Derek Fisher, star point guard for the Lakers, has so many championship rings, if he's wearing them all, he might need a spotter to lift his arm. (Okay, we might be exaggerating a little bit, but have you seen those championship rings? They're huge.) In reality Fisher, who is the heart and soul of the Lakers, has three of them. Not to mention that with his Lakers dispatching the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz thus far in the 2008 NBA playoffs, he may be headed for a fourth.
Currently in his twelfth NBA season, Fisher has maintained his elite level of play through stellar conditioning, nutrition and weight lifting. Widely regarded as one of the classiest guys in the league, he takes a break from preparing for his next playoff game to answer a few questions for M&F Online.
M&F: How much time do you spend in the weight room during the season versus during the postseason?
Derek Fisher: In-season work is almost exclusively limited to integrated functional training using bodyweight only, or a light medicine ball. My focus is on maintaining core endurance. Workouts are usually 2-3 times per week, including pre-game, neurologically driven warm-ups. Off-season (July through September), periodized workouts are two-a-days, 90 minutes each, three consecutive days per week, followed by four days of rest and recreational exercise. Morning is generally endurance, core, balance, stability. Afternoon is strength, all on the feet, in an unstable environment, and no isolation work. Mid-August through September, strength workouts are replaced by a 90-minute on-court game or speed skills session.
M&F: You have some of the biggest shoulders in the NBA. What's your 'go to' shoulder exercise? How often do you lift them?
DF: I constantly change the shoulder work, as I do all our other work. I really lift very little during the season. Off-season, I probably hit shoulders every training day in some way, but it's constantly changing.
M&F: What's your favorite weight room exercise in general? Why?
DF: I like most of the work I do and appreciate how each exercise contributes to improving my performance on the court. The most challenging, and the ones that I feel provide enormous benefit, are the upper and lower body supersets. I am able to increase the number of sets I can complete, and decrease my interval rest time, and know I am moving toward having a great year physically.
M&F: Did you ever want to be a bodybuilder?
DF: No, although I hear a lot of jokes about my physique from my teammates.
M&F: What's your favorite pre-game or pre-workout meal? How about post-game and post-workout?
DF: Probably skinless grilled chicken breast, lightly seasoned, rice or yams, mixed grilled or sautéed vegetables and fruit. Post-game is a whey shake, followed by a similar meal of steak or chicken.