Former Chicago Bulls Trainer Reveals Intricate Details of the Diet Plan Michael Jordan Followed

Published 05/28/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)


When Jordan made his way from the University of North Carolina to the NBA, he was a scrawny young star whose athleticism is what made him great and set him apart. In his early years, Michael Jordan has shown promise of being the greatest player in the league. But still had some areas that needed work. That’s when his trainer, Tim Grover came into the picture and changed everything.

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In fact, Jordan employed Grover and asked him to give him bigger biceps as well. However, the reason behind doing so, perfectly defines the kind of perfectionist MJ really was.

Michael Jordan also wanted to be intimidating on the court

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Jordan’s former personal trainer has recently written a book called ‘Winning’ and it has been trending ever since it has come out. Segments of the book have been made available and now the real reason why MJ wanted bigger biceps has fans in awe.

“When I was training MJ, the Bulls’ strength coach asked why I had him doing bicep curls,” said Grover. “The theory was biceps were just for show and didn’t really make someone a better basketball player, and that was probably true. 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.” Can you imagine any player being so particular about himself? And going above and beyond to psychologically mess with his opponents.

Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan playing against New York Knick # 20 Rolando Blackman at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)

There was a pre-game meal for efficiency

The Chicago Bulls legend didn’t stop there either. He had a unique pre-game meal that boosted his performance towards the end of a tiring fourth quarter. Grover explained, “Back in the eighties and nineties, the nutrition prescription for athletes was carbs, carbs, more carbs. 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. By the fourth quarter, he could feel his energy decreasing. So we added a steak to his pre-game meal.”

Grover gave a detailed insight into what Jordan’s diet looked like to maintain the energy he wanted. He said, “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.”

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“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.”

Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan file photos. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)

Jordan was clearly thorough with the way he conducted his training. It is the attention to these minute details that make him the greatest player of all time.

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Yashima Bhatia

1204 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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