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the lebron james workout

 “Where Will Lebron James Sign in 2010” has been one of the most popular questions in all of sports for the longest time now.  Seems like people have been asking this ever since he set foot in the league.

I on the other hand have been asking a different question and that is “What Is Lebron James’ Workout like?”. Again, from the moment he stepped into the league in his teens, straight out of high school, this kid has been a man-child.

He’s got a strength, muscle maturity and physical prowess unlike most guys ten years his senior.  So what does he do to look this way?


The Lebron James Workout

Well, recently Men’s Health Magazine featured King James himself and broke down his workout day by day.  What you’ll probably be surprised to see is that for everything “different” about this young kid, his workout is not all that much.  It blends some cutting edge techniques with plain old fashioned lifting.

The outcome has been hard to argue with no matter how you look at it.  That said, I figured I’d break it down for you and give my critique on the plan to have a little fun.  So without further delay, let’s take a look at Lebron James Workout!

The workout is a 4 Day Split routine relying heavily on supersets, each done 3 times with 45 seconds rest between them.  The workout days are on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  He begins every workout with a light stretch, some warmup cardio and some ab exercises to loosen up.  Makes me laugh, I know some guys out there would be calling it a day after that alone.  Not Lebron.  He is just getting started.  His Monday workout looks like this:



Superset 1 Pushup Pullup

Superset 2 Dumbbell Snatch
Cable Single-arm Row

MY COMMENTS: All of my TEAM ATHLEAN guys know by now that I love bodyweight movements.  They not only train your body to be better able to move itself, but they also have quite a knack for packing on muscle unlike anything else.  Lebron shows this with his perfect upper body combo of pushups and pullups.  Then, keeping with the function and now adding a bit more power, he pairs up the dumbbell snatch (which is the ultimate in power exercises) and pairs it up with a single arm row.  Again, you know I like single sided movements so we can make sure there is no compensation of a weakness by having the strong side do all the work on a two armed movement.



Superset 1 Dumbbell Squat
Swiss-ball Hamstring Curl

Superset 2 Dumbbell Stepup
Dumbbell Calf Raise

MY COMMENTS: Again, looking at Lebron’s workout he is concentrating on closed chain exercises where his foot is either on the ground, or in the case of the hamstring curl, on the ball.  Either way, it’s very functional and practical and helps him to build the slabs of athletic muscle that he has.  He’s working almost every exercise with movement as well.  You don’t see him lying face down on a hamstring curl machine or sitting in a leg extension machine.  No, he’s moving his body during the exercise and getting more benefits since his muscles (and yours) prefer action over inaction any day.  Dynamic vs. static movements rule the day.



Superset 1 Dumbbell Incline-Bench Press Lat Pulldown

Superset 2 Dumbbell Single-arm Overhead Press Dumbbell Single-arm Row

MY COMMENTS: Here King James is opting for more basic movements, but what I like again is that he is doing single arm variations of the exercises.  Again, what this does is help to reveal single sided weaknesses and corrects them.  Also, when you look at Lebron’s sport, lots of movements are single sided (ie. shooting a basketball, dribbling right or left, etc) so the carryover to his game is huge.



Superset 1 Single-leg Squat Single-leg Swiss-ball Leg Curl

Superset 2 Dumbbell Side Lunge Unstable Jump Rope

MY COMMENTS: This is my favorite day of them all.  Lebron nails it here.  No wonder he’s got one of the strongest bases for a kid his age.  From the single leg squat (which you guys know I’m a big fan of…especially when it comes to longevity and protecting the back and knees) to the side lunging and finally the unstable jump roping, Lebron has about as solid a lower body program as it gets.  For you guys out there with somewhat weak ankles and maybe carrying a few extra pounds around the midsection, try this unstable jump rope (on a soft yoga mat for instance) and you’ll kill two birds with one stone.  Fat loss and pillar like ankle strength.

So you see…there’s always a reason why guys who demonstrate unparalleled athleticism and size over their peers get to where they are.  Most often it’s by outworking them.  

Now, I am not naive enough to think that performance enhancing drugs aren’t rampant throughout professional sports.  However, that said, it can’t be used as the fallback excuse for us to chalk any fit athlete’s amazing physique up to cheating.  

Instead, we should recognize when a guy is working hard and strive to emulate it.  Maybe not their workouts exactly…but their workout dedication.  Lebron should serve as that motivator for lots of guys.  He’s the true definition of “ATHLEAN”!  

And who knows?  Maybe when October 2010 rolls around, instead of playing for the Knicks, Nets, Magic, Wizards or anywhere else he is speculated on going…you’ll find him playing for the surprise late entry into the competition…TEAM ATHLEAN!



Want to get the same lean, ripped, muscular physique that Lebron has? Want to follow the training program that top professional athletes from the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL have followed to get in the best shape of their careers?  Then come check out the ATHLEAN-X TRAINING SYSTEM and see what this 90 day muscle building system can do for you.  Designed and created by celebrity fitness trainer, Men’s Fitness Writer and former New York Mets Physical Therapist and Strength Coach Jeff Cavaliere.

Jeff Cavaliere Headshot

Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS

Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.

Read more about Jeff Cavaliere by clicking here

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