Interviews

How Michael B. Jordan is Getting in Shape for “Creed II” in Philadelphia

We chatted with Michael B. Jordan's trainer, Corey Calliet.


Celebrity trainer Corey Calliet. Photograph courtesy StatusPR.

Celebrity trainer Corey Calliet has made a career of getting famous bodies into very, very good shape. One body in particular has garnered Calliet a lot of attention: that of actor Michael B. Jordan, Creed and Black Panther star.

Now that production is ramping up for Creed II here in Philadelphia, Calliet is in town as Jordan’s trainer, getting him ready for the boxing ring and the big screen. While the goal for Jordan’s Black Panther physique was all about bulking — the actor put on ten to 15 pounds of muscle — for Creed II, it’s all about getting ready to look the part of a boxer.

To find out just how Calliet (that’s @mrcalliet to you) is making that happen over the next few months in Philly — he’s in town until July — we hopped on the phone with the Revenge Body star for a chat.

How’s Philly treating you? 
I’m enjoying being in Old City. It’s not so cold anymore, so I’m sure happy to be here and to not be so freezing.

Where are you doing your training here?
At Sweat Fitness. We work there some of the time, not all of the time. It all depends on what time it is because sometimes it gets crowded and everybody wants to talk to us. So we usually just train at our apartment complex over here.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Right now, because we’re in pre-production, we wake up, go to the gym so we can get him on the cardio. Eat. Then we go to the studio for like six or seven hours because we’re doing choreography, meetings, and table reads. Then back to training again, and then we’re all just are kind of hanging out and relaxing and getting ready for the next day. It’s very military style — doing the same thing every day because this is such a physical and serious movie, and we have to be ready for these roles.

How is your training time spent?
Say we get to the studio maybe about 9:30, we warm up until about 10. We’ll do strictly boxing on the mitts from 10 to 11, then from 11 to like 2, we’ll be in there doing choreography for like two or three hours. Then once that’s over, we’ll take a lunch break, then we’re back doing plyometric and HIIT work, stretching, and then after that we’re getting back on the mitts again. Then we’re leaving. Once we get to the apartment, we relax about two or three hours, then we do some weight training at the end of the night.

That’s a lot. What’s the difference between doing boxing for fitness and doing boxing to look good in a movie?
When you’re boxing as a professional athlete, you’re not really worried about the aesthetics of it — the cosmetics is what I call it. Boxing for real, you want to fight to defend yourself from being beat, so it’s harder conditioning because you’re actually defending yourself. When you think about getting ready for a movie…you’re not really hitting each other, so you don’t have to defend yourself — but you have to give it that look. When you’re actually fighting for real, it’s more trying to survive — so it’s harder than getting ready for a movie.

What’s the secret to getting in amazing shape for these movies? 
Food. The nutrition. The way you look better is by me knowing what I’m putting in your body, because I know how foods actually work for your body. If your dieting is on point — I don’t care what anybody says — if your dieting is on point, you will look amazing. If your diet is okay, you will just look okay. It comes down to the food. You can train to do whatever you want to — you have to make sure you’re fueling your body the right way.

How have you changed Jordan’s nutrition plan from bulking for Black Panther to now? 
I’ve detailed his nutrition more to get him lean and get him more ripped. It went from him having a lot of big meals — the ounces of protein, the carbohydrates much higher. This time, it’s much lower and I’m playing with the food, watching how his body is changing daily and making a judgement call on whether I need to take out or add in.

People choreograph movements to dance — that’s the same thing I do with my nutrients. I choreograph my nutrients to make me look good.

What kind of diet do you personally follow?
I follow a diet that’s a very balanced diet between carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. I make changes according to what I have to do and how I’m trying to look. So it’s never one steady diet that I use. I’m not into all the fad diets, like the intermittent fasting and the keto. The keto is a very good diet, but you almost have to do that perfect for it to work. So I keep it simple; I keep carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, good balanced meals, and if I need to lean up, I know how to change my protein, I know how to drop my carbohydrates. People choreograph movements to dance — that’s the same thing I do with my nutrients. I choreograph my nutrients to make me look good.

Have you eaten anywhere in Philly? 
The other day I went out to Geno’s for a cheesesteak. I’m not a big person to go out to eat all the time, honestly, because I feel like when I go out to eat I order the same stuff I have in my house and eat every day so it isn’t any fun. We did try some soul food — I don’t know where he got it from, but it did remind me of being at home in the South.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve done in Philly so far? 
The 76ers rolled out the red carpet for us. We went to the new 76ers facility and I mean, everything that you could possibly think of — training to the recovery center, they even had their chef prepare us food — it was a really cool experience. I feel like I play for the 76ers the way they treat us. It was amazing.

I’ve heard people can reach out to you via Instagram or your website if they want to train with you while you’re in town. Is that true? 
I’m a person that doesn’t mind meeting people. Some people get fame and they don’t want to meet people, but if you ask me and I’m available, I will meet you. I have no problem with that.

What should people expect from a session with you?
The first session with me is getting to know you and your fears and what you can and cannot do. It’s going to be hard. I make you do things you feel like you can’t do. I help you build that form and that shape and that confidence in your mind, to be able to do it. For me, it’s very much mental as much as physical. So when a person comes to me, look forward to a new you. If you come to me not wanting to change — you have to want to change — it will not happen. Some people come to train just to say they trained with Mr. Calliet or just to meet me. That’s not a great reason to come to me. Utilize me. I am good. I am great. Use me while you have that time.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and brevity.

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