It’s been over a month since Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram showed off just how much he’d grown as a player since the regular season ended in his dazzling Las Vegas Summer League debut. As was probably to be expected, the way Ingram looked far stronger and more under control this summer than he did as a rookie wasn’t an accident.
Ingram detailed his offseason routine in a blog post for protein supplement brand BiProUSA, and he credited the Lakers’ training staff for him establish a more consistent daily training routine as he looks to build up his strength entering his sophomore season.
“I’m in the weight room more this summer than I have been in the past. My mentality has totally changed,” Ingram said. “My new coaches have really helped a lot with my weightlifting. It’s the same routine for me every single day now.”
Establishing a consistent routine is often cited by NBA veterans as one of the keys to their longevity, so Ingram building one during his second season might not be small development, especially given how many of his issues as a rookie were seemingly caused by how over-matched he was physically.
It was just one game, but that looked to have changed in summer league, where Ingram was able to take — and finish through — contact better than ever.
According to the blog post “Ingram’s new strength training regimen emphasizes lower-body work in particular. He regularly does deadlifts, weighted carries, weighted lunges, weighted step-ups and more,” all with the goal of strengthening his base, a critical feature if he’s going to power through NBA defenders both to get to and finish at the rim.
“I have a way stronger base than I did this time last year. Now I’m able to better take hits on the court and get to my spots,” Ingram said. “I know I have to get stronger, so I’m working to gain strength so I can both take bumps on the court and of course deliver them.”
Ingram also reiterated that he isn’t looking to risk injury by building up muscle too quickly, probably a wise move given his long and thin frame. Ingram will likely never look like a professional body-builder, but it sounds like he’s focused on strengthening the right elements of his body without going overboard on lifting.
The Lakers first preseason game is still almost two months away, which means Ingram still has plenty of time to make further improvements. If he and the Lakers continue to approach the rest of his game with the diligence and thoughtfulness they seem to be taking towards his strength training routine, there is no reason not to think he won’t continue to look substantially better in year two than he did during his debut campaign.
For a preview of what that might look like, let’s check Twitter:
Brandon Ingram last season vs this upcoming season pic.twitter.com/6jl6ggl8nM— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) August 8, 2017
The Lakers and their fans can only hope Ingram’s improvement is that stark.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.