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Ball Don't Lie

Denver Nuggets show fitness celeb Billy Blanks their strength and conditioning program (Video)

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Billy Blanks hangs out with a non-NBA seven-footer (Henry S. Dziekan III/ WireImage).

NBA athletes are well known for being superhuman physical specimens, whether that designation involves being both extremely fast and large, jumping very high several times in quick succession, or simply being in good enough shape to run up and down the court all night while absorbing considerable contact. While being blessed with amazing physical gifts helps, these young men get to that point with the help of their teams' strength and conditioning programs. The level of sophistication required to keep these athletes on the court in peak form is somewhat mind-boggling, to the point where it can seem like another world to a layperson, like me, who considers "staying in shape" to mean "maybe does some pushups sometimes" and "buy only one thing of red licorice at Trader Joe's tonight."

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Getting a firsthand look at the intensity of NBA workouts can be a little jarring, as well as rare. In a new video for "Celebrity Sweat," the new fitness-oriented video series from Tae Bo founder and Chuck Norris co-star Billy Blanks, the Denver Nuggets and their strength and conditioning coach Steve Hess show us exactly what it takes to get in shape at the highest level of professional basketball. As Hess explains, it requires a simulation of the in-game experience, forcing players to alternate lifting with on-court running exercises. Watch the video below (via Hardwood Paroxysm) and marvel at your own lack of physical fitness.

Aaron J. Lopez of Nuggets.com has more on the meeting of the training minds:

“They work for their money,” he said Thursday. “They do what they need to do to stay in shape.”

Blanks was in Denver to film the first-ever “team” episode of Celebrity Sweat, a motivational fitness program aimed at promoting the importance of exercise and wellness in the national fight against obesity.

The episode, hosted by Eric the Trainer, will be available for download for $11.99 starting Nov. 4. Of the proceeds, $4 of every download will go toward benefitting Denver-area youth programs as part of the NBA Cares initiative. [...]

“Most people think that all a basketball player does is shoot and dribble a basketball and run up and down the court,” Blanks said. “Steve, he’s an amazing coach. He gets these guys going through strength training, flexibility training, cardio training and aerobic training. He’s making them the total athlete.”

Please note that Blanks, who completed this entire routine with no real problems, is 58 years old. We all have a lot of work to do.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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