Luke Walton's Off-Season Program

Caught this on pages 28-29 of the January 22, 2007 issue of Sports Illustrated. It’s the SI Players feature on L.A. Lakers forward Luke Walton, and one of the segments reads:

SI: On slimming down at 6’8"

Walton: I wanted to play at a lighter weight, so five or six days a week in the off-season I’d run. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I’d get up and go for two or three miles at 7:30. I’d put on my iPod, put it on shuffle and go. When I got done I was exhausted. Tuesdays and Thursdays I’d go to the track and do a sprint workout. Last year I was playing around 235 and 240; this year I’m between 225 and 230. I feel quicker on my first step, and my knees have felt more healthy.

The article ends by saying that the 26 year old Walton is averaging career highs of 12.3 points and 4.2 assists.

Now the article says nothing about his diet, current or past, or whether he ever weight trained or does now. But I was wondering what everyone thought about this program for a basketball player in the off season? It seems to have - so far anyway - worked for Luke. But it seems to go against what mostly all of the contributing T-Nation S & C coaches, and most every poster for that matter, would prescribe or recommend, especially the steady state jogging.

And what about him saying his knees feel more healthy. I know he’s at a lighter weight on the court but wouldn’t all of that off season running take its toll on his knees?

I’ll bet he is running at a good pace and not jogging because he says he is exhausted after 2 or 3 miles.

Think of what you’re doing the whole basketball game though… running up and down the court. I’m sure he’s also doing sprint work as well to develop his speed. At least one would imagine so…

I play basketball… i play college ball (albeit in canada)…and… am a huge bodybuilding nut…needless to say… i know (or at least have opinions) on most things interelated to them… i’ve found that cardio (as much as i HATE it)…in the off/pre-season…is AWESOME (especially for somebody like myself, 6’5, 240{not big here, but damn big for a basketball player})

i truly believe it DOES actually make you “quicker” obviously it recruitcs more slow-twich muslce fibers, however, i think that the detrimental effects of that, are less than the beneficial effects of being less tired after playing for a while, thus giving you more energy, allowing you to move more quickly, and obviously weighing less, will make you more quick as well…as for weight loss…

CALORIE DEFICIT will make you lose weight… other factors will obviously contribute to what makes a calorie deficit, and i DO believe that, constant jogging WILL mke you burn less calories in the long-run (no pun intended) i also think though, that running, extremely often, (especially if your body is not used to it) WILL burn a lot of calories, and, in turn make you lose weight (that being said, i do NOT advocate long, slow cardio cor anything other than athletes)

retarded workout

Well, results are results. And Rip Hamilton uses long-distance running to help keep himself in shape for the NBA.

Basketball has a lot of endurance aspects to it. It requires constant movement, even in between “explosive” movements. Fast-twitch development obviously helps, but if you have a 45 inch vertical that you can use once or twice before you have to go rest for 10 minutes before you use it again, you won’t get much court time.

And like Zap said, I suspect he was doing some fairly hard running.

I think a better strategy would be to do individual drills at game speed 2-3x a week in the offseason. Each session lasting about 45mins-1hr. Shoot free throws every 2-3 minutes to act as a rest period.

The other days you could work on max strength, especially the posterior chain. Its amazing how few basketball players can do a legitimate full squat. That would resolve a lot of knee issues.

Basketball players are at a disadvantage due their length. At 6’8 you can’t really do a full squat or bend your knees past a certain point without discomfort.

[quote]TrenchDawg wrote:
I think a better strategy would be to do individual drills at game speed 2-3x a week in the offseason. Each session lasting about 45mins-1hr. Shoot free throws every 2-3 minutes to act as a rest period.

The other days you could work on max strength, especially the posterior chain. Its amazing how few basketball players can do a legitimate full squat. That would resolve a lot of knee issues.[/quote]

Sure you can. I’m 6’6 and I go to the ground ATG. I’d say the break point would be 6’8" for difficulty squatting. Talk to Cressey about that. Even the taller ones could do bulg. split squats.

yea i’m 6’7" and 1/2" and it took me forever to do some real atg squats. Honestly I’ve been doin legitimate atg squats for almost a year now.