After an early morning shootaround in January, Miles Plumlee heads to a small eatery in Phoenix, Ariz., called Flower Child -- a locally sourced, all natural and organic restaurant. The vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options don’t seem to match Plumlee’s 7-foot, 225-pound frame, but the food is just one piece of his physique puzzle.
“I try to eat as healthy as I can,” says the 26-year-old, who staves off soda, sugar and anything super cheesy. “I can lose weight pretty easily if I’m not careful, so I try to eat a lot but still make sure I’m getting all of the right nutrients.”
On this particular afternoon, that’s a quinoa salad packed with beets, kale and broccoli, and topped with an extra portion of salmon. Other times it’s grilled chicken and avocado rolled into a whole wheat, chia and flax seed wrap.
Plumlee’s attention to his diet and his dedication to on- and off-court workouts bulked him up from about 205 pounds to his current weight after graduating from Duke University in 2012. Now as a center-forward for the Suns, the discipline has also helped him become a key player for the team, averaging 19.2 minutes, 4.6 points and 5.2 rebounds on the season. Plumlee talked with EDGE as a part of NBA FIT Live Healthy Week presented by Kaiser Permanente, which encourages fans to be active, eat healthy and play together. The Suns center shared his special workouts, recovery techniques and go-to choices for what he likes to eat besides lean proteins and greens.
26 years old
Training grounds: Right now -- Phoenix.
Nickname: “Just Miles.”
Body fat: 9 or 10 percent
Hours spent training per day: 3 hours
Days spent training per week: 6 days
Hours spent in the weight room per week: At least an hour a day. “We’re in the weight room everyday. It’s not always just strength and explosive stuff, but a lot of times its stability and core workouts too.”
Go-to workout: Post player drills and shots. ”Even if I just have 45 minutes or so, I like to go through post player movements at game pace -- setting up my feet and shooting some free throws in between. Then I mix in some running and make sure I get shots up at different spots on the court until you make a certain amount.”
Secret workout: Yoga, with meditation. “Physically the strength movements are great but it also mentally gives you an edge, keeps you grounded and gives you more capacity for having energy on the court.”
Go-to workout for overall fitness, and recovery: Pool workouts. “I swam for five years growing up, so when I feel like I’m not in as good of shape as I should be, I go in the pool and do laps. But you can also do some movements that are similar to warming up and it really helps to flush out your legs. You can swing your legs in and out, run in place -- whatever you can to stretch out and get rid of the lactic acid.”
Best recovery tip: Cryotherapy. “We have some unique tools at the Suns and the cryochamber is one of my go-tos. You get in this tube up to your shoulders for two minutes and it uses liquid nitrogen to get really cold (-200 degrees Fahrenheit) and it freezes the surface of your skin to help you recover faster.”
Calories consumed per day: “I don’t trip about the calories as much.”
Favorite pre-game meal: Salmon or chicken, and a salad. “In the morning I’ll at least have some oatmeal and banana for some carbs. But usually I’ll keep it light -- no red meat right before the game.”
Celebration meal: Cheeseburgers. “Burgers are definitely my favorite. I try not to have them all of the time, but I love them.”
Biggest dietary vice: Burgers. “I don’t eat candy. And I’ll get dessert once in a while if I’m at a nice restaurant, but it’s definitely a burger. And not like McDonald’s or anything, and not even the fries.”
Alcohol of choice: Red wine. “It’s about picking and choosing when it’s a good time to relax, but I love red wine. It’s got some health benefits and isn’t that bad in moderation.”
What he thinks about his body: “I’m happy with it now. I thought I was really gangly, skinny and goofy-looking with big feet when I was growing up. But I think I filled out now and I’m more comfortable with it.”
What he misses most about Duke: “Just the college setting -- being on campus, with your friends, no real world pressures yet. It’s kind of carefree and you can have fun going to class and in the summer.”
On having his brother Mason in the NBA: “It’s surreal. We played everyday growing up, against one another and on the same teams. From the youngest age and now to the big stage and the highest level, to share that journey with your brother, it means a lot.