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Ultimate Athlete Countdown: Taking Down the Basketball Challenge

As the countdown continues, our UA ringer Kyle Clarke reveals his training plan for the Basketball Challenge—and tips to win.

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Last week, we introduced you to Kyle Clarke, the former US Army captain who's giving you all the dirty details on how to get involved in the Men's Fitness Ultimate Athlete competition—and some of the tips tricks and strategies you need to win the grand prize. As the countdown continues, Kyle reveals his training plan for the Basketball challenge.

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So the Ultimate Athlete is just around the corner, and I’m dividing my training time up between the four events – basketball, baseball, football, and the MMA extreme fit challenge.

The Basketball Challenge portion of the Ultimate Athlete competition is comprised of shooting 15 3-pointers in 1 minute. This may sound like a difficult task, but with the right kind of practice, you could do very well in this area. The secret is combining speed with accuracy, so here are some drills to help you improve in both areas.

Drills

Accuracy

Shoot 20 basketballs from the free throw line, at your own speed. Then back up to the 3-point line and shoot 20 again.

REPEAT this drill in different areas around the court as shown in the diagram. Shoot 20 at each small x and then move back to the respective large X and shoot 20 more.

*This will improve your accuracy by heightening your focus and helping your eyes gauge the distance to the basket.

Speed

Shoot 5 basketballs in a row as quickly as possible from the 3-point line.

REPEAT this drill at all 5 spots (X) on the diagram and try to improve your speed and accuracy every time.

*Just like in the arcades where you have to shoot as many baskets as you can before the time runs out, you want to practice like you are on the clock!  So have 5 basketballs queued and shoot them up quickly while trying to improve accuracy every time. If you start by making 1 out of 5, don’t stress! Just try to set the goal of making 3 out of 5 and continue working towards your new goal. Got 3 out of 5?? Try for 5 out of 5. Always challenge yourself with time and accuracy.

Shooting a basketball from the 3-point line takes strength in your legs and your arms, so it’s also important to do some resistance training to prepare for the competition. Here is a list of exercises that I have incorporated into my workouts at Equinox to help me feel like Kobe Bryant on the basketball court.

Exercises

Squats – 4 sets of 15 reps. (set barbell weight according to ability)
Walking Lunges – 5 sets of 30 steps. (holding dumbbells)
Jump Rope – 10 minutes each day.
Bench press – 4 sets of 10 reps.
Skull crushers – 3 sets of 15 reps.
Triceps pushdowns – 4 sets of 20 reps.
Dips – 50 per day.
Triceps kickbacks – 4 sets of 20 reps. (each arm)

Although a well-balanced weight-lifting routine is essential for strength in this sport, these are the exercises I have focused on because I feel that my legs and my triceps are the two main factors in helping me shoot the basketball with ease and accuracy.

I hope this helps in your prep for the Ultimate Athlete Challenge. If you have any questions or feedback you can always contact me on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kyleclarke1.

Stay tuned for my next post explaining how I’m preparing for the "Baseball – Pitching" portion of the competition!

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Kyle Clark HeadshotAbout Kyle: Kyle Clarke is a former U.S. Army Captain and Civil Engineer from Las Vegas, NV. He currently serves as a senior brand specialist for MRI Performance and does his training at Equinox West Hollywood.

Kyle was skiing before he could walk, playing baseball, basketball, and soccer from 5 years old until high school, played ice hockey and ran track in college, rode bulls for the Army, and also jumped out of perfectly good airplanes. He has won fitness competitions in the past, but now focuses on helping other's achieve their goals. He also competes in physically demanding competitions, like Men's Fitness Ultimate Athlete.

 

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