This latest revelation as to why he wanted bigger biceps (yes, biceps) goes some way to proving it.
Michael Jordan is a serial winner, there’s absolutely no denying that.
Celebrity personal trainer Tim Grover, who has worked with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade as well as MJ, has released a new book detailing his intriguing fitness career.
Within the book, titled Winning, Grover opens up on his complex relationship with Jordan and reveals the reason why the six-time NBA champ wanted larger arms – and it had nothing to do with matching his rivals physically, it was all about winning the mind games.
Despite standing at a towering 6-foot-5-inches, MJ wasn’t exactly the biggest or broadest player in the league.
So in a bid to intimidate his opponents and get a slight mental edge over them during games, the Chicago Bulls legend wanted to put on some size specifically in his arms.
“When I was training MJ, the Bulls’ strength coach asked why I had him doing bicep curls,” Grover said.
“The theory was biceps were just for show and didn’t really make someone a better basketball player. And that was probably true. But we were going for that 0.0001 per cent, which included the intimidation factor of his biggest, stronger, more dominant physique.
“What’s the first thing you see on a basketball player when he takes off his warm-ups? Those arms. Details matter.”
If you watched The Last Dance documentary, then you’ll understand just how much of a competitor MJ was and winning that mental warfare was definitely what made him become arguably the greatest to ever do it.
But getting bigger biceps purely to intimidate opponents? That’s pretty impressive stuff.
And in order to put on that extra size, as well as keep his energy tank ticking over, Grover put MJ on a special diet of steaks.
“Back in the eighties and nineties, the nutrition prescription for athletes was carbs, carbs, more carbs. Everyone was eating rice and pasta for fuel, but that wasn’t working for MJ. Aside from feeling bloated, he was playing so hard that it just wasn’t enough for him,” Grover said.
“When the team was playing at home, he was eating at 3:30pm in order to get to the stadium by 6pm. So he was starving by the 7:30pm game time, and by the fourth quarter, he could feel his energy decreasing. So we added a steak to his pre-game meal.
“We had to devise a new plan for Michael, based on his body chemistry and schedule, his playing minutes, and the massive amount of energy he expended on the court. The steak slowed down the digestion of everything else he was eating – the starches, vegetables, etc. – and kept his blood sugar consistent so he had more energy throughout the entire game.”