We all know the importance of diet and exercise.
That’s also the case for the greatest athletes on the planet.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is one of them, and on Tuesday night in Denver, he will kickoff his 21st season in the NBA against the reigning champion Nuggets.
When he does, James will officially be the oldest player in the NBA at 38 years and 10 months old.
But while most elite athletes have significant drop off in their golden years, James seems to defy Father Time by still performing at an extremely high level. In fact, ESPN ranked him number nine in its top 100 player rankings ahead of the 2023-24 NBA season.
James has long credited his training program and nutrition for his longevity in the NBA and it’s his insane workout regime and diet that have kept him sitting on the throne for so many years.
To become the four-time NBA Champion he is, James has dedicated his mind and body to countless hours in the gym, and a rigorous diet that allows him to compete at a world-class level.
Thanks to new research conducted by Total Shape, LeBron’s diet, weekly workout routine, and even his favorite protein shake recipe have now been made available.
So if you’re reading this and want the physique of the King, here’s what you have to do.
When he’s training or getting ready for the season, James likes to incorporate a diet that limits processed foods, sugar, dairy, and foods high in carbohydrates. Instead, James eats lean meats, fish, fruit, and vegetables. This diet includes salmon, vegetable salads, chicken breast, omelets, and much more.
During the season, James admits that he consumes a lot more carbohydrates than during the offseason because not only does it take a lot of energy to play in a 48-minute basketball game, but you burn off a lot of energy sprinting back and forth down the court.
“So the sugars I kinda cut out, but the carbs I kinda ramp up,” James said on a video for his “Uninterrupted” platform. “Because you’re losing so many calories, you’re burning so many calories, burning all your energy throughout those games. So I kinda go heavy on the carbs because it gives you energy. It’s worked for me.”
Here’s a typical daily diet for James during the NBA season:
LeBron likes to start his day with a protein rich breakfast such as egg white omelets, yogurt, smoked salmon, berries, and gluten-free pancakes. If he’s in a hurry, or doesn’t want to overeat, his go-to breakfast is a bagel with peanut butter.
Lunch and dinner
For his main meals, LeBron again focuses on proteins, and adds vegetables. If its a game day, he might go for chicken breast, light pasta, or a vegetable salad with olive oil. Some of James’ favorite vegetables are squash, zucchini, banana peppers, and asparagus.
LeBron’s favorite healthy snack is fruit. He’s even said that a day without fruit would feel the same as skipping a workout. So whether it’s apples, bananas, or berries, James will always be snacking on his favorite fruits throughout the day.
During a game, James will have sliced apples topped with almond butter at his disposable to give him some much-needed energy for the second half. Before and after a game, James likes his protein shakes and replenishes his body with a custom made carbohydrate-rich recovery drink.
Below is his go-to protein shake recipe:
1 packet Ladder Chocolate Plant-Protein Powder
1 frozen banana
1 heaping Tbsp peanut butter
8 to 10 oz vanilla unsweetened almond milk
Handful of ice cubes
Blend together in a blender.
Nutrition per shake: 445 calories, 26g protein, 53g carbs (6g fiber), 15g fat.
If you follow Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Instagram, you’ll know that he likes to post his weekly cheat meals. This is an opportunity for any athlete or fitness fan to temporarily drop their diet and eat whatever they want.
Similar to The Rock, LeBron likes multiple layers of french toast with syrup and desserts on his cheat day. He’s also a huge fan of pizza, after all, he’s one of the investors in Blaze Pizza, a California-based pizza chain that has a location inside Crypto.com Arena where the Lakers play all their home games.
Finally, whether it’s in the offseason, during the season, or after a game, you’ll constantly find LeBron James with a glass of wine in his hand. James has become a wine connoisseur in recent years and enjoys a glass of wine after dinner or while watching other NBA games on off days.
LeBron James‘ workout routine
For workouts, LeBron likes to exercise six days a week with three days of weight training. Here’s what a typical weekly workout schedule for the King looks like:
Monday: Upper body
- Wide-grip lat pulldown: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Incline dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 10 reps.
- One-arm dumbbell military press: 3 sets of 10 reps
- One-arm dumbbell row: 3 sets of 10 reps
Tuesday: Plyometric exercises and spin training
Wednesday: Back, biceps, and traps
- Grip pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps each
- Standing bicep curls with barbell: 4 sets of 12 reps each
- Chin-ups: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Barbell bent-over rows: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Wide grip pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
Thursday: Cardio and gym session
- Jump rope: 30 minutes
- Pull-ups: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Single-arm cable row: 3 sets of 10 reps per arm
- Single-arm overhead press: 3 sets of 6-8 reps per arm
- Leg curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
Friday: Legs, calves and lower body exercises
- Seated calf raise: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Leg press: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Back squat: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Calisthenics: Weighted jumps, jumping lunges, box jumps, and push-ups, 3 sets of 15 reps for each exercise
Saturday: Plyometrics and spin
Sunday: Rest day
The Lakers tip-off their 2023-24 NBA season on Tuesday night at 4:30 p.m. PT in Denver.