Kobe Bryant's Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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When it comes to creating a pro-athlete workout routine, NBA basketball players are a great sport to look to for inspiration.

And to honor one of the most talented NBA All-Star players in history, we decided to publish our Kobe Bryant workout routine.

Together with the Total Shape team, I spent days combing his interviews, social media, and YouTube videos. Here's everything you should know about Kobe Bryant's workout regimen.

His Stats

Born: August 23, 1978

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 215 lbs

 

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Kobe Bryant’s basketball skills were on display for his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Whether you enjoyed his turnaround shots or his highly effective defense skills, one thing is for sure: he got into an incredible physical shape through a mix of constant weight lifting and track work.

Yes, track work was a surprising feature of his workouts. And we believe it contributed a lot to his All-Star successes [1].

I've tried incorporating aspects of his routine into my own workouts, and I can tell you, the blend of strength and cardio is a game-changer.

Let’s take a closer look.

Kobe Bryant's Workout Routine

man doing a bench press, shirtless man doing chinups

The Kobe Bryant workout is quite different from what a lot of bodybuilders would be used to. The main reason is that, as a basketball player, you don’t want your workout to build maximum muscle mass.

Sticking with regular compound exercises at the gym will increase your strength high enough without significant weight gain from muscle tissue.

You May Also Like: Kobe Bryant Workout PDF

Monday & Thursday: Upper Body

This part of the workout routine gives you a long list of weight-training exercises. But that doesn’t mean you do all of them each day.

  • Pick half for any given training day and regularly mix them around.
  • Military Press (3 sets of max reps)
  • Bench Press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Parallel Bar Dips (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Lat pull-downs (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Biceps curls (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Lateral dumbbell raises (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Triceps cable push-downs (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Wide-grip pull-ups (3 sets of max reps)
  • Deadlifts (3 sets of max reps)
  • Incline dumbbell press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Cable chest flys (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Close-grip chin-ups (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)

Tuesday & Friday: Legs

Given how high Kobe Bryant was able to jump, it’s clear that he tailored his workouts to his legs. This was a training focus point from a young age, when he was in high school.

Inspired by Kobe's incredible jumping ability, I decided to focus more on leg workouts. This shift in my training focus has not only improved my vertical leap but also enhanced my running speed and stability.

  • Calf raises (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Leg extensions (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Hamstring curls (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Glute bridge (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Front squats (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Back squats (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Power cleans (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
  • Lunges (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)

Wednesday & Saturday: Cardio

Kobe Bryant regularly did track work to improve his cardio, and it’s how he gained his speed and agility.

You can do the same or pick some cardio machines to do in between your weightlifting days.

I incorporated track work into my own fitness routine. The impact was profound; not only did my cardiovascular health improve, but I also noticed a significant enhancement in my agility and reaction times.

Psychological Aspects of Training

Kobe Bryant's "Mamba Mentality" wasn't just a catchphrase; it was a philosophy that defined his approach to training, diet, and life.

Kobe believed in pushing himself to the limit and constantly setting higher benchmarks. He saw challenges not as obstacles but as opportunities to grow stronger.

Moreover, Kobe's approach to dealing with setbacks and injuries provides valuable lessons in resilience. He viewed injuries not just as physical challenges but as mental battles to be won.

By incorporating Kobe's mental strategies, such as setting clear goals, maintaining a positive attitude, and visualizing success, you can learn to overcome challenges and stay committed to your fitness journey.

Injury Prevention and Recovery

Kobe's workout regimen included exercises specifically designed to strengthen muscles and joints, thereby reducing the risk of injury. These exercises focused on enhancing core stability, improving balance, and increasing flexibility.

For instance, incorporating yoga and Pilates into his routine helped improve his flexibility and core strength, crucial for injury prevention in a high-impact sport like basketball.

In terms of recovery, his approach included a well-planned diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients essential for muscle repair and recovery. He also emphasized the importance of adequate rest and sleep, recognizing these as critical components of an athlete's recovery process.

Kobe Bryant's Diet

boiled egg with pepper, bowl filled with salad

Unfortunately, there’s little information about Kobe Bryant’s diet and meal plans.

There are some photos and videos of him at parties and restaurants, digging into the occasional burgers and pizza.

But given his athletic appearance, it’s far more likely that he avoided junk food most of the time.

While he did go through intense workouts, he wouldn’t have had the same need for massive amounts of protein as a bodybuilder.

It’s still likely that he kept his carbs low and increased his protein intake to maintain his workout energy requirements.

What Supplements Was He Taking?

Kobe Bryant's supplement regimen primarily consisted of whey protein and BCAAs to aid in muscle recovery and reduce post-workout soreness.

  • Whey Protein

On the days that Kobe Bryant hit the weights for his workout, he would likely be quite sore. Whey is the best option to help with recovery times and limit that soreness.

  • BCAAs

BCAAs are the secret weapon of many professional athletes. According to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it has been linked to faster muscle recovery as well as limiting fatigue during and after a workout [2].


References:

  1. https://www.sportingnews.com/in/nba/news/kobe-bryant-all-star-game-records-stats-best-moments/1mb1xqq0ogx9a19heuywylmtqp
  2. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-016-0142-y
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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