LeBron James’ Workout Routine And Diet: Tips From an NBA Star
The Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James’ workout routine and nutritious diet have a huge role in his athletic journey. Reportedly, this NBA legend invests around $1.5 million annually in his body’s upkeep, which pays off handsomely. His combo of size, skills, and incredible work ethic makes him the modern sports superstar. Through his social media, he’s dropped hints about his diet and workouts, revealing a flexible plan that adapts to his needs. Here, let’s dive into the details of LeBron James’ physical training and nutrition plan based on the years of insights from him.
Who Is LeBron James?
LeBron James aka King James is a famous professional basketball player in the NBA, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s considered one of the all-time best players in the sport. He joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first pick in the 2003 NBA draft and quickly became a star, leading them to their first NBA finals in 2007.
LeBron later moved to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. Till now he has won 4 NBA championships and has been in 10 NBA finals. He’s also received numerous awards and even has 2 Olympic gold medals. Besides basketball, he’s involved in charity work and is a part-owner of Liverpool F.C.
Profile & Stats
- Real name: LeBron Raymone James Sr
- Place of birth: Akron, Ohio, U.S
- Date of birth: December 30, 1984
- Age in 2023: 39
- Height: 6 feet 9 inches (206 cm)
- Weight: 250 pounds (113 kg)
What Is LeBron James’ Workout Routine?
Being a pro athlete for over two decades, LeBron has tried everything to stay fit. He invests a lot in advanced fitness gear like compression wear, cryo-chambers, and electrostimulation machines. But don’t worry, LeBron James’ workout routine also includes exercises we can all do at home like core workouts, high-intensity strength training, yoga, meditation, and Pilates. His training is done six days per week: three for weights, three for flexibility and core, with rest periods. Let’s break down Lebron James’ gym workout.
Push-pull training is a major part of his workout and determines his muscle movements during the game. One day, he focuses on upper-body muscles that push, like the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Next, he targets upper-body muscles that pull, like the back, biceps, and forearms.
Lower body and core training are usually in-between, avoiding overloading the same muscles on consecutive days. He also adds pilates or yoga as recovery workouts. This approach optimizes his workout regimen for balanced muscle growth and also gives time for recovery (1).
LeBron James’ Workout Schedule
Day 1: Push Exercises (Chest, Shoulders, And Triceps)
- Warm up with 20-30 minutes on the Versaclimber
- Incline dumbbell bench press – 4 sets of 12 repetitions
- Seated overhead tricep extension – 4 sets of 12 repetitions
- Seated dumbbell overhead press – 4 sets of 12 repetitions
- Triangle push-ups – 3 sets of 20 repetitions
- Wide push-ups – 3 sets of 20 repetitions
- Clap push-ups – 3 sets of 20 repetitions
Day 2: Plyometrics and Yoga
- 30-60 minutes of plyometrics or spin class for cardio workouts
- 30-60 minutes of yoga or pilates
Day 3: Pull Exercises (Back, Biceps, And Traps)
- Warm up with 20-30 minutes on the Versaclimber
- Barbell deadlift – 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions
- Barbell bent-over rows – 4 sets of 8-12 repetitions
- Bicep curl with barbell – 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- One-arm dumbbell military presses – 3 sets of 12 repetitions
- One-arm dumbbell row – 3 sets of 12 repetitions
- Dumbbell shrugs – 3 sets of 12 repetitions
- Chin ups – 3 sets of 15 repetitions
- Wide grip pull-ups – 3 sets of 10 repetitions
Day 4: Plyometrics and Yoga
- 30-60 minutes of plyometrics or spin class
- 30-60 minutes of yoga routine or pilates
Day 5: Lower Body (Legs, Calves)
- Warm up with 20-30 minutes on the Versaclimber
- Jump squat – 4 sets of 12 repetitions
- Leg press – 4 sets of 12 repetitions
- Seated calf raises – 4 sets of 12 repetitions
- Weighted jumps – 3 sets of 10 repetitions
- Leg Curls – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions
- Box jumps – 3 sets of 15 repetitions
- Jumping lunges – 3 sets of 20 repetitions
Day 6: Plyometrics and Yoga
- 30-60 minutes of Plyometric exercises or spin fitness classes
- 30-60 minutes of Yoga or Pilates
Day 7: Rest Day
LeBron’s approach shows that sometimes the basics are all you need to stay in top shape.
He focuses a lot on his training off the basketball court, and most of it happens in the weight room. His high-intensity interval training suits his fast-paced basketball style. His workout programs are built on four key principles.
1. Build Strength with Weights: LeBron’s weight room goal is overall strength, not specific to basketball. He gets his basketball training on the court. Meanwhile, he focuses on getting stronger through weightlifting (2).
2. Core, Balance, And Flexibility: While being strong matters, it’s useless without core strength, balance, and flexibility. He adds yoga and pilates to his weightlifting for a well-rounded fitness routine (3), (4).
3. Stay Consistent: Just like he’s consistent on the court, he’s consistent in his training. All those small daily improvements add up over time.
4. Recovery is Key: Recovery, both physically and mentally, is vital for an athlete’s success. LeBron sleeps 8-10 hours a night, meditates, and uses a hyperbaric chamber for optimal recovery.
During intense exercise, the muscle loses oxygen and builds up lactic acid. This is when hyperbaric oxygen therapy comes to aid. It increases oxygen levels in the blood, helping muscles recover faster and enhancing performance for those aiming to maximize results (5).
While giving time to recover with such techniques, he also mixes up some additional workouts in his exercise routine.
Pool Workouts: He does workouts in the pool for cross-training. It’s gentle on the body and provides a refreshing change.
Tonal Machine: LeBron partnered with Tonal, a home workout device. It offers efficient workouts and is a complement to his gym training.
For a while, a steamy pic of him and his wife Savannah Brinson working out hard and getting sweaty went viral. It’s also proof that his fitness journey is all about balance, consistency, and taking care of his body, ensuring he’s always at the top of his game.
LeBron James Diet Plan
LeBron’s diet is a mix of healthy choices and occasional treats. Whether he’s cutting out carbs or enjoying a dessert, it’s all part of his diet strategy to maintain peak performance on and off the court.
His diet is as impressive as the man himself, and it’s no surprise he has a sweet tooth. His sweet tooth also had a mild effect on his fitness. A sports writer from ESPN even wrote how LeBron wasn’t in great shape when the 2013-2014 season began. Later in 2014, he posted a pic on Instagram, looking noticeably slimmer, and thus rumors about his diet spread like wildfire. Later, at a Nike event, he spilled the beans. For 67 days, he skipped sugar, dairy, and carbs. He stuck to lean meat, fish, fruits, and veggies. Basically, it was a paleo-style diet for almost two months.
LeBron’s daily diet approach designed by his personal chef looks somewhat like this:
Lean Protein Breakfast
- He starts with an egg white omelet, veggies, and half an avocado.
- Gluten-free pancakes and yogurt with berries follow.
- At times, French toast with syrup and strawberries.
- Or else a bagel with peanut butter
Post-training, he has a shake with plant-based protein powder, frozen bananas, peanut butter, almond milk, and ice cubes.
A big chicken breast, whole wheat pasta, and veggies dressed with olive oil or rocket salad.
Pre-Game or Mid-day Snack
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich before games.
- At times, he also includes orange or apple slices with almond butter.
Similar to the post-workout shake.
He loves a hearty dinner with baked salmon or steak, red potatoes, arugula salad, and sometimes, a glass of wine.
LeBron James is quite a wine enthusiast and even mentioned that he enjoys wine almost every day. His knowledge of wine is so impressive that his teammate Kevin Love calls him a “supercomputer” when it comes to wine. However, moderate wine consumption is not harmful but rather beneficial and can reduce the chance of certain diseases (6).
LeBron also likes Blaze Pizza, where he’s not only an investor and franchisee but also an endorser. He once shared a receipt showing the massive pizza he ordered with 16 toppings, including fresh basil, turkey meatballs, banana peppers, and kalamata olives.
He has a sweet tooth too, occasionally treating himself to Fruity Pebbles, chocolate chip cookies, and vanilla ice cream.
LeBron relies on the following supplements to enhance his workouts and recovery:
- Ladder protein shake: A blend of whey and casein with vitamins and minerals (7).
- Ladder plant-based protein powder: 21g of protein per scoop from pea protein (8).
- Ladder premium pre-workout: Contains caffeine, L-citrulline, creatine, beta-alanine, L-theanine, and phosphatidylserine (9).
- Ladder premium hydration: For hydration during athletic training and games.
- Ladder superfood greens: To round out nutrient needs and support immunity and gut function.
LeBron James’ workout routine is one of the main reasons behind his successful basketball career. While his diet could appear to be a mix of self-control and indulgence, it is effective for him. From French toast to wine nights and occasional treats, LeBron’s mix of dedication and enjoyment keeps him going. Alongside his diet, he hits the gym with a combination of low- to medium-weight lifting and heavy exercises like bench presses. He also practices yoga or pilates for balance and rests a day. Thus his journey emphasizes that true stardom involves caring for one’s body inside and out.