It was a rare pleasure to welcome a giant of Australian basketball (pun intended) to Karma Rottnest last month in the prodigious shape of Damian Martin, fresh from winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. We grabbed a few minutes to sit down with him and get the low down on basketball, fitness, spa treatments and the secret to jumping like a pro-player!
1. Congrats on Australia’s amazing Commonwealth Games performance – what was the best thing about the whole experience for you?
There’s an image I’ve always loved growing up as I watched the Olympics or Commonwealth Games. It was seeing the gold medalist stepping up onto the podium, having the gold medal put on, looking in to the stands to see their family and friends and then signing the national anthem as their flag is being raised. To be able to live that is a moment I’ll never forget and I got to do so with my mum, dad, wife, daughter and brothers family in the stands made it so special.
2. Basketball seems like a super high impact sport. What’s the key to staying fit and healthy?
A balanced diet, sleep and discipline. I need the right foods for energy to train, sleep to rebuild and repair the muscles I’ve used and discipline to make sure I stick to a daily routine which helps me stay fit and healthy. Things such as choosing water over soft drink or vegetables/salad over hot chips. In saying that, I’m not obsessive with my diet and don’t see any problem with having a big counter meal if I go out to dinner or having dessert on date nights with my wife. Moderation is the biggest thing.
3. Is there a secret to being able to jump really high?
Some of it is genetics, some of it is hard work in the gym. I’ve seen guys who could jump over me but never lift a weight in the gym and other guys who squat really heavy weights, do lunges and deadlifts yet would struggle to jump over a quokka! Lower body weights combined with stretching and technique can help you get the most out of your body’s ability to jump.
4. Are there any basketball specific exercises that you think most people could benefit from?
We do a lot of “ladder work”. Different drills to improve the quickness of your footwork. Change of direction, jumping, hopping, running etc. all things which are high intensity so they get your heart rate up quickly and you can get a good work out in a short space of time. It helps improve speed and agility which is used across all walks of life not just on the basketball court!
5. What’s your favourite Karma Spa treatment?
As my wife said when I asked her this question she said she will need to try each and every one of them so she can have an informed decision! In other words, she just wants to be pampered for the next two days with world class spa treatments! I don’t think you can overlook the Man Overhaul, while my wife is a fan of a Chakra Blessing.