'When You're on Posters Everywhere, [You] Get Your A-- in the Gym!' : Michael B. Jordan on the Ultimate Fitness Motivation

Some of Michael B

Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 16:31:15 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 16:31:15

Some of Michael B. Jordan's best-known roles, including Apollo Creed and Erik Killmonger, have required him to go through a grueling fitness regimen to transform his body.

But what you may not know is that the actor's natural athleticism is what helped him break into show business in the first place.

Growing up in Newark, N.J., he tells PEOPLE, "I was all into team sports. I was soccer, baseball, basketball, track ... I tried anything and everything. I was pretty athletic and competitive growing up. Then as I got older, my professional life and athleticism and my fitness blurred together, like a movie called Hardball: baseball. That was something that gave me an edge. Then Friday Night Lights, doing football. The athleticism and the fitness tied in with the opportunities I was getting professionally as an actor."

That background in team sports is also what encouraged him to partner with Propel Fitness Water on the "Propel Your City Project," which provide hubs in cities including Newark, Atlanta and Los Angeles to host free, inclusive fitness classes, as well as a sweepstakes that will donate up to $100,000 to people and their friends looking to invest in their fitness journeys.

To kick it off, Jordan and Propel teamed up with the Brick City Rowing Team in Newark to help build them a dock on the Passaic River — and for Jordan to try his luck racing against the team members on the rowing machines. It didn't go in his favor.

"I did an on-land rowing experience ... you realize how out of shape I was and how incredible these kids are. You realize you're not a teenager anymore!" he says, joking that you won't see him in the boat with the team anytime soon: "I'll come by and watch. I'll support with the little bullhorn f -

rom a distance."

Though it's hard to imagine 2020's Sexiest Man Alive ever being out of shape, he says that when he's not actively working to look a certain way in a movie, he tries to observe a more moderate routine.

"I'm not a pro athlete. I'm not a paid athlete in that type of way," he says. "You do need to take time off, to give yourself a mental and physical break, whether it's a cheat day or being able to focus more on maybe just doing some pushups and sit ups, just a little maintenance, just to keep your body moving and keeping your body warmed up, rather than working out for a physical goal. ... It's being able to give yourself some grace."

But when he is "on duty" for a role, he returns to that "team sports" mentality to motivate himself. "I think you build a team around you, trainers and stunt teams," he says of what helps him adhere to that grueling regimen. "Also, you have the fear of knowing that you're getting ready to be on posters everywhere, and you're going to be in movie theaters, and you're immortalized in the cinematic universe forever. I think those realities would get your a-- in the gym!"

And Jordan (who was unable to find an embarrassing song on his workout playlist, further cementing his fitness cred) is happy to bring that same team-style support to organizations who need it most. "I think that's the fun part of the Propel Your City Project, is finding little fitness communities and organizations and teams that need the support but didn't know that they needed it," he says. "It was cool, nice to find."

For more information on the initiative and class schedule, visit propelwater.com/community.

Related Articles

Follow Us