Balancing the Load

How do you guys balance your training load between basketball specific work and weight training?

It seems I can keep going real well for about 8 weeks of weight training but then my body just dies and it takes 3-4+ weeks, of nothing, to get back to where I was and then I have still lost some strength.

Seems I also get burnt out. So I am wondering how everyone balances the training load of basketball specific and weight training.

School starts Wednesday the 16th, and I’m thinking I’ll be in the gym 5+ a week. Thinking about shooting at 6 every morning before school. Then lift after school or supper, 3x a week, most likely following a 5x5 scheme.


Give us some more specifics on what you were doing before you got run down.

Exercise, sets reps rest between sets etc. How long you’ve been lifting as well. Your height and weight.

Alright, obviously I am a basketball player, and I am guilty of having the build. I’m 6’2" 150lbs.

What I did early this summer was just Defrancos WSFSB routine. 2 Upper and 1 Lower. My schedule looked something like this.

Sunday: 7 Tournies throughout summer
Monday: A.M. Upper - P.M. 2 League Games
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: Lower
Thursday: 2 League Games
Saturday: 7 Tournies throughout summer

Had 7 tournaments throughout weekends on summer, these were from Friday to Sunday. And about every other day I would be in the gym shooting jumpers. I’m trying to devise a plan where I can fit 5x5 and basketball in at the same time so I can get stronger as well as improve my game. I know I may have to sacrifice a little of one to get the other. If you need anything more just ask.


In addition to your height/weight, some other info might useful like

lifting numbers:

-Bench Press
-Bodyweight pullup rep max
-Pushup rep max

some speed-strength numbers:

-standing VJ
-running VJ
-sprint times
-agility times (5-10-5, etc.)

and basketball indicators:

-<90% or >90% in FT shooting
-good weak hand in ball-handling and finishes
-are you a good defender
-are you tactically sound

What do you feel your weaknesses are in terms of basketball?

What are your strengths in basketball?


when i was training hardcore for basketball…i made sure i was only playing games one day/week. i told my AAU coach this and he was fine with it.

the other days were spent on skills.
ppl put way too much emphasis on games still…even after euros come in with skill year after year. your not a genetic freak so work on skills man.


nearly everyday

i would take one aspect of my game each summer and beat it to death.

the 5star basketball camp was awesome for me because it focuses alot on skills taught by the best coaches. then games would be in the afternoon.

i bet ur weight gain is dependent on ur diet. u aint eating enough and i guarantee it.

in short i would drop the unecessary league games and stick with the weekend tourneys. and focus on skills.
take some powerdrive everyday, take frequent naps, and keep at it all summer and u wont burnout. the games will burn u out.

also: waking up at 6am is not a good idea for burnout reasons…because u prolly wont be getting adequete sleep if ur a typical h.s. kid. if u are getting a lot of sleep then keep the 6am sessions because they can be good if u dont have the time during school. its just i know i didnt have time with studying and everything

I totally agree with TJ2K on the skill training vs. AAU games. The AAU games are showcases for the players. They’re not necessarily going to get you better.

Even at the pro level, Europeans still have a higher practice/game ratio than in the NBA and thus there is more time to work on their skills. It is obvious that the American players are above and beyond everyone else in terms of athleticism, yet the foreign teams still managed to get victories in recent years. Team chemistry and skill were the recipes for their success.

I’ve heard Peja Stojakovic can hit 85/100 NBA 3 pointers by himself. Steve Nash could shoot something like 80-85/100 FTs with his EYES CLOSED in some bet or contest thing and I think this was when he was in HS. LeBron throws absolute BULLET passes with his left hand.

So, less summer stuff, more individual work, will make you a better player, but possibly get you less exposure. But, if you’re a better player, and do well on your school team, you will get more exposure so, there it is for you to decide.

So those are some things to shoot for. Hope you got your vitamin E ready…

Thanks for the advice. I already knew that I did way to much playing and not enough skill work this summer but it helps to hear it from a group of knowledgable athletes.

and for adbrauner…

-Olympic Squat: 215
-Deadlift: 265(quite along while ago)
-Bench Press: 140-150
-Bodyweight pullup rep max: 8-10
-Pushup rep max- ?

some speed-strength numbers:

-standing VJ: 25-26
-running VJ: 27-28
-sprint times - ?
-agility times (5-10-5, etc.) - ?

and basketball indicators:

-<90% or >90% in FT shooting - was a 90%ft this year during season
-good weak hand in ball-handling and finishes - can handle well with both hands
-are you a good defender - no, needs work
-are you tactically sound - definetely

I’m a student of the game. What hurts me most is my lack of athleticism. I’m not very quick or strong, which I think hurts my defense. So what hurts me the most I think is…speed and strength.

Alright dude we got some good info here.

Firstly, just from stopping so much full court volume, your speed/strength should get better because you will be fresher. And like TJ2K said, you need to EAT, especially if you’re going to continue playing full court while trying to get stronger and bigger.

As for organization of your plan, it looks pretty good.

Personally, I would do about an hour of low intensity skill work everyday. Make it pretty brisk so that you get in and out. Get in and work up a sweat, off hand layups on every rebound, dribbling up and down doing basic stuff mostly with off hand, one handed passing against the wall with both hands, FTs with both hands, then 3s once you’re warm and got the touch going. But the point is just keep the LI days easy. So just do whatever you want to do and get the blood flowing and get out.

Then on your HI days, you could do some more explosive moves and drills and shots. If you could precede this stuff with sprints on the track with spikes, that would be awesome. Games of 21, 1 on 1, and 3 on 3 would be good too. Follow this with weights, and then maybe you can get on the court again for a little low intensity stuff just to get your touch back.

It is also still up for debate whether jump shots with considerable lift are really CNS intensive enough to keep only to HI days. I’m still experimenting with this but school, work, and a hamstring are kicking my ass.

I think one of the HARDEST things with basketball, is trying to get into the gym and practice by yourself, without being dragged into some runs by the other guys.

Some other things to think about:
-Considering you are tactically and technically sound, maybe you can even lower the volume of your skill work to just a maintenance level. This way more time can be spent on your speed and strength.
-“Speed kills” Speed/quickness should be your most important goal in your physical preparation. It is even more important than how high you can jump. Your first step is more important than your 10 yard dash time. The guy who can jump quicker than everyone yet can’t even dunk, is still going to dominate the game.
-Some people freak out about gaining weight or gaining too much muscle mass. At 6’2 150 though I think you can afford to gain 20 pounds at the least. NBA point guards aren’t necessarily toothpicks anymore either so don’t worry you won’t get “big” and “bulky” and slow from weight training and eating.

alright thanks for all the advice adbrauner. i’m still having some trouble combining everything. i’ve just got 12 weeks until basketball starts, so i need to try to get as fast as possible. i’ll draw something up later and post it.

ok ok
what my team used to do that also really helped me was a drill we called 60-30-15’s
in which u get in the key and u go from block to block side to side lateral shuffling for 60 seconds as hard as possible, then take 60s break, then go hard for 30s, 30s break, than go hard 15s, and ur done,this is real hard to do at first,…

also another drilll is to do lateral slides in the sand…(i have a beach nearby so i can benefit)…

this is what i did for a full summer and i gained huge quickness for the folllowing bball year.

With that said, execution is everything. Once you’ve learned a certain skill, you need to execute it at a quick speed a lot of times to become quick. I see so many hockey players doing stuff at a slow pace and they wonder why they can’t make it anywhere when they get older.

Also how old are you? You’re 6’2" and 150 (these were my stats in the summer going into grade 12, not a pretty sight).

Maybe you could give a little rundown on your eating habits. I’m still curious about the sickness thing. I do think your volume of games was quite high.

i’m 16, going into 11th grade. i’ve got a bunch of damn food allergies that i’m going to blame a little bit for my weight. i’m supposed to eat very limited or no amounts of all corn prodcucts, soy, chicken, oats, flour, wheat, and oranges.

I think I snack too much between meals which cuts back from my main meals, plus the snack wouldn’t really qualify for an in-between, smaller meal.

Wow that’s pretty restricted. My wife is sensitive to corn and just that is a pain in the butt let alone al the others you’ve listed.

You’re probably ripped, well hopefully at that height and weight.

I see you can do dairy. Do you do whey protein drinks? They are really cheap per gram of protein.

i have whey protein, haven’t really found any good shake recipes that i’ve been too fond of yet though… any idaeS?

If it’s chocolate then just add water.

If it’s unflavoured then you can add it to pretty much anything else to make it taste worse.

i like chocolate milk

most chocolate milk has corn syrup in it though.

12 Weeks to Start of Season

Next 8 Weeks

Sunday: OFF
Monday: A.M. HI Basketball Work
P.M. 5x5

Tuesday: A.M. or P.M. LI Basketball Work

Wednesday: A.M. LI Basketball Work
P.M. Short Sprints followed by 5x5

Thursday: A.M. or P.M. LI Basketball Work

Friday: A.M. HI Basketball Work
P.M. 5x5

Saturday: A.M. or P.M. - LI Basketball Work or OFF

Last 4 Weeks Before Season
- Maybe go into 2 or 3 weight training sessions a week, will boost up the conditioning work.

	The 5x5 Program

Monday: Squat, Bench, Barbell Row (all 5x5), GHR, Core
- Ramping weight to top set of 5 (which should equal the previous Friday’s heavy triple)

Wednesday: Squat, Incline or Military, Deadlift (all 4x5), Core
- For squat the first 3 sets are the same as Monday, the 4th set is repeating the 3rd set again. For other two its ramping weight to top set of 5.

Friday: Squat, Bench, Barbell Row (all 4x5, 1x3), Beach Work
- First 4 sets are the same as Monday’s, the triple is 2.5% above your Monday top set of 5.


  • Trying to follow somewhat of a HI/LO split.

  • HI basketball work will consist of 150-200 jump shots at game speed, this should take like 30-40 minutes before school.

  • LI basketball work will be dribbling drills, passes, maybe some defensive slides, 20-50 jump shots at less then 100%.

Questions and Concerns:

  • Need to work on defense more, thinking I should just throw that in on HI basketball skill work day?

  • Is 1 day of sprints for 8 weeks good enough, or should I toss in another day?

  • On Tue/Thu/Sat I can get in my light basketball workout whenever, so maybe I’ll put it in P.M. so I can sleep in longer.

How’s that look?

In terms of Hi/Lo your setup is looking good. Your weights are after your speed-strength activities so thats good. You are getting in some actual speed work, so that is good.

As for your Questions:

    • Need to work on defense more, thinking I should just throw that in on HI basketball skill work day?[/b]

I think Duxx said that 30% of all HI basketball movement is in the lateral defensive slide. So right there you know that this is an extremely important ability. I don’t think that the defensive slide is as tough on your joints as other agility drills, so ya it might be a good idea.

To me, defense is so important anyways. Defense is played for 1/2 the game. You don’t need the rock to play defense so you will ALWAYS get a chance to show your defensive skills.

However, depending on your offense, other players scoring/passing dispositions, and your coach, you might not always get a chance to show your stuff on offense. You could even be a great passer and not even scorer, but if your guys can’t move without the ball then it’s for nothing.

2. - Is 1 day of sprints for 8 weeks good enough, or should I toss in another day?

It’s better than nothing, and a bball player only needs limited volume. However, you could say that, this is the offseason where you are supposed to develop your general physical abilities. Plus, you say speed and strength are your greatest weaknesses right now though, and your skills are relatively better. So, keep this in mind. 2 days of speed wouldn’t be bad, especially in your situation. 3 days would overdo it I think.

If you can, do HI skill and speed work on the same day but, if not I think you can just do speed work. You’re gettin in plenty of LI skill work anyways so you should be good. In preseason or pre-pre-season you can up the bball skill stuff in both HI and LI manner.

3. - On Tue/Thu/Sat I can get in my light basketball workout whenever, so maybe I’ll put it in P.M. so I can sleep in longer.

No problem there.

I see you’re gonna do all your HI work in the morning, so I doubt any of your buddies will wanna wake up to play some 1 on 1 or 3s or 21 etc. It’s your schedule, but I would try to work in some of those half court games so you can implement your moves. Doing all the HI bball work is great but you MUST implement your actual moves in games like these or you will just forget to when you play a real game.

The reason for the HI skill work in morning is so that my legs will be fresh in afternoon so I can lift. Instead of doing HI skill work in the afternoon and then lift right after that.

"If you can, do HI skill and speed work on the same day but, if not I think you can just do speed work. You’re gettin in plenty of LI skill work anyways so you should be good. In preseason or pre-pre-season you can up the bball skill stuff in both HI and LI manner. "

So, I should do HI skill, sprints, and lifting on one HI day? Because, every HI day I have, I am lifting.