Considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time is a man that’s worshipped by millions as an icon of inspiration.
To become champion, LeBron had to commit countless hours to his training to gain the physique necessary to compete at a world-class level.
We’ve spent just as many hours studying his workout regimen and diet to find out how he does it - read on to learn more.
Who is LeBron James?
LeBron Raymone James, born in 1984 in Akron, Ohio, is a renowned professional basketball player.
He has notably played for the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers and currently represents the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA.
Recognized as one of basketball's greatest, he is frequently compared to legends like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
His commitment to his sport is unwavering. LeBron once went 67 straight days on an extremely strict diet to test his mental fortitude, quoted:
"I had no sugars, no dairy, I had no carbs. All I ate was meat, fish, veggies, and fruit.”
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Lebron James’ Workout Routine
LeBron is a workout maniac who has a passion for high-intensity interval training.
As a personal trainer, I know firsthand how demanding HIITs can be. They require extreme discipline and dedication. But the good thing about them is the results never disappoint.
Here’s an in-depth breakdown you can use as an example:
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Monday: Upper Body (i.e., Shoulders, Chest, and Triceps)
Upper Body Workout Routine
- Incline dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Wide-grip lat pulldown: 3 sets of 10 reps
- One-arm dumbbell military press: 3 sets of reps
- One-arm dumbbell row: 3 sets of 10 reps
Tuesday: Plyometric Exercises and Spin Training
Plyometric Exercises and Spin Classes
LeBron takes 30 minutes to an hour of spin fitness classes coupled with supersets of plyometric exercises.
These include step climbing, lunges, push-ups, jump squats, push-up hops, and skipping.
Wednesday: Back, Biceps, and Traps
Focus on the back, the biceps, and traps through a session involving these exercises:
- Grip pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps each
- Standing bicep curls with barbell: 4 sets of 12 reps each
- Chin-ups: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Barbell bent-over rows: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Wide grip pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
Thursday: Cardio and Gym Session
Cardio Routine and Gym Session
- Jump rope: 30 minutes
- Pull-ups: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Single-arm cable row: 3 sets of 10 reps per arm
- Single-arm overhead press: 3 sets of 6-8 reps per arm
- Leg curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
Friday: Legs, Calves, and Lower Body Exercises
Legs, Calves, and Lower Body Workout Routine
- Seated calf raise: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Leg press: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Back squat: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Calisthenics: Weighted jumps, jumping lunges, box jumps, and push-ups, 3 sets of 15 reps for each exercise
Additionally, James recommends a 10-minute uphill bike ride over running on the treadmill to increase stamina.
Plyometrics and spin
Also read: Russell Westbrook's NBA Training Routine
What Is Behind His Workout Routine?
Here's the philosophies in Lebron's workout routine:
Strength Training and Endurance Training
The LeBron James workout routine involves exercising for 5-7 days per week, focusing on strength training and muscular endurance.
Additionally, Lebron pays special attention to injury prevention and recovery techniques. He regularly engages in activities like cryotherapy and physiotherapy, which are essential for maintaining his peak physical condition and preventing injuries.
On Sunday, rest is important to allow the body time to heal. As a personal trainer, I always recommend a day or two of rest.
To get started with the LeBron James workout routine, a vigorous 30-minute warm-up is mandatory.
This involves either the VersaClimber workout machine or jogging on a treadmill.
According to research published by the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, warming up before an exercise routine has many positive benefits including reducing the risk of an injury, increasing flexibility, and elevating body temperature .
“Warm-ups appear to provide psychological and physiological preparation for exercise performance…. by affording psychological stability, preparation, and confidence for exercise performance.”
- Hyoung-Kil Park, Physical Education Researcher
Yoga Warm Down
Additionally, LeBron James often ends every single one of his workout routines with a 20-minute yoga practice as a form of recovery workout.
This allows him to cool down and absorb its post-workout effects. Yoga meditation and mindfulness practices are crucial for his mental health, particularly helping him handle the pressures of professional sports.
During the off-season, LeBron's training and lifestyle undergoes significant changes.
He focuses more on building strength and less on basketball-specific training, allowing him to address different aspects of his fitness and prevent burnout.
Lebron James' Diet Plan
James eats mainly protein and fruit for breakfast, such as egg-white omelets, yogurt, smoked salmon, berries, and gluten-free pancakes.
On days when he doesn’t feel like overeating, a bagel with peanut butter is his go-to meal, which provides him with enough energy for his daily routine.
Lunch and Dinner
For his main meals, LeBron James opts for high protein with lots of greens.
This includes a rocket salad and some veggies with olive oil, topped with meats like a chicken breast, and maybe a little pasta.
He’s also been known to have a large palate for greens and veggies, which range from arugula, squash, zucchini, banana peppers, and asparagus.
What Supplements Does He Take?
No diet plan is complete without supplements to top up those missing nutrients. In my career as a performance coach, I've seen how the right supplements can make a huge difference.
In fact, LeBron James, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lindsey Vonn together, have their own supplement brand known as Ladder.
Ladder whey protein powders are made to the highest of standards.
This includes being a non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan product with over 2 billion CFU of probiotics.
Additionally, LeBron James' uses this supplement stack to kick start his recovery process immediately after a game or finishing his workout routine.
Other workout routines:
What Is Lebron James Famous For?
LeBron is famous for many accomplishments, including winning four NBA championships, given four NBA Finals MVP awards, two Olympic gold medals, and holds the record for all-time playoff record points.
How Many Calories Does an NBA Player Eat?
On average, an NBA player eats about 5,000 - 6,000 calories a day.
This requires eating five meals or more a day, with the exact number of calories depending on the individual’s metabolism and level of energy expenditure.
How Does Lebron James Heal so Fast?
LeBron is able to heal from injuries quickly due to the amount of care he invests into his body.
James spends close to $1.5 million a year in body care.
This includes ice tub and hot tub treatments, coaches, trainers, a personal team of biochemists, masseuses, electrolyte-rich drinks, electrostimulation sessions, cryotherapy, and a hyperbaric chamber.
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