account @kingjames!