If you’ve ever marveled at Michael B. Jordan‘s ripped physique in the “Creed” movies, know that he has Corey Calliet to thank.
The personal trainer, who has been working with Jordan since 2014, told Insider how he helped his longtime friend get into the best shape of his life for the latest “Creed” movie.
When it came to training for the third instalment of the movie franchise, where Jordan again plays Adonis Creed, the illegitimate son of Apollo pursuing a career in professional boxing, Calliet had an extra challenge on his hands. Not only did they want Jordan’s physical prowess to improve with every film — in “Creed 3,” Creed is coming out of retirement and is far from a newbie — but Jordan was also making his directorial debut while starring in the movie.
Calliet told Insider how he trained the movie star to create his best body ever, while also ensuring he was performing to the best of his abilities both as an actor and a director.
The secret? Short workouts whenever they could get them in around filming.
“Have you ever heard of eating on the go? Well we trained on the go,” Calliet said. “We had to train in small increments throughout the day because we couldn’t get full sessions in.”
When Jordan is not filming or preparing for a role, he doesn’t let his physique and fitness go, Calliet said. Calliet likes him to stay no more than six weeks away from being in shape, he said.
“Just so we’re moving and keeping the body going so that when it’s time to start again, it’s not so hard,” he said.
For “Creed 3,” which is released in March, Calliet and Jordan trained six days a week for four months before filming began, with the aim of making Jordan’s physique his best ever.
“This time he’s probably bigger than all the rest of them,” Calliet said. “He’s big and chiseled.”
They would work out for 60-90 minutes once or twice a day, focusing on a different muscle group each time, as well as doing boxing, Calliet said.
To build Jordan’s abs, Calliet threw a wide range of exercises at him, including bicycle crunches, lying leg raises, ab roll-outs, weighted rope crunches, and Russian twists, he said.
Calliet also trained Jonathan Majors, who stars alongside Jordan in “Creed 3.” The competitive drive to be better than the other helped both men work harder, Calliet said.
When filming began, however, the training was “very sporadic,” Calliet said, with the duo working out for half an hour here and there.
Each 30-minute workout would begin with some cardio like running, a warm-up, and then full body training such as plyometrics, calisthenics, weight lifting, HIIT, or conditioning.
Jordan did lots of different types of workouts to “keep shocking his body,” Calliet said.
As an experienced athlete, Jordan’s body is used to working out a lot. So in order to get results, Calliet kept challenging him with different types of exercise, he said.
“It keeps your body guessing, and that’s when it’s changing,” Calliet said. “When a body gets used to something, it becomes stagnant and you don’t see the changes as fast any more.”
The workouts were also a welcome stress relief from the pressure of directing for Jordan, Calliet said.
Calliet said Jordan has run on very little sleep as long as he’s known him. If tiredness ever started to affect his training though, Jordan would take a nap or have one long sleep, Calliet said.
To build Jordan’s biggest body ever, nutrition was crucial: “Your body won’t change without the nutrition,” Calliet said.
It was a “strict diet,” Calliet said, but with plenty of snacks like fruit to give Jordan energy throughout the day.
Once a week he had a “cheat meal,” which would sometimes benefit Jordan’s physique, Calliet said, explaining that after Jordan would eat, say, a burger, his muscles would look fuller and his body less “flat.”
The aim was to be in a small calorie deficit most days, getting stricter nearer shooting.
Calliet planned all Jordan’s meals, and his diet was simple and repetitive, focusing on protein and whole foods. An average day of eating was:
“I believe that when you’re trying to look a certain way, the simple diet, the bodybuilding diet, that’s the stuff that works,” Calliet said
Jordan also supplemented his diet with BCAAs, protein powder, glutamine (to aid recovery), and a multivitamin, Calliet said.
As his final flourish, Calliet joined Jordan on set every day to make sure every punch was captured from the best angle, and his hard-earned body looked perfect in any light.