The tallest active NBA player at the moment, Sim Bhullar, was recently in India to conduct a special camp for basketball enthusiasts. Hassan M Kamal spoke with Bhullar, who last donned the no.32 jersey for Sacremento Kings, to share his fitness plan with us
Why basketball: I started playing basketball in middle school at the age of 12. I fell in love with the game from there, and more so while growing up. As a kid, you dream of becoming an NBA player. Later on in my life, I realised that it was actually possible. So, I took it up.
Sim Bhullar seen here at the Sacramento Kings practice facility in Sacramento, California, alternates his fitness regime between Battle Rope exercise
On being the tallest active player: Being tall is an advantage... just being able to score on the basket, it's pretty easy to do that. The disadvantage is that other guys are faster than you. They are quicker, but for you, it's a lot harder to move around in the court. But you can overcome speed with your height. So, it goes both ways. But right now, I am working on my speed. And I'm getting better everyday.
Fitness regime: I start my day with a workout session in the morning, followed by snacks, and later on, lunch. I come back in the afternoon to train with weights. I relax a bit, and then go to the basketball court in the night and practise my moves. I usually spend six-seven hours everyday in the gym. You got to keep working. I pretty much do everything: lots of core stuff, upper body strength, squats and things like that. It's pretty much about constantly working out on your body.
Bhullar on diet: I recently lost 14 kg to become fit for the game. But right now, the focus is still on my diet. It mostly includes chicken and fish and other healthier stuff. My "go-to food" is Grilled Chicken that my sister makes. She is pretty good at that. She makes it a point to keep it ready for me.
Relaxation: I play video games and watch television. I like being indoors and comfortable; I don't like going out to clubs. I stay away from all stressful things in life and focus on things that can keep me happy. It's pretty much the thing: being on the right path.
To young basketball aspirants: Just start young, work hard everyday, practise every day; this is how you achieve your goals. As long as you can show you can work hard, people are always there to help you out. You should be comfortable playing in every position. The moment you step in, that should become your spot and position.
Must-haves for Sim Bhullar
> Regular intake of water/liquids is a must.
> I also have portions of fruits, salads and sandwiches throughout the day.
A typical day for Sim Bhullar includes
> 1.5-2 hours of cardio in the morning
> Weights in the afternoon
> Alternated by strength exercises such as rope exercise
> Stretching and warm up
> On-court practice to increase speed and agility/foot movement