For Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle, the arrival of the 2017-18 season would mean that his back was against the wall. With his rookie contract expiring this June, Randle’s play would have a major impact on his next deal, meaning that millions of dollars are on the line.
With that being the case, Randle set about his task of getting into the best shape of his career. He spent his summer working out with trainer Amoila Cesar, and within weeks he had transformed his body into the chiseled frame that is helping him play the best basketball of his career today.
Randle described his workouts to Matthew Jussim of Men’s Fitness:
“It was tough, but my goal was getting into the best shape of my life,” Randle said. “I was getting up at 6:30 in the morning and doing heavy lifting early in the day all summer. We did a lot of unconventional movements that I’ve never done before, but they paid off for me. A lot of the focus was gaining more power and strength in my hips, glutes, legs, and core.”
With more energy and explosiveness, Randle has turned in the most impressive season of his career. His field goal percentage has shot up from 48 percent last year to 55.1 percent so far this season.
And with it, Randle’s per-minute scoring average has also increased. He’s becoming a go-to scorer for the Lakers at a time when they (and he) need it most. However, Randle’s most impressive improvements have come at the defensive end.
Asked to shift to the backup center position, he has managed to use his versatility to switch in pick-and-roll situations, where he can now stick with most perimeter players. Randle is also protecting the rim and racking up more blocks than ever before.
His physical transformation has allowed him to become a plus defender across the board, and as a result, he should pick up a nice raise next summer.
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