Losing weight and getting fit for basketball

Losing weight has for years been something associated with vanity. I want to lose weight to look good or I want to lose weight to attract women. More and more young kids these days have body image issues because the magazine covers tell us subconsciously what beautiful is meant to look like.

These days I am hearing a lot of young basketball players comment on their weight. For awhile I struggled to understand this. Way I saw it, if you played ball and trained hard how can you get fat?

How wrong my initial judgements were. Regulating weight is crucial in basketball and losing those excess kilograms can make you a vastly different basketball player.

Losing weight or putting on weight?

A great question I get asked is if a basketball player should lose weight or put on weight. This is impossible to answer as it depends on the person’s body frame. It has to be determined by a case by case basis.

Best way I can answer this is to break it down in generic terms.

Lose weight

(if the below answers are No, then you need to lose weight)

  • What’s your body fat percentage? The upper percentages for the healthy range is Male 20% Female 24%. Are you within this range?
  • Are you too heavy on your feet? Are you struggling to get off the ground? This also could mean that you need to do some plyometrics and jump training.
  • Are you struggling for breath in half court games? This could also mean you need to work on your fitness.

Gain weight

(if the below answers are No, then you need to gain weight)

  • Are you easily moved around in the paint or muscled out on rebounds?
  • Are you able to take bumps on cuts and on the way to the basket?
  • What’s your strength like? Is it comparable to the competition you play against?

The above is a rough guide and I recommend everyone trying to figure this out consult a trainer or proper health professional. They will be able to give you a more tailored answer. However, this can be used as an example to self asses.


Easiest way to lose weight is to review and change your diet. The slightest tweak will see massive results. In the last year I have dropped 12 kilos and I am sitting super lean and looking the best I have for almost 10 years. Well, at least I think I look good for a 39 year old.

Here’s how you can instantly lose weight.

  • Do not drink anything other than water
  • Your meal at night has to be at least 2 hours before you go to bed
  • Cut out/ lower the amount of sugar intake. Remove chocolate and sweets.
  • Drink more water
  • Eat more green vegetables with your meat
  • If you are a rice eater like me. Switch white rice with brown
  • Stay away from fried food
  • Give up alcohol. Why do you need it?
  • Fasting. Yep, I said it. Fasting. I have after a solid day of eating well and clean skipped dinner and gone to bed. However, I have never done this if I have training the next morning.

I won’t claim that I am a nutritionist and tell you why the plan above will enable you to lose weight. There’s plenty of YouTube videos from experts that can explain that. But the above is what I have used to help me down a whole heap of weight.


There’s a formula for losing weight:

Calories in – calories out

So for every calorie you put into your body you need to expend that calorie out. When I am losing weight my cardio increases dramatically however my calorie count in is the same or a little higher.

Due to the intensity of my training sessions, whether it be in the gym or on court, I am able to drop massive amounts of kilos fast. For me the sweet spot is 2 hours of high intensity cardio 6 days a week. This is simple for me. I just play full court d on players when I play pick up ball.

The discipline of losing weight

In a nutshell, losing weight can be very basic if you commit yourself. You will need discipline and there are times where it will be hard. Hey, you may even fail! But that is ok. Stick to it and you will build good habits.

Set yourself a goal so that you are emotionally invested in it. That way you have a clear direction on why you have to lose weight.

Losing weight, if it is unwanted,is a great feeling. Although vain, it does help your confidence but the most important thing to dropping weight is the lightness you will have on your feet. You will find yourself quicker and more athletic. A great combination if you are looking to make that team this season.

Do you need to gain weight or lose weight? How much? Use the comments section below to let me know.

It could be you that people watch on TV playing basketball

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