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“I train to be a complete athlete”

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  • Free agent since a few days, the star of the Spanish basketball team Willy Hernangómez ponders his future and, in the next few days, he will announce where he will play this season. Meanwhile, on the horizon, the World Cup under the command of Sergio Scariolo.

    Hand in hand with the Swiss watch brand Tissot, we have visited his summer campus in Las Rozas, Madrid, we have chatted with him and he has told us what his training sessions are like on vacation and how he prepares to be an increasingly complete player.

    Are you clear about where you will play next season?

    Being able to choose a destination is very exciting for me. Now I want to feel important, and I am seeing myself highly valued by different teams, both in the NBA and in Europe. Now I want to make the best decision for my future and my career.

    How do you train in summer?

    When the season ends I take a few days off and continue training. It is true that I take the opportunity to train physically and things that I can improve. I work in the gym, I only skip the diet one day a week, I eat a pizza or a hamburger, but I do double sessions, morning and afternoon mixing with basketball, running track…

    “I only skip the diet one day a week”

    Do you do strength training?

    Yes, but what I do most is a typical athlete’s workout, with Olympic exercises like snatches, cleans, squats, deadlifts, and mixed with a lot of cardio, treadmill, running track, hurdles, pit, speed, endurance , climbing… In the end I try to be as complete an athlete as possible, looking for a physique that allows me to do everything, adapt and keep improving.

    Angel Martinez//Getty Images

    Do you like to lift a lot of weight?

    No, I measure everything a lot and it depends on the time of the season. There are weeks that I go to 10 repetitions with less weight and weeks that I go to one or two repetitions. I’m not obsessed with gaining weight, but I do try to improve my frames from year to year, of course. And I’m getting it.

    How do you notice this work later on the court?

    I notice it a lot and it is essential. In my first year in the NBA, for example, I physically looked smaller and weaker compared to the rest. And for a couple of years I already see myself more dominant and strong in contacts.

    Will your way of playing if you come to Europe change?

    Not at all. In the end, I’ve been training the same way for years and I see myself as dominant in the NBA as with the Spanish National Team, for example.

    willy hernangomez, basketball at the tokyo olympics

    HEARST Czech Gem

    Do you like cardio?

    I like it and it is essential to be thinner and reach the right and perfect weight. Get bottom and burn a lot of fat. I do resistance training, with others of high pulsation…

    And the speed?

    Well, I like it too, and I’m pretty fast for what I measure and weigh. At the Higher Sports Council I share the track and train with Olympic athletes and I have sometimes done races with judo or wrestling people and I like to train speed.

    How do you recover after games?

    It is important, like rest at home. I have a team of nutritionists and depending on the load of minutes and others, we adjust. I usually have some fruit, nuts, a protein shake, ice baths to recover the muscles…

    OPTIMUM NUTRITION protein to recover your muscles after training

    to recover your muscles after training

    OPTIMUM NUTRITION protein to recover your muscles after training

    “Between Europe and the NBA, the main difference is still physical”

    What differences do you see now between the NBA and European basketball?

    The main difference is the physique. In Europe now more games are played, even three a week, but in the NBA this year I have played five in a week, with travel and schedule changes. The NBA is very demanding, but European basketball is the most beautiful, the one that needs the most talent and where you have to be smarter.

    willy hernangomez, basketball at the tokyo olympics

    czech gem

    Headshot of Roberto Cabezas

    Roberto Cabezas is a specialist in fitness, CrossFit, bodybuilding, training material, nutrition and sports supplementation at Men’s Health Spain. Graduated in Journalism from the Faculty of Information Sciences, in Madrid, he has always liked sports. I played soccer, practiced karate, tennis and now I am passionate about paddle tennis and training in the gym. I firmly believe that leading a healthy life, eating well and exercising daily, is essential for both the body and our mental health. And I encourage you to combat stress with fitness training through exercise routines. One of my hobbies is buying food because I love eating, especially meat, but also fruit and healthy desserts. I am not missing my daily protein shake and to recommend, try the peanut butter with banana, this is one of many of the recommendations that you can find among the nutrition contents in which I write and deal with topics such as creatine, protein whey among others. Professionally, before joining the Hearst Magazines Healthy Unit, I spent almost 20 years at the magazines Teleindiscreta, TP and Supertele, from the same company, where I learned to be a journalist. Before I went through an economic consultant and a women’s website.

    More hobbies? Reading, music, movies, series and playing with my children. Live and let live!

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