“Don’t think about right now,” says celebrity trainer Corey Calliet, the man responsible for transforming Michael B Jordan into a lean mean fighting machine for the boxing movie ‘Creed’. Calliet, who also trained Jordan for ‘Black Panther’ and now trains a number of stars, from John Boyega to A$AP Rocky, says he didn’t always look like he does now.
“I was like, chubby,” he tells highsnobiety.com. “Tired of looking like a mess and feeling uncomfortable.”
So he made a bet with a football-playing friend that he’d train every day when he went to college.
“I didn’t miss a day,” he says in the interview. “I felt like I got sick if I didn’t go to the gym. It became a part of life, like drinking water. And that’s when I fell in love with it.”
For Creed 2, out on November 29 in the UAE, Calliet says fans of Jordan are going to see a more chiselled, more conditioned and more ripped physique.
“The same thing that goes for an actor, can go for you too,” he tells the website Shadow and Act. “You can train four, five, six times a day. You can eat four good meals a day,” he says.
And if you feel yourself getting off-track in your health plan, he advises do two things: “Turn your head to the left, turn your head to the right, and tell yourself, ‘no’.”
To get inspired, we asked UAE-based boxing and fitness experts on how we can aspire to get fit like Jordan:
Sprints are key to fighting fitness. They stretch you physically and mentally. Boxing is anaerobic, which means you need to conduct activity without much oxygen. A boxer will need to be able to stress the muscles at high intensity for bursts at a time. Although long runs are great for overall fitness, sprints are the best way to condition your body. Sprints consists of high intensity running for short amounts of time repeatedly.
A professional boxer fights for three minutes and must maintain a heavy work rate in each round for numerous rounds at a time. An 800-metre sprint would be the closest to mimicking the fitness needed in one round. You must remain at the highest pace during the interval to bring your heart rate to anaerobic levels. It is important to only run sprints a maximum of three times a week and not consecutively; as the intensity requires you to rest and recover. An easy set of sprints that will get your heart beating is: 1km warm up jog, two x 800 metres with one-minute rest between each interval, two x 400 metres with one minute rest between each interval, four x 200 metres with 30 second rest between intervals — end with a cool down walk for 500 metre. If on a treadmill, your pace should be at 17km/h.
— Michelle Kuehn, managing director, Real Boxing Only, Dubai.
DO THE WORK
A professional boxer will spend around three to six hours a day, every day, in training, and will involve a lot of running, skipping and developing strength. To shape up like Michael B Jordan in Creed you can start with a simple but very effective one-hour workout routine. Here’s a sample:
• Start skipping for about 10 minutes. It’s super easy and a great approach to tone the muscle, especially in your arms and legs.
• 3 x 3-minute rounds of working the heavy bag to develop a fighter’s power with 1-minute break in between and 25 push-ups between rounds
• 8 x 3-minute rounds of pad work, with 1-minute rest between rounds
• 25 pull-ups
• 25 chin-ups
• 25 dips
• 100 full sit-ups
— Jason Woodham, owner of Muay Thai Muppets and coach at GymNation.
When it comes to getting fit, it all comes down to one thing: consistency. We are all aware of new year resolutions and that 79 per cent of people stop before January ends, that’s because we all miss the discipline required to achieve such desired goals.
If you want to get ripped like Michael B Jordan, you’ll have to do as he did: hire qualified and knowledgeable fitness professionals, and walk through the doors of a qualified fitness facility that can help you work towards that goal. Yes, you can do it on your own, but if you haven’t done it until now maybe you just need a starting point, and there’s nothing better than people that take others just like you through that journey on a daily basis.
For me, nothing beats a High Intensity Interval Training (Hiit) workout with varied functional movements and while moving specific amount of loads according to your limitations and abilities, but something that keeps pushing you everyday. And yes, cardiovascular training is a big part of it but a 30 minutes boxing/kickboxing session is by far better than 30 minutes on a treadmill — and let’s face it, more interesting too. It has been proven that 30 minutes of Hiit increases the Human Growth Hormone and therefore an increase on your performance and results, regardless of what they are (fat loss or muscle gain).
You don’t need endless hours at the gym, you need to do it every day. Just like brushing your teeth, maybe one of the days might be just some mobility and recovery but you keep the consistency. The most important thing is to keep moving, even if it’s on your own.
— Andre Tiago, territory manager, UAE, 9Round.
ALL ABOUT AGILITY
I’ve been teaching BodyCombat, an MMA/boxing-inspired cardio workout for three years. It focuses on strength and core stability and has helped me attain a strong mind and body. Doing strikes, punches, kicks and MMA moves have enabled me to achieve my goal of having a fit body. Moreover, just like boxing, I am able to develop strong impulses and agility by being able to react faster which I apply not just in class but surely in real life.
— Allen Bunsoy, BodyCombat instructor.
SWEAT IT OUT
As expats, we all need stress relievers and coping mechanisms. Instead of going home, eating or sleeping, I choose to go to the gym and sweat out the day’s stresses by doing BodyCombat and strength training on the gym floor. I eat clean, fast for 18 to 24 hours and never forget to spoil myself with some treats.
— Julius Emman Sunpayco, BodyCombat instructor.
Boxing is a skill sport. It is also a sport that requires a lot of conditioning. All boxers do the road work, which means running, and most boxers will do at least a 5-mile run every day especially if they are preparing for a fight.
I personally like to do interval running because as a fighter you must pattern your training after the physical demand of the sport. Why spend all your time doing aerobics when the sport is primarily anaerobic? Plus, you can burn a lot of calories.
Another great exercise that all boxers do is jump rope. It helps build a lean strong body, good for coordination, agility and foot work, and boosts endurance like nearly no other exercise. Shadow boxing is one of the best ways to practice movement and foot work as a boxer. Plus, it’s more tiring than you can imagine. Also, ab exercises are very important for a boxer not only to get a six pack but to be able to take a punch to the body.
Another great exercise for a boxer is swimming, and helps you get your heart rate up without placing much stress on the body. I’d also suggest battle ropes as they help develop power, strength and endurance and they are fantastic for stability and mobility. Finally, for weight training, a boxer needs to focus on compound movement such as deadlifts and squats, which works the entire body.
— Rafat Shawe, professional MMA Fighter and personal trainer.