Michael Jordan’s obsession with winning is no secret to anyone who has followed his career, but do you know about his coercion with increasing his bicep size?
Jordan entered the basketball world with a skinny look but soon packed on some muscles. His personal trainer Tim Grover has revealed in his new book that MJ was particularly hard on increasing muscles in his biceps.
“When I was training MJ, the Bulls’ strength coach asked why I had him doing bicep curls. The theory was biceps were just for show and didn’t really make someone a better basketball player. And that was probably true,” Grover wrote in his book.
The six-time NBA champion, who is considered one of the most successful athletes in history, felt that big biceps would help intimidate the rivals.
MJ’s former trainer remarked: “But we were going for that 0.0001 percent, 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.”
When he was a rookie at Chicago Bulls, Jordan was small in size. He decided to change his shape after he joined Detriot Pistons in the late 1980s.
What was Michael Jordan’s diet?
This might surprise people but the basketball legend used to consume steak three hours before the game to increase his protein intake.
Grover revealed that what makes this diet seem odd in the MJ era was the comparison of his food with his teammates. The writer said that most players used to devour as many carbohydrates as they could, but things were evidently different for Jordan.
Grover said: “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. When the team was playing at home, he was eating at 3:30 pm in order to get to the stadium by 6 pm. So he was starving by the 7:30 pm game time, and by the fourth quarter, he could feel his energy decreasing. So we added a steak to his pre-game meal.”
But this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Packing on muscle required a highly disciplined training program that MJ followed without hesitation. As Grover put it, Jordan “had purpose and discipline”.
“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,” he added.
Apart from being a workhorse, MJ was superstitious when it comes to basketball. Grover revealed that the NBA great refused to wear the shoes whose laces Grover had put on himself to save MJ’s time.
The manager then had to order a new fresh pair for MJ to wear for the game.