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3/15/13 5:29 PM
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duckdentistry
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I am trying to get in shape to play basketball in a church league (approximately two games a week--college rules). I'm 36 and I haven't played ball since highschool but I have kept a decent level of fitness primarily through distance running.

At present I am running 8-12 miles twice a week. One day a week I run suicides for 6 cycles. Two days a week I work on my game either through shooting or playing pickup. And finally I pop out 100 pushups and 100 situps each day.

My endurance is great and my strength is above average but my explosiveness is nonexistant. My vertical leap is about 16 inches and I'm so slow! I'm constantly being beaten off of the dribble or outrun up and down the court.

So, what can I do to increase my explosiveness and quickness? More suicides? Weights? Thanks for any input in advance.
3/15/13 5:40 PM
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Adventure Runner
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Focus on max strength. When you gain strength, you'll also gain explosiveness. I'd say build your program around squats and jerks. Wendler has a pretty easy to follow system that could help with programming if you need it.

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/how_to_build_pure_strength
3/16/13 1:17 PM
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Taku
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Edited: 03/16/13 1:23 PM
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Your plan sounds okay. I would make my long runs shorter and faster. I would shorten them to about 3 miles and see how fast you can cover that distance. Aim for around 20 minutes or less. The suicides and game work sounds good.

I also agree improving strength = Max benefit.

I would check out information from Florida State Men's Basketball strength coach, Mike Bradley. Here are a couple links to get you started:

http://tinyurl.com/bblyuaj

 

 TAKU

3/16/13 4:01 PM
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Leigh
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Edited: 03/16/13 4:06 PM
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What's your bmi? Are you carrying spare weight? Phone Post
3/16/13 5:39 PM
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duckdentistry
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Thanks Adventure runner and Taku for the advice. Great stuff! Looks like strength work is what I need to work on most.

Taku, I will shorten my runs as you recommended although at my age I don't think I'll ever be able to run 3 miles in under 20 minutes! Right now I average about 9 minutes per mile (pathetic!). If I shorten my runs should I still only run distance twice per week? Maybe include more sprints or plyos?
3/16/13 5:46 PM
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duckdentistry
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Leigh - What's your bmi? Are you carrying spare weight? Phone Post

Not sure of my BMI LOL!

My height is 6'5 and my weight is about 215 lbs. My build would be what you would call "skinny fat". No overt blubber but also no muscle tone. Even with all of the pushups and situps I do I'm just skinny and a little soft. :(
3/16/13 7:52 PM
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Leigh
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OK well a tall guy with little muscle is going to struggle to be explosive. You need to lean out and maybe add a little muscle. I think body composition is your biggest factor Phone Post
3/17/13 1:45 AM
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Bull_in_chinashop
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Edited: 03/17/13 4:41 PM
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I've never trained basketball players, but my friend Jay Demayo does:

http://articles.elitefts.com/features/interviews/elitefts-spotlight-university-of-richmond-strength-coach-jay-demayo/

3/17/13 4:14 PM
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Taku
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Hey Duck,

Yes, keep your runs to 2 x per week. Remember, if you are running three miles (instead of 10-12) you should be able to pick up the pace a bit. You could also do your intervals on another piece of equipment if you have any (versaclimber, airdyne, etc).

TAKU

3/18/13 7:09 AM
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fuzzislipperz
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Squats, squats, squats, sprints, sprints, sprints, and practice jumping. Plyometrics are your friend when looking to gain explosiveness and like Leigh said, you'll need to lean out. Phone Post
3/18/13 10:47 AM
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LiftStrong
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Getting stronger and jumping more will be important. Suicides are good for conditioning but you arent going to get much faster by doing them (if you have been doing them for a while). I would keep the suicides but eliminate some of the distance work. Since your endurance is great already you should just focus on maintaining it.

In addition to the strength and jump training, I would add in a bunch of work doing basketball oriented movement and agility drills with near full rest between sets. Practicing your change of direction skills, especially the first 3 steps out of a pivot or cut will help your game speed.
3/18/13 11:37 AM
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sczott52
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Basketball shape and running and fitness are two totally different things.  I played in HS and College, and while I'm in decent fitness shape.  If I tried playing again now I would struggle similar to you.  If you are worried about your game I'd concentrate more on just playing pick up ball and running up and down the court than jogging and sprints right now.  That help with your timing and getting into the flow of the game.  You're not gonna improve your vertical or quickness by wearing your legs out with all that running.  Your legs need time to rest.  Strength training is a good idea, but your legs will still need time to recover and build.

3/19/13 11:10 AM
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imkeithhernandez
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Just work on back cuts..v cuts...and your jumper.. don't need quickness in a rec league...just outsmart them...but if you're do inclined ..get your suicides in..plyos...and other agility drills Phone Post
3/19/13 9:15 PM
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Misedukatd
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for jumping, I would practice jumping; strength training will increase your leg strength, but jumping is also about using good jumping form and activating fast twitch muscles very quickly and in proper coordination with eachother, and practicing jumping will have immediate dividends - arm swing, proper degree of crouch, lining up the body correctly, exploding into the jump, these will get you extra inches of vertical right away.  Really focus on making proper form natual.

for cardio, just play basketball. Much of basketball cardio is breathing right and learning how to pace yourself, and it is easiest to develop doing basketball activities. I think suicides are overrated, but practicing defensive slides is a good way to develop cardio, improve lateral quickness, and work on basketball form at the same time. 

5/11/13 11:37 PM
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future_jabroni
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This is what I would do and I think it's much simpler. That long distance running doesn't really do much for you on a basketball court. I'd really cut back on that. I would cut out most of the time that you spend doing long distance runs and simply play in some pick up games, not shooting around. There really is no substitute for that competitive game conditioning.

I'd also cut out the suicides. I really doubt that you enjoy doing them, at least I sure as heck hated doing them. I'd say do some weight training instead like squats, deadlifts, and bench. You said that you're 6'5'' so you'll be playing on the inside whether you like it or not. You'll need that physicality on the inside.
5/24/13 3:01 PM
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andyman011
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From what my coach, carter, taught me it takes 1500~ pushups and 600~ suicides. Other than that, pass the ball and you can be a champion. Phone Post
2/9/15 6:57 PM
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duckdentistry
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I wanted to update this thread and share the progress I've made. I received a lot of good advice on this thread (thanks to everyone for that)and I experimented with quite a few approaches. I eventually found that a fairly simple mix of weight lifting and playing ball as much as I could yielded the best results.

Right now I'm lifting weights twice per week deads, powercleans, squats and lunges (2 warmup sets and 3 work sets 6-12 reps) and playing ball about 5 days per week (1-3 hours full court as much as possible). Additionally I perform 100 pushups and 100 situps every night before bed.

I also changed my diet to include more protein (especially red meat) and I've eliminated all distance running.

Results: My weight has increased from 215 to 228 and at age 37 I can dunk a basketball for the first time since I was about 25!

Once again, thanks to everyone for the help.
2/10/15 7:50 AM
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HERTSWENIP
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future_jabroni - This is what I would do and I think it's much simpler. That long distance running doesn't really do much for you on a basketball court. I'd really cut back on that. I would cut out most of the time that you spend doing long distance runs and simply play in some pick up games, not shooting around. There really is no substitute for that competitive game conditioning.

I'd also cut out the suicides. I really doubt that you enjoy doing them, at least I sure as heck hated doing them. I'd say do some weight training instead like squats, deadlifts, and bench. You said that you're 6'5'' so you'll be playing on the inside whether you like it or not. You'll need that physicality on the inside.

We have a winner.

-Stop long distance runs (unless you're really keen on it)
-Lift weights, folow a program built around major compound lifts.

Getting stronger is the single easiest faacet to modify to making a poorly conditioned person more athletic.

Weight training improves reflexes, balance, endurance, and speed

-Play ball

2/10/15 7:51 AM
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HERTSWENIP
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(Doing all that running would really tax into your strength gains from weight training)
2/10/15 12:42 PM
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Hurtsogood
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Playing and practicing skill specific basketball things will do you a lot more good than anything specific in your general workouts. I would think doing killers would help get into more of that sprint stop, sprint stop basketball shape.

You will never run as fast or as long without stopping in an actual game as when you run some hard killers so doing those would be good. Other than that just practice dribbling, shooting and passing and play pick up games.

You could be in the greatest shape in the history of the earth, but will still be horrible at basketball if you can't dribble, shoot or pass.
2/12/15 12:49 AM
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m.g
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Edited: 02/12/15 12:51 AM
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I agree with Hurtsogood.

I think playing and practicing basketball and the specific skills of basketball will do more to make you a better and more fit basketball player than any general workout.

Unless you are already skilled in basketball no amount of general fitness activity whether it is weight training, explosive training, speed work, endurance etc will make you more skilled at basketball.

Like Hurtsogood said: becoming stronger, faster, quicker, more fit, more athletic or more conditioned doesn't necessarily mean better basketball player. In fact you can improve tremendously in all those things and still suck as a basketball player. I suggest spending most of your time working on your basketball game!

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