Black Panther Here’s How Michael B. Jordan Got Jacked
Celebrity trainer Corey Calliet reveals the secrets to Jordan’s massive supervillain build
When Black Panther arrives in the gym on Friday, get ready to see Michael B. Jordan’s muscles like you’ve never seen them before.
We know what you think, and yes, Jordan was already unbelievably tied for his lead role in Creed 2015. But according to celebrity trainer Corey Calliet – who has been working with Jordan since the Fantastic Four reboot in 2015 – the actor has was even more torn to play Marvel’s supervillain, Erik Killmonger.
“The word that kept playing in my mind was ‘savage,'” Calliet tells Men’s Health of his work on Black Panther. “When you see him, you need to be scared. You need to be intimidated. We don’t want the nice, young-looking Michael.”
Calliet describes his work like an artist taking a chisel to a block of marble.
“I’m talking about sculpting a body, not just trying to condition it to be fast,” he says. “I wanted to make his shoulders look better … I needed his upper chest to pop. I needed his back to tell a story. I wanted his back to look like a globe, like a map.”
Jordan’s Black Panther Workout
To make Calliet’s vision come to life, Jordan was doing two to three workouts and eating six meals a day. To sculpt his chest and back, Calliet had the actor going back to basics — with a lot of weight.
“[We did] a lot of old-school bench presses, lat pulldowns, deadlifts — nothing fancy, just really contracting the muscle,” Calliet says. “We lift heavy — a lot, a lot of times.” (Try this bench press and deadlift circuit for a killer total-body workout.)
When the pair first started working out together, Jordan “could barely push 25 pounds,” Calliet recalls. “By the time we got to Black Panther, he was doing 115-pound dumbbells.” A few times, the actor went as high as 315 pounds total. (Want to bench press more weight? These 5 tweaks will help you out.)
Throughout the process, Calliet got Jordan up to a bulky 193 or 194 pounds, then whittled him down to around 184.
So what’s a guy gotta do to get that Killmonger build? Prepare for a lot of pain, according to Calliet.
“Make sure that you have a good diet, and make sure that you’re going to the gym and you’re working out — that you’re really in the gym getting the time in, not just sitting there on the phone on social media acting like you’re really working out,” he says. (Come on, people — don’t forget the 10 simple rules of gym etiquette.)
“Go to the gym and be ready to put on a massive pain,” says Calliet. “When you think of Erik Killmonger, think about” massive. “These two words go together.”
Calliet, who has already seen Black Panther four times, says his proudest moment is during a fight scene between Jordan and Chadwick Boseman, who plays the titular hero.
“When you see him take off his shirt and you see that body, you’ll say,” Oh, it’s different, “he says,” and I say, “I know.” You put the order, and I I delivered. “