Kobe Bryant Is Spending Retirement Lifting, Getting Huge

Credit: Allen Berezovsky / Getty Images

A year out of the game, Kobe Bryant looks just as fit as ever. His secret? Lifting bigger and eating smarter.

“I had to keep a more slender frame when I was playing on the court,” says Bryant, whose retirement project involves a sports content creation company called Docen Media. “These days the only time I play basketball is with my daughter.”

For Bryant, retirement from the sport meant the opportunity to finally add serious mass. “I don’t have to be as agile as I used to,” he says. “Being lean was easy, because I was always pretty scrawny growing up. But these days I have been able to really up the weight, and put on some legitimate muscle.”

Clearly it's working. Bryant hasn’t taken to Instagramming his gym sessions yet (besides, can anyone really top James Harrison?), but the guy clearly built some guns after he hung up the jersey.

Quick photo shoot with @glenkeaneprd before the premiere of #DearBasketball #tribeca2017

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The five-time NBA champion worked with his trainers to push him outside of his comfort zone, and created a killer high-weight, low-rep program set to boost testosterone and get him big. “I go pretty hard on the bench,” Bryant says. “I get in the gym and throw around the heavy stuff about four days a week.”

Take note that the laser-focused athlete doesn’t take the intense calorie burn as a green light to indulge in junk foods. “I eat cleaner than I did before, actually,” he says. “I used to be able to go through a few In-N-Out burgers, no problem, but I’m older now and that can get dangerous. I don’t miss them though. I feel amazing these days.”

Looking to bulk up Bryant-style this summer? Check out this program from Walter Norton Jr., owner of IFP Gym in Massachusetts, and the guy who got Ben Affleck huge to play Batman. “I have a lot of older guys come through the gym hoping to put on more muscle,” Norton says. “But you want to be smart how you do it, making sure not to push yourself too hard too quick.”

In other words, the weights should be heavy, but not so much that it compromises form. “You should be able to pull off one perfect rep with ease,” Norton says. “From then on you want to be challenged.” Make sure you complement the program with plenty of proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats.

Day One

Block A

Block B

Circuit A

Complete four rounds without rest between the two exercises.

Day Two

Block A

Block B

Day Three

Block A

Block B