Basketball

Julius Randle's Diet Tips, Jet Lag Cure, and Total-Body Workout

The Laker explains how he dialed up the intensity in the gym to pour in more points on the court.

Julius Randle
John McCoy / Getty

This past summer, Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle went from slightly pudgy to totally ripped. With the help of his trainer, Amoila Cesar, C.P.T., Randle used grueling, medicine-ball-laden workouts and a smarter nutrition plan to drop 17 pounds, slash his body-fat percentage by 9 points, and chisel out six-pack abs.

“For me, it was about getting in the best shape I’ve ever been in,” says Randle, 23, who has since parlayed his leaner, meaner frame into better performances on the hardwood and a career-best scoring rate. Want to transform your own body? Here’s how to train like Randle.

TRIMMING THE FAT

“Julius came to me at 15% body fat needing to get down to 6%,” says Cesar (myexobody.com). “We accomplished that in less than five weeks. He was already very strong, so strength was never a focus point. Body fat, muscular endurance, agility, and recovery were the main focuses. We trained five days a week, spending 90 minutes per session in the gym. His program was broken into three pillars. Every four weeks, we focused on a new area, from hypertrophy and strength to agility and recovery.”

EATING RIGHT

“In addition to working out, the key was having a consistent diet,” says Randle. “Before last year, I wasn’t really a big eater in the mornings. I got on a meal plan, eating a lot of lean meats and vegetables. When I didn’t have time for a meal, I would eat a Met-Rx Big 100 bar. Those really helped. It’s easy to grab one and eat it on my way to work out. It definitely gives me the fuel I need to get through my training.”

CUT THE CRAP

“Diet is super important,” echoes Cesar. “I always say, you can’t out-train a bad diet. We focused on organic whole foods to minimize his exposure to hormones, pesticides, artificial flavors, and hidden sugars. We cut out dairy products and liquor. And he drank a gallon [128 ounces] of water every day.”

IN-SEASON TRAINING

“During the season I try to get in the gym and lift weights as much as I can, but it’s tough with traveling, practices, and games,” Randle says. “I don’t lift too much on game days, but whenever I can on a practice day or an off day, I get in the weight room and keep my body strong.”

WORK, WORK, WORK

“Julius trained really hard this off-season,” says Cesar, who put Randle through workouts that involved moves like barbell cleans, dumbbell floor presses, and med ball slams. “I told him, ‘You gotta work like you’re on a 10-day contract.’ I also told him that winners are made in the off-season. And finally, we made sure to finish the workout no matter what. I don’t care if you throw up. You get back up and finish the job.”

ESSENTIAL MOVES

“If I could do only one exercise to train for basketball, it would probably be burpees, because they work the whole body,” Randle says. “I did a lot of barbell burpees this summer. Those are really effective but really tough. Those will burn you quick. Another good pick for basketball training would be kettlebell swings.”

THE GRIND

“What’s my advice for handling jet lag? For me, I try to get adjusted to the new city as fast as I can,” says Randle. “I’ll get off the plane and go straight to the gym to get a sweat and a workout. Because if I’m sitting in the plane all day and then go to my hotel room, I feel sluggish. So I try to get a workout in as soon as I get off the plane. Get a sweat going, get a good meal, get some good rest, and be rejuvenated for the next day.”

CONTRACT YEAR

“It’s true, I’m in the last year of my contract,” Randle says. “But my motivation doesn’t really come from that. It’s more that I just want to be the best player I can possibly be. That’s really only where my motivation comes from.”

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