How I Got My Body: Basketball Star Tim Hardaway Jr. January 13 2015

Though his team's midseason record leaves something to be desired, the Knicks' 22-year-old shooting guard has stepped out of the shadow of his all-star father and made a name for himself. Here's how he keeps his six-foot-six, 210-pound frame in game shape.

"I get to the training facility two hours before practice, just because it's easier for me to get warmed up on my own. I'm here before everybody—well, not everybody, but before the veterans.

"First thing I do when I arrive is get a good meal in—usually grits or oatmeal, a bagel with cream cheese, and a bowl of fruit. After games, I like to have a steak dinner—I mean, I love steak. I love potato chips. I don't keep a strict diet, because I tend to lose weight easily, running for miles and miles and burning a lot more than I could take in without even realizing it.

"Coming in early means I can spend 30 minutes in the treatment room getting stretched out—mostly my glutes and hips—and making sure my joints are okay. I also get massages twice a week to help my muscles recover. It's a long season, so I need to be sure my body is prepared. Some days I don't work out at all—I'll just shoot around so that I have my rhythm. It's about repetition after repetition—but other than that, the coaches want us to just sit down.

"Off the court, I lift for about 40 minutes three or four days a week—more during the off-season. This year I gained 15 pounds of muscle. My dad is the one who started me weight-lifting. He pushed me to my limits and taught me how to act as a professional on and off the court. I focus mainly on my legs, because I'm on them constantly, and that helps me on the court running, jumping, defending how I want to defend. I like the kettlebell workouts our strength-and-conditioning coach, Mubarak Malik, puts us through. They help my balance and ensure my core is tight. My least favorite exercise would have to be anything with the TRX bands. I really don't like those, but you have to get them done.

"On game days, I go home after shootaround and nap. My routine actually starts the night before—I need at least seven hours of sleep. Especially when we're traveling. That's the hardest part about basketball, the plane rides. I definitely get jet-lagged. I meditate too. That's key. It's something I've been doing since I was at Michigan—my coach there was a big believer, and so is [Knicks president] Phil Jackson. There are so many ups and downs in a season that I have to focus my mind on one thing and one thing only."

Published in Details Magazine