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Kobe Bryant’s Workout Routine, Diet Plan & Supplements

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 6, 2021

When it comes to creating a pro athlete workout routine, NBA basketball players are a great sport to look for inspiration.

What I mean is that basketball skills require a lot of strength training to get that explosive power for jumping, shooting from a distance, and drastic changes in direction.

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

His Stats

kobe bryant running in a basketball court

Born: August 23, 1978

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 215 lbs

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

And from his first NBA game, basketball fans around the world were in awe of his ability to take control of a basketball court.

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].

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.

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.

  • 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 machine to do in between your weightlifting days.

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 intake was probably limited to two things.

  • 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 limiting that soreness.

  • BCAAs

This is the secret weapon of many professional athletes as it has been linked to faster muscle recovery as well as limiting fatigue during and post-workout [2].

Could You Benefit From Kobe Bryant's Workout Routine?

Weight lifting and track work is not the most common way for players to improve their basketball skills. But Kobe Bryant obviously gained huge benefits from this workout routine.

It’s not a workout routine that you can approach half-heartedly. But with the right dedication and motivation, it’s one of those workouts that will deliver.


References:

  1. https://in.nba.com/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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