After 19 seasons in the most prestigious basketball league in the world, it's hard for us to disagree that LeBron James is really a freak of nature. Not to mention, "King James," at 37 years old, is still insanely athletic, getting past defenders and throwing it down hard dunks all season long.
Some would assume that James spends millions on top-grade workout supplements and a decorated team of trainers and nutritionists. But in reality, the four-time NBA MVP's maintenance is way simpler than all that.
Apparently, James' unique regimen is called "contrast bath," a method that only requires three simple things—a room or place with a chilly temperature, pitch-black darkness, and a bathtub filled with ice.
James said that his trusted personal trainer Mike Mancias would prepare everything needed every pre or post-game and pre or post-practice. He would then soak in the tub and alternate it with shower baths.
"That's one of the methods that when I'm in heavy-duty training, I try to find, especially if I'm on the road," James said on Nike's podcast, "Trained" in 2019. "There's times that to this day, Mike will, if they don't have one at the facility or something, Mike will fill up my bathtub in the hotel room with all ice. Ice and water. He's like, 'OK, you gotta get in there, then get in the shower, then get back in there, then finish it off in the shower'."
"[The baths] just help the body and when the body feels fresh, then the mind feels fresh, as well. They work in tandem," he added.
The King needs his eight hours
Like any other average person, James, too, also knows the importance of having enough rest. Apart from "contrast baths," the Los Angeles Lakers superstar also ensures that he religiously gets his eight hours of sleep.
"There's nothing more important than optimal REM [Rapid Eye Movement] sleep," James said on "The Tim Ferriss Show" in 2018. "That's the best way for your body to physically and emotionally be able to recover and get back to 100 percent as possible. Will you wake up and feel 100 percent? There's some days you don't, some days you feel better than others. But the more, more, more time you get eight—if you can get nine, that's amazing, sometimes I even get 10 hours of sleep."
Of course, it's still a case-to-case basis, and what works for James may not work for other athletes. The only certainty is that "contrast baths" and enough rest have been doing "King James" good now that he's already in the realm of the so-called "father time."