Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
So, it wasn’t the most memorable of seasons for the Detroit Pistons. The Motor City had playoff aspirations—after acquiring Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings in the off-season—but the team sputtered to a 29-53 record that will keep the not-so-long-ago league champs (remember 2004?) out of the post-season for five straight years (and counting).
When doling out the blame fingers, it’s easy to omit sixth man Rodney Stuckey from the equation. The seven-year veteran shooting guard (who has played his whole career in Motown) had another productive season off the bench, averaging 14 points. Stuck was especially hot in April, putting up 20 a game for a team clinging to its playoff hopes.
He probably won’t garner any Sixth Man of the Year attention playing for a losing squad, but Stuckey continues to put in work, as he has done his whole career. And by work we refer to a workmanlike approach to the game that fits in perfectly with the blue-collar city he plays for.
Stuckey is a hard-nosed competitor whose dedication on the court is matched by his dedication off the court. To put it more bluntly—the dude is jacked. As one of the more physically imposing guards in the league, Stuckey has poured time and dedication into the weight room throughout his career.
Like many hoop prospects, Stuckey didn’t get serious about lifting until he entered college. “In high school I was more on the scrawny side. I didn’t pay a lot of attention as far as weight training,” says Stuckey, who went on to star for two seasons at Eastern Washington University. “Obviously, it became more mandatory to start lifting weights. I started in the summer of my freshman year and just kept getting bigger and stronger. Ever since then I’ve just been addicted to it.”
Stuckey’s obsession transferred well to the NBA, where the players were even bigger and stronger; the schedule more grueling. Knowing he “needed to get to that next level” Stuck ramped up his regimen and modeled his game after another combo-guard with a knack for playing physical. “When I was coming up I loved watching Dwyane Wade. He was definitely one of my idols on the court.”
What Stuckey saw in Wade was a guard who, while not one of the best shooters on the floor, got “his” by driving fearlessly to the basket and either scoring or drawing a foul. In other words—going hard in the paint. Stuckey honed in on this part of his game knowing that the stronger he was physically, the more abuse he would be able to absorb on a nightly basis.
“I focused on attacking,” says Stuckey. “Getting into the paint, finishing in transition, going to the free throw line, getting easy buckets. Stuff like that is pretty much what I do well.” The results show, as Stuckey is annually among the league leaders in free throw attempts for guards. He tied for 12th this season, and did so behind several players logging way more than his 27 minutes per game.
Stuckey, who enters this off-season as a free agent, knows several teams can use a guy like him. This is especially true in the current evolving NBA where more teams play “small ball,” forgoing height (AKA, a rim protector) and leaving the paint more vulnerable. “That is definitely something I pay attention to,” says Stuckey. “Seeing who is in the game, what opportunities to take advantage of.”
Of course, while his physique has gotten him to where he is today, Stuckey knows there is a fine line between physical play and dirty play. “Nowadays, you can’t really be as physical with guys, or you’ll get called for a flagrant,” says Stuckey, harking back to an era when the Pistons especially were known to throw some ‘bows. “It’s not like the Bad Boys years where you can get away with pushing, punching, grabbing, all that stuff. There is no more of that (laughs).”
When it comes to diet, Stuckey lets the training staff handle his vitamin intake (as well as protein in the form of shakes), but still has some strict personal rules to live by. “No red meat. I’m more of a chicken and seafood guy,” says Stuckey, who is also a fan of yogurt and almond milk. “That also means no soda, no bread; I really try to stay away from carbs. I try to drink as much water as possible, all the stuff everyone should know. Just got to keep all the bad stuff out of my kitchen.”
When it comes to his current exercise regimen, Stuckey is a big proponent of P90X, which he likes for the variety it instills in his everyday routine. Banging bodies on the hardwood, Stuckey understands the importance of having strong legs, core, and upper body. He also mixes in some hot yoga to melt the stress away.
For those young ballers out there who want to take the same hard-nosed approach, Stuckey suggests that you hit the ground running. “I just say, the faster you start the better of you’ll be,” says Stuckey. “Just make sure you keep a routine; it’s definitely going to help you, not just your workout routine, but with life period. Having a routine of what you need to do each and every day and staying really committed to it. If you do that, you should be good.”
A day in the life of Stuckey’s workout routine:
Bench press: 3 sets of 10
Lat pulls: 3 sets of 10
Rowing: 3 sets of 10
Push-ups: 5 sets of 20, 7 pull ups in between every set of push-ups.
Legs—step-ups: 3 sets of 10. “I use 30 pound weights for the first set, 35 pounds for the second and 40 for the third set.”
P90x Abs workout. “10 different kind of abs routines exercises, 25 reps for each one.”