Dwight Howard Talks Staying In Shape

Besides the fact that you’re not a seven foot tall thoroughbred athlete who’s been refining his skills and conditioning since early childhood, you lack the elite, professional nutritional and training guidance that’s helped him to forge one of the most feared human machines in the NBA.

But, thanks to the partnership between the Orlando Magic center and power forward, Adidas and video game developer THQ, you will be able to benefit from what Howard learned over the years as the NBA star himself trains you in strength and endurance.

Now, miCoach  –the PS3 Mobile and Xbox 360 Kinect title – recruits top athletes from around the world in multiple sports to train and prepare athletes of all ages in exercises designed specifically for that sport. The coaches include soccer star Kaka, tennis player Ana Ivanovic and Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Howard preps basketball players in agility improvement, upper body strength, core stability and other exercises for hoops players.

Howard seems a natural addition to the 2012 miCoachlineup. Not only is he an All-Star, but he stands out as a humble, well-spoken man in Kobe Bryant, LeBron James era of NBA personalities known as much for their self-serving arrogance as their on-court abilities.

As he sat down with Crave Online in Los Angeles, he  demurred away from nagging question of the long lockout and his pending free agency. But, he looked back on his athletic development and shared what training habits keep him chiseled from game to game.


Crave Online: Why did want to get involved with a video game that involved you onscreen as a coach?

Dwight Howard: I started playing basketball at age 3. But, I never really had someone there providing motivation and coaching until I was a teenager. I remember I had a Magic Johnson instructional VHS cassette when I was a kid. I would watch that and did all of the drills off of it outside everyday.

When I was about 15, I was lucky enough to have my manager and my father there to guide me, but it would have been great to have had Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett there to coach me. I hope this game allows me to be that coach for someone else out there.

I have kids come up to me and ask me, “How do I get stronger? How do I get shoulders like yours? How do I jump higher?” Now, I have a chance to help them. I show the tricks of the trade. And they don’t need a gym membership to do it. They can do it at home with their own equipment.


Crave Online: How does what you teach in miCoach match up with your own training regimen now or during the season?

Dwight Howard: We shot the instructional videos about a week ago in Orlando. A lot of matched up with what I do for strength training – working with the medicine ball, doing lunges with weights. I admit I hadn’t worked out hard since the season ended for me, and shooting all of that hurt. I needed a three hour massage afterward to work out the muscles.

We had the designers from THQ and Adidas meet with me and my trainers to go over what we do and how I train. We were able to take some of that and include it in the game.


Crave Online: Is there a difference between your off-season and NBA season workouts?

Dwight Howard: During the season, my workouts are mainly to maintain my strength. I get enough conditioning in practice or during the games. But during the off season, I want to work and make myself stronger – to improve my explosiveness. Right now, I’m into push-ups as my favorite. Working with your own body weight can provide enough resistance, and you can train effectively that way. I’m doing 500 pushups a day now.