Michael B. Jordan looks in the form of his life in the trailer for the upcoming third film in the boxing drama series Creed. And it cannot be otherwise. However, he will once again play the role of a world boxing champion who is personally trained by Sylvester Stallone’s legendary Rocky Balboa.
So stepping into the shoes of Adonis Creed is no easy task for Jordan, and it takes a lot of effort to be able to portray a professional boxer believably.
However, anyone who has seen either of the previous two films (or “Black Panther”) knows what the actor is capable of.
No one is more aware of this than his personal trainer Cory Calliet, who has been taking care of the star’s perfect shape for the past few years and is actually directly responsible for it.
Before slipping on the boxing gloves for Creed and getting pumped for the role of Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, Jordan made a name for himself playing men who meet tragic ends. First as a teenager, he was Wallace in the series “Drug Network”, and then presented the last moments of the tragically murdered Oscar Grant in “The Incident at the Fruitvale Station”.
Just after the latter, he was cast for “Creed” and met Colliet.
“When we started, he could barely bench press 20 pounds, and his legs were swinging all over the place,” Calliet says in an interview with Looper. “He was terribly thin and he didn’t like himself at all.”
How does Jordan go from someone who can’t lift 20 pounds at all to a convincing professional boxer or a Navy SEAL in the thriller Ruthless?
Calliet’s secret lies in the purposeful preparation for each individual role. According to him, there are many actors who always look perfect, but not “the right perfect.”
“You can always look pumped up, but you’ll also move, move like a robot. The goal [за “Безпощадно”] was to be able to recreate completely faithfully what a Navy SEAL looks like, how it moves, how it talks and how it shoots,” explains Calliet.
Therefore, the preparation is always specific. For example, the focus of “Creed” was to create a true elite athlete, which meant endless boxing and training of specific boxing skills, as well as strength endurance sessions.
The emphasis in “Black Panther” was placed elsewhere – on putting on muscle mass with minimal cardio so that Jordan would look menacing enough as a supervillain.
For Creed 3, he also had a specific goal in mind – given that Jordan already has the necessary base, Kaliet’s main idea was to focus mostly on aesthetics.
“We already knew how to box, we knew what it felt like,” says the coach. “So the task now was just to look better than last time.”
In Creed 2, training sessions used to include a lot of push-ups, bodyweight exercises and squats, while now it’s a four-times-a-week weight training program. Three of them are split into upper body splits involving three muscle groups and exercises with minimal rest between each set.
The last workout is a circular complex of five leg exercises, which are also performed with minimal rest. This workout finally ends with some abdominal movements.
As for the food, it is also always tailored to the specific role Jordan is preparing for.
“If he doesn’t eat right, he won’t look the way he should. I keep him on a regimen 6 days a week and on Sundays I let him eat whatever he wants. It’s a reward but it also helps your body – a cheat day boosts your metabolism Calliet claimed.
The diets aren’t focused on counting calories, but are instead inspired by Calliet’s experience as a professional bodybuilder. His idea is that certain foods cause certain reactions in the body.
“If you only eat fish, it will make you look really lean and lean. It’s also important to use the right combinations of carbohydrates so that the glycogen in them will help you make the muscle bigger,” he explains.
For him, the time of eating is no less important than what is eaten.
“When we were working on the first Creed, maintaining a diet was new to him, so my main goal was just to get him to eat every two and a half hours,” recalls Calliet.
For “Black Panther”, Jordan had to gain mass and therefore he took more than 230 grams of protein per day, along with an additional amount of carbohydrates.
“Other times we do carb cycling – two days no carbs, one day high carb. For ‘Relentless’ it was different. There the carbs were high all the time because the movie itself was extremely action heavy than Michael had ever done. So and the regime was more relaxed,” says the coach.
How well he coped with his task of turning Jordan into a machine again, we will see on March 3, 2023, when “Creed 3” premieres.