Alonzo Mourning trains smart. He's got no choice: By his own admission, his body is his occupation. The 6'10", 260-pound center is a seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and he played a key role in the Miami Heat's march toward the franchise's first NBA title in 2006, averaging 6.4 blocks per 48 minutes that season.
'Zo sat down with MF to talk about how he got his huge guns and how they help him play some tenacious D.
"During my junior and senior years at Georgetown, I was really hitting the gym hard. I was competing against Dikembe [Mutombo] and Patrick [Ewing] in the summers, and the only way for me to hold my own was to build my strength—because I wasn't getting any taller. My arms developed as the other parts of my body did—I didn't just focus on my arms."
"I don't lift as heavy as I used to. At this point in my career, I concentrate on doing slow and controlled reps to really feel the muscles work, and you can't always do that with heavier weight. I can give you a 10-pound dumbbell and make it feel like a 50- or 60-pound dumbbell."
"Nothing beats the dumbbell. I do mostly dumbbell curls for biceps. I also like cable curls on a plate-loaded machine with a straight or EZ bar. A lot of people cheat and drop their arms to about 90 degrees when they do curls, but I go all the way down.
"To build triceps, I love the rope-handle triceps pushdown. You get to work on your grip while at the same time building up your forearms and strengthening your hands."
KEEPING HIS DISTANCE
"My strong arms help me hold people off in the post, so when they're pushing me off and trying to back me down, I can keep distance between my body and the defender. They'll touch my arms before they hit anything else, so that gives me the space to jump and contest the shot. Pushing and holding your ground, going up through traffic, and putting the ball in the basket while people are grabbing you—that's where the arm strength comes in."
"During the season, I lift on days we don't play. But sometimes we've got back-to-back games, so I might lift before the first game, and then early the next morning I'll do some- thing real light before I get a massage to loosen up the muscles. After the pounding from the previous game, it gets the blood fl owing, and it helps get my muscles prepared for the next game."
MF'S ULTIMATE ARM WORKOUT
Build amazing arms with this old-school workout from MF adviser Joe Stankowski, C.P.T.
Perform each superset with no rest in between the A and B exercises. AMRAP stands for as many reps as possible. If you can do more than eight reps of dips with your body weight, add weight. Only perform this workout once a week.
1A) STRAIGHT BAR BICEPS CURL
5 sets x 4 - 6 reps
5 sets x 6 - 8 reps
rest 2 minutes
3 x AMRAP
2B) ROPE PRESSDOWN
3 sets x 6 - 8 reps
rest 2 minutes
3) DIAMOND-GRIP, FEET ELEVATED PUSHUP
3 sets x AMRAP
rest 90 seconds between sets
The 2008 Miami Heat Dancers Gallery