Apart from all the basketball drills, an NBA player has to work on, lifting weights and having a strong body is almost as equally essential. Some players are more inclined to weight lifting as a part of their workout programs than other players, but nowadays, it’s a standard that all NBA players have implemented in their regime.
In his book The Mamba Mentality, Kobe Bryant breaks down how he approached lifting weights and getting physically stronger after he entered the NBA as a teenager. When Kobe came to the NBA, he was a 6’6″ skinny looking kid, and for him to compete against other bigger guards, he needed to put on more muscle.
“I started lifting weights at 17 when I got to the NBA. Nothing fancy, just basic, time-tested lifting methods that focused on strengthening one group of muscle at a time. Over the meat of my career, whether we were in season or it was summer, I would lift for 90 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. When I say lift, I mean, heavy, hard can’t feel your arms type of lift. After that, I would go into the gym and shoot.”
Kobe also said that he would switch up his routines now and then, but his philosophy stayed the same throughout the years. Players are continually switching the ways on how they approach working out, which in Kobe’s mind is wrong. His philosophy is simple, and it goes that you should stick to what works and what others before you have already tested. Of course, there always variations to that, but the main principle is that players should stick to the tested methods that have proof they are working.
“Over the years, my routine might have changed some, but my philosophy never did. If something has worked for other greats before you, and if something is working for you, why change it up and embrace some new fad? Stick with what works, even if it’s unpopular.”