Ryan Anderson scores a layup vs. Golden State during the 2015 playoffs

High-intensity training key to Ryan Anderson offseason conditioning

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

When a group of 10 New Orleans Pelicans players held a series of voluntary workouts in Los Angeles this month, their daily post-practice conversations kept circling back to a similar topic: The physical transformation of Ryan Anderson. Following two offseasons interrupted by personal tragedy and the power forward’s recovery from a frightening herniated disc injury, respectively, this summer Anderson has had extended time to focus on his body. The results have been impressive.

“He moves a lot better,” new Pelicans strength and conditioning coach Jason Sumerlin said. “He was jumping and dunking every play (in Los Angeles). He’s been working.”

“Ryan Anderson is in the best shape of his basketball life,” tweeted Pelicans TV broadcaster Joel Meyers, who visited the voluntary workouts in Southern California.

Anderson has lost weight and reduced his body fat this summer through a combination of dietary changes and training. Sumerlin encouraged Anderson to incorporate more high-intensity training into his workouts. The coach gives the player credit for single-mindedly attacking his goal of improving his body; the duo was also able to work together for a three-week period in L.A.

“He’s been so into it this summer,” Sumerlin said of Anderson’s dedication. “He’s excited. He’s been consistent and has the right mindset. It’s the way he’s working out. I showed him HITS, which is high-intensity training. You don’t just do one set and catch your breath. You constantly go through different stations, kind of like CrossFit. His heart rate is constantly up. He’s really thin.”

“Having a summer where I can really work on my body,” Anderson said April 26 of why he looked forward to this offseason. “I haven’t had that. It feels like a long time since I felt like myself physically.”

An elite three-point shooter for the bulk of his first six NBA seasons, Ryan Anderson finished tied for 119th in the league in percentage in 2014-15, at just 34.0. Due to his herniated disc injury, the 6-foot-10 scoring threat was not cleared for basketball activity until Day 1 of training camp.

“My summer was consumed by rehab and I couldn’t really do much exercise or cardio or anything,” Anderson said.

Sumerlin also spent time this summer in L.A. with Pelicans veterans such as Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Quincy Pondexter. In a July conference call with Pelicans season ticket holders, Alvin Gentry said Evans has lost 12 pounds.

“Tyreke has lost weight and is leaner,” Sumerlin said. “Eric looks great too and has gotten leaner. He has a strength coach (in California) who I am close with and has done a great job with Eric. Everyone is looking good and guys are excited about the season.”

Puttin that work in w @allnfit and @jeffwithey

A photo posted by Ryan Anderson (@rjanderson33) on

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