Will Starting Strength affect basketball performance? Will Starting Strength affect basketball performance?

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Thread: Will Starting Strength affect basketball performance?

  1. #1
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    Default Will Starting Strength affect basketball performance?

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    Hi Coach,

    I'm an 18 year old basketball player looking to make significant strength and weight gains. I need to add weight while increasing my "explosiveness" on the basketball court. My main goals are increase in bodyweight/muscle mass, increase in SVJ/2-leg RVJ, and increase in short distance speed/acceleration/change of direction. At the moment I am more proficient at 1-leg RVJ and top speed, which only helps me in fastbreak situations in basketball.

    Stats:
    6'3.5" w/ 6'9" wingspan
    165 lbs
    12.5% body fat
    Standing Vertical (Vertec tested): 30.5" (dunk off 1-step approach, good picture of my current build: Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet. can dunk comfortably off svj as well)
    Running Vertical (off one leg): 39"

    I am considered a normal weight by BMI (20.3) but I know I'm underweight by athlete standards. I know I need to add weight as I get knocked over by well-built opponents, but the reason I'm reluctant to add weight is due to my body fat(I do not have/never had visible abs. I am of South Asian descent so my carb heavy diet in the past may have played a major role in my current body composition.); I'm afraid that it will decrease my agility on the court.

    I have been working on my squat form for a couple weeks and now I squat 115x5 for 3 sets. I think I could squat 135 for a 1RM. I am planning to start Starting Strength soon and will run it to either the end of linear progression or 2x bw squat, whichever comes first. Will the gains in relative strength (my relative strength is garbage at the moment. I see 110lb girls with 10" verticals squatting more than me) offset acquisition of body fat? Let's say I progress to a 225x5 squat at 185lbs and 16% body fat. Would my SVJ go up?

    Also, I plan to work on basketball skills 3-4 days a week during Starting Strength so I can maintain as much skill as possible during weight gain. I will also be sprinting and dunking a couple times a week to maintain my forefoot/glute dominant movement efficiency. Will this affect my progress? Will eating more be enough to continue to make good gains?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    Default

    You seem to have a good grasp of most of your problems, except for this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by posterizer View Post
    but the reason I'm reluctant to add weight is due to my body fat(I do not have/never had visible abs. I am of South Asian descent so my carb heavy diet in the past may have played a major role in my current body composition.); I'm afraid that it will decrease my agility on the court.
    This is the single most common problem among kids your age. First, 12.5% is low enough for most people to show abs. But who cares??? You do, and that's a problem because at some level you're allowing this to interfere with getting stronger and bigger, which you know you need to do. Somebody has convinced you that 16% bodyfat is a problem on the court, and that same person apparently fails to understand that 6'3" at 165 is a much bigger problem on the court.

    Abs are a side effect of training, not an indicator of training. If all you want is abs, just diet and do situps.

    Just out of curiosity, what was Michael Jordan's bf%?

    Let's say I progress to a 225x5 squat at 185lbs and 16% body fat. Would my SVJ go up?
    When you get your squat up to 225x5x3, you will have spent about 6 weeks getting to the baseline strength of most untrained athletes your size. The number in your mind should be 365x5x3, and that should take you about 6 months, if you eat enough -- which I suspect you will not do.

    And see the other discussions on these boards about SVJ, I'm not going to discuss this again.

    Also, I plan to work on basketball skills 3-4 days a week during Starting Strength so I can maintain as much skill as possible during weight gain. I will also be sprinting and dunking a couple times a week to maintain my forefoot/glute dominant movement efficiency. Will this affect my progress? Will eating more be enough to continue to make good gains?
    If you eat enough and do no distance running AT ALL, yes. I am not optimistic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Las Vegas
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    I was going to start a new thread, but I'll put it here.

    My son is about to start AAU competitive basketball at age 11. The team sponsor has his own indoor facility--he was the CEO of a big corporation & built the gym so his kid had a place to practice and train. They're going to remodel and the coach and sponsor want to put in a strength training area.

    I just ordered copies of SS for the sponsor and main coach. I don't think either one of them has done much strength training. They're both pretty open, and I think it will be well-received. Kids range from 11-15 and play or train basketball every day. I've volunteered to help with selecting equipment and training the kids.

    I think we can get them to strength train 2x a week, probably not 3. Half the kids are not Tanner stage 4. Do you have any suggestions other than A/B workouts 2x a week with LP and creating an environment where the kids like lifting?

  4. #4
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    Yes. I'd suggest that you plan on coaching them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    When I played high school basketball I was 6'1" 160 pounds. I could not dunk. I dunked a volley ball a couple times but that's it. Then at 6'1" and 235 pounds after linear progression and some intermediate programming I dunked a basketball easily. At 36 years of age.

    The difference between a 135 pound squat and a 400 plus pound squat.

  6. #6
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    Instead of worrying about dunking, wouldn't you be better suited making sure your tiny little frame can hold up the rigors of collegiate basketball?

  7. #7
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    Boston, MA
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    Posterizer: the one thing I can speak to with experience and confidence is developing basketball players. Bottom line is you need to get stronger, much, much stronger. The physicality of play at each level is exponentially tougher. At your stage of development, regardless of wing span, you will be pushed off the ball, boxed out, and simply out muscled during the game by players of equal talent, but they will outplay you simply because they are stringer than you.
    You will not - repeat - not lose your explosive first step.if you are stronger due to squatting and deadlifting. You will have that explosiveness now combined with the strength to push off an opponent. Then you are a tough player to match up against.
    You are sort of asking the right questions but the answer from a hoop head is to get strong and use that strength on the court. Eat a ton and train hard in the gym with the big movements. Wish I could tell u this in person I could go into detail but you get the point.
    Buy the book. Start linear progression, becoming the best player u can be means getting stronger.
    (Sorry everyone for the long response but I live at the intersection of basketball and strength.)

  8. #8
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    Aug 2013
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    It is simple math.

    You are currently squatting (assuming 135 is your 1RM) 30lbs under your own bodyweight.

    How can increasing that squat to body weight ratio NOT improve your ability to move your body?

    I don't suggest you try to specifically get fatter, but how fat you get, so long as you are not so morbidly obese as to restrict the range of motion you have, doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is how strong you are.

    Can you get to where you can squat 225 without weighing 275 or 350 without weighing 400? Yes? Then there is no way your relative strength will not go up no matter what happens to your bodyfat during that strength increase.

  9. #9
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    It would take some tremendous eating for an 18-year-old playing competitive basketball to get anywhere near fat.

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    None of them seem to understand this. I suppose their fat baddies at school serve as a bad example, and they can't see the variables at play.

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