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Most professional athletes want bigger muscles so they can dominate physically or so that they’re better able to compete with their opponents, but if there’s one thing we know about Michael Jordan it’s that he’s not like most professional athletes.
In a new book called Winning, written by MJ’s former personal trainer, Tim Grover, the real reason why Jordan wanted to work on his biceps has been revealed, and it has nothing to do with his performance on the court.
“When I was training MJ, the Bulls’ strength coach asked why I had him doing bicep curls,” said Grover.
“The theory was biceps were just for show and didn’t really make someone a better basketball player, and that was probably true. But we were going for that 0.0001 per cent, which included the intimidation factor of his biggest, stronger, more dominant physique.
“What’s the first thing you see on a basketball player when he takes off his warm-ups? Those arms. Details matter.”
Jordan’s work to be more imposing didn’t end in the weights room either. Grover also revealed MJ had an usual pre-game meal, which allowed him to dominate well into the fourth quarter of games.
“Back in the eighties and nineties, the nutrition prescription for athletes was carbs, carbs, more carbs. Everyone was eating rice and pasta for fuel, but that wasn’t working for MJ. Aside from feeling bloated, he was playing so hard that it just wasn’t enough for him,” said Grover.
“When the team was playing at home, he was eating at 3:30pm in order to get to the stadium by 6pm. So he was starving by the 7:30pm game time, and by the fourth quarter, he could feel his energy decreasing. So we added a steak to his pre-game meal.
“We had to devise a new plan for Michael, based on his body chemistry and schedule, his playing minutes, and the massive amount of energy he expended on the court. The steak slowed down the digestion of everything else he was eating – the starches, vegetables, etc. – and kept his blood sugar consistent so he had more energy throughout the entire game.”
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