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Basketball Blog for Elite Players: High-Intensity Interval Training

“Life is an interval workout.” – Dr. Martin Gibala

LET’S GOOOOOO!

As a professional point guard that had a cup of tea with the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and then went onto to play in Europe for 12 years, there is one thing I wish I had done differently while I was still playing:

More high-intensity interval training.

The quote above makes sense to me: “Life is an interval workout.” Just like basketball, my whole life has been a series of intense training, learning, working, and adapting sessions where I work hard and then recover.

Using the philosophy of interval training is how I approach my life now. And after listening to a podcast with Timothy Ferriss and Martin Gibala, many of the suspicions I had about interval training before interval training was really a thing, were true.

I usually blog about personal stories of my professional career failing or bouncing back or developing confidence, but today’s elite basketball training blog is just me finding ways to help you become an ELITE ATHLETE inside the game of basketball. This stuff is the secret sauce in my opinion of what separates the good from the great.

First off, I say that because there is so much talent out there. I see it at AAU events. I see it on TV. But the difference between success and failure is razor thin. For every player that makes it, there are another dozen that could have.

And talent is over-rated. But high-intensity interval training isn’t. And I’ll tell you why. Because it’s hard. Really hard. And not everyone will enjoy it. Not everyone will enjoy suffering.

I am not sure why some people hold back from putting all of their heart into the game. Maybe it’s fear. It usually is. Fear of looking like they are trying too hard. Fear of failing. Fear of being judged by others.

But my THBA basketball academy is about finding a way to do what other people won’t, to obsess with your dream and goals and get there, hell or high water.

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Yoda said it best.

Do it.

Don’t try to do it.

If you want to be ELITE, you need to stop trying and start doing.

Don’t try to wake up before school. Just wake up.

Don’t try to lift weights. Show up and lift weights.

Don’t try to do high-intensity interval training workouts three times a week. Actually, like seriously, just plan them and then do them.

WE HAVE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT WHAT SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE AND BASKETBALL PLAYERS HAVE THAT OTHERS DON’T.

Being gritty and mentally tough with your workouts AND your life will be the biggest indicator of your success in basketball. How you approach your fitness starts with understanding how to train in a way that replicates basketball speed, endurance, and intensity that doesn’t wear you down or make you injury prone throughout the season.

But being successful starts by winning the ELITE MENTAL GAME.

Martin Gibala, Ph.D. (@gibalam) is a professor and chair of the kinesiology department at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. His research on the physiological and health benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has attracted immense scientific attention and worldwide media coverage.

ELITE basketball fitness, in my opinion, is different for everyone and since I wasn’t the fastest, quickest point guard in the world, it meant I had to train differently than my competition. I had to not only train myself for the fastest motor, I also trained to have the longest lasting, highest RPM motor as well.

I studied Steve Nash, and he reminded me of how to play basketball at a high intensity for a longer duration. If you watch his game, he was never the fastest or the quickest, but he was relentless in his work rate and his ability to stay at a higher intensity the whole game.

So let’s gets started. Enjoy my notes!

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So this chart kind of outlines what we are wanting from our interval workouts. This picture is a high-intensity interval training bike workout, but you can adapt this to basketball conditioning quite easily if you just use it as a guideline.

Warming up, then getting right into maximum intensity but mixing up intervals is a great way to get ELITE ATHLETIC benefits in quickly. I personally love doing the Tornado drill or weight room basketball conditioning in my basketball academies to show players how to increase their speed, quickness, basketball moves, and rev up their V02Max.

EXAMPLE OF HIIT:

  • 30s-1:00min x 4-10 repeats
  • 4.5 min rest
  • 3 times/week

Training intensity

  • All out
  • About 500 W (on a bike)… in my basketball workouts, we attach bands to each other to reach maximum intensity)

Weekly training time

  • 10 min actual exercise PER session!!!!

 

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Don’t have 10 minutes?By training in the HIIT way, Gibala talks about how your V02MAX can substantially improve over 6-8 weeks of consistent training.

Well then, like I said, talent is over-rated. By training in the HIIT way, Gibala talks about how your V02MAX can substantially improve over 6-8 weeks of consistent training.

By training in the HIIT way, Gibala talks about how your V02MAX can substantially improve over 6-8 weeks of consistent training. SUBSTANTIALLY!

SUBSTANTIALLY! That means you are taking your talent and doing something with it!

But what is V02max and can it be improved?

Gibala 100% says that conditioned and deconditioned athletes, through proper training protocol, their VO2MAX can definitely be improved. And by the way, V02MAX also correlates to the longevity of your life, just like flossing.

Who knew interval training benefits also helped you live longer?

If you can increase VO2MAX by 20% through training (some increase it by 100% in 6 weeks), depending on your genetics and training, we as ELITE basketball players need to get this into our basketball development programs ASAP!

Don’t know how to start?

Well, plan out a 6-week program and use the same exercise program over those 6 weeks.

Not enough time?

Roger Bannister had 30 minutes a day to train during medical school. He used interval training at lunch time. Little did he know, he was practicing what we now know as HIIT.

He later went on to break the 4:00 min mile!!!!!!!

You can easily adapt your basketball workouts to incorporate some HIIT.

Read the expert Martin Gibala’s book here.

Enjoy your suffering. Or if you want to come find me, I’ll help!

To being ELITE,

Trevor Huffman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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