Kobe Bryant training

The Kobe Bryant Training Method for Basketball

Kobe Bryant’s Workout Routine and Diet

Kobe Bryant is one of the top ten basketball players of all time. He played for the Lakers and was a giant on the court. During his 20-year NBA career, he proved what a great player he was.  5-time NBA champ, 18-time All-Star and went to the Olympics twice.

So, how does an athlete like Bryant keep his body in shape and stay competitive on the court? Through determination, diet, and hard work. According to teammates, Kobe Bryant worked harder than anyone else, always showing up to practice early and well ahead of everyone else. He was driven to succeed and gave it his all. He practiced his moves, his speed, his jumps, and even practiced dribbling without a ball. He lived his sport, even with his family responsibilities.

Nutritional Base

When playing any type of sport, you have to start with a healthy diet. Protein plays a big part in building muscle as well as burning off extra fat in the body.  Foods like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and legumes are high in protein and will help fuel your workouts. You should also make sure to stay well-hydrated before and after working out by drinking plenty of water. You will lose a lot of fluids through sweat, so make sure to drink plenty of liquids after an intense workout to replace what you lost.

Kobe Bryant’s Diet

Kobe Bryant and other members of his team followed a strict diet implemented by the nutritionist the Lakers hired for the team. The diet is similar to the Paleo diet and focuses primarily on protein from grass-fed animals and organic vegetables. High protein, medium fats, and low carbs, with little to no sugar or processed foods. Kobe said the hardest part for him was realizing that, as he got older, he really had to start focusing on his diet.  In his younger days, he could eat pizza, snack foods, soda and candy without a second thought. It was hard to give some of those favorite foods up, but he knew it was important to eat healthy to maintain his performance.

A Typical Day of Eating

Having a nutritionist to plan his meals made it easy to stick with his diet. And, of course, he also got a lot of encouragement from his teammates as well. A typical day’s meals would look something like this:


  • 3-egg omelet
  • Bowl of oatmeal
  • Fresh fruit
  • Green tea


  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Olive oil


  • Chicken or beef
  • Quinoa

In addition to this, he also incorporated protein shakes, bone broth, and fish oil into his diet for added nutrients. Kobe found that bone broth helped keep down on the inflammation in his knees, which helped a lot when he played. He knew that what he put in his body for fuel helped him stay on top of his game.

Kobe Bryant’s Workout Routine

Kobe worked out on an alternating day schedule. He had a personal trainer who developed this routine for him to build up his strength, speed, and agility. In the  off-season, his  routine was to train six hours a day, six days a week for six months out of the year to maximize his strength and endurance.

Days 1 and 4 – Abdominal Crunches, Bench Press, Incline Press, Military Press, Lateral Pull-Downs. 8-12 reps x 3-4 sets each.

Days 2 and 5 – Bicep Curls, Bar Dips, Lateral Dumbbell Raises, Triceps Press-Downs,. Abdominal Crunches. 8-12 reps x 3-4 sets.

Days 3 and 6 – Power Cleans, Front Squats, Back Squats, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Calf Raises. 8-12 reps x 3-4 sets.

Day 7 – Rest and Recovery.

A part of his practice training included practicing free shots from different areas on the court. He set a goal of 10 baskets from each spot and wouldn’t move on until he made all 10.

He would divide his 6-hour training sessions into 2 hours of weight-lifting, 2 hours of cardio (high-intensity training and sprints), and 2 hours of basketball drills. Due to his long career in basketball, starting as a teenager in high school, he put a lot of wear and tear on his knees and had to have surgery to repair some of the damage. Incorporating bone broth into his diet, as well as restricting starchy carbs, helped reduce the inflammation in his body which helped him stay pain free during workouts and when playing.

Kobe Bryant on Sleep and Muscle Recovery

sleepRest and recovery is an important part of building muscle. In addition to working a muscle, it needs sufficient time to recover in order to grow. Eating a good amount of protein, including bone broth for collagen, helps build muscle along with intense training, but the body repairs itself when we sleep. So you work the muscle during the day, and let it rest at night to repair itself. Getting plenty of good, restful sleep is vital to your health and well-being. Taking a day off training once a week also helps muscle recovery and prevents a lot of muscle stiffness.

When he was younger, Kobe said he could run off of 3 – 4 hours per night and be fine. But as he got older, he found that getting more sleep gave him more energy during the day, which is something he needed to keep up his training and playing with his 4 children.

Kobe Bryant retired from basketball at 37 years of age.  Even though he was no longer playing for The Lakers, he still got up early to train and do his workouts before starting on his own business ventures. He found that since he didn’t need to be as speedy and agile anymore, it was time to add on more muscle and bulk up. So he started to focus more on weight training and building muscle. His daughters would often accompany him to the gym for some daddy-daughter time before school.


healthy mealNutritional tips for Athletes

  • The most important thing is to get enough protein and other vital nutrients to keep you strong and healthy. Good sources of protein include beef, chicken, wild-caught fish, beans, and nuts.
  • Vegetables that are low in carbs like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and cauliflower are good choices. Healthy carbs like oatmeal and quinoa replace starchy pasta and potatoes to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals.
  • Avoid processed foods, junk food, and soft drinks as much as possible. Drink water, green tea, and limit caffeine.

Training Tips for Basketball Players

So, now you know how to structure your diet for optimum health, it’s time to focus on your workouts to increase strength, agility, and endurance for the game. Here are some training tips from coaches, trainers, and former NBA players.

You need to have a workout plan. Your training plan should address everything you want to improve and be designed to allow proper recuperation. Follow your training schedule exactly and you’ll know exactly what to do, and get it done efficiently.

Prioritize your workouts.  Treat your training just like you would a doctor or dentist appointment. Training and practice are the most important things in sports or any career. Make a training schedule and stick to it every day. Don’t allow anything to interfere with that.

jumping drills
Jumping drills

One of the most important skills to hone is shooting. Practice this skill daily by shooting hoops until you can shoot consistently from different areas of the court. Make it your goal to successfully make 1,500 shots every week and become the best shooter on the team.

Spend quality time in the gym, not quantity time. The time you spend in the gym will make or break your playing skill. Focus on the most important things first, and train consistently. Practice drills, shooting, and do some weight training and cardio to help with strength and stamina. Spending all day in the gym and not accomplishing much will not help you to succeed. Make the time you spend there productive and efficient.

Practice box jumps, lateral jumps, squat jumps, and depth jumps. Working these muscles helps you run faster and jump higher, which is important for hitting those shots.

If you strive to be the best player on the team, you will be successful. Keep these training tips in mind and be consistent with your workouts, practice drills, and follow the lifestyle tips to stay healthy and strong.

Sport Specific Strength Training

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Mr. America Jason Kozma and his team of sport-specific training experts will be able to determine your weaknesses through observation and then they will create a specialized plan to strengthen those weaknesses as well as boost your body’s ability to play basketball, baseball, hockey, football, tennis, martial arts or your specific sport.

We’ll create the perfect endurance and speed improvement plan for you based on your current fitness level and sport. We will also develop a nutritional plan that will help boost the effectiveness of your workout routine.

Not a competitive athlete? My 8 week personal training package is a great option for people who suffer from sports injuries and want to get back into top shape.

Call today to set up a consultation to get started.

Now offering personal training in Manhattan Beach as well as Santa Monica training sessions.

RIP Kobe and Gianna


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