50. There are optimal times of the day to stretch based on natural human cycles and rhythms: 11 AM and 2 PM. Always fully warm up before flexibility training, and remember that outside heat sources (ex. a warm shower/bath) do not sufficiently warm your muscles like activity does.
51. After training, you should consume 25% of your daily intake of protein. The more easily digestible it is, the better. Some elite trainers recommend taking your fix "before the sweat on your body dries" and it's not bad advice. Make sure to follow the rules (rehydration, then simple sugars first).
52. When you train explosively, you are training the ATP/CP anaerobic system, which is for extreme explosive strength for very short periods of time (5-10 seconds). Remember also, that your fastest twitching fibers burn out in about the same duration of time, so to train the most explosive group in your body you must train to fatigue within 5-10 seconds. This can be done by training 100% maximally for 5-10 seconds when doing your most explosive training.
53. After an intense short set, your body's ATP/CP supply is in a diminished state (ATP is the body's fuel source and CP-creatine phosphate- can be broken down into ATP easily). It takes 4-5 minutes to replenish 90%+ of this reserve, so long rest intervals are beneficial when doing explosive or central nervous system training (this includes plyometrics, olympic lifts, 1 RM's, speed training, etc.).
54. Although isolation should never be on your mind, do pay attention to the muscle fiber composition of the muscle groups being trained. For example, your soleus (lower part of your calf) is 80% slow twitch; higher reps are usually more beneficial here.
55. Don't ever enter a swimming pool. The chemicals such as chlorine enter your skin and damage your body. Deodorants, hair products, toothpastes, and aerosols are largely responsible for genetic mutations and illnesses of this century. If it's not natural, don't use it! There are completely natural products that can be replaced in all situations, free of charge. There is a certain kind of stone, for example, that you can rub in your underarms each day that completely prevents body odor naturally. Do your research, and follow your intuition.
56. Above all, pay attention to how you feel at all times, closely observing your body and mind's reaction to any event, dietary choice, or environment. By sharpening your awareness and listening to your body, you will be able to listen to your own infinite wisdom and take your customized training program to the next level.
57. Any training that works the slow twitch fibers (usually less intense, longer lasting exercise like jogging) will take away from your gains. Remember that your in-between muscle fibers can become trained to act like either fast or slow twitch; live and train accordingly. The act of jumping is 100% anaerobic (ATP/CP). In a game, you are rarely (if ever) using your aerobic system, as basketball is 80-100% anaerobic. This means that you should be training MAXIMALLY and EXPLOSIVELY in each way that you train (on and off the court). Walk faster. Practise faster yet. Think and react more quickly. You are always training, whether you like it or not; how do you want to evolve?
58. Once a week, take a very hot bath and stay in for 15-20 minutes. You gain when you recover, not when you train.
59. A proper cooldown takes longer than most trainers recommend; 20-30 minutes of light activity after your workout is needed. The point is to accelerate the draining of acids out of your body, so you should continue at a pace that keeps you sweating lightly but does not exert you. This is a good time for basketball skill training.
60. By anchoring a word with a specific action, you can train your mind and body to duplicate an exact motion on command. This is one of the secrets behind the world-record 2,300 free throws in a row. Stand a few feet from the basket, where you can easily swish every shot. With each shot, immediately after seeing the ball go through the rim, repeat a trigger word (such as Swish!), either out loud or in your mind. After pairing the trigger word (Swish!) with the action (sinking a shot), you have programmed your mind with an anchor (program this skill atleast a few hundred times - up to tens of thousands). In competitions, you can now simply think or say your trigger word before taking a shot. Results? The record-holder for shooting is an 81 year old doctor who had learned to shoot a basketball only a year before. He walked off the court, ready for his nap, without a miss.
61. Use the atmospheric ions to fuel you. How do you feel when you witness a huge lightning storm from your front step? It fills you with energy, doesn't it? That's because there is a huge concentration of negative ions in the air during a lightning storm, which strongly affects your mood. Take a girl on a date to Niagara Falls; this is the highest concentration of negative ions in the world, making her feel the love much more strongly than usual. Actually, just by her crossing this (or any other) bridge will increase your chances by 500% (believe it or not, this was actually a real experiment from Year 2 of my program), but that's getting into a different section ;) The important part is this; the moon cycles and how they affect the ions. For example, we always start each phase during a new moon. Anything you start at this time, you will be many times more likely to finish, as your mindset during this critical period lingers throughout the entire lunar phase.
62. If you want to destroy your opponent, make him think. Compliment or comment on specifics of his technique (for example: "I've noticed how you keep your elbow completely straight when you shoot - you have great fundamentals!"). Once his actions are conscious, he has already lost. Popularizing the concept of "Wei wu wei" was about the only benefit Air Alert ever brought the masses, but it is a great saying; don't think, just play.
63. Bruce Lee called them "soft eyes." The idea is to look without looking; you should never focus on a specific point on the court, but rather allow yourself to passively see everything around you equally. Practise your "court awareness" all the time, always using soft eyes and practising focusing on details in your peripheral vision. Remember the warrior mindset: be one step ahead, training all the time.
64. Keeping your temperament is one of the most important things to master in a game setting. When you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take a second to close your eyes and point your focus downwards. Focus only on your breathing for a couple deep breaths while repeating "relax" or "let go". Remember that your preparation is done; it's time now to go and enjoy playing the game. Step back out on the court, have no fear, and take it to the next level.
65. You can literally hypnotize your opponent on the court, making him completely useless against any move for a second or two. By overloading someone's mind with commands or stimuli and then shouting a command, you can bypass the conscious mind and force your opponent to obey anything you say. Masters of this move will learn to do something unexpected (streetballers are the best at this; for example, you could dance or pretend to roll your ankle) to confuse their opponent (for the instant, he is "frozen up"). By following this antic with either a physical or mental command ("Stop!", "Freeze!" or simply a fake to the left), the opponent will be frozen up and you will make him look silly. It takes practise, and it requires you to have no fear in stepping up to your opponent. Watch Derren Brown use this technique: by simply talking to a cab driver and keeping his mind overloaded with information, he can make them forget how to get to a place they've been thousands of times.
66. It's easy to cut your body fat percentage down to where it should be (around 10% or a little less). Eat lots of organic grapefruits, as they contain an enzyme that burns fat quickly. Eat a big breakfast. Add a little hot sauce here and there to boost your metabolism. Avoid consuming TOO many dairy products as they contain growth hormones which will make you fatter. Don't worry if you are overweight right now--think of it as a natural weight vest. A basketball player's ideal BF is around 7-8%. For most athletes, that means they could stand to lose around 7-8 pounds; imagine how much lower your vertical is with that much extra weight on you!
67. As a general rule, your body can't digest much more than 30 grams of protein at a sitting. Except for the meal immediately after your workout (you can eat more here, as your body is in a needy state), space your protein out evenly throughout the day. Your post-workout meal usually requires about 25% of your daily intake of protein.
68. Immediately after training, you must first rehydrate yourself. If your body is in a dehydrated state, you will not be able to absorb nutrients as easily. Next in order of importance comes quick-digesting sugars to begin repleneshing the glucose-starved areas as soon as possible. 15-20 grams each of glucose and fructose is ideal; the glucose will be shot right into the muscles with no insulin boost (as sugar is needed here), and the fructose replenishes the liver. After this, protein is important. 20-25% of your daily intake of protein of highly digestible protein should be consumed at your post-workout meal; that means 20-40 grams, depending on body weight and training goals. Lastly comes the complex carbs. By loading up on carbs after your workout, since your muscles are in a deplenished state, up to twice as many carbs can actually be stored in the muscles, allowing you to train harder and longer next workout. Slow-absorbing complex carbs are the best way to go here, but make sure they are low-glycemic (less than 70 or so).
69. When you cook, use extra virgin olive oil. It should be your main source of fat. Keep your meat and carb sources as lean as possible, as the fat content in these foods usually consists of "bad" types of fat. Walnut, flaxseed, and canola oils are all excellent sources too.
70. As soon as you wake up (before even getting out of bed) each morning, measure your RHR (resting heart rate). By recording this in your training log each day, you can monitor not only progress but overtraining as well. If your RHR ever jumps up by more than 7-8 beats per minute from average levels (take an average of the previous week), it is a strong indicator of overtraining. Other telltale signs are inability to sleep, low waking body weight (consistent weight drops by more than 2-3 pounds), and attitude.
71. Superset opposite muscle groups. When you do a lift, your prime movers (agonists) aren't all that are working. Your opposite muscle groups (antagonists) are pulling against the prime mover to slow it down; this is a defense mechanism your body uses to make sure you don't hyperextend your joints. Go ahead and do a biceps curl while feeling your triceps to see how this works; you'll feel them contract on the lowering part of the lift, tensing up maximally just before the joint extends fully. Now, we can trick our bodies by weakening the antagonists. If you train the antagonist muscle group just before your set, then they aren't able to pull as hard, and your prime movers can exert more force. This instantly boosts your lifts by 5% or so. Since you need to keep opposite muscle groups as balanced as possible, it's not a bad idea to superset every lift with an opposite lift. This saves time in the gym, builds up your stamina, and maxes out your lifts all at the same time while keeping you balanced and in proportion (your opposite muscle groups should usually be similar in strength).
72. Ballistic antagonist stretching. We're warned of the dangers of ballistically (jerkingly) stretching our muscles as this leads to an instant decrease in strength, although there are places for it sparingly in flexibility training. By ballistically stretching the antagonists immediately prior to a set, we can use the principle from #71 to increase our strength instantly. For example, you could ballistically stretch your upper back by gripping a pole with two hands and leaning back at the waist. Bounce this stretch a few times, and then immediately go bench or do pushups. You'll be noticeably stronger.
73. By pressing the tip of your tongue into the roof of your mouth, just behind your top front teeth, you will always automatically train with good posture. Remember that the posture you are in while you train is every bit as important as the training itself. You should use this position when meditating as well.
74. Align yourself. This is probably these most important yet underrated aspect of training. Almost every athlete (perhaps excluding some martial artists) develop massive imbalances, focusing only on their big muscles and paying no attention to the body as a whole. These imbalances make athletes plateau at the elite level you commonly see; the potential for gains beyond this level is huge. The biggest mistakes athletes make are in their foot stance, spine alignment, and neck/head alignment. Have you ever worn a pair of sandals for a long time until they start to wear down? If you are like most people, the outside of the shoe is worn down very quickly because most people stand to the sides of their foot, rather than directly in the middle. Over time this leads to imbalances in the ankle, hips, and back. When you stand and walk, always make a conscious effort to walk in the middle of your foot, evenly balanced. This will take a lot of practise at first, but over time, your entire body will respond. For example, if you are a "curved back", you probably have a very strong lower back but weak lower abdominals. Others who hunch a lot have extremely developed upper back muscles but a weak chest; this is because when you are imbalanced, some muscles are working overtime to overcompensate for others not working at all, contributing to a further imbalance. Training at a higher than elite level is about balance, proper alignment, and training the little muscles. To discover if your spine is straight, stand with your back against a wall. Have a partner try to put his or her hand in between your back and the wall - if it fits, you are a "curved back." This means that you must suck in your belly button and rotate your hips up whenever you train. Once you correct your posture your abdominals will be trained all the time and your gains will go through the roof. Finally, always make sure your chin is pointing towards your belly button; imagine a straight line going from one to the other. Keep your shoulders down, not tensed up in a shrug position. We develop a great deal of tightness in this area especially over our lives and it causes energy blockages and muscle problems later in life, greatly affecting our performance at all times. Simply having different posture changes your mood instantly, as it allows greater energy flow. People perceive the difference instantly, consciously or not. It is essential to correct your body alignment before every single lift. Simply training with your body shifted into the most effective and natural position will train completely different muscle groups and strengthen sleeping muscles that contribute to performance in a very big way.
75. Regulate your temperature. Warmup is key, but becoming too hot in a workout destroys your anaerobic capacity. Once a light sweat appears on your forehead, stay at that temperature. Use fans between sets and dress as lightly as possible. Remain aware that taking a hot or cold shower doesn't actually change your inner body temperature that much.
76. Fascial stretching. Want to get bigger without gaining unnecessary weight? There is a long-lost Soviet technique for doing just this, ideal for power athletes. By aggressively massaging the fascia (done by placing a high degree of pressure on the just trained muscle group and rubbing) you can actually increase the surface area of the muscle groups. Be warned; done correctly, it will be painful. Expect your muscles to be red afterwords.
77. Balance through VARIATION is a universal necessity. One of the rules of training is that the body will adapt to anything, but another rule dictates that the body adapts in a very specific manner only. Since 80% of our gains are generated through the first set of an exercise, by varying every single set and effectively making each set the first and only time we do that exact exercise, the gains-effort ratio will be as high as possible. An exercise can be varied by changing the grip, stance, equipment, tempo, range, rest interval, and other factors, making hundreds of possible combinations for any exercise.
78. Forget what the government tells you about micronutrients. Athletes need 4-5x the amount of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that sedentary people do. Since the RDA's are based on sedentary people and are somewhat inaccurate anyways, don't pay any attention to them. Athletes ALWAYS have completely different needs. It's possible to get everything you need from food, but most people, especially in the Western world, are short. A high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral is recommended, although it should be used to supplement, not replace, a healthy, varied diet.
79. Touch train. Somehow, although this new method catalogued huge results when first discovered, it never received any attention. Simply by touching (or having your gym partner touch) the muscle groups being trained, your gains will improve. Arnold Schwarzenegger used to recommend focusing all one's attention into the muscle group being trained, pretending you actually are that muscle. By focusing more and more awareness to your muscles, more energy can be chanelled, giving you more power and decreasing recovery time. Touching the body part is the quickest route to this awareness, but no shortcuts can be made to replace disciplined mental intention.
80. The short period of time each morning in between sleep and wake is vital. For these brief few seconds, your mind is in an ideal state for programming, temporarily free of any thought or anxiety. Immediately upon waking up each morning, before becoming fully aware, you should utilize this time to change the outcome of the day. Visualize and create the kind of day you wish to have, or detail two specific events. For example, you might visualize yourself doing a heavy workout or approaching that hottie in your Math class. This technique works!
81. Remember that you have three energy systems, just as you have three types of muscle fibers - the ATP/CP, anaerobic, and aerobic systems. The ATP/CP system lasts only 5-10 seconds (until the muscles are depleted of ATP and creatine phosphate) until it must rely on the anaerobic system (which relies on glycogen, or "muscle sugar"), and takes over until about the two minute mark. This is why it's difficult to exert effort maximally for much more than 10 seconds or so (think of sprinting for as long as you can before you begin to slow down). The ATP/CP system is by far the most efficient for maximal power and explosion, as in a jump. Basketball is 80% anaerobic, so you'd be using the anaerobic system for most of the game. When you train, keep this in mind; when training for maximal jumping power rather than endurance, your sets should be aimed at fatiguing the muscles within the 5-10 second window (try maximally explosive 5 rep sets with half the weight you can lift once and see how explosive you become). You don't need to train to failure! At the same time, you have to be able to elevate at the end of the game, once your ATP stores are depleted, so training both systems specifically would be in your best interest.
82. Too much protein can be as disastrous as not enough. If there's not enough protein, the muscles can actually turn to themselves for food, and muscle catabolism occurs. Some trainers tell you that too much protein isn't a big deal, as it is simply converted to sugar. But this is a process which is not only taxing on the body but leaves you with excessive levels of uric acid, which can sabotage your gains. When you are training heavy and/or adding muscle mass, you will need, at most, around one gram of protein per poud of lean body mass (usually works out to be about 3 grams of protein per 4 pounds of body weight). Watch your nutrition requirements closely. Real (actual muscle tissue building, as opposed to weight gain through extra water retention, etc.) hypertrophy takes time; aim for long term gains.
83. This trick added a couple inches for me when I first tried it, allowing me to put down the first dunk of my life. The secret? My teammate in front of me in the layup line was 6'6 and put down a slam. Simply surrounding yourself with great jumpers will adjust your expectations, highering your own mental plateaus. The old saying goes; "If you live with the lame, you will become lame yourself." Surrounding yourself with greatness is the surest way to become great. Think about how you change when you are surrounded by positive, energetic, enthusiastic people rather than burnouts.
84. Always be aware that everything you perceive is a vibration, from a guitar note, tree, or house to your body. By increasing your vibration (increasing your energy), you automatically tap into your physical and mental power. Beware of anything that lowers your vibration: these things are your enemy. Realize that sugar, drugs (including tobacco, alcohol, medication, aspartame, additives, preservatives, etc.) are poisons to your body. Once you begin meditating more, you'll realize intuitively how each food, object, and person will affect your energy. At the mental level, fear is the ultimate cause of decreasing one's vibration. Fear's opposite is love. Where there is one, there can not be another. Follow the path of love, and you can't go wrong. The basis of the media is fear-based advertising; make your own decisions, but know that watching television can and does have an extremely powerful effect on you. Be aware.
85. Stop thinking. True wisdom is in action. When in doubt about what to do, always do SOMETHING. Most people spend the majority of their lives in non-action, with their minds trapped either in the past or the present. When you stop thinking, you are simply aware, and you are living in the present. No matter what has happened in the past, you are the exact same person NOW. No amount of thinking will change that. Only by being honest to yourself and looking at what can be done to improve will you take the next step that 90% of people don't take.
86. Here is one of the most powerful principles you will use: act as if. First, imagine the athlete you wish to be two years down the road. Visualize how he lives, trains, interacts with others, and even his posture and demeanour. What's his game and vertical like? This is a good technique to use during or after a meditation session; it can also be modified by visualizing a real athlete who has great ability in any technique and then imagining becoming him. Act like him all the time, from the second you wake up to the second you go to sleep. Don't have confidence? Pretend. Take it seriously, and practise it. By changing your intention, you can literally change reality.
87. You should have a goal each week for how much vertical you want to gain. I have all my athletes mark their hand or arm with a marker, so they are constantly focused on their target. Some start hitting their target mark on rim in their dreams; not one has ever missed their weekly goal.
88. Rotate your joints at the end of a static stretch or lift when appropriate (ex. rotate your right hand counter-clockwise at the end of a curl, rotate your left hand clockwise during a triceps kickback, or your ankle at the end of a quad stretch).
89. Sleep on your right side (aids digestion).
90. Everybody has a "fix"-- your biggest pleasure which takes you (mentally and physically) away from training. Your fix is usually something you use to escape reality or to remove the anxiety you may feel in everyday life. For some, this fix or addiction can be alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. For others, it can be food (processed sugar, fast food, etc.), television, shopping, sex, gambling, working, or obtaining status or power. For many of you, your friends will be the biggest distraction. By knowing what your addiction is and becoming aware of how the cycle occurs, you can take steps to prevent it and remove the biggest obstacle to your training gains. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you aren't an addict simply because you don't do drugs; everyone is an addict in their own way, and a big part of Evolution involves slowly detaching yourself from every one of these harmful activities, replacing that with something beneficial.
91. Listen to "Subliminal Hops" every day. Although it's ideal to meditate or visualize while you listen, this is not necessary (the important thing is to listen to the 30 minute track every day). You must use headphones. The results of this new technology are incredible, allowing a novice to access mental states usually reserved to heavily trained meditators. By having two very precisely different tones played in each ear (one tone is usually a very small 0.1-2 Hz different from the other), the difference slowly alters your brainwaves. The results aren't instant, but over months, dramatic changes can be measured as your brainwaves shift from alpha to delta. Within a month or two, your brainwaves will actually rival the brainwaves of someone who has been meditating heavily for a year. This is the only technological shortcut I know to building your energy (although remember, it's best to mentally train while you listen to it than simply listening passively). Go easy at first, only listening to Track 1 for the first week (after this, you can listen to the 2nd track immediately after track 1). Some people get sick if they listen to the whole hour audio the first time around, as the effect is pretty powerful.
92. Wear 2 pairs of socks (the first pair inside out). This makes your shoes more tight-fitting, decreasing the chances of ankle injury greatly, but also allowing you more mobility and quickness.
93. Do 747's every day (but not immediately before a game). Ankle injuries are extremely common but ridiculously easy to prevent. 747's are performed by standing on one foot (with leg straight but not locked), and bending at the waist. First, bend as far forward as you can (you should have to fight to keep balance, building ankle stability) and hold for 30 seconds. Second, bend backwards, and then bend to the side. Repeat all 3 directions for the other leg. You should fall at least once or twice, or you should be bending more to increase the degree of difficulty.
94. If you ever get sick or sore, find some eucalyptus oil and rub a drop or two on the painful area. Within 30 minutes, your symptoms should be noticeably reduced, drug-free. This works on anything from headaches and stomach pains to sore muscles. Some ancient civilizations thought so highly of eucalyptus oil that it was traded as currency.
95. If you are using a glutamine supplement, cut it out and replace it with ornithine alpha-ketogluturate (AKG). Glutamine can be made by this, without increasing your body's ammonia supply. Taking 2-3 grams of AKG at every meal will increase growth hormone release, boost insulin drive, and allow you to train harder.
96. Make sure your protein sources are HIGH-quality. No matter how much protein you get from less than optimal sources, it will never lead to optimal training. Remember that a lot of supplement companies (if not all) are CORPORATIONS, making the best-sounding product possible while saving costs. That means that you'll see a lot of casein protein and whey. The best quality protein sources are whey protein CONCENTRATE and egg white (albumin) protein. Fish, beef, and chicken sources are pretty good. Stay away from everything else, or you won't get enough amino acids and your nitrogen balance will be thrown well off. Simply getting better quality protein than your opponents has been linked to improving muscle growth by 20%!
97. Use light vibrations to your advantage. In revolutionary new studies in color therapy, simply staring at a red object while training increased strength levels instantly by 13.5%!!! This should come as no surprise to you by now, since we are vibrating entities that respond to different vibrations. However, be careful with this technique. Using too much red leads to increased hostility and aggression, so use it sparingly, for heavy lifts. Use blue and purple colors to calm down during your cooldown or if you feel yourself getting too "redded out". You should try to wear white as much as possible throughout the day (or colors close to white), as this attracts the most positive energy. You should feel the effect right away.
98. Be aware of how different machines negatively affect your energy. Laptops, televisions, microwaves, and drying machines all kill your vibration; they make you anxious, depressed, and nervous because they reduce your vibration and load you up with positive ions (compare sitting in front of a laptop for 2 hours as compared to hanging out in the forest by running water to start the day). Don't EVER use a microwave.
99. Use magnets. The earth's magnetic level was 4 gauss not long ago; now it is 0.4 gauss. Wear a magnet ring and use a magnetic mattress pad for absolutely incredible results. Changing your lifestyle to accomodate for magnet therapy will increase your energy noticeably, cut recovery time, and improve your health.
100. Fast at least one day each month. Again, I'm not asking you do this for religious reasons, but you may be starting to see the link between ancient religious belief and new scientific wisdom! Perhaps old religious recommendations (such as not eating pork, resting on the Sabbath, fasting, not stealing, not drinking alcohol excessively, etc.) are not to please a higher power but are done for our own physical and mental well-being. Fasting cleanses the colon and liver, and doing this only a couple times per month has been scientifically proven to help you absorb nutrients up to ONE HUNDRED times better!