T Nation

Help with Training for Basketball


Hello everyone. I am really in need of some help with picking a training routine. Just for background, I am a 20 year old male who is planning on playing in a semipro-am league for basketball next year. It is set to start off in April, nothing too crazy just some D1 and D2 athletes out competing for fun and pure love of the game. I have played my entire life so my skills on the court are good, but I have neglected my strength training over the years. So back in July I decided to stick to a strict program to put on some mass. I have now put on a good bit of muscle (and some fat, but have gotten stronger and larger. My next goal is to cut down on some body fat, maintain it build my raw strength, and really focus on my explosion and vertical jumping ability. I have been looking for a good program to go along with a strict diet that will involve some intense weight training (I’ve come to love it) and intense plyos and conditions for explosiveness and fat loss. I’ve come across some good programs such as ws4sb and variations of 5/3/1. One program that interested me in particular was CT’s vertical leap program as it specifically has the goal of increasing vertical with some upper body hypertrophy and strength work as well, but lacks conditioning days. Which of these programs do you think would be best or is here something better out there I can look into. Thank you all so much!


A bunch of routines would fit the bill. Check out Thib’s Athlete Lean, Athlete Strong. It’s more complete than just a vertical jump-focused plan, and actually does include some plyo-type jumps on lower body days.

WS4SB isn’t a fat loss plan, so that wouldn’t be the best call for your situation. 5/3/1 is super-adaptable, so it could definitely be tailored to your goal if you wanted to go that route instead. Just keep in mind that 5/3/1 works best when it’s followed for the long haul. Just doing it for a few months would be short-changing things. (Though it can definitely be tweaked to be done in-season, so that doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue)


IM really interested in Athlete Lean Athlete Strong but my problem is the equipment. I have two gyms I can go to and each one has some of the equipment, like one has battle ropes and the other has led balls, bit neither one has both. Should I substitute things or what?


And would something like the zombie apocalypse workout plan be better than Athlete lean Athlete strong? I appreciate the advice


ALAS would be more appropriate than Zombie Apoc for your goals, since you mentioned needing to drop bodyfat.

You might want to ask in Thib’s coaching forum directly about the alternate exercises. I think he’s suggested using bands instead of medicine balls. For the ropes, I’d probably do something like a punch-out drill on a heavy bag. Not sure if that’s feasible for you though.


Thanks for the advice! Could you possibly give some clarification on the complexes in Athlete Lean Athlete Strong? I’m a little confused on how to do those as each exercise has different ranges in the same complex. And also any advice on substitutions for trap bar deadlifts? My gym is pretty old school and basic.


[quote=“m_russel99, post:6, topic:224236”]
Could you possibly give some clarification on the complexes in Athlete Lean Athlete Strong? I’m a little confused on how to do those as each exercise has different ranges in the same complex.[/quote]
For the medicine ball complex, you get as many reps as possible in the given time frame (weeks 1 and 2, 30 seconds, week 3, 45 seconds, week 4 60 seconds). For the upper body complex, you do the ropes for 30 seconds, the bodyweight exercises as many reps as possible until near-failure. (2 sets of everything the first week, 3 sets weeks 2 and 3 ,4 sets week 4).

For the explosive complex, it’s just as many reps as possible in 30 seconds. 2 sets the first week, 3 sets in week 2, 4 sets in week 3.

I’d go with either dumbbell deads/squats (holding a dumbbell in each hand, like a trap bar), sumo deadlifts, or one-dumbbell deadlifts kinda like this (if the gym has heavy enough bells):