LeBron James’ Complete Training Routine And Diet Plan - Men's Health Magazine Australia

LeBron James’ Complete Training Routine And Diet Plan

This is how King James keeps smashing records at 38 years of age with a strict diet plan and resolute workout regimen.

LeBron James entered the NBA in 2003 at the age of 18 with perhaps the loftiest expectations ever bestowed upon an athlete. Touted as the heir to Michael Jordan’s throne and as a sure thing to be an all-time great, LeBron faced unprecedented pressure and scrutiny on his way to becoming one of the best basketball players of all time. 20 years on, LeBron has exceeded every expectation and has seemingly only gotten better with age.

Now approaching his forties, LeBron has shown no signs of slowing down. He recently became the NBA’s all time leading scorer, and his resurgent Los Angeles Lakers are making a playoff charge. Not only that, he’s consistently avoided injuries and prolonged his longevity far beyond what would be expected of most athletes. Behind LeBron’s high-flying dunks, athletic defensive prowess and scintillating scoring ability is a dedicated training routine and diet plan that has elevated his game and made him a dominant basketball force who will go down as one of the greatest to ever do it.

So just how does LeBron stay on top of his game after two decades as a pro athlete? Thankfully, we no longer have to wonder. Online fitness expert Total Shape has compiled the future hall of famer’s workout regimen and nutritional plan so you can incorporate LeBron’s training into your routine. But a word of warning: this program isn’t for the unmotivated. From high-intensity interval training to a strict diet, it’s no wonder LeBron has managed to consistently perform at the highest level.

LeBron James’ Workout Routine

There’s a saying that the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint. Talk to any player and they’ll likely tell you that’s true. With 82 regular season games, plus the preseason and playoffs, playing in the NBA is a gruelling and arduous endeavour. And LeBron’s undertaken that challenge for 20 years with breaks few and far between.

Similarly, breaks are also minimised during LeBron’s workouts. The 38-year-old utilises high intensity interval training (HIIT) to maximise his strength and endurance. Which is necessary for an athlete who needs to regularly sprint up and down a 28-metre basketball court. LeBron works out six times each week. Three of those workouts are weights sessions and the other three focus on plyometrics and cardio.

With building endurance and longevity in mind, LeBron recommends a 30-minute warm-up ahead of each workout session on an elliptical machine, bike or treadmill to get loose. His personal favourite method of warming up is a 10-minute uphill bike ride to build stamina. Similarly, LeBron also ends his workouts with a cool-down. He’ll typically do 20-minutes of yoga practice to cool down and absorb the post-workout effects.

Due to the lengthy season and his busy schedule, LeBron’s routine is subject to change throughout the year depending on game days, travel arrangements and other commitments, but he upholds many of the same high intensity principles in every workout. This is what a typical training week for LeBron looks like, in addition to on court practice and shootarounds.

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LeBron begins the week with a focus on his upper body. His Monday workout targets his chest, back, shoulders and arms for an all-round upper body burn.

Incline dumbbell bench press (3 sets of 10)

Wide grip lateral pulldowns (3 sets of 10)

One arm military press (3 sets of 10)

One arm dumbbell rows (3 sets of 10)

Barbell curl and skull crusher superset (3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise)


Tuesday is all about plyometric exercises, which is just a fancy way of saying exercises that use speed and force. LeBron can be found taking spin fitness classes on Tuesdays that last anything from 30 minutes to an hour.  He’ll follow this up with other plyometric exercises like stair climbing on a machine, lunges, push-ups, jump squats, push-up hops, and skipping.


As we get to the mid-week point, it’s all about the back, biceps and traps. LeBron’s doesn’t slow down on hump day and powers through the week with more HIIT to maximise the burn.

Pull-ups (3 sets of 10)

Bicep Curls (4 sets of 12)

Chin-ups (3 sets of 15)

Bent-over barbell rows (4 sets of 12)

Wide grip pull-ups (3 sets of 10)


All about the stamina, Thursday is cardio day. To begin the day, James will jump rope for 30 minutes (his self-proclaimed favourite exercise) to get the heart pumping before getting into another weights session. Once he’s done pumping iron, LeBron finishes his workout with a high intensity treadmill run lasting 15 to 30 minutes.

Pull-ups (3 sets of 10)

Dumbbell bench press (3 sets of 10)

Single-arm cable rows (3 sets of 10)

Cable Flyes (3 sets of 10)

Single-arm overhead press (3 sets of 8)

Leg curls (3 sets of 10)


The weekend is on the horizon, but there’s no time to let up when leg-day is in store. LeBron opts for both compound and isolation exercises to target all of his leg muscles. He follows up his leg workout with a series of calisthenics. This includes weighted jumps, jumping lunges, box jumps and push-ups. With three sets of 15 reps for each exercise.

Seated calf raises (4 sets of 12)

Leg press (4 sets of 12)

Leg curls (3 sets of 10)

Barbell squats (3 sets of 10)


As the weekend begins, LeBron gets back into plyometrics and another spin class. He also targets his core with a range of exercises with resistance bands.


Even the all-time greats need a break sometimes. After a busy week of training and playing, Sunday is reserved for a rest day. LeBron spends the day with his family and pursuing his passion projects. Proving that occasionally the best workout is taking a break.

LeBron James’ Diet Plan

Like all high-performance athletes know, training hard will only get you half-way there. Solid nutrition courtesy of a strict diet plan is just as important. And LeBron clearly agrees with that sentiment. The 38-year-old prioritises a high-protein nutritious diet for muscle maintenance and a lean physique that allows him to keep smashing records.


LeBron begins his day with protein and fruit. His typical breakfast includes egg-whites, omelettes, yoghurt, smoked salmon, berries and gluten-free pancakes. That’s quite a lot – but on the days LeBron doesn’t feel like eating much, he says he’ll simply have a bagel with peanut butter.

Lunch and Dinner

Lunch and dinner are usually similar meals for LeBron. They may vary depending on LeBron’s basketball commitments but tend to always be high in protein with lots of green goodness. Lunch and dinner includes rocket salad and vegetables with olive oil and a good source of protein such as chicken breast, along with a little pasta to provide enough carbs for muscle maintenance.

LeBron also loves a family dinner. None more so than taco Tuesday. While it isn’t the most nutrient-packed meal (we can assume Tuesday’s are a cheat day) Taco’s are one of LeBron’s favourite meals.


Experts might tell you that snacking is unhealthy, but if LeBron partakes in the occasional healthy snack, they can’t be that bad. LeBron loves fruits. So much so that he and his wife once owned a fresh fruit juice store in Miami back when LeBron was still playing for the Heat. Typically, when he’s feeling peckish, he reaches for apples, bananas and berries. When it’s halftime during his games, LeBron can often be seen munching on apple slices topped with almond or peanut butter.

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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