T Nation

Basketball - Lifting - Cardio

I’m trying to lose a little extra body fat and maybe gain some muscle at the same time. I’m 16 years old, 135lbs, and my maintenance calories is 2100.

I plan to eat about 2100-2400 calories everyday.

I’m also getting ready for the next basketball season so I’m playing a lot of basketball. Well not exactly “playing” But shooting around, practicing layups, pretending to be in game situations and doing drills, etc. Some day’s I will actually be playing in pick up games.

But the bottom line is that I will be “playing” about 3-4 hours of basketball and be burning about 700-1100 calories from it(6 days a week). I also plan to lift weights 3 days a week. I also want to get “in shape” for basketball, so I plan to go on a 2-3 mile(cardio) run 3 days a week. On the other 3 days, I’ll be doing HIIT, so I figured that I should do the 2-3 mile cardio run on the days I lift.

I heard that lifting before cardio is best. But it is not possible for me lift before I play basketball. But it IS possible for me to do the cardio run after I lift.

So this the order I will do things on the days I lift.

  1. Play basketball
  2. Lift weights
  3. Cardio run.

I have no choice but to play basketball first. So is that order the best for my goals(lose a some fat, build some muscle). Or should I do the cardio run second, and lift last?

And I plan to do ab work during my lifting session. Should I do the ab work before the cardio run? Or should I do it after the lifting and running?

I Know that’s a lot of questions but answers will be appreciated. Thanks.

How tall are you? I doubt you have to worry about losing weight your still growing. While you just doing want to become some huge muscle mass as a guard 135lbs is still very light.
If you can already run 3 miles in under 20 minutes you will be better off with at least 1 less day of long cardio runs and doing suicides and shuttle runs for that time.

I don’t know your height but it looks like you will be under eating by alot for a person working out what looks like close to 5 hours a day.

When is homework?

Basketball 3-4 hours a day, 6 days a week? You don’t need cardio.

Shit, I remember doing cross country before basketball season, thinking that would help me. Fuck that.

You say that you are [quote]not exactly “playing” But shooting around, practicing layups, pretending to be in game situations and doing drills, etc. Some day’s I will actually be playing in pick up games.[/quote]

Thing is, you need to practice (shoot around, practice layups, do drills, scrimmage) LIKE IT IS A GAME. With less intensity or focus, you are wasting your time and setting yourself up to be out hustled and psyched out when it counts.

It took me a long time before I learned that, but I’m sure you knew that already.

If you practice like its Game 7 of the NBA Finals, you WILL be in game shape when the season rolls around. You can throw in suicides if you want (they are a practice staple for a reason), but sprinting your ass off on both ends of the court during your scrimmages and drills will help you more than running miles and miles, time which you can instead use to hone your skills.

You’re a beginner if you ask questions like these. Which is OK, but pay attention:

There is exactly one reason you want to cut “some” fat. You want to look godd nekkid (abs!)

Trust me, you will look better if you-
start to eat more: right now you’re barely maintaining. Assuming your post is honest, you need at least double your amount. That’s right, 4500 is a minimum. It’s a shame I have to write about calories to a beginner, cause there is something seriously wrong when a sixteen year poses questions about it. You will never make the gains you can do now (because your body wants to grow badly) if you restrict yourself like you do. Training twice everyday with 2200 calories while growing is insane. Your worst enemy right now are movie stereotypes with abs.

I’m not telling you to become a fat powerlifter. With that much cardio, a smart trainee will definitely develop some great beach muscles. Actually, you’re right now hindering your abs to grow and your fat to melt. As you are practically undereating, you body would be mad to reduce fat. (Of course your performance would be also much better)

And to answer your questions:
Basketball/ weights/ Cardio run is nonsense with your diet. You should start to eat double the amount to grow both vertically and fill some clothes. And even if you start to eat, give your body some time to recuperate before starting this routine:

Play BB (it’s your sport)
Afterwards, do your strength routine- preferably after at least six hours and two meals have passed. Definitely ditch cardio during barbell days. You could do supersets to have additional cardiovascular impact, but it’s really not necessary given your schedule and only recommended if you can already cope with the iron.

If once per week your weights session comes before BB (call it a light BB day) where you can put real effort in it, perhaps even with a training partner, you will notice better gains.
You’re right that jogging isn’t really helpful for your goals. But HIT sprints are very demanding. Do them on a different day.

Ab work is not evil. Do it last, since nearly all main lifts (Squat, Deads, Bench or Military Press, Chins or Rows) need the abs to be fresh. Also, if you do direct ab work, don’t neglect the lower back.
You should also have a rest day where you either do little to no work.

If you have further questions, go ahead.

We don’t know your height, but at 135lbs, you’re going to have hard time rebounding, defending, setting picks, etc. Basically everything you do when the ball isn’t in your hands.

As others have said, you need to eat A LOT and play ball a lot and lift as often as you can and completely forget about any additional cardio. You can easily get into game shape just from running plenty of pickup games. And if you’re still not there by the time organized practice rolls around, your coach will make sure you get there.

Dont do cardio. You should just focus on eating clean foods. I wouldnt even count calories if I were you. Just eat healthy stuff. Whole Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, lean protein.

But what can I eat?

I mean, unless I start eating McDonalds, I don’t really know how I can increase my calorie intake that significantly.

Oh and I’m currently 5’7".

geeze man I’m about as old as you and do you wanna know what the secret to bulking up is?

Peanut butter en mass on grain bread
protein powder

I musta ate over 500 cals of peanut butter a day probably more like 700. I drank a shitload of milk before bed. and I ate tuna after my workouts. Oats and eggs for breakfast. protein whenever it’s the best time to eat it. eat.

I put on 25-30ish pounds in a few months

I’m going to be honest with you, Mcdonalds is unhealthy saturated this and that. However it is very inexpensive way to get calories both financially and for the body. You won’t have to pig out on mcdonalds like you do on grilled chicken breasts. Any fat you have on you now is more babyfat/lackofmuscle fat then fat from eating too much.

Most muscular athletic teens brag about eating whatever they want for a reason. It’s just not going to stick on you like it will stick on a 30 year old. If you can eat quality foods and meal replacement shakes to get your calories, then by all means do it. But if your doing everything intensely, dont’ be scared of Mcdonalds.

Everybody is telling you to be intense, and I agree. But don’t confuse intensity with trying to hard. Trying to hard will get you hurt, intensity will get you better.

But going back to the original question.

I know that waiting a few hours before I list is best for my lifting “performance”.

But I don’t have the time. I have to lift about a half hour after I play basketball.

Will lifting 30 minutes after hurt my muscle gains? I know it might hurt my performance if I’m tired, but will it affect anything in terms of muscle catobolizing or anything?

Your missing the point of all the answers. If you eat very little yes 30 minutes will hurt muscle gains, if you eat enough at your age you will be ok.

So if I don’t eat enough, lifting 30 minutes after will hurt muscle gains.(define “hurt” please)

But if I eat enough, lifting 30 minutes after wont hurt my muscle gains?

And how much is eating enough? Because I can’t eat 4500 calories as mentioned. There’s no way.

And I plan to drink a protein shake before I lift.


limit or negate your gains…

drink protein after you lift.

If your seriuos enough you can eat it.

Eat a big breakfast, and lunch. Drink some milk between basketball and weights. Have your protein shake ready, you can start drinking the last few minutes or after your workout.

Maybe it would be better if we knew what kind of foods you eat, and a typical diet for you now.

Ever thought about a morning workout? then you won’t have 3-5 hours straight working out.

Just re-read your original post and here are some more thoughts:

  1. No one at your age should be counting kcals. Period. (To be honest, it’s great that you have an idea of your maintenance kcal requirements; now you can stay well above it every single day)

  2. If you want to get leaner, get out there and get active everyday. But do NOT diet. It’s easy to tell which 16-year olds are playing sports all the time or playing video games all the time. Make a choice.

  3. Since you’re 5’7, you’ll have to master the art of dribbling. There’s always room on the court for someone who can handle the rock and pass the ball well.

So as long as I eat carbs, protein, and maybe an energy bar in the 30 minutes between the basketball and lifting, I should be fine correct?

You don’t get it.
As I said, you’re definitely undereating. You claim that you cannot gulp down 4000 calories. Fine. Just you know since, you’re supposed to grow, don’ expect big strength and mass gains, though. Be happy to add 20 pounds to your bench and an inch to your height.
My girlfriend eats 2200 calories on a non training day. As Airtruth pointed out, irrational fear of fast food is totally out of line at your age. Other guys will easily outplay you just because they are bigger. You, on the other hand, won’t grow much more, since you eat like a butterfly while training too much.

And how much is eating enough? Because I can’t eat 4500 calories as mentioned. There’s no way.
And I plan to drink a protein shake before I lift.[/quote]
Hell, no.You CAN train eight hours a day. The question is, for what. With three hours of BB beforehand, lifting will suck. Sippin a “magic” shake is not a fix. What do you think protein would do? You need carbs after training, dammit!

So as long as I eat carbs, protein, and maybe an energy bar in the 30 minutes between the basketball and lifting, I should be fine correct?[/quote]
Hardly. You do not get that sometimes you cannot train for too much different goals at the same time.
Imagine: Some guys just train for strength. YOU train for strength, hypertrophy, endurance, fat loss (ABS!), and speed. On top of that, your body tries to find ways to grow vertically.
Tip: Ditch a few of the above items. If I were you, I’d alternate between weights training and BB sessions, with a Rest day where you can practice your throwing technique. Screw cardio, overtraining and the quest for abs.

Well, what if I wasn’t under eating?

You would sstill be exercising too much, but at your age you will still make progress towards your goals.


You’re looking for definate answers where there are none. Play ball and lift three days per week when you can get it in. Learn how to do these exercises properly and make sure you add weight each workout AFTER you learn proper form:

Front Squats
Back Squats
Military Presses
Power Cleans
I would add sprints, but get these in by BUSTING YOUR EVER LOVING ASS during practice.

Eat as much of these things as you can handle, then eat more:

Olive Oil

Don’t ask us how to fit them in, figure it out on your own.