As the Warriors prepare to battle it out during this years NBA playoffs, we sat down with the teams Director of Performance, Keke Lyles, to get some inside information about the team’s training habits and Lyles’ best advice for the weight room.
What is your approach to player strength and conditioning?
I want to make sure I have a good understanding of the athlete’s strengths and weaknesses that we learn through tests and assessments. From that, I will sit down with the athlete and we will come up with a plan to address the issues we feel are most important. The goal is always their health first and then we will work on development.
Who is the most impressive guy you’ve seen in the weight room?
As far as pure strength, Nikola Pekovic is one of the strongest humans I have ever met, which is rare to see in the NBA. Most of our guys are extremely strong for their size and their explosiveness is off the charts. Stephen Curry is a guy most people look at and would never imagine what he is capable of in the weight room. He is one of the most impressive guys I have ever worked with.
What’s a training method that you’ve created or the craziest workout you make your guys do?
I am sure different athletes will have different answers, but I would have to say some of our summer circuits are very difficult, and are designed to push guys to their mental limits. This is more for them to gain an understanding that they are capable of doing much more than what they may think.
How do you get a guy over his fitness plateau?
The first thing is to figure out why they have hit a plateau in the first place. Are they over trained? Do they need to emphasize a new development? Have they reached their genetic potential? More times than not, they are simply fatigued or over trained, and a de load week can do wonders. And other times it would be worthwhile to do 3-4 months in a totally different phase and do things something totally different.
How do you recommend treating/preventing sore muscles?
Consistency is key. The first time anyone works out after a long break they will most likely be sore. But once you develop routine you will be much less likely to develop soreness. Other things that will help with soreness is making sure you are trying to maximize your recovery. That would include post workout cool downs, proper nutrition, and getting good sleep.
What workout would you recommend to supplement with weight training?
There has been a shift in interval training for cardio which certainly is good, but I think more and more people would actually greatly benefit from good cardiac output work, which is more of the old school steady state work for longer periods of time. However if you put the time into weight training then just make sure you put the time into you cardiac system as well.