An NBA athlete pushes himself to achieve the best physical condition by participating in strenuous workout routines. Players spend large sums of money on private trainers to help them achieve the ultimate physical stature.
With that in mind, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have trained with Ed Downs to give them a competitive edge.
Downs is the co-founder of his own training facility in Miami, Florida called TERF (Training, Enthusiasm, Respecting, and Fundamentals).
Downs focuses on the six skill parameters during training sessions with Wade and Bosh, which are speed, coordination, reaction time, agility, power and balance.
To maximize those parameters, Downs uses his background in mathematical and computer science, and martial arts, while training with Wade and Bosh. Downs is a fifth degree black belt and U.S. Martial Arts Hall Of Fame Inductee. In addition, Downs was previously a Navy Seals trainer and received the Medal of Honor from the 7th Special Forces Group.
After winning the NBA championship when Bosh moved to center, the Heat approached the 6-foot-11 forward about playing center full-time. Once Bosh agreed, he trained with Downs to prepare for the rigorous demands of the center position.
Downs told RealGM what skill parameters he focused on while training with Bosh.
“His speed, his footwork and agility because his mass cannot get so big,” said Downs. “He doesn’t have the body frame to be 260 pounds, it’s not going to happen. He can drink shakes and eat power protein bars all he wants, it’s not going to stick to his body. So what we did was try to make him as strong as possible with that same mass, that same size. That’s what we worked on all summer. At the same time increasing his flexibility to help get him more speed and quickness. A lot of his workouts dealt with close outs, vertical leaps, first steps, which are quick movements to get him to the spot quicker than those big guys.”
Downs incorporated martial arts defensive moves to help Bosh prepare for more time at center.
“I did that for (Bosh) to help develop his strength in the base in his legs, lower body, glutes, etc. because he’s going from playing power forward to a center to be strong down low,” said Downs.
Bosh gave a testimonial statement after working with Downs on the trainer’s proterf.com website.
“It has given me a strong base that I need playing down low as a center versus a power forward,” said Bosh. “I feel I have a more solid post-up game and presence for offensive and defensive rebounding."
Bosh has seen the benefits of working with Downs and has become more efficient. Bosh is shooting career-highs in field goal percentage (.547), true shooting percentage (.620), effective field goal percentage (.564), free throw percentage (.846) and block percentage (3.54).
Wade has also benefited from working with Downs and has been a dedicated client. Wade is so dedicated that he called Downs first thing on Jan. 7 before catching a flight for a road trip on the west coast. Downs held an hour and a half training session with Wade hours before the superstar flew with the team to the west coast.
At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Downs’ goal is to maximize the power of Wade’s frame.
“A lot of it deals with the technique you use when doing certain exercises, your form and your angle for example,” said Downs. “I actually work with certain guys like D-Wade on what angle of approach he should take to get by an opponent or what angle he should move to stop an opponent from getting passed him.”
At 30, Wade utilizes those angles to make up for declining athleticism caused by injuries over the past decade.
“Another thing was being more explosive vertically with Wade because he was losing that last year because of his injury,” said Downs. “So we worked all this summer on going from zigzagging left-to-right, to stopping on a dime and exploding vertically straight up.”
Downs has also showed Wade techniques that will help him maintain his health and remain on the court for Miami.
“He goes to the ground a lot,” said Downs. “At one point we were actually doing martial arts stuff showing him how to fall because a lot of times you get injured when you fall to the ground.”
Similar to Bosh, Wade praised Downs when discussing their time together on proterf.com.
“It’s different than all other workouts like the typical weight lifting routines,” said Wade. “With PROTERF you have to control your whole body from your shoulders all the way down to your ankles. It has helped me improve my overall game.”
While Wade and Bosh continue to improve their physical stature under Downs, the trainer also hopes expand and share his workouts with children as young as eight-years-old and up to fight obesity across the country on his website.
Unlike common work out regimens, Downs caters to the youth and relies on resistance bands instead of weights and a combination of protein bars or shakes.
“We don’t use a lot of weights,” said Downs. “We use a lot of resistance bands. A weight is always 10 pounds from the moment you move initially it’s 10, which could be too heavy for your initial movement. Whereas, a band goes from one pound to 10 pounds allowing you to take that first movement quickly and by the time it becomes 10 pounds, now you’ve moved into what we call a power curve.”
As a result, the children of NBA superstars, including the children of Dwyane Wade and Penny Hardaway, have already begun training with Downs.
“I love what I do and I want to share it with everyone out there,” said Downs.