“The first principle on which the game of basketball was based was that it should demand of, and develop in, the player the highest type of physical and athletic development.”

− Dr. James Naismith, Inventor of Basketball

Elite basketball players are amazing to watch.

They’re graceful, adept, and some of them seemingly defy the laws of physics. To top it off, they can make all look so easy!

But any basketball athlete who has put the work in knows it’s anything but easy. Physically, it requires aerobic and anaerobic training for stamina and endurance, plyometrics for jump training involving rapid stretching and contracting of muscles to increase muscle power, exercises for mobility and flexibility, and weight training for strength.

Your body is an awesome machine.

It actually uses different fuel tanks, or energy systems, depending on the duration and intensity of the activity you are performing. The key to any comprehensive sport-specific conditioning program is to train the appropriate energy system to the extent you will use it in performing that sport.

In order for a basketball athlete to achieve peak performance, a mix of proper warm ups, flexibility training, resistance training, basketball-specific conditioning, and skill training need to be incorporated the overall fitness routine.

That’s why the MASS Suit is perfect for basketball athletes of all skill levels!

What we want to do is help you discover your physical strengths and weakness in order to help you optimize your results on the court.

Below, you will find a program testing outline that will do just that.

We’ll also show you how, with the help of MASS Suit, you can improve almost every aspect of your basketball-specific fitness output.

Let’s dive in!

Take Inventory of Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s important that you keep records of your progress during the year by periodically going through a series of tests that measure your body weight, percentage of body fat, flexibility, vertical jump, leg strength, upper body strength, agility, speed, and endurance.

Essentially what you’re doing is setting up a baseline. By having a record of each test, you’ll be able to see areas in which you are improving.

It will also shed some light on any particular areas of weakness that need more dedicated focus.

Perform these tests at least three times a year — at the beginning of the off-season, at the beginning of the pre-season, and a few days before the beginning of your first day of practice.

A coach or trainer who is familiar with each testing procedure should help administer each test. Spread the testing over two separate days to provide your body with a rest.

Record each of these metrics for future reference:

Day 1

Measure your height without shoes, then without shoes.

Body weight

Body fat percentage

Bench press max

Push press max

Squat or leg press max

Day 2

Complete sit and reach.

No step vertical jump

20-yard shuttle run

300-yard shuttle run

Pay Attention to What These Numbers Tell You

Height and weight

Measure your height and weight at the beginning of the season and periodically during the year. When taking height and weight measurements, record them with your shoes on and with your shoes off.

(These are measurements most colleges and pro recruiters want to know. Be sure to point your toes out and place your heels together and against the wall for accurate and consistent height measurements.)

Testing Your Body Fat Percentage

Extra body fat can hamper play by siloing speed and acceleration and impairing jumping ability. That’s why it is so important to test body fat percentages when possible. The most straightforward way to measure your body fat is with skin calipers.

Having some body fat is important for daily functions; it provides joint support and the energy that you need for long bouts of training and playing ball.

Also, keep in mind that the ideal body composition of men and women are different; biologically, women tend to store more fat than men.

Men also tend to have more muscle mass than women. These differences in muscle mass help explain the general differences in strength levels between men and women.

Take a look at what the average body fat for a basketball player is.

Below is a range of body fat composition (by position) to be use as a guideline:

Center Power Forward Small Forward Shoot Guard Point Guard
Male 10-12 9.5-11 9-10 7.5-8.5 6.5-8
Female 18-20 17-19 16-18 15-17 14-16

Testing Your Flexibility — Sit and Reach

To find out how flexible your lower back and hamstrings are, you will need to use the sit and reach test. You can use a sit and reach box, or a simple ruler or yardstick will do the job.

Sit with your legs extended in front of you with your feet three to six inches apart. The soles of your feet should touch the bottom step of a flight of stairs.

Put a ruler on the first step so that it hangs over the step in your direction. The inch mark on the ruler that makes the soles of your feet will be zero for the test. Reaching beyond your feet indicates positive numbers. Not being able to reach your feet is a negative number.

Keep your knees locked. With your hands together, palms down, and your chin on your chest, exhale as you bend slowly forward from the waist. Reach out as far as you can beyond your toes; then hold for one to two seconds. Repeat two more times and record your best score.

Testing Your Strength

Every lift has a certain intensity level. This intensity level is expressed in percentage terms of what is called a one rep maximum (1RM). The goal is to find the 1RM for the bench press, push press, and squat or leg press.

Use this handy tool to calculate your 1RM.

The idea, of course, is to periodically test your strength in order to increase it!

Testing Your Vertical

The vertical jump test is a great way to measure explosive power of the lower body. First find your standing reach by standing sideways against a wall. Mark your fingertips with chalk. Reach as high as possible while standing with both feet flat on the ground and make a chalk mark on the wall. Then tape a yardstick to the wall, matching the bottom of the yardstick to the chalk mark. From the chalk mark, the yardstick should be pointed toward the ceiling.

Listen to what this sport’s doctor has to say about your vertical jump …

When this is completed, rechalk your fingertips, stand sideways against the wall, and jump as high as you can, topping the yardstick at your highest point of the jump. Do not take a step before jumping. Your feet should be directly under your armpits when jumping. Jump three times, and record your best jump.

Testing Your Agility — 20-Yard Shuttle

The 20-yard shuttle helps measure your agility (how fast you change direction), acceleration, and deceleration. To perform the test, dot the following:

Measure five yards in each direction from center court. Market these spots with tape.

Straddle the centerline with your feet at equal distance from the centerline.
On common from your coach or partner, run in either direction toward the centerline and touch it with your hand.

Change direction and run towards the opposite line and touch it also with your hand.

Change direction once again and run through the center. When your chest crosses the centerline, the drill is over. Record the best of two to three trials, and check these against the table below.

Excellent Good Fair Poor
Male <4.0 4.1-4.6 4.7-5.3 >5.4
Female <4.5 4.6-5.1 5.2-5.8 5.9

Testing Your Anaerobic Endurance — 300-Yard Shuttle

The 300-yard shuttle run helps measure your anaerobic endurance and is performed as follows:

Measure and mark 25 yards on a track or gym floor.

Sprint to the 25-yard mark, touch it with your foot, then turn and sprint back to the starting line. Repeat this six times without stopping.

Rest fives minutes and repeat.

Check your scores against those in the table below.

Male <45.9
Female 55

If you are weak in one or more areas of the testing, then it is important to concentrate and work harder on that particular area in your year-round training. If, however, you score well on a particular test, you’ll want to continue to work hard in that area to excel to an even greater degree.

Anytime, you can become better or more efficient at a particular drill or test, you’re taking advantage of an opportunity to become a better athlete.

How the MASS Suit is Designed to Help Basketball Athletes

Now that you have a way to keep tabs on your physical performance come game time, learn more about how the MASS Suit can help you optimize your basketball-specific workouts.

With cutting edge, resistance training innovation, we’ve helped athletes from all types of sports reach their full potential during competition. Watch the video below to see how we do it!

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