Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was profiled over the weekend on NBA Inside Stuff on his peculiar offseason workout with professional big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton. The workouts – consisting of underwater laps in a swimming pool using weights – were designed to increase the big man’s stamina and shed his "baby lungs" moniker.
"I started this training a couple years ago, when I met Laird. Laird's crazy. He's a freak of nature," Noah said. "Every time I do his workout, he always makes me do things that I didn't think we're possible."
"First of all, I wouldn't subject him to anything I wouldn't implement for myself," said Hamilton. "So I'm coming from a real, genuine point of view. We always say, 'Do what you can't do, so you can do what you want to do.'"
Noah missed a large part of the Bulls training camp and preseason due to a groin strain and as such, it has affected his conditioning and his play on the court during thus far the regular season. But the veteran seems to be rounding into game shape once again and he insists the unorthodox training methods he employs during the offseason, will help him throughout the remainder of his career.
"It's great for your cardio, and you can also work on your explosive training with no impact,” Noah explained. “There's a lot of pounding in what we do with basketball, so just being able to train like this, it's perfect. This is a perfect workout for me. I'm going to do this for my whole career, and I think it's going to help me a lot. When you're underwater and you're exhausted, and you know you have a ways to go and you can't get that air, it kind of reminds me of just being really, really tired at the end of a game. It gives you so much appreciation for breathing.”