T Nation

Basketball Regimen


I don't think I've ever followed a pre-made workout routine before and I'd really like not to start...however I'm pretty much open to any criticism if my routine sucks.

Sunday: Lower Body
Front Squats, 5x5
Deadlifts, 5x5
Step Ups, 3x10
Good Mornings, 3x10
Leg Press, 4x8
Calf Raises, 2x15

Monday: Upper Body
Bench Press, 8x3
Bent Over Row, 8x3
Military Press, 4x6
Wide Grip Pulldowns, 4x6
Chest Flyes, 3x8
Bicep Curls, 3x8

Tuesday: Sprints & Practice
HIIT - 30 minutes
40 yard sprints

Wednesday: Gameday

Thursday: Full Body
Deadlift, 5-5-3-3-1-1
Bench Press, 4x8
Back Squat, 20x1
Bent Over Rows, 4x8
Power Cleans, 6x4
Shrugs, 3x10

Friday: Sprints & Practice
HIIT - 30 minutes
40 yard sprints

Off or Long Distance Running

I think its pretty basic but that's kind of what I was going for. And by the way its a rec league, nothing serious.

Stats (probably should of put this first)
24 years old, 6'2", 275lbs


don't you think that would lead to overtraining? especially the long distance running?! I mean what are your goals?


There is too much going on. This is the type of routine that looks good on paper before you do it and half way through the week you start changing the workout because you realize it is ridiculous.

There are alot of ways you could approach this. What I would do either reduce the volume of leg exercises per workout by at least half if not more, then you can keep the two leg days. But as it is, even without the basketball it is too much. Then you have the long distance running which really needs to go. Not to be a dick, but this is the type of program where you get nowhere. Less is more.

Day 1
Front Squat
Bulgarian Squat
Romanian Dead
Leg Curl

Day 2
Bench Press
Pulldowns (dont go too low on the reps here, the lats work best with this motion doing 10-12 reps, Underhand pulldown you can go lower)
Military Press
Seated Row
(Bent over row is an overrated exercise, you are getting enough lower back fatigue, will just add to it)

Day 3
Power Clean
Dumbell Squat Press
Incline Dumbell Press
Inverted Row
Arms as needed


lol theres a big difference between taking a day off and doing long distance running


Instead of long distance running on your off day, just do some walking for recovery. As for your programming, I think you have to many movements on given days.

For example, on sunday, you don't need the leg press. Try and think about CNS stress, so put at least one low CNS stress day between each high day. If you have Practice on Tuesday and Friday, those are probably going to be pretty intense practices (not sure on this, since it is a rec league), so I would try and lift on those days.

So perhaps you do legs on Tuesday before or after practice, then do the full body on Friday, with reduced volume of course (ie only use the most bang for your buck movements.)

Then you can do your upper body day on Sunday, or something like that. Again, try and only use the most economical movements. So in your whole body day, instead of doing deadlifts and power cleans, drop the deads and move the power cleans up front.

In between workout days, you could do some tempo runs and walking, which is anywhere from a fast jog to 75% of your best time for a given distance. So perhaps stay on the low end of this and just fast jog 100 meters, then walk 100 meters, repeat. Do between 1000 and 2000 meters. Then on one "off day" just walk. Walk a couple of miles for recovery.

It also looks like you may not have the best conditioning. I am just making a generalization, as you are 6'2" and 275 pounds. If you are in good condition, I apologize. If not, I would work into this plan.

Like for your lifting days, just do two movements or so after practice and tempo run 1000 meters one day a week. Then add another day of tempo runs. Then add the walking, etc. Don't throw too much at yourself all at once.

Good luck.


Oh and be careful with what you do the day after a game. Perhaps you do upper body the day after a game, or just do body building circuits to get some blood flowing, etc.

I think you should read defrancos Westside for Skinny Bastards part III. It will give you some good examples on programming, epecially when working around games and practices. You can find the article on elitefts.com or defrancostraining.com


do half the work and you will get twice the results!


Ok yeah, my conditioning is horrible.
Hence the 3 days of running....I really want to fix that, but I have no clue the best approach.

And I didn't want to do Legs the day before games because I tend to be sore and somewhat stiff, that's why I had legs on Sunday, as far away from gameday as possible.

Another thing I should have pointed out, practice, is mostly just shooting.....maybe once a week we do some 4 on 4 but even that's in the half court.

My goals, while I'd love to say they're mostly Basketball related, they're not. (which makes this thread pretty retarded since I started it) Guess I didn't think that out.

Drop 35lbs.
Increase my endurance.
Maintain/Increase if possilbe strength.

At the end of the day those 3 things "should" make me a better player.

Thanks for the advice/criticism...I now a much better idea of what I need to be doing.

A) Cut back.
B) Re-structure.


Yeah, It probably even makes sense to ditch the total body day, and do two upper body days and one leg day. The game would serve as your "2nd" leg day. Your two upper body days could be similar to westside for skinny bastards with a max effort day and a repetition day.

Definitely check out defrancos articles. I know you said you don't want to follow a cookie cutter approach, but you can take his articles and methods and meld them into your own. The best thing you can get from his articles is examples of how to organize the training. Good luck.


If your game is on Wednesday and practices are fairly easy, you may want to do something like:

Wed: game
Thursday: Upper body plus easy cardio (maybe walk on an incline for 15 minutes or something like that - don't kill yourself, if your conditioning is horrible, you don't need to in order to make gains and you would want to be fresh for the next day. You could even play 1/2 an hour of half court ball or just shoot around for a bit).

Friday: Heavy Legs after practice (with less volumne as people said - make either squats or deadlifts the focus of this)
Saturday: off

Sunday: Sprints/HIIT
Monday: Full body workout (use sub-maximal leg work - no reps over 85% of max. Unilateral exercises would be good here as well as some posterior chain work).
Tuesday: Practice


Sunday: Upper body plus easy cardio
Monday: legs plus conditioning (do something like HIIT or interval work followed by some leg work like lunges + back extensions for sets of ~10 or you could do some sort of sled dragging workout)
Tuesday: Practice

Anyway, these are just a couple of suggestions. I'm sure it would be possible to get an even better split... plus things like your work schedule need to be considered.

Check out the WS4SB III that someone else mentioned. It has some great ideas (several of which I borrowed for this post).

A couple of other notes:
1. You can probably cut things like chest flyes and bicep curls, or at least reduce them to 1 set. For a bodybuilder, they are important. But for getting into decent shape to play sports they really don't do much for you.

  1. If you are going to do cleans, do them first in your workout. Generally you want to do the high CNS exercises first in the workout so that means the following general order:
    Plyometrics, Jumps and Sprints
    Olympic lifts and other dymanic lifts
    Squats and Deadlifts (and you probably don't want to do both on the same day)
    Other compound lifts
    Isolation exercises


One other thing. Basketball is pretty hard on your joints. Especially at your size. I would try to keep your other workouts as low impact as possible. If you are going to sprint, sprint on grass. Walking on a steep incline (or stair master) is probably a better idea than jogging etc.


Ok update...I read DeFranco's West Side 4 Skinny Bastards...and basically I'm an asshole for thinking that cookie cutter routines couldn't be "inticing" for lack of a more coherent vocabulary. I read through the site and decided that his "Strength and Speed" variation would most meet what I'm looking for.

Here's what I came up with based on his site (note: I moved the days around, not the order but which workout fell on which day to more accurately fit my schedule)

Sunday: Max Effort Lower Body & Conditioning
Max Effort Exercise: Power Clean
Hip Extension Exercise: 45 degree Back Raises
Abdominal Exercise: Sprinter Situps
Conditioning Finisher: Farmers Walk

Monday: Repetition Upper Body
Max Repetition: DB Bench
Vertical Pulling Superset: Lat Pulldowns & Seated DB Power Cleans
Medial Delts: DB Military Press
Traps: DB Shrugs
Abdominals: Weight Situps

Tuesday: Conditioning (will change as conditioning improves)
Warmups (15 minutes): Stretching, Light Jogging, Back Pedaling, Bodyweight Squats, Distance Jumps, Crossovers, Wide outs, Roll overs to V sits, Fire Hydrant Circles, Mountain Climbers, and Groiners
Conditioning: 10 10-yard sprints, 6 20-yard sprints, and 4 40-yard sprints

Wednesday: Off
* Basketball game

Thursday: Max Effort Upper Body
Max Effort Exercise: Bench Press
Supplemental Exercise: Incline DB Bench Press
Horizontal Pulling Superset: Barbell Row & Rear Delt Flyes
Traps: DB Shrugs
Elbow Flexor Exercise: Barbell Curls

Friday: Speed Training
Warmups (15 minutes): Stretching, Light Jogging, Back Pedaling, Bodyweight Squats, Distance Jumps, Crossovers, Wide outs, Roll overs to V sits, Fire Hydrant Circles, Mountain Climbers, and Groiners
Conditioning: 10 10-yard sprints, 6 20-yard sprints, and 4 40-yard sprints

Saturday: Off

Ok, so I know that Tuesday & Friday are identical but until my cardio improves this is my best bet.

And I also began tonight....with the Tuesday Conditioning.

During my warmups I started thinking "this is too damn much" and by the time I was done warming up I was sweating profusely. However when I stood up, my legs (especially my groin) felt incredibly loose...so I decided to give the sprints and go.....probably the best cardio workout I've ever had.

Sprinting on dirt/grass > Running on treadmill

10 yard sprints: these felt good, even though my accerlation is pretty laughable, never felt I really got going in the 10 yards

20 yard sprints: these were much much better, I actually hit full speed (albeit speed is relative I guess)...could definitely feel the last 5 yards were all out

40 yard sprints: these weren't as bad as I thought they were going to be but I could tell after 20-30 yards I started slowing down a bit, but I know that will improve in the coming weeks

If I had to grade this workout (compared to my past cardio workouts) this was easily the best, hands down. Already looking forward to Friday and doing it again.

Thank you to all of the above posters that mentioned DeFranco, one day in and I've already learned more about stretching than I'd ever knew. I'll try to keep this thread updated with my progress.


Just FYI: the power clean is not a Max Effort exercise. It is by definition a Dynamic Effort exercise.

Also, make sure you change up your ME and RE exercises every few weeks.


Ok, so can I just switch those with deadlifts?


I think on your tuesday, I would lower the volume some. And when you say sprints, do you mean all out sprints, or are these tempo runs? With it being the day before a game, I might just run through some mobility circuits to get the hear rate up, then do a very light tempo workout, rather than sprinting. You want to make sure you are fresh for the game, especially if you will be getting a lot of playing time.


Yes, deadlifts (straight bar and trap bar) are a good ME movement, as are box squats and full squats. I usually go hard for 4 weeks, then back off for a week. So after every 4 week block, I change movements. It is all about finding what works for you. You could go hard for 6 weeks and change movements every 3, or whatever you want to do. Just find something you are comfortable with and can be consistent with.


All out...since its a rec leage, I'm not too worried about being tired for the games on Wednesday, if does because a problem at that point I'd drop the sprints, but honestly I'd rather do the sprints on Tuesday then even play on Wednesday. The sprints seem more beneficial to me than seeing game time.


As Shadyniner said, yes you could.

There is nothing wrong with cleans. Just that they develop more Rate of Force Development (which is very important for sports) as opposed to Maximum strength. However, if you are just begining, then strength is what you need first.They are also an advanced exercise that is pretty technical.

I know DeFranco and others don't like them for this reason... it takes a lot of instruction to do them well and there are other exercises (jumps, medicine ball throws, jump squats etc.) that also develop the same qualities.


Yeah, exactly. All other strength qualities are derived from absolute strength, so it will be way more beneficial to you to focus on the deadlifts and squats, whatever variations you feel comfortable doing.

Exactly, not only Defranco, but a ton of other strength coaches prefer box jumps, vertical jumps, depth jumps, med ball throws, just like OBoile said. However, again be careful during your basketball season, as playing basketball is inherently plyometric, with a high amount of jumping. So maybe save the DE work for after the season, if it begins to be to much on your joints.


Ok thanks for all the advice, honestly...but let me stress that its a rec league and I don't even start so really I maybe play 15 -25 minutes tops. On top of that I dropped the 2 practice nights (except for maybe some shoot around once a week).