How Michael B. Jordan Moved Up a Whole Weight Class for ‘Creed 2’

Michael B. Jordan in Creed II
Michael B. Jordan in Creed IICourtesy Image

Sequels are always tricky. Great success leads to great expectations, and such could be said about Michael B. Jordan’s physique in Creed, accomplished with the help of his longtime trainer, Corey Calliet. The first shots of Jordan as Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis, quickly went viral, making a statement to fans of the Rocky franchise, and launching the movie toward massive box office success.



In order to take his training and the stakes to a new level, Jordan needed a real challenge. Creed II brings two: the move for Adonis from light heavyweight to heavyweight, and a whole new class of competitors. Stepping into the other side of the ring is the son of Ivan Drago, Victor, portrayed by the massive Florian “Big Nasty” Munteau.

“He’s huge,” Jordan said during promotion for the movie. “I was like what weight class are we fighting in again?”

Michael B. Jordan in Creed II
Michael B. Jordan in Creed II Courtesy Image


During a pre-production meeting, Calliet remembered film director Stephen Caple Jr. also commenting on the huge size difference. “He was saying they looked like David and Goliath,” says Calliet. “I couldn’t wait to get back into the gym with Mike, because I knew that we were going to build him into another Goliath.”

Calliet set an intense four-month plan in motion, which would give Jordan the same size he built for his Black Panther character Killmonger, while making him more explosive. The regimen included complex lifting movements Calliet developed using his bodybuilding background, as well as exhaustive boxing sessions—more than they had done on the first Creed.

Putting on size meant adding onto Jordan’s frame by any means possible, especially in the shoulders, which they worked to bulk using dedicated circuits. The final results of Jordan and Calliet’s work together can be seen on screen, but for the trainer, the real success was watching the actor become an even better boxer.

“For me, the moment that he takes off that robe is everything,” he says. “I was proud of the way he looks, but also seeing him in the ring taking punches and working the angles. The man is a fighter.”

Below, check out a sample training plan that hits your full body, paying special attention to the shoulders and chest, courtesy of Calliet.

The Creed II Workout: Shoulders & Chest

Directions: Rest 90 seconds between chest exercises and 60 seconds between shoulder exercises.

  • Incline Smith Bench Press — 4 sets following this rep scheme: 15-12-12-10
  • Standing Cable Flye — 3 sets following this rep scheme: 15-12-10


  1. Incline Dumbbell Press (lowest incline possible) — 3 sets following this rep scheme: 15-12-10
  2. Incline Dumbbell Flye — 3 sets following this rep scheme: 15-12-10
  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press (alternating bar position to front and back) — 4 sets following this rep scheme: 20-12-12-8
  • Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises — 3 sets following this rep scheme: 15-15-12
  • Bentover Dumbbell Flyes — 3 sets following this rep scheme: 15-15-12
  • Smith Machine Single-arm Shoulder Press — 3 sets (each arm) following this rep scheme: 15-12-10

Post-Lift Boxing HIIT Circuit

Directions: During this circuit, shadow boxing serves as a period of active rest. You’ll stay moving with your full body engaged before hitting the next aerobic exercise. Complete 3 rounds.

  • Shadow Box x 1 min. (Up the intensity by using 3-5 lb. dumbbells and stay moving.)
  • Jumping Jacks (any variation) x 30 sec.
  • Shadow Box x 1 min.
  • Mountain Climbers x 30 seconds
  • Shadow Box x 1 min.
  • Burpees x 30 sec.
  • Shadow Box x 1 min.
  • Shoulder Taps x 30 sec.

Creed II is now in theaters.

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