Kobe Bryant’s Cardio Routine: Hard-Work is an Understatement
Bryant is currently playing in his 17th season, and leading the league in scoring at the age of 34.
The guy is seriously incredible… but how does he play at such a high level when most players his age have already seen signs of wear and tear?
Bryant’s longevity is a direct result of his dedication to keeping his body healthy. This means extensive training in the gym, and a great cardio training routine.
Kobe isn’t as quick or as explosive as he used to be, but he has been able to keep up with the young bucks because of his excellent cardiovascular endurance.
This video is for people who forgot how explosive Kobe used to be:
Now you’re probably imagining that Kobe uses some complex cardio routine, which was built by top training professionals and experts… What’s interesting, is that Kobe actually uses some pretty basic exercises to improve and maintain his cardiovascular endurance.
Kobe’s Favorite Cardio Exercises
To paint a picture of Kobe’s dedication to training… During the off-season, Kobe trains for six days a week with each workout lasting SIX hours. A day’s workout involves a variety of different cardio activities such as playing basketball, distance running, explosive cardio training, and weightlifting to improve strength and power.
Because basketball requires conditioning of both the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, Kobe utilizes a combination of interval training, sprinting, and some long distance running.
Even if you aren’t a professional basketball player, basketball is still an excellent cardio training workout. If you actually play defense, you will be absolutely exhausted after a full-length game. Just be careful of the guys who take the game way too seriously at the gym.
Obviously, Kobe spends a great deal of his training time playing basketball because it’s the most specific form of conditioning he can utilize. Read Basketball Conditioning Exercises for Lebron Lovers if you’re looking for specific exercises you can start using to improve your game.
It doesn’t matter what sport you play, sprints are always going to be an effective exercise. Kobe utilizes sprints heavily during the off-season to help build explosive and power by strengthen fast twitch muscle fibers.
Kobe utilizes both short and longer distance sprints. He will use 15 meter sprints to improve the explosiveness of his first step, and will use 1200 meter sprints to help build endurance.
Suicides are one of the most popular cardio exercises used by basketball players. This excellent exercise trains both the anaerobic and aerobic systems, and will also help improve multidirectional explosiveness.
Kobe religiously uses suicides in his cardio training regime. This exercise keeps him in game condition, and mimics the back-and-forth motion of running and up and down the court.
In most instances, I would advise against distance running.. but since basketball does require some aerobic endurance it is an acceptable exercise. Distance running is an essential piece to Kobe’s routine, and he will utilize it a couple times a week. On those days, he will run about 3-5 miles.
The purpose is to help improve both his aerobic and muscular endurance. Muscular endurance is necessary for playing at 100 percent intensity for an entire game.
Kobe’s preferred method of interval training is on a track, or formally known as track intervals. This excellent exercise will train both energy systems, decrease body fat, and is basketball specific.
To perform this workout, Kobe will jog the straight side of the track, and sprint the curved portion. He then repeats this interval motion for about 4-6 laps.
As you can see, your cardio training routine doesn’t have to complicated. Kobe Bryant has some of the best cardiovascular endurance among all athletes, and he uses very basic exercises.
Don’t over-complicate things!
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