Before Portland Trailblazers star Brandon Roy heads to his second NBA All-Star game, he takes time out of his schedule to talk to M& about his training, his preparation, and the one conditioning exercise that he gets tired just thinking about.

By Jon Finkel

“Brandon Roy is a beast. He is a strong, real physical point guard. He’s come into the league, after he played a couple of games, everybody said, ‘Wow, this is an NBA guard.'” – P.J. Carlesimo, ex-Head Coach, Oklahoma City Thunder

When an opposing NBA coach calls you a beast, you know you’re making a name for yourself in the league. In Brandon Roy’s case, it took him about two games to get noticed. He scored 20 points in his Trailblazer debut and 19 in his second game. That was three years ago. Since then, he’s racked up Rookie of the Year honors, two All-Star nods and several memorable buzzer-beating shots. He’s averaging 22 points, 4.7 assists and 5 rebounds a game this season.

M&F: The NBA season can be grueling. How do you stay strong through 82 games and the playoffs?

ROY: It starts in the off-season. The big thing I do now is bike riding. I usually ride 15-16 miles a day. During the season your body can take a pretty big pounding with all the basketball. Biking allows me to stay fit and conditioned without all the wear and tear.

M&F: How does weight training fit into your routine?

ROY: After I bike, I’ll stretch for 10-15 minutes and then head to the weight room. I’ll do upper body one day and the next day I’ll do lower body.

M&F: Do you have any favorite upper body and lower body exercises?

ROY: On the lower body, I really like the leg press. I like it because it strengthens all my lower body muscles like my thighs and the joints around the knee area. It helps me feel bouncy on the court. I just feel lighter.

Upper body, I love the bench press. I like to do a lot of reps with a lower weight to work on my explosion.

M&F: Does your routine change in-season?

ROY: During the season I try not to be in the weight room as long. I’ll only lift for 25 minutes. I usually get in about 10 lifts a month, 5 upper body and 5 lower body. I’ll also do lots of abs and a lot of reps. My body is used to building muscle and when I miss a few days, I can feel the difference in the season.

M&F: What’s the most grueling exercise you have to go through?

ROY: Suicides are the worst. We do conditioning tests where we do 5 down and backs and we get timed. We always try to talk the coach out of it. It’s really taxing on the body. We all do it because it’s more mental toughness than it is physical toughness.

M&F: Do you have any special game day foods? Supplements?

ROY: I always try to get enough carbs and protein in me before a game. I usually eat pasta, baked chicken and potatoes. Also, during the season, my weight tends to drop, so I like to drink Muscle Milk to keep my body strong. I love it because I don’t have to try and squeeze in a meal when I’m traveling. I can just down a Muscle Milk and I know I’m eating healthy on the road.

M&F: You’re headed to the All-Star game this weekend for the second time. How excited are you?

ROY: I look forward to it. This All-Star weekend I’m going to really relax and try and enjoy myself. As soon as it’s over, I’ll start thinking about the second half of the season, because I know I’m going to go out there and work even harder to finish strong.

Thanks Brandon. Good luck with the rest of the season.