Training with the Greats: Michael Jordan


You’re going to have to do a lot more than drink Gatorade, wear Hanes, and throw on a pair of Air Jordan sneakers if you have aspirations of being “like Mike”. Becoming the greatest player to ever grace the hardwood not only needed an unmatched level of determination, but also required a substantial amount of work in the gym before and after games. While that level has yet to be eclipsed, it can’t hurt to try, so if you were looking for a little insight on what it takes to get there, here’s how.

While Michael Jordan was blessed with amazing skill and unparalleled talent, there’s an old saying in the sports world that goes a little something like “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”. So, if MJ had solely relied on his natural talent, he might not have reached his full potential as an athlete.

As far as basketball is concerned, practice makes perfect, so being on the court with a ball and a little bit of competition was all that he needed to hone his skills. So, from there, training in every other aspect was what mattered and he started with his core.

As evidenced by the word “core”, Jordan looked at that area of his body as being the place to start and build upon. Strengthening the core with erector and oblique exercises was, in and of itself, responsible for his ability run faster, jump higher and flat out move quicker than the competition. Everything you do in basketball uses the core, so everything begins and ends with the core.

For auxiliary exercises, MJ indulged in standard workouts such as bicep curls and deadlifts, and also augmented others like the squat, using a balance board to build stability throughout the body.

While it may require a high starting place in terms of athletic ability, attaining MJ-like greatness isn’t completely out of reach. With the right mindset, regimen, work ethic, and the aforementioned tips, being “like Mike” might have gotten a little bit easier.