Lebron James is an extremely influential, accomplished, and popular basketball superstar. He is a four-time MVP recipient, three-time NBA Champion, and two-time Olympic gold medalist - who has been compared to the likes of Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

In 2014, James was named Sports Illustrated’s Fittest Athlete and he has since placed in the top 10 in more recent years as well. His statistics are unmatched, he has a coveted physique, and many are curious as to how he maintains such a build and high level of performance year-round. Is it more than working on his game and playing basketball all the time? His preparation both on and off the court is what has developed him into one of the greatest basketball players, and perhaps athletes of all time.

We’ve got insight into his diet and workout routine; here’s how to eat and train like the great Lebron James.

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Lebron James’ diet

Lebron James eats a healthy, well-rounded diet.

In 2014, James went on a 67-day no sugar, no dairy, no carb diet, which dietitians and nutritionists say is only sustainable under careful planning, close monitoring, and supervision. This type of dieting is considered to be a version of the paleo diet – eating what was available for human consumption during the Paleolithic era (thousands of years ago).

This diet led to his estimated 15-20 pound weight loss, which he states was preparation for the upcoming season, and led to him being in the best shape of his life heading into his 30s.

To maintain his current build and physique, James limits his intake of alcohol, simple sugars, and red meat, and always consumes a protein shake 45 minutes post-workout. He eats a lot of chicken and lean protein sources, tons of fruits and vegetables, and consumes pasta and the occasional pizza as sources of carbohydrates.

Regarding his pre-game nutrition, Lebron James reported to Business Insider, "Before competition for me would be like a chicken breast and maybe a little pasta. The carbs help because you're going out and playing a lot of minutes," he said. "But a salad and some veggies will have me perfectly fine. And before the game, I might have a protein shake and some fruit, and I'll be ready to go. But as far as pies or pizza and sandwiches and french fries — I can't. I'll wait for that after the game. I can't do that before the game.”

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Lebron James’ workout routine

Lebron James’ workout routine includes a ton of variety; he takes fitness classes, does sport-specific training, cardio, strength training, and plays basketball regularly (obviously). His training is functional, smart, result-oriented, and likely the reason he’s been able to sustain a healthy 14-year career in the NBA with who knows how many more years to come. One key thing about James’ workouts is that they’re non-traditional and incorporate equipment that you may not see used regularly or even find in corporate/mainstream gyms.

Lebron James’ workout routine includes a ton of variety; he takes fitness classes, does sport-specific training, cardio, strength training, and plays basketball regularly (obviously). His training is functional, smart, result-oriented, and likely the reason he’s been able to sustain a healthy 14-year career in the NBA with who knows how many more years to come. One key thing about James’ workouts is that they’re non-traditional and incorporate equipment that you may not see used regularly or even find in corporate/mainstream gyms.

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According to an article by Buzzfeed, Lebron James firmly believes in 30-minute total body workouts, and his favorite machine (and class at Rise Nation) to do so with involves the Versaclimber. He even jokingly posted on Instagram that the Versaclimber is his girlfriend! The VersaClimber is a type of cardio machine that combines upper & lower body exercises - like pushing, pulling, and stepping - into a vertical climbing motion. He also frequently trains using other functional pieces of equipment, such as body blades, TRX suspension training, and physio balls.

James shared one of his workouts in video form on UNINTERRUPTED, a video and podcast network used by professional athletes. It showcased his strength, athleticism, and control, using moderate weights while focusing on good form and performing through a full range of motion. The workout included: sumo deadlifts, kneeling physio ball dumbbell curls, chin-ups, back squats, standing ab rollouts, cable chest presses, dumbbell lateral raises, med ball push-ups, and rotational chops.

Lebron James told Business Insider that during the season he trains seven days a week, including playing games on the weekend, and typically five days per week during the off-season. He went on to say, "Sometimes I stay at home and work out. Sometimes I'll go to an actual class. I've been to, like, VersaClimber classes, or spinning classes. I do pilates as well. So, it kind of varies depending on how I'm feeling.”

Keep doing what you’re doing - it’s working.

Image credit: Flickr

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