Steph Curry didn’t become the greatest shooter of all-time by sleepwalking his way through his workouts. In fact, his pre-game warm-up routines and training videos have become a big part of his mythology during his career. Curry is as dedicated a worker as you’ll find in the NBA.
And being that the Warriors are located in the heart of Silicon Valley, it’s no surprise that he and others might turn to innovative techniques that you might not find elsewhere around the league. Take, for example, this one workout routine that Curry and his trainer have employed to help bolster his conditioning and recovery.
If you’ve often marveled at Curry’s seemingly endless energy reserves, as he weaves his way around multiple screens to try and get open looks, then you’re certainly not alone. Many a defender have found themselves winded and depleted trying to keep up. There’s apparently a good reason why he can maintain that type of pace, and it has to do with training his body to slow his heart-rate during and between possessions.
Curry’s second wind comes from his ability to rapidly lower his heart rate during short breaks, even in the middle of games. It’s something he trains his body to do. Once he’s out of breath at the end of most workouts, Curry lies on his back, and Payne, his trainer, places sandbag weights below his rib cage in order to overload, and train, Curry’s diaphragm.
Through conditioning and breathing techniques like this, Curry can often coax his heart rate below 80 during one 90-second timeout. But here, when he goes flat-footed, straightens his back and flops his hands at his side as if to signal, I’m done, I give up, it’s mostly a decoy. And it works. Because at this point, after chasing Curry nonstop all over the court, most defenders are begging for even a hint at a break. Do you ever stop? They often whisper to Curry. It’s the best compliment he can get from an opponent, Curry says, even better than praise for his shooting. You’re wearing me out. Stand still for a f—ing second.
Curry and the Warriors have been surprisingly not terrible in the early going of the season, and much of it has to do, of course, with Curry working his way back into form as one of the league’s most lethal scorers. At 8-7 for the year, the Warriors are keeping their postseason hopes alive, for now, and much of that will continue to rest on his shoulders as he tries to carry the burden of a young and undermanned team trying to stay relevant and build for the future.