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Actor Michael B. Jordan is one of the mega-stars in the Black Panther movie, which is getting some of the highest acclaim ever from multiple reviews. Starring as Erik Killmonger, the main villain to the Black Panther, Jordan plays a complete badass who no one would want to cross paths with — unless they're looking for a whooping.
Getting in shape for the role was serious work, though, with Michael B. Jordan being the latest actor to go completely beast mode to get jacked for the silver screen. In fact, even after Jordan starred in the boxing movie Creed — which he said put him in the best shape of his life — the actor knew he had to go even bigger when playing a superhero in the Black Panther movie, refusing to cut corners to get ripped.
That's why he had strict plans for celebrity trainer Corey Calliet, who Jordan had been working out with since the two connected on the set of 2015's Fantastic Four. And, according to Business Insider, back then, Jordan could barely lift 25 pounds. Oh, my, how the times have changed. Just look at this Instagram pic the actor posted of himself last year.
So, how did Michael B. Jordan do it? The aforementioned Corey Calliet spoke with Business Insider about what the actor was looking for, hoping the training would put him in even better shape. And, as the headline says, it sure did just that, with Jordan adding 15 pounds of muscle! Here's what Calliet had to say about it.
"He told me, 'I need to look like this,' and it's a picture of Killmonger fighting Black Panther," Calliet told Business Insider. "He was very big, so I knew I had to make Mike look like a free safety or a Marine. If you want to be a villain you have to have that savage type of demeanor."
Unlike all the cardio work that Calliet had Jordan do for the Creed role, for the Black Panther movie, Michael B. Jordan needed to add lots and lots of muscle. So the trainer focused on a simple, but intense, plan.
Eating six meals a day and working out six days a week for a few months in preparation of production, Jordan was doing things like bench press, lat pull-downs, and dead lifts, eventually leading to interval training like dumbbell curls to lat pull-downs, dips to pull-ups to push-ups and incline bench press to fly presses. Jordan got so strong that he was even lifting 115-pound dumbbells. Talk about a savage. But the finished product clearly showed that all the hard work paid off.
Obviously, the training was far from fun, but that's exactly how Corey Calliet wanted it, going off a mantra from back in his bodybuilding competition days; "shows are won from the back." He added to Business Insider:
"That scene where Killmonger and Black Panther fight, you can see Mike's back and the definition and the lat spread, all the work we put in is highlighted in that one scene."
With Michael B. Jordan set to start shooting for Creed 2 in a few months, his wild body transformation continues, as he's back to trimming down and looking like a boxer again, rather than a badass superhero. And, according to Calliet, he will be bringing it, pushing the actor to an even crazier workout.
"We were in New York City working out at 3 a.m. the other day," Calliet said. "I promise you, the body I'm bringing to the screen for 'Creed 2' is going to be better than any of the work I've ever done."
Being an actor might be fun, but, damn, it sure does take a lot of work when you're so committed to your craft. Hey, that's what separates the good ones from the great ones, though.
Lead image via Getty.