Just watching All-Star forward Tamika Catchings work out and exercise is impressive and exhausting.
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January 14, 2007 - Fever forward Tamika Catchings, the reigning two-time Defensive Player in the Year, has been called the most complete player by teammates and opponents alike and continues to get better. Her work ethic is second to none, and when she is not conducting fitness and basketball clinics around the world, this perennial M.V.P. candidate is in the gym herself. During the season, in the offseason and even on off-days, Catchings is committed to staying in the best shape she can. Prior to her heading to Korea for the offseason, we headed to the gym to work out with her and catch a glimpse of what makes her one of the fittest athletes in the WNBA.

Q. What's your favorite exercise?
"Squats and lunges, no weight, just body weight."

Q. What is the best way to get into cardio shape, or even to stay in great shape?
"I love to swim, so I think that also is cardio, I work on different strokes as far as keeping my upper body toned, making sure I don't use my arms to keep my legs, get my legs strong."

Q. What types of things will you do on off days during the season? Will you go to the gym?
"During the season it depends on how tired I am, if I'm really tired I don't do anything. But most of the time I go to the gym and try to get some shots up, It doesn't have to be a lot, like 200 to 300 shots and then I go home."

Q. And what are you doing now in the offseason. Is there any break for your body?
"I love swimming, just cardiowise, me and sister we go to boot camps that they offer at the gym sometimes, and obviously I ride the bike at the gym."

Q. What is your toughest fitness challenge? Is there anything you really don't like doing?
"I hate running on the bike. When you're playing basketball it's easy to get up and down the court because you are following the ball, but when are you just running, like track, I can't understand why people run just to run."

Q. Is there any special accomplishment that you are proud of?
"You might laugh, but riding the bike for 30 minutes, thirty minutes is like tops for me."

Q. What advice do you give to someone who is trying to get into better shape to play basketball?
"You have to start with small steps, I think a lot of people are like I'm going to get fit and go and try to ride the bike for 30 minutes. I mean you have to work your way up to it, start with five minutes maybe for like a week and work your way up five minutes at a time. As far as getting your body toned, do something like during a commercial break do some situps, just make the best of your time. By the time you've looked at thirty minute show you've probably seen like 15 minutes of commercials, so you think of all the situps that you've done. And it's not all at the same time so it's even more effective."

Q. Do you listen to music when working out:?
"I like to listen to R&B, something laid back, slow."

Q. Nutrition is obviously key. What are your favorite foods or maybe even a pre-game meal?
"Chicken, I love chicken, especially before a game, the night before more like pasta or even steak for me. But the day of a game I like chicken with potatoes, and Caesar salad, I eat that with every meal."