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April 12, 2021 10 min read

Between 2013 and 2020, Michael B Jordan became one of the most well-known paragons of muscle and form. He literally became the modern-day Adonis, and he makes it look easy. Michael B Jordan combines mindfulness, healthy eating, and smart use of his time to craft a body that People Magazine crowned with the title of Sexiest Man alive in 2020.

When looking at his workout routine and diet, the thing that sticks out the most is how surprisingly realistic it is, if you’re trying to become a modern Adonis, then read on and transform your life.

No, Not That One

Michael B Jordan’s entire life is probably going to be lived in the shadow of the basketball Michael Jordan, despite his own long and impressive list of accomplishments. Breaking into showbusiness is incredibly difficult, and the way he broke through and was so widely beloved is incredible.

It also shows how powerful dedication to a craft and having a routine you can stick to can make you. Michael B Jordan was born in Santa Ana, California, but was moved to New Jersey pretty quickly and ended up spending a majority of his youth there.

In New Jersey, he got a huge leg up on showbusiness, from modeling in the late ‘90s  to small roles in popular television shows. At the age of 12, his first acting credit was a one-off showing in The Sopranos, and you can find him in The Cosby Show as a tween as well as a small role in the 2001 film Hardball alongside Keanu Reeves.

These early credits served as a preview for the juggernaut he would eventually become. As Michael B Jordan grew up in New Jersey he eventually attended the Newark Arts Highschool to hone his craft down to a razor-sharp point before really letting his charisma loose on the world at large.

If you were a fan of The Wire back in the day, you probably know Michael B Jordan from his recurring role as Wallace. After a couple of recurrences there he hopped onto All My Children to replace Chadwick Boseman after Boseman was fired from the show because he didn’t agree with the direction his character was being taken.

From there he moved on to play the quarterback Vince Howard in Friday Night Lights. In Parenthood Michael B Jordan played Haddie Braverman's boyfriend and local soup kitchen hunk during Seasons 2 and 3. These TV show appearances made his face more and more recognizable until he started breaking into movies and showing off his muscle mass and showstopping charisma.

His first big-screen outing was as Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station, but we’re here to talk about the roles that showed off his transformation from bit-part sweetheart to shredded superhero (and sometimes super villain). The part that really kicks of Jordan’s transformation is his starring role in Creed.

Creed is a spiritual sequel to the Rocky movies centered on Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis. To live up to the name Adonis and to fill in the massive shoes left behind by the legacy of the Rocky movies. His roles on TV never focused on his body or how powerful his punches could be, so it took a lot of careful forging, a rigid lifestyle, and a whole lot of protein.

Erick Killmonger action figure from Black Panther

The Workout Routine

Creating the body of Marvel’s Killmonger, Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, and the godlike Adonis Creed was a process that required a great deal of dedication and a schedule that fit neatly into the lifestyle that filming a movie requires.

Michael B Jordan was able to keep himself active, well-fed, and hydrated throughout the day, and if you’re going to take on this workout routine, you need to remember to keep that kind of maintenance at the forefront of your mind. Jordan also didn’t undergo this transformation on his own.

To chisel out the physique required to step into the shadow of Rocky, Corey Calliet was right beside Michael B Jordan every step of the way. Having a personal trainer is often the difference between massive muscle growth and disappointing plateaus littering your fitness landscape.

We’re not saying you absolutely need to have a trainer by your side to give you the results you’re looking for, but these are people that have the education, experience, and the external drive to push your further than you thought possible.

Having a personal trainer by your side will offload the mental strain of coming up with an entirely new routine when one isn’t meeting your needs, they’ll help you personalize a diet, and they’ll give you the structure and accountability you might be looking for if you’re struggling with reaching your goals.

Corey Calliet, in particular, has been trusted with the fitness lives of dozens of actors, and he’s turned himself into a lifestyle brand that nearly half a million people follow almost religiously. Corey himself is a picture-perfect personal trainer. His clean-living lifestyle and single-minded devotion to bettering his body and surpassing his limits make it obvious that he was the right choice to guide Michael B Jordan down the path of the celebrity superhero.

The fact that we’re both here learning and reading about Calliet’s handiwork speaks volumes about his success. Corey Calliet and Michael B Jordan landed on a surprisingly reasonable workout routine and diet that almost anybody could follow if their lives will allow them to carve out the time.

When we get down to it, this workout plan is really just four days of moderate to strenuous workouts that can be done in an hour or less. Other actors undergoing similar transformations stick to workout routines that see them in and out of the gym at least twice a day nearly every day of the week.

Day One: Chest, Back, and Arms

  • One-mile jog as a warm-up
  • Incline dumbbell press – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell fly – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Push-up – 10 sets of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps
  • Dumbbell kickback – 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Triceps pushdown – 2 sets of 20 reps
  • Bench dip – 10 sets of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps

Day Two: Biceps, Triceps, and Lats

  • One-mile jog as a warm-up
  • One-arm dumbbell row – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Neutral-grip pulldown – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Bentover row – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell curl (alternate arms) – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell curl – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Hammer curl – 3 sets of 12 reps
Bodybuilder handsome strong athletic rough man pumping up back muscles deadlift

Day Three: Legs + Abs Circuit

  • One-mile jog as a warm-up
  • Dumbbell lunge – 3 sets at 30 seconds per leg
  • Single-leg hip extension – 3 sets of 15 reps per leg
  • Leg curl – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Squat – 10 sets of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps
  • Crunch with Swiss ball – 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Leg raise – 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Reverse crunch with resistance band – 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Toe touch with medicine ball – 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Sprinter sit-up – 3 sets of 25 reps

Day Four: Chest, Arms, and Abs

  • One-mile jog as a warm-up
  • Dumbbell bench press – 5 sets of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 reps
  • Push-up – 5 sets of 15 reps
  • Dumbbell fly– 5 sets of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 reps
  • Push-up – 5 sets of 10 reps
  • Dumbbell curl – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell kickback – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Bench dip – 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Crunch with Swiss ball – 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Leg raise – 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Reverse crunch with resistance band – 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Toe touch with medicine ball – 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Sprinter sit-up – 25 reps

Micheal B Jordan is a huge proponent of active recovery days, and that’s most likely a product of his pretty active acting roles. He was constantly moving anyway, so might as well make the best of it. Active rest days are days that you set aside throughout the week to allow your body some time to recover from your workouts.

The time you’d spend in the gym is usually spent stretching and getting some light to moderate activity under your belt. Things like light jogs or yoga are perfect for an active rest day. They have the benefit of burning off a little bit of energy, and they’re also great ways to improve either your cardiovascular health or your flexibility.

Both of these aspects of your health are crucial to maintaining and cultivating healthy muscles when you’re focused on bulking up. Something you’ll also notice about Michael B Jordan’s workouts is that he pretty much always warms up with a little bit of cardio. Cardio is usually undervalued by folks when they’re focusing on building muscle.

The role of Adonis Creed meant that Jordan had to have a lot of endurance as well as packing on tons of muscle. Your cardio is all about maximizing efficiency, your muscles are no good if you can’t get any energy to them, if you’re adverse to cardio, try doing what Jordan did with his routine and slip in ten to fifteen minutes as a warm up, it’ll do wonders for your overall health.

Fresh and healthy meal for fitness and bodybuilding.

Michael Meals

Diet is one of the most important aspects of a workout routine. Michael B Jordan needed to build a lot of muscle in a relatively short amount of time, and he needed to do it in a way that would show them off on camera. He not only had to be functionally strong, he also needed to look the part.

This meant that his diet had to be stringent enough to give him all of the protein and energy he needed to tackle his workouts while staying within an acceptable range of intake so he was never taking in more than he was burning off during his workouts. A good diet is all about balance, if you’re not really spending any of the energy you take in, then your body is just going to stockpile it for “later”, whatever “later” may be to your body.

For someone like Jordan whose entire job is to look good in front of millions of people, this is especially true. If he had spent all of his time working out as hard as he did, but he didn’t have the diet to back up that work, he’d be throwing that time directly into the trash.

A good diet isn’t just about losing weight or counting calories, in fact, calories aren’t a useful measurement of the amount of food you should be eating. Calories don’t tell you anything about the nutritional content of your food. Think of it the same way you think about fuel for your car.

You need the right fuel, diesel won’t power your Tesla, and electricity isn’t going to take your Honda Civic anywhere. A diet like the one Michael B Jordan was following to become Adonis wasn’t based on counting calories and cutting carbs, it was all about evaluating how much energy he burned off and building in protein to accommodate the kind of muscle growth that your body needs.

When Sylvester Stallone was training for Rocky III, he realized the hard way that you need to feed your body well in order to keep it functioning at the levels he was expected to perform at. He reported feeling lightheaded and he was constantly standing on his head to encourage blood flow to his exhausted brain.

You can see that turning Micheal into Adonis involved avoiding that pitfall early on. He was worked harder than most people ever will, and he was fed well to keep up with the hard work he was putting in.

If you’re trying to sculpt your body into a particular shape, then you can learn a lot from this diet. If you’re working hard and you want to see muscle growth then you need to feed yourself the building blocks of a strong body.

Meal #1

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 45g of carbs like oats, rice, or whole-grain bread

Meal #2 

Meal #3

  • 8 oz lean protein like chicken or ground turkey
  • 65 g carb usually rice or sweet potato
  • 1 cup green veggies like broccoli or a salad

Meal #4

  • 8 oz lean protein like ground turkey, or fish
  • 35 g carb usually more rice or red potato

Meal #5

  • Protein shake
  • 35 g carb usually more steel cut oats

Meal #6

  • 8 oz lean protein like chicken or ground turkey
  • 1 cup green veggies
  • 1 tsp oil something like olive oil, coconut oil, or macadamia nut oil

You can see that this diet has him eating all day every single day, Micheal B Jordan’s diet isn’t about tiptoeing around food. It’s all about making decisions that are in line with your goals. You need carbs to energize your body throughout the day, especially when you’re working out as hard as he was and following up those workouts with a particularly active job that had him boxing for hours on end to capture the perfect shots.

He needed protein to rebuild his muscles after the punishment they endured, and every body needs a little bit of fat to operate smoothly. His diet was pretty lean, so to ensure he was getting all of the nutrients he needed, his day would be topped off with a little bit of oil.

Just Like Mike

This isn’t an easy workout routine by any means. You’re going to have to keep your heart rate up and grit your teeth to get through the end of it, but once you’re done, you’re going to leave the gym feeling like you left behind every single ounce of effort you had in yourself. This is the kind of routine you should slot into your workout regimen if you’re trying to craft a toned and powerful body like Micheal B Jordan’s.

This is the kind of workout routine you should be following if you’re trying to reach “Sexiest Man Alive” status. It takes dedication, it takes drive, and it’s hard, but it pays off in the long run. Remember that it’s not just the workout that fuels the results though, if you’re trying to build a fortress of muscle like Adonis Creed or the kind of strength and agility it takes to bring down Black Panther in front of all of Wakanda, then you’re going to need to feed the beast like the best.

Stock up on protein, never forget your vegetables, and remember that at your core, your body is a machine that needs the right amount of the right kinds of fuel. Stop counting calories and start counting energy, stop cutting out food to cut corners, and start looking for meals that are high in protein that will keep you full and ready to face the day.