T Nation

Pro Ball Player need help please

First off I just want to say how much this site has meant to my athletic performance. This is the best staff I have seen and some of the things have really benefitted my overall performance enormously. So thank you testosterone for that. Now to my problem…

I am 6’9" and 225. Yes for some of you that is skinny but is a good weight for my position and style of play. Well I need about 15 more pounds of muscle and I am really struggling at this because of the frequncy of my workouts and also with body fat increases. I have tried the massive eating program and put some weight on but it was mostly fat. How is it that I put on fat with all the running/sprinting/weights i do??? I just can’t figure it out… I eat extremely clean and have earned a rep with my teammates of being obsessed with diet and excercise. To me though it doesn’t show. I still carry between 9-13 % body fat and would like it to stick around 9% but with 15 lbs. on my frame.
I do 45 min. cardio every morning on empty stomach, lift 4 X’s a week and do two 1 hour basketball workout sessions per day. On weekends just cardio no ball or weights. What should I do. I feel like I’m doin everything right. Well thanks again and am anxious to here your feedback.


www.johnberardi.com/ updates/july262002/ na_masscalculator.htm << It’s real easy to make mistakes with calculating your Massive Eating intake, so here’s the author’s calculator to make it easier. Try the basketball program from Renegadetraining… it blows away most other programs in my opinion. You’d better not be Robert Horry: I’m a Kings fan and I’d hate to be “aiding the enemy.” :wink:

If you’re looking to gain muscle mass, doing cardio on an empty stomach isn’t going to help. High-intensity cardio burns carbs, low-intensity burns fat, therefore, on an empty stomach doing cardio, your body will digest it’s internal organs before it taps into it’s fat supply, eat a light, high-carb meal before cardio (2 slices toast, juice) followed by a high protien carb meal afterward (oatmeal, eggs).

Thanks snaphuman and pluto. Actually renegade training is somewhat similar to my workout routine and I love coach Davies stuff. Most athletes tend to focus on looks and bodybuilding excercises rather than performance enhancing stuff like snatches and cleans (dumbell single arm snatches are a beast though aren’t they!). His stuff really has helped me become more efficient on the court. I’ll definitely try the carbs before my cardio. But I can’t cut out the cardio cause all my training is geared towards helping me on the court. I feel that the extra cardio gives me more endurance than the average athlete and therefore gives me an edge…
Any other ideas?
Thanks again…

You’re probably just doing too much training and your body is constantly in a high stress mode where it attempts to store fat and minimize muscle. Cortisol and other catabolic hormones are likely high while Testosterone is low. Try backing off on the volume of your training for a while and cut back on the caloric intake. You’ll likely find your performance will increase while your body composition responds favorably.

Are you sure you are getting enough rest? It takes more than we think (or have time for).

Well I have been feeling a little fatigued recently. But preseason is a couple of weeks away and I’m scared of losing all the things that I’ve worked for. Preseason is a killer and if not ready for it it could mean my job… But I’ve noticed that my sprint times are going down despite the training, I actually felt weaker the past couple of weeks in the weight room as well. Is this overtired? Or is it just mental… Thank you all.

What should I do???


Your recent comments suggest that you either have a case of over-training or perhaps even some slight frustration/depression. Fatigue can come from over-training, lack of rest, or even stress. It’s very hard to isolate the problem(s) on an open forum like this one. Is there a qualified strength/conditioning trainer/coach in your area? Some one-on-one may get you back on track towards those goals.
Berardi’s massive eating works. You just have to be anal with your eating each and every meal.
How long have you been performing your current weight training program and do you perform specific exercises for on court speed/agility? So many pieces to the optimal training puzzle… Keep up the good work and I wish you the best in your upcoming season.

I strongly agree with Kelly’s comment and think it is definitely overtraining. I’ve fallen into overtraining several times before myself and my lifts along with body composition would always suffer. Further, in my first year of college I trained very intensely (1hr 4-5 times per week), ate perfect (food log, supplements and everything), and probably played ball a couple of hours a day in the evenings. After becoming very frustrated with not seeing any progress and actually seeing my lifts slowly but steadily decline I realized I was overtrained. I also leaned the same lesson a year or so later when I was trying to gain muslce while trying to get my bodyfat percentage very low, around 5-6%. I was running 3 miles in the mornings 3x a week while lifting hard 4-5x a week in the afternoon. Same overtraining feelings of fatigue and decreased performance. This was quite a while back before first MM2K and now T-mag articles began to discuss the often counterproductive affects of too much cardio. One arrticle I especially like which you are probably familiar with is the first Meltdown Training article which (in part) compares cardio versus weight training (or maybe more acurately high intensity versus low intensity excercise). I’m impressed with the work ethic and drive you have expressed in this post, but in my opinion, I think it is overtraining and I would want to be sure I went into camp above all rested enough to compete at my best. Good luck and keep us posted.

Rob, here is what I gather:

First, and most important, your post would appear to indicate that your body is presently in a seriously overtrained state;
your CNS is probably exhausted, and the Testosterone to
cortisol ratio is probably way out of whack (as mentioned by
Kelly B.). Those “three a days” of cardio/weights/basketball
practice, would destroy even the best of us - especially since
your schedule doesn’t seem to include any rest days. YIKES!!! Your body will never be able to put on 15 lbs of muscle in this state, even with drugs!

It may seem like a contradiction, but the only way that your
body can possibly sustain this pace is by incorporating a 3 day break every 2 weeks!

(Train hard; rest hard!)

Cardio thoughts: If your goal is to burn fat, consume no carbs
beforehand! (Carbs not only supply the body with its preferred
fuel source, making it much tougher to get to its fat stores, but they also facilitate the release of insulin - and as we all know, the
body has a bitch of a time burning fat in the presence of insulin!!!)

If your goal is to preserve muscle, don’t train on an empty stomach - especially after a 10 to 12 hour fast! What to do:
Consume some straight whey protein upon rising, along with some
Flax oil and/or fish oil pills. Or take a mega dose of BCAA’s prior
to training.

Pre cardio, I consume 10 to 15 grams of BCAA’s along with 5 to
8 grams of L- glutamine. Also, “during” my weight workouts, I consume 15 to 18 grams of BCAA’s along with 8 grams of L- glutamine in a home-made beverage. (I’m “that” guy in your gym drinking the “outrageous” looking pink beverage during his workouts!)

BCAA’s have helped me to train harder and remain leaner in my
advancing years. To learn more, here is a good place to start:
www.intensitymagazine.com /01-01-02/kelly_baggett.html

I also think you need to start incorporating EFA's through flax and fish oil pills into your diet. "Powerdrive" would definitely be worth your while!

P.S. - Didn’t you play a lot of college ball in the state of Connecticut, finishing up at U-CONN?

rob, you have to tell us who you are. it’s killing me trying to think of any robs in the nba. somehow i don’t think that is your real name. lol. and if you are robert horry then i would suggest to increase volume, eat 6000 calories a day, and get about 3-5 hours of sleep. seriouly.

If you really are a pro ball player pay a top dollar personal trainer you bum!

Well you did say you were a pro ballplayer but didn’t say what league you play in so I am guessing it’s something besides the NBA because if that were the case you would have contact with qualified strength and nutrition coaches. Take a good 4 or 5 days off…do nothing but stretching and maybe work on your basketball skills. A good 10 days off would probably be even better but you probably couldn’t handle this psychologically (I know how hard it is to force yourself to take that time off). Come into preseason refreshed and I guarantee you your performances in everything will increase. The training you’ve been doing lately won’t really show itself until you’ve taken some time and backed off on the volume to allow your body to recover from it. This goes for endurance as well and is known as the long term delayed training effect.

Rob, how old are you? For some people this is not over training. Your most likely culprit is not the cardio, it’s the cardio without food! How much science do you know? You’re going to put yourself into a serious catabolic state when doing cardio on no food. If you want to gain LBM, you better eat before you do your cardio.

Rob, how do you plan on gaining weight and getting into season shape at the same time? You should have been putting weight on all summer and relaxed on your conditioning some. Now that its SEPTEMBER, its time to get back into season shape.
I feel for you though. I’m 6’10" about 235(very low body fat, naturally, I wish I could claim it was my diet, although my diet is pretty good). I was up to 247 in good shape (not midseason shape) in the beginning of summer, then I got hurt and was severely limited for over 3 months. I dropped to 230. Now, I am trying to gain some strength back and regain my conditioning. The problem is, like you, I play pro ball(overseas, sorry, I’m not Horry) and the season is right around the corner. If I am not in shape, I don’t work. There is no way I am going to be able to get them both. Something has to give. My plan is to gain 4-7 lbs, be content with that for this year and get my conditioning up to where it needs to be.
I will try to maintain my gains through the season and then hit up the Renegade bball program next summer. That program is what got me to 247 at the beginning of summer and I was jumping higher and running faster than ever. Get that program. I had the good fortune of working with the Renegade personally a number of times and the knowledge I took away was invaluable(not to mention the gains physically).
Good luck, maybe I’ll bump into you somewhere. You know how small the bball world is. Hell, I probably know you.

Wow… A lot to soak in… Thanks everybody for all the help and I will cut back a little. First off I’m not an NBA guy. I play my ball in europe… Second off I have a strength and conditioning coach as well as a basketball trainer which has helped big time. I took the last month to come back to the states to visit the family though so now I’m doing things solo. Houdini we probably do know each other. It sounds like your on track with the renegade training and I’ve incorporated many renegade type lifts into my routine. That stuff works like a charm. I’m in the best conitioning shape right now but man I can use the extra pounds. I don’t wanna get slow though cause at 6’9" it’s tough enough guarding other small forwards. Thats why I have to watch the Bodyfat. That’s what kills ya. Feels like moving extra dead weight. I’ll definitely keep you guys posted on how things are going. Everone-Thanks again!!!


Hey Rob, does your club play in the Euroleague? If not, then in which country?