We loved Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia played by Sylvester Stallone in the iconic 1976 movie entitled ‘Rocky’. Years later, we continued to be inspired by Michael B. Jordan’s character Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate son of boxing champion Apollo Creed in the Rocky series’ sequel titled ‘Creed’.
Michael B. Jordan’s debut in Creed, was nothing short of an electrifying performance…and for many viewers, a source of renewed fitness motivation. Appearing a dozen times more ripped than his predecessors, Michael Jordan worked closely with personal trainer Corey Calliet, subjecting himself to a stringent diet plan. Jordan and Calliet had worked together in the past, training for the ‘Fantastic Four’. It was on that set where the duo had first agreed to collaborate and begin preparation for Jordan’s subsequent role in Creed.
Arriving in Philadelphia by November 2014, the duo planned to head start training before filming commenced in January 2015. Jordan and Calliet remained disciplined, continuing to train six days a week and adjusting their regime throughout the filming process.
His training incorporated combinations of the following: 45 to 60 minute cardio, three sets of 25 rep sit-ups, a one-mile treadmill warm-up, two sets of 10rep push-ups, four sets of dumbbell curls, three rounds of 20rep box jumps, jump squats and burpees, daily 3-hour boxing training using heavy bags, speed bags and jump rope. Ab workouts also included crunches, leg raises, reverse crunches and toe touches. While building his upper body, Jordan alternated between hammer curls, kickback and dip supersets, and press and push-up supersets.
As any professional trainer, athlete or bodybuilder would tell you, physical training is half the battle. A vital component of bodybuilding, ‘shaping up’ and even losing weight, is your diet. Eating the right food in the appropriate amounts provide muscles with the necessary nutrients to recover, grow and strengthen. Research has since proven eating four to six quality meals across the day contribute to an increase in lean muscle mass. This means boosting protein, increasing slow-release carbohydrates, healthy unsaturated fat (nuts, corn, seeds, fish, etc.) and vegetables while limiting refined sugar and junk food intake.
Michael Jordan’s six day workout regime ended every week with a cheat day commencing 7pm on Saturday and concluding at the same time on Sunday. Cheat days or meals are a significant part of any fitness journey. The glycogen stored in muscles may deplete over time while on strict diets, leading to fatigue and body or muscle aches during workouts. Cheat meals help to replenish the lost glycogen by increasing your body’s calorie and carbohydrate count – providing you the necessary energy to perform strenuous workouts. Depending on the individual, cheats day do have both positive and negative psychological effects. For some, a cheat day motivates discipline and limits craving, whereas for others, overeating may cause guilt. Ultimately cheat days when done correctly, create positive reinforcement for discipline and have been proven to assist individuals stick to their fitness and diet plans for a longer period of time.
It is also important to note that Michael Jordan consumed pre-workout and recovery supplements during the course of his training. His recent collaboration with luxury brand, Coach was also launched October 1st this year. The collab, heavily inspired by Jordan’s cultural influences and community, features a Naruto themed collection of sneakers, backpacks, T-shirts and coats ranging anywhere from US$95 (SGD$131.39) to US$2,500 (SGD$3457.72). Though certain items such as the belt bag have sold out, the full collection is viewable on the official Coach website.