A couple of summers ago, Kobe Bryant changed his training program to get stronger, just like Michael Jordan in his day. Kobe gained between 6 and 7 pounds of muscle (he now weighs 220 pounds). He got a little slower, but managed to maintain, if not increase, his vertical jump! So how did you do that?
Let’s take a look at your weight training program – it’s a 6 days a week, 1 hour a day workout. The full program consists of weight training plus 2 hours of running, 2 hours of basketball, and 1 hour of cardio a day.
Day 1 and day 4:
Day 2 and day 5:
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Day 3 and day 6:
Back Squats / Front Squats
As you can see, days 1, 2, 4, and 5 are all about building upper body strength. Days 3 and 6 are all about your lower body, which gives you the power you need to jump really high.
Focusing on reducing his body fat percentage (less than 10%) allowed Kobe to save some weight that he actually gained by building muscle. In addition to exercise (running, cardio), following a good diet plan (for example, avoiding fat in the foods you eat, consuming a lot of protein, eating red meat only once a week, drinking lots of water too) is essential.
Now last summer (2007), before playing for Team USA, he lost almost 20 pounds. (he’s now 205 pounds) to regain his speed and worked his vertical as well.