Working Out With... Cheryl Ford

Her last name is Ford, and much like the automobile, she was built pretty darned tough.

One of the WNBA's most imposing physical players, 26-year-old Detroit Shock veteran Cheryl Ford puts the power in power forward. She may not be the high-scoring offensive star her father Karl Malone was, but Ford's physique and strength in the paint remind many of her old man. Ford was slowed this past season by a knee injury, but there's little doubt that she'll be back and better than ever in 2008.

So how does Ford remain such a physical presence despite the constant pounding she receives in the lane? caught up with the 2007 All-Star Game MVP recently, and she discussed her offseason training regimen.

Q. When was it that you started working out?

A. I started working out every day and began seeing the trainer when I got to the WNBA. But my dad used to work me out two or three times a week.

Q. What do you do to stay in shape during the offseason?

A. I used to play in the NWBL but I am no longer doing that. I now work out with a personal trainer for a few hours everyday. I'm off on the weekends, but I work out like this Monday through Friday.

Q. What's your favorite exercise for the lower body? And what kind of results does this help you to achieve?

A. My dad always stresses that girls have more frequent ACL injuries because our quads are not as strong as they should be. I focus a lot on that: doing things like squats and lunges.

Q. What's your favorite exercise for the upper body?

A. Well, my arms are already big, but I like to do curls and bench press. I actually enjoy it.

Q. What's your favorite cardio exercise?

A. I like the treadmill over everything else. My dad always pushes me to get on the elliptical and he is big into the stair-stepper, but I don't like it too much. I've run for an hour straight on the treadmill.

Q. Is there one exercise that you hate doing and have to force yourself to complete?

A. Yeah, the elliptical machine and the Stair Master. I hate them so much (laughs). But they still put me on it.

Q. What kinds of music do you usually listen to while you're working out?

A. R&B and rap. Right now, Fantasia is in my CD player.

Q. Which fitness product on TV makes you laugh the hardest?

A. Haha, I think the Thigh Master is funny. You have to lay down and squeeze. I'm not into that.

Q. Is there a certain meal that you like to eat before games?

A. Pregame in Detroit, we would go to the Olive Garden and eat pasta. On the road, Ayana Walker and I would go find pasta somewhere. We'll eat a few hours before the game, then nap, then get ready to go play. It seemed to work pretty well for us.