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May 10, 2021 10 min read

Michael Jai White is a modern  Jack of All Trades. He’s been able to make a name for himself by keeping a lot of irons in several fires.

He’s a proficient actor, a master of several martial arts, and a paragon of personal health. One look at Micheal Jai White is enough to make any lifter jealous because he’s narrowed his workouts down to a science.

If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering how he does it, then you’re in luck, today we’re diving deep into the Micheal Jai White lifestyle.

Michael Jai White and Gillian Iliana Waters

Many Faces of Micheal

Early on in Micheal Jai White’s career, he was picked up for his physique. His big breakout role was playing Mike Tyson in the 1995 HBO movie Tyson.  From there he went on to play some similar roles like Spawn (making him the first black superhero in a major motion picture) and even more action-packed movies like Kill Bill: Volume 2 and Universal Soldier: The Return where he played a major role across from Jean-Claude Van Damme. 

He wasn’t just a solid wall of meat when he showed up in movies though, he also starred in more heartfelt films like Why Did I Get Married? His other crowning achievements are far from the world of movies. He doesn’t just dabble in martial arts, he’s a master of a plethora of arts. He holds a black belt in seven different martial arts.

Right now he holds the black belt in Shotokan, Kyokushin, and Goju-Ryu karate as well as taekwondo, Kobudo, tang soo do, and wushu. If there’s a martial art out there, he’s probably got a hand in it in some fashion. His approach to life is to find something he’s passionate about and pull everything he possibly can out of it.

If there’s someone to model your workouts after, you could do a lot worse than Micheal Jai White. He’s built his career on having a perfectly sculpted physique, he’s a hardworking man that exemplifies the kind of effort it takes to build that much muscle and  burn that much fat.

Micheal Jai Diet

Micheal Jai White doesn’t shy away from a good supplement. Often when folks ask him about how often he’ll reach for a workout supplement, he’s adamant and open about their effectiveness. He’s a huge fan of creatine supplements, especially. When he has to bulk up or put on a little bit of weight for a role, then creatine is one of the best supplements out there for achieving that goal.

Creatine supplements are great for getting your muscles to hold on to more nutrients and water, making them look a little more beefed up than they normally would, and if you’re looking for results as extreme as Micheal Jai White’s then you shouldn’t be shy about reaching for the supplements either.

They’re great for when you need to look good for a photo shoot or a date, and they’re not going to keep you from reaching your goals in any way. You should also look for things like branched amino acids and vitamin supplements to make sure you’re not missing anything key in your diet.

He also liberally employs the use of protein shakes. Protein shakes are an amazing tool when you’re working out as much and as often as someone like Micheal Jai White. Your body is going to be hungry often when you’re beating your muscles down this much and this often. Getting a ton of protein into your diet is going to solve that problem for you pretty easily.

Protein is one of the best ways to get your body to tamp down your hunger response, making it easy to keep your overall intake down. Micheal Jai White would have about two shakes a day, which makes sense when you consider how much he’s in the gym.

His workout routine has him in the gym twice a day five days a week, that’s ten workouts a week, so it’s safe to say he’s earned his shakes.

muscle building diet food

Clean Eating

The tentpole of his diet is his focus on clean eating. As a child, Micheal Jai White was around a lot of processed and fast foods. These are fine in moderation, but the high carb count, high sodium, and low amounts of nutrients make them abysmal for a diet that’s focused on building muscle and slimming down.

When you’re trying to eat clean, you’re naturally going to start feeding your body the kinds of nutrients it's in search of when you’re working out. Clean eating for Micheal Jai White meant that he would be keeping his food local, unprocessed and organic whenever he could make it work. That naturally cuts out a lot of foods that are well known for ruining a good diet.

Micheal Jai White’s daily consumption would reach well into five or six meals a day. If you’re not used to eating like this then that might come as a shock, but it’s broken down into pretty manageable chunks. He’d still eat his three bigger meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

This would be when he’s breaking out the farm-fresh grilled chicken for a protein-rich meal that will give him his key nutrients and keep him from going crazy with hunger. The other three meals are like throwing smaller sticks on a smoldering fire. They’re the meals that are much smaller, but they follow the same basic principle.

These smaller in-between meals are where he would throw back a little bit of fresh fruit and vegetables for a small boost in energy throughout the day. When you’re eating clean you want to find sources of carbohydrates that aren’t going to sit in your stomach and slow you down.

This means trading out bread and bowls of pasta for fruits and vegetables. Your body likes to have carbs to pull from when it’s looking for energy. Sugars in food like apples or starches like potatoes make it easy for your boy to give yourself a little bit of a kick when you need it the most.

The real trick to this diet is just trying to narrow down your options from day to day to foods that are grown with care and intention. Organic foods aren’t a magical cure-all, but they are generally foods you can depend on when you’re looking to cut down on calories and fat.

Your diet is going to include a lot more lean meat and leafy green vegetables because that’s what people tend to grow organically. You’re also going to want to keep an eye on the amount of protein you’re taking in. Your body is going to need a lot of it.

Protein shakes can only get you so far, so make sure that your main three meals are full enough of the protein to rebuild your torn muscles each week. The Micheal Jai White diet doesn’t just cut out all of the simple pleasures in life, though. White has a sweet tooth and he loves taking on a whole sleeve of Town House crackers whenever he gets the chance.

Eating well doesn’t have to mean that you have to totally deprive yourself of your favorite treats. Eating well means cutting out the excess. Some sweets here and there aren’t going to totally destroy all of your hard work, just be smart about how much and how often and you’ll leave the dining room table feeling fulfilled.

The Michael Jai Workout

In an interview with Muscle and Performance, Micheal Jai White talks about his personal fitness philosophy. Looking at his body, you can tell that he’s onto something special, and it’s here where we find the core of what sets him apart from the rest.

He tells Muscle and Performance “For me, it’s all about aesthetics and performance. I think it’s no coincidence that those who are aesthetically balanced are better athletes — your centerline can move much better when your front and back musculature are balanced. There’s something that’s universally pleasing about a balanced aesthetic, and to achieve that balanced aesthetic is to achieve great physical ability, as well. I’m always going for that.”

This single aspect of his fitness philosophy is what sets him so far apart from other folks that get up under the weights. He understands the importance of working out your body evenly and not just focusing on what you do well.

This balance-focused approach will give you much more impressive results much more quickly because you’re expanding your overall muscle mass in more than one direction. This is how pro bodybuilders get their massive arms, and it’s how Micheal Jai White creates his physique. 

Breaking Down His Routine

A day in Micheal Jai White’s life looks pretty standard for a celebrity whose life revolves around keeping his body in shape. He starts things off with a pretty intense workout and maximizes his time by planning out the rest of his day.

He works on everything from his biceps to his list of errands. It’s a great way to get some momentum going at the start of your day, and it ensures that you’ve got your life laid out enough to keep up with your workout routine.

Since you’re going to want to keep your diet tight to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout routine, this is also a good time to make sure you’re nailing down your meal prep and deciding on healthy meals that are high in protein and low in the kind of crap that’s going to bog down your energy levels and add fat cells in between your muscles and the world around you.

His morning workouts usually start with a little bit of cardio. Cardio is going to be great for getting the Micheal Jai White body.  His muscles are huge and well defined while his overall body fat is pretty low. Cardio is a great way to burn a lot of energy which is going to burn through your fat storage quickly and set you on the fast track to a great body.

His morning cardio usually lasts about 45 minutes and tends to be made up of either treadmill running, stair mills, or wailing on the heavy bag. His afternoons are just as intense, but the focus totally shifts. During the afternoon Micheal Jai White will put in a solid hour and a half of strength training and conditioning. This is when he breaks out the weights and practices his martial arts.

He’s not usually trying to bulk up much more than he already is, so his workouts will focus more on lighter weights and high-rep exercises. The toning will also include bodyweight exercises like push-ups and sit-ups. Keeping this up five days a week is how Micheal Jai White gets his levels of fitness as high as they are.

The mid-week and Sundays would be dedicated to resting. Rest days aren’t just days that are dedicated Michael Jai White takes a similar approach to his workout routine and all of his martial arts. Variety and dedication are how he builds all of that muscle and carefully sculpts in a great deal of definition.

He’s a huge proponent of avoiding “accommodation. No, we don’t mean that his muscles are too welcoming to guests, we mean the biological phenomenon. When we talk about muscles getting used to the workouts you’re doing, that's what we call accommodation, they stop trying to keep up with the work that you’re doing.

You’ve probably noticed that it starts feeling easier and easier after a couple of weeks of work. This is why weightlifters like to focus on progressive overload and why everybody’s workout advice involves switching things up. Even slightly altering the way you do your bicep curls is enough to give your muscles a wake-up call from week to week.

If you feel yourself starting to plateau, then this should be the first place you look to improve your personal best. Taking the time away from your favorite workouts might actually be the best way to get your body to push itself further.

Accommodation is what leads to plateaus, plateaus are what lead to stagnating muscle growth. If you can head that off at the pass, then you’re going to be setting yourself up for incredible levels of success.

Muscular bearded tattooed fitness shirtless man moving large tire in street gym

Is It For You?

Micheal Jai White’s workout routine is pretty intense. He’s spending well over two full hours out of almost every day of the week either on the treadmill or underneath some weights.

If you’re working a 9-5 or a similar schedule that has you out of the house for most of the day, then you can’t just wake up and run for 45 minutes and then treat yourself to an hour and a half of weightlifting for lunch. He has achieved his physique with hard work and dedication, but we have to be real with ourselves when we’re examining a celebrity’s workout routine.

He has access to resources and a schedule that allows him to spend a lot of time and money on his workout equipment and it gives him the time to totally pour himself into his workouts. That doesn’t mean that he’s not able to teach us something about a workout and diet that will work, or open doors to building a better body.

When asked about how he approaches his weightlifting he says “I feel weights should be used primarily to balance the body nature didn’t give you. Most of us are not born with a totally balanced physique and our entire weight regimen should be prioritized to build where you are lacking. If you train your entire body the same, you’ll just emphasize your flaws.”

Those are words to live by. If you want to make sure you’re building a body that you can be proud of, then you need to branch out and work on the parts of your body that you feel like you’re struggling with. By hitting your problem areas you’re going to be raising your overall fitness and better preparing yourself for the greater challenges ahead of you on your perfect body journey.

Eating well is simple, it just takes a level head and a little bit of forethought. If you can plan your meals out ahead of time or during your workouts, then you’re going to have a much easier time getting the results you want.

This diet and routine are going to eat up a lot of your time if you stick to them exactly the way Michael Jai White does, but a little bit of tweaking to fit into a normal dude’s life is going to make this much more achievable.

Like Mike

If you want to carve out a body like Micheal Jai White then you’re going to have to work incredibly hard to get there. He spends upwards of two hours most days of the week in the gym every day.

He’s really serious about this kind of work, and if you’re going to get even half as fit as him then you’re going to have to bring some serious dedication to the table as well.