Joel Kinnaman grew up in Sweden, the son of a Swedish mother and an American dad. He started acting as a child but gave it up as a teen, only to return in his 20s. After high school, he traveled around the world, financing his trip with various odd jobs. He attended drama school and appeared in several Swedish films and on stage. Kinnamen rose to prominence with his role in Easy Money and then began looking for acting roles in the US. In 2012, he landed the lead in the RoboCop reboot. Kinnamen has also worked on several tv series including House of Cards and Altered Carbon. He has over a million followers on social media. Kinnaman is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 185 lbs. He has about 10% body fat.
Joel Kinnaman’s Diet
Kinnaman is naturally lean, but he eats a diet that supports his physique. He takes a pass on any kind of junk be it in the form of food, alcohol or cigarettes, and fills his temple with healthy, wholesome foods like chicken, fish, veggies, fresh fruit, oatmeal, brown rice, and dark chocolate as a treat. He also drinks plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Medium Carbs 40% 40%
- Medium Protein 40% 40%
- Medium Fat 30% 30%
Start the Day Right
Kinnaman likes to eat healthy, filling meals. He starts off the day with things like a veggie omelet or oatmeal.
Kinnaman eats well-balanced meals throughout the day. Lunch and dinner are usually some kind of animal protein such as chicken or fish, along with a salad or veggies such as broccoli and a whole grain like brown rice.
For a snack, Kinnaman might have a protein shake or fruit salad.
Kinnaman will often finish off his dinner with some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is delicious, and chock-full of healthful antioxidants.
In his youth, Kinnaman traveled around the world, whetting his appetite for different cuisines, including Indian curries.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Kinnaman on Pork Rinds
‘I hate pork rinds. I couldn’t imagine how anybody would ever get the idea of taking skin from a pig and frying it and then trying to sell it to people. And then people actually buy it to eat it. That is the true sign of the decline of the human race.’
Kinnaman on Researching the Mind-body Connection
‘I read a couple of books about neuroscience and the relationship between the mind and the body.’
Kinnaman on Mental Health
‘Nobody wants to be depressed; everybody’s trying to feel better. When they strive and fail, it’s all the more poignant.’
Joel Kinnaman’s Fitness Routine
Real Action Hero
Kinnaman worked with celebrity trainer Bobby Strom to get in shape for RoboCop. Even though his body was mostly hidden by the suit, being fit translated to confidence and a better performance.
For RoboCop, Kinnaman never did the same workout twice, and he did every circuit to failure.
Mix It Up
Kinnaman says he’ll try anything to keep things interesting, and his training also depends on what role he’s playing. When he needs to be slimmer, he’ll do things like yoga.
Kinnaman spent 6 months training before filming started on Altered Carbon.
Classic Weight Training
To build muscle, Kinnaman did plenty of powerlifting like squats, deadlifts and clean & snatches.
Discover Your Inner Fighter
Kinnaman discovered a love of jiu-jitsu while preparing for Altered Carbon. He practiced several different fight styles to play the mercenary soldier, but something just clicked when he tried the Brazilian martial art.
Kinnaman likes to box and uses it to get in shape for various roles, including RoboCop. He sometimes trains at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.
Swedish Boot Camp
Kinnaman has trained with the Swedish Special Forces. This includes a lot of obstacle courses with sprinting, crawling, climbing and wading through water, along with plenty of push ups and sit ups. The goal is improving stamina and muscular endurance.
A Sample Joel Kinnaman Robo-Routine
Select weights you can do at least 15 reps with.
Take all sets to failure.
Repeat 4 times, 2 min rest between circuits.
Warm up: 5 min on rowing machine
Alternating dumbbell bench press
Incline dumbbell fly
Alternating dumbbell curl
Kinnaman on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
‘If I don’t train for like 3-4 days, my mind starts playing tricks on me.’
Kinnaman on Why He Got in Shape for Altered Carbon
‘I wanted to be prepared so I could do all of my own stunts.’
Kinnaman on the Real Way He Got Ripped for Altered Carbon
‘A lot of stretching in front of the mirror. Naked.’
Joel Kinnaman’s Supplements
If Kinnaman takes supplements besides a daily protein shake, he’s not telling anyone about it, but here are some benefits that may benefit someone following a similar diet and exercise routine.
A weight gainer is ideal for those who are naturally thin and struggle to gain muscle, even with sufficient caloric intake.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that reduces fatigue, improves performance and can help increase muscle mass while BCAAs also help improve gains and decrease muscle wasting.
Other supplements that offer both physical and mental benefits include vitamin D. Besides promoting strong bones and muscles, it also improves mood and cognitive function.
The mind is as important as the body and supplements like the Chinese herb Huperzine A can help improve memory, as can ginkgo biloba which contains antioxidants that protect the brain against damaging toxins.
Joel Kinnaman’s Lifestyle
Let It All Hang Out
Kinnaman’s parents sent him to high school in Texas for his senior year because he was running with the wrong crowd back in Sweden. He never actually graduated.
Serious About His Appearance
Kinnaman had a medical condition called pectus excavatum which makes the chest look caved-in. Before filming Altered Carbon, he had surgery to insert 2 metal bars to correct the problem.
Kinnaman’s father deserted during the Vietnam War and found work in Sweden. Kinnaman has 5 sisters by different mothers, and 25 people in what he calls ‘his big hippy family.’
Kinnaman has loved his hometown soccer club Hammarby since he was a kid
Kinnaman on Nudity
‘My Swedish heritage prepared me well for [nudity]…You could see a family going swimming in the summer and they would all be naked. That was just normal.’
Kinnaman on How He Became an Actor
I didn’t graduate from high school because I was only there 40% of the time. So I didn’t have that many things that were pointing any good direction, and acting was the first thing I felt I might actually be good at.’
Kinnaman on Reboots
‘If we weren’t doing remakes, nobody would know who Shakespeare was. I’m not saying RoboCop is Shakespeare, but it’s a way we’re retelling. That’s what we do as human beings: we retell our favorite stories.’
Kinnaman on the Location of Human Intelligence
‘There’s a lot of neuroscience now raising the question, “Is all the intelligence in the human body in the brain?” And they’re finding out that, no, it’s not like that.’
Kinnaman on Whose Body He’d Pick if He Had a Choice
‘I’d take the Rock’s sleeve any day. That would be fun, be the biggest guy in the room.’
Jiu Jitsu gi
Jiu Jitsu mats