Michael Jordan Workout and Diet

Professional Basketball Player (retired)

Born: 1963

Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina. He played 3 sports in high school: basketball, baseball and football. As a senior, he was chosen to play at the 1981 McDonald’s All-American Game and was recruited by many colleges. He chose UNC at Chapel Hill and majored in cultural geography. In 1982, Jordan was named ACC Freshman of the Year after he made the NCAA championship-winning shot. He left college a year early to enter the 1984 NBA Draft where he was selected by the Chicago Bulls. Jordan played for 15 seasons, winning 6 championships with the Bulls. He won 4 gold medals playing for the US national team at 2 Olympics (’84 & ’92), the Pan American Games and the Tournament of the Americas. He holds numerous NBA awards and records and ‘Air Jordan’ is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan also did a stint in minor league baseball in the ‘90s. He had many endorsement deals and is the NBA’s first billionaire. His Nike Air Jordans remain popular to this day. Jordan has been married to model Yvette Prieto since 2013 and they have twin daughters. He also has 3 children with his first wife Juanita. Jordan has millions of followers on social media. He is 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 215 lbs.

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Michael Jordan’s Diet

Diet Summary

Despite his massive frame, Jordan was never a big eater, according to his trainer Tim Grover. He would often eat breakfast, and then nothing until after practice, around 3 pm, leading to a crash of blood sugar. Grover got Jordan on a plan of eating 6-7 smaller meals to help keep his blood sugar stable. His diet was high in carbs, but only the healthy kind, like oatmeal and baked potatoes. To maintain his muscles, Jordan would eat a whopping 5,000-6,000 calories a day. He would hydrate with water and Gatorade. One of his go-to shakes was made with Gatorade, protein powder and fresh fruit.

Estimated Macros

Medium Fat

Low Protein

High Carb

Diet Details

Clean Eating

Jordan’s eating plan focused on whole, natural foods and very little junk. His choices were often single-ingredient foods, like oatmeal, greens, chicken breast, or a baked potato.

Start Strong

Jordan would often kick of his day with a hearty meal of oatmeal with fruit, an egg white omelette, and fresh oj.

Regular Refuelings

Jordan’s trainer had him eating every few hours to keep his blood sugar stable.

Light Dinner

Jordan’s typical dinner would be a lighter meal of whatever he was in the mood for.

Smart Snacking

Jordan would often have a shake made from Gatorade, protein powder and fresh fruit.

What to Eat

  • Whole, natural foods
  • Egg whites
  • Chicken breast
  • Hamburger
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Salad
  • Berries
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Orange juice
  • Gatorade
  • Protein powder
  • Water

What to Avoid

  • Alcohol
  • Refined sugar
  • Processed food
  • Empty-calorie foods
  • Junk food
  • Fast food
  • Artificial ingredients
  • Chemicals

Jordan’s trainer Tim Grover on his eating habits

‘Michael is not a big eater.’

Jordan’s trainer on his eating habits

‘[Michael] only eats when he’s hungry, and only until he feels comfortable rather than full.’

Jordan’s trainer on what’s for dinner

‘Whatever he wants.’

Michael Jordan’s Workout Routine

Workout Routine

Aim High

Jordan says that while you won’t always win, you need to always think you can win.

Helping Hand

Even someone as great as Jordan got help. He worked with trainer Tim Grover for 8 years.

The Breakfast Club

Jordan set up The Breakfast Club with some of his teammates. They would meet at his house and work out at his house from 5-7 am before practice.

Daily Dose

Jordan set the goal to be the fittest person in the NBA. Besides his team workouts, he would train at home for a couple of hours.

Basic Conditioning

Jordan would do 30-40 minutes of stretching, running, and basketball warmups.

Strength Training

Jordan wasn’t initially keen to do strength training as he thought it might change the way he shot the ball, but he eventually saw the benefits. His weight work would run about an hour and a half.

Core Work

A strong core was essential to Jordan’s power. He would do core-focused training 2-3 times a week.

Exercise Style

A Michael Jordan Routine

Strength routine


  • Do 10-15 reps x 3 sets
  • Bench press
  • Dumbbell flys
  • Cross cable flys
  • Push-ups


  • Do 10-15 reps x 3 sets
  • Military press,
  • Side lateral raises
  • Front rows
  • Shrugs
  • Delt flys


  • Do 12-15 reps x 3 sets
  • Squats to warm up
  • Weighted back squats
  • Leg extensions
  • Leg press
  • Dead lifts
  • Calf raises


  • Do 10-15 reps x 3 sets
  • Dumbbell curls
  • Barbell curls
  • Pulley curls
  • Cross hammer curls


  • Do 10-15 reps x 3 sets
  • Deadlifts
  • Lat pulldowns
  • Pull-ups
  • Single-arm dumbbell rows
  • Barbell rows

Core routine

Do 10-15 reps x 2-3 sets of the following:

  • Single leg forward reach
  • Leg raises
  • Squats on balance board
  • Med ball ex (sit-ups, push-ups, etc)
  • Weighted crunches
  • Walk-outs on hands

Conditioning: 30-40 min/day

Jordan on losing

‘I’ve never lost a game. I just ran out of time.’

Jordan on winning

‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’

Jordan on failure

‘Failure always made me try harder the next time.’

Jordan on the Breakfast Club

‘Breakfast Club was a mindset more than a workout. We wanted to be more prepared than anyone else.’

Michael Jordan’s Supplements

Protein Powder


Jordan made protein a regular part of his day to replenish after working out. Protein grows and repairs muscle, and tames crav-ings.



Gatorade was a staple for Jordan. It contains the electrolytes sodium and potassium to help prevent muscle cramping, and some carbs for energy.

Michael Jordan’s Lifestyle

Sleep Like a Pro

Jordan says that despite the immense pressure on him to perform, he never really had any trouble sleeping. This contrasts with another NBA great Kobe Bryant who said that he rarely got more than 4 hours of sleep a night due to anxiety. LeBron James has said he needs 8-10 hours to function.

Idol Worship

Jordan’s idol growing up was Magic Johnson, and he even got a license plate for his first car with ‘Magic Jordan’ in his honor.

Early Tragedy

Jordan developed a fear of water after watching a friend drown in the ocean. He himself also nearly drowned at camp when he was 11.

Too Short to Make the Cut

At a mere 5’ 11” as a high school sophomore, Jordan did not make the varsity basketball team. Luckily, he grew 4” by junior year.

Take the Safe Route

Jordan’s father advised him to become a mechanic because it was a solid job.

Tragedy Prompts Change

The murder of Jordan’s father was what prompted him to give up basketball for his father’s favorite sport, baseball, for a year. He returned to the NBA in 1995.

The Real GOAT

Jordan holds the most awards of any NBA player in the history of the sport. With only one exception, he won every NBA Finals game he ever played in. His #23 is not used by many teams out of respect.

Jordan on sleep

‘I sleep well at night despite the expectations.’

Jordan on failure

‘I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying.’

Jordan on the importance of fundamentals

‘The minute you get away from fundamentals, whether it’s proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation, the bottom can fall out of your game.’

Jordan on what it takes to be great

‘Heart is what separates the good from the great.’

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