On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
NBA player and Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul had a health and fitness reawakening a few years ago. It was mid-way through the 2018 season and the 33-year old basketball player, who was still with the Houston Rockets at the time, had just suffered a hamstring injury — the fifth of his career — which caused him to miss 17 consecutive games.
The hamstring injury, plus the fact that Paul had only scored an average of 15.6 points per game — a career low for him — while logging just 58 games throughout the season — had everyone questioning how much he left in his career.
Paul strained his hamstring in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals last season, an injury that he has never seemed to fully recover from. It has been one issue after another over the past nine months. He dealt with elbow tendinitis and a sore left leg at the start of the season, and he missed almost a month with another hamstring injury. Paul has played in 44 of 67 games this season, which could end up as the fourth consecutive season in which he has played in fewer games than the one before.How Much Does Chris Paul Have Left? | The Ringer
But Paul was determined to fix up his game. Flying down to Miami, he linked up with Donnie Raimon, the owner of DBC Fitness, who began working extensively with the legendary point guard. The two hit it off and revamped Paul’s entire approach to training. “It’s just attention to detail as far as weight training, the way my body moves,” Paul explained to Men’s Health. “I think my body moves a lot more efficiently than it used to.”
Along with his new workout regime, Paul also discovered the benefits of plant-based eating to his lifestyle in 2019 after serving as a co-executive producer for the 2018 Netflix documentary, The Game Changers, which explored various athletes who lived on plant-based diets.
It was the moment that Paul’s approach to food completely flipped — he went from guzzling sodas and having pregame burgers and fries to drinking coconut water and eating vegan, gluten-free brownies.
Everything that you do is an investment. One of the first things I tell young guys is that they should invest in a chef. I say that because the one thing you do every day is you eat.How Chris Paul Got Faster, Stronger, and More Durable at 36 | Men’s Health
Chris Paul’s training routine & diet
With Paul’s renewed approach to nutrition and training, it’s no longer about on-season and off-season anymore, but rather a continuous and sustainable routine focused on taking care of his body. “I don’t even know if I took a week off from lifting. It’s not so much the on-the-court shooting and moving, but I’m constantly stretching and in the weight room,” he told GQ. “I never really took a full week off from that.”
In the same interview, Paul gave readers an example daily meal plan as part of his plant-based diet.
Breakfast usually includes a JustEgg scramble with vegetables, Beyond Meat sausage patties, a side of fruit and my vitamins. Lunch would be salad, a sauteed vegetable bowl with rice and a protein drink. For dinner, my chef prepares meals that give me nutrients I need to perform the next day. I eat a variety of beans, grains, and veggies.The Real-Life Diet of Chris Paul, Who’s Eaten Plant-Based Since 2019 | GQ
But just because he’s plant-based doesn’t mean that Paul doesn’t have cheat meals here and there. But those meals are no longer the burgers and fries or fried chicken and pulled pork. “My cheat day meal now: I like cookies,” he said. Luckily for the Suns point guard, he has access to a variety of delicious plant-based cookies, including gluten-free fried Oreos, gluten-free brownies and vegan cookie bars.
When it comes to his training, even when he’s not at practice or weightlifting, Paul still likes to keep active. “I still usually work out and train daily, whether it’s SoulCycle for two or three days a week,” he told Men’s Journal. “I might hit Orangetheory[fitness]. I’ve got a gym at my house, and I’m just always constantly keeping my body active. Why get completely out of shape, only to have to do all that work to get it back there?”
Paul also credits the plant-based diet for having a huge impact on his recovery the day after a game or training. Prior to going plant-based, Paul would feel sore after weightlifting sessions and have to sit in cold tubs, but now, with the belief that his diet reduces inflammation in his body, he no longer has to do it.
“A ton of guys can be really good on Monday night and drop 35, but how good can you be on Tuesday?” Paul told Men’s Health. “And now you gotta play on Thursday? Can you be good on Friday?”
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