Russell Westbrook's Workout & Diet (His Secret Routine)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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As one of the fastest NBA players on the basketball court, Westbrook knows what it takes to be explosive and unpredictable.

Having trained hundreds of clients for speed and agility in my career as a personal trainer, I was curious about how Westbrook trains and conditions for the court.

So, I teamed up with a basketball coach and trainer and spent a few weeks watching Westbrook’s games and interviews and studying his physique.

So, if you’re curious about the secrets behind his workout routine, keep reading to learn more.

Quick Summary

  • Russell Westbrook's workouts include barbell bench presses, dumbbell jerks, weighted box jumps, standing triple jumps, and stiff leg deadlifts.
  • Westbrook consumes the following meals: brown rice, eggs, fruits, cottage cheese, beans, broccoli, chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, vegetables, and wheat bread.
  • Westbrook eats almonds every day, which, according to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, may enhance athletic performance
  • Russell supplements revolve around natural foods rich in antioxidants, like green tea and turmeric.

Russell Westbrook's Stats

  • Age: November 12, 1988
  • Height: 6'3" (1.91m)
  • Weight: 181 lbs (91 kg)
  • Chest: 43 in (107 cm)
  • Waist: 32 in (82 cm)
  • Arms: 15 in (38 cm)

 

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Career Highlights

  • All-time record for most career triple-doubles in NBA history
  • Voted in 2008 into the NBA All-Rookie First Team
  • Nine times an all-star player
  • 2016/2017 NBA MVP
  • Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, and currently the Washington Wizards
  • Two gold medals with the American National Basketball Team

What Is Russell Westbrook’s Workout Routine?

Russell Westbrook’s workout routine is a combination of weight training, core and explosive workouts, and basketball drills. Based on what I found, he works out five days a week and starts his day with push-ups to get his blood flowing.

Once in the gym, he focuses on working his core and honing his basketball skills.

Here’s what Russell Westbrook’s various workouts look like.

I. The Westbrook Weight Traning Routine

man doing pull ups in a gym, and another man doing push ups with plates

Based on the information I obtained from various videos, Westbrook's weight training schedule might look something like this:

  • Monday & Saturday: Push & pull exercises with basketball drills
  • Tuesday & Sunday: Compound exercises with basketball drills
  • Wednesday: Lower body workout with basketball drills
  • Thursday & Friday: Active rest

Here's a breakdown of his weight-training routine.

Monday & Saturday: Push & Pull Exercises With Basketball Drills

Pushing and pulling movements are essential for strengthening one’s biceps and back muscles.

Weight-training exercises help Westbrook build muscle and execute athletic moves during game day. These include:

  • Superset
    • Weight plate pushups: 3 sets to exhaustion
    • Weighted pull-ups: 3 sets to exhaustion
  • Dumbbell Snatch Superset: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Single-arm Cable Row: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Bottoms-up Abdominal: 3 sets x 10 reps

Russell Westbrook dedicates 2 hours after his workout to performing full-court basketball training drills.

His on-court routine includes:

  • In the Box Dribbling: 2 sets x 2 mins
  • Bust Out and Retreat Dribbling: 2 sets x 1 min
  • Combo-Move Weak-hand Finish: 1 minute
  • Step Back Crossover to Floater Finish: 3 sets x 6 makes
  • Ball Screen and Turn the Corner: 2 sets x 5 shots
  • Ball Screen and Pull-up Jumper: 2 sets x 5 shots
  • Ball Screen Refusal: 2 sets x 5 shots
  • Feeding the Post Passing: 2 sets x 8
  • Combo Move Partner Passing: 2 sets x 1 min
  • Stretching: 10 minutes

II. The Westbrook Core Workout

Westbrook performs a regular core workout to increase his core strength — something that's vital for speed and agility on the court.

He performs these four dumbbell exercises to build his core:

  • Physioball dumbbell chest press: 4 sets x 6–10 reps
  • Single-leg dumbbell curl-to-press: 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Walking dumbbell push-up to row: 3 sets x 8 reps

Dumbbell squat jump: 4 sets x 8 reps

III. The Westbrook Explosive Workout

I’ve unearthed Russell’s secret to explosiveness on the court. It’s a series of intense plyometric exercises that demand stability, core strength, and speed.

Here’s what Russell’s explosive workout might look like:

  • Plate jumps: 4 sets x 12–15 reps
  • Frog squat jumps: 4 sets x 8–15 reps
  • Box squat jumps: 4 sets x 12–15 reps
  • Dumbbell swing-through jumps: 3 sets x 10–15 reps
  • Standing triple jumps: 3 sets x 8–12 reps
  • Finger cleans: 4 sets x 3–6 reps
  • Dumbbell jerks: 4 sets x 10–15 reps
  • Ravers: 3 sets x 15–25 reps
  • Concentric box jumps: 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Long box jump: 3 sets of 8–10 reps

Note: While Russell hasn’t revealed how often he does his explosive workouts, I’d personally recommend doing this workout only once a week if you’re a beginner and 2–3 times a week if you're intermediate or above.

Tuesday & Sunday: Compound Exercises With Basketball Drills

man using dumbbells on both arms, and another man doing bench presses

For his compound workout, Westbrook starts with a 10-minute dynamic stretch session to prevent injury and strain.

This routine consists of five to six exercises to increase overall body strength, each with four sets of 8 reps and a two-minute rest between sets.

The exercises include:

  • Walking dumbbell push up-to-row: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Barbell bench press: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Barbell front squat: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Dumbbell jerk: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Standing barbell row: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Weighted wide-grip pushups: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Barbell power snatch: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Barbell shrugs: 4 sets x 8 reps

Wednesday: Lower Body Workout With Basketball Drills

man doing a box jump workout, and another person jogging outdoors

For this workout, Westbrook trains his core and lower body for balance, stamina, and stability.

It is a high-intensity cardio routine that allows him to unleash his full potential during critical moments, which include:

  • Full court sprints (with weighted single-leg rope jump in-between sets): 5 sets
  • Weighted box jumps: 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Stiff leg deadlift: 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell sumo deadlift: 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Dumbbell side lunges with explosive foot swing: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Single-leg kettlebell squats: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell squat jump: 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Standing triple jump: 3 sets x 8 reps

The Importance of Recovery and Sleep in Russell Westbrook's Routine

While Russell Westbrook's workout and diet are crucial for his performance, I believe that an often overlooked but equally important aspect is his recovery and sleep routine.

Recovery is vital for any athlete, especially in a high-intensity sport like basketball.

Here's how Westbrook might approach this critical component:

  • Emphasis on quality sleep: Westbrook likely maintains a consistent sleep schedule, even during the off-season, to ensure his body and mind are well-rested. This could involve 7–9 hours of sleep each night, which is the recommended amount for elite athletes.
  • Post-game recovery: After intense games, Westbrook might engage in cool-down activities such as light stretching, yoga, or foam rolling. These practices help in muscle recovery and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Advanced recovery techniques
    • Cryotherapy: Westbrook might use cryotherapy, a technique involving exposure to extremely cold temperatures, to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery.
    • Massage and physiotherapy: Regular massages and physiotherapy sessions could be a part of his routine to keep his muscles flexible and prevent injuries.
    • Compression garments: Wearing compression garments post-exercise can help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.
  • Mindfulness and relaxation: Mental recovery is as important as physical recovery. Westbrook might practice mindfulness or meditation to help clear his mind, reduce stress, and improve focus.

Diet Plan

knife, plate, and a fork with a measuring tape on top

Discipline with carbohydrate intake is key to Westbrook's diet plan, which is what I recommend to most of the athletes I train.

Russell eats carbs only for breakfast, pre-workout, and post-workout to ensure speedy muscle growth, maximum energy, and pure fat loss.

Research from Nutrition Today supports this, with scientists claiming:

“Carbohydrate is the substrate most efficiently metabolized by the body and the only macronutrient that can be broken down rapidly enough to provide energy during periods of high-intensity exercise when fast-twitch muscle fibers are primarily relied upon [1].”

- Mitch Kanter, PhD

Below is Russell Westbrook’s exact meal plan.

Breakfast

bowl of brown rice, and another bowl of goji berries

Breakfast is the basketball star’s favorite meal of the day, and typically, when he begins consuming carbs.

The point guard goes heavy with a big breakfast consisting of up to seven egg whites, brown rice, and a ton of fruits.

He also takes two tablespoons of cottage cheese with a handful of goji berries to add aesthetic and nutritional value.

All of this gets topped off with a glass of orange juice or green tea.

Post-workout Meal

Westbrook takes a meal after his workout to maintain muscle mass and get enough calories. It consists of ground turkey, brown rice, a cup of green beans, and broccoli.

Lunch

For lunch, the Russell Westbrook diet plan consists of chicken breast with sweet potatoes and veggies, topped off with a spoonful of olive oil.

He’ll also occasionally include a handful of raw almonds. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, regular almond consumption may enhance athletic performance [2].

Dinner

sliced salmons on a electric grill

Westbrook eats spicy grilled salmon for dinner, served with 1½ cups of steamed vegetables and coconut oil.

This gives him plenty of protein, iron, and omega-3 to assist him with practice and recovery.

Snacks and Cheat Meals

Before a game, Westbrook snacks on a peanut butter sandwich for pre-workout energy.

His sandwiches are made up of toasted wheat bread, skippy peanut butter, strawberry jelly, and occasionally some almond butter on both sides.

He may also drink a recovery protein shake with whey protein and fruit to help him recover faster due to the powerful antioxidants contained in the smoothie.

As for cheat days, Westbrook will take a chocolate chip cookie to satisfy his sweet tooth.

Does Russell Westbrook Take Any Supplements?

green tea in a cup, and spoons and bowls of turmeric powder

Yes, Russell Westbrook takes supplements. And what I like about his nutrition plan is that it mainly revolves around all-natural foods that contain antioxidants.

Russell eats goji berries, drinks green tea, and sprinkles plenty of turmeric on all his meals.

For those late-night hunger pangs, he takes casein shakes and includes stevia extract mixed with whey protein, which helps muscles cool down and regenerate for better athletic performance.

FAQs

Why Is Russell Westbrook so Explosive?

Westbrook’s overall explosiveness has a lot to do with his speed and lower body strength.

His ability to dunk and make critical saves indicates that he focuses on training his lower body.


References:

  1. https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2018/01000/high_quality_carbohydrates_and_physical.8.aspx
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1186/1550-2783-11-18
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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