Michael B. Jordan Discusses New Role Prep And Physique Upkeep: “I Eat A Sh*t Ton Of Food”

Michael B. Jordan is globally known for his on-screen work including Fruitvale Station, Black Panther, Just Mercy, The Wire, Creed films, A Journal For Jordan, and much more — but he also has his philanthropic side.

Outside of the many causes Jordan shows his support to like Lupus LA, World Oceans Day, the Invesco QQQ Legacy HBCU Classic, and more, he’s teamed up with Propel Fitness Water again to bring the importance of fitness to various cities — kicking off with his home town of Newark, NJ.

“I think it’s great to kind of be able to bring your success or things that you’re involved in now, back to your hometown, to the place that made you,” he told VIBE. “I think growing up in Newark and being a product of my environment — in the best way possible — it makes you proud to be able to bring events, your brand partnerships and things that you’re involved with now, back to your hometown which is kind of cool.”

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The 37-year-old and Propel have been offering free fitness hubs to the citizens of Brick City since June 8, where local fitness and wellness coaches host classes through Brick City Run ClubBrick City Strength, and I’m So Yoga. Additionally, Jordan has extended his support to the youth organization Brick City Rowing, where the org will receive a dock and establish a rowing program within the City of Newark for the first time since 1901. 

“I didn’t even know we had a rowing team for a really long time,” Jordan admitted. “To be able to see people that look like me from our community, get involved in a sport and activities that normally you don’t see Black and brown faces in is pretty cool. To give them the facilities and the access to equipment and spaces to help them be the best versions of themselves when it’s time for them to compete, that feels good.”

Jordan, who takes his jaw-dropping physique very seriously, is also supporting the water company as they divvy out $100,000 with aim to make “fitness more accessible” to everyone.

Exercisers across the country can enter by tagging a friend on the company’s giveaway post where they can win $500 each toward fitness memberships of their choice. The Propel Your City campaign will also expand to Atlanta, Houston, and Los Angeles this Summer.

In a zoom call with VIBE, Michael. B. Jordan — who couldn’t show his face due to “filming right now” and having “a look that I can’t really share” — discussed his own fitness journey and how he keeps his nearly perfect physique in tact for movie roles, despite eating a “sh*t ton of food” at times.

VIBE: How does your purpose align with Propel Your City’s?

Michael B Jordan: I think the fact that they were open and willing to give back to the community was one of the biggest things. Giving back to my hometown was a big one for me. How they were going to show up for the community who invest back into their brand, was a key thing for me.

Speaking of getting the city more involved and taking their fitness seriously, what has been the most challenging part about just taking your own fitness journey seriously? For me the challenge is just getting in the car and driving to the gym.

I think maybe when I was younger, I relied on my youth. Its like, ‘All right, cool, I can just do whatever. I don’t have to stretch as much. I can just get out there and go.’ I think as you get older, you realize your body needs certain things. And listening to your body, you realize that you got to stretch, you got to warm up, you got to take your vitamins, you got to eat well — that night out of partying, you’re going to feel that a little bit more the next day.

Especially in my line of work when you’re on camera and you want to have a certain look or physique, how you treat your body, there’s no hiding it. I think that exposure really had me lock-in and take my fitness seriously. If I’m going to be on posters and be in movie theaters on screen, I got to take it seriously.

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We definitely know you take your fitness seriously. We can see it. You’ve mentioned before that when you get to have your cheat days, you pig out and eat whatever you want? Do you still do that?

I do. They’re shrinking from cheat days to cheat meals. But yeah, I definitely have a day. You need that. I think everybody needs a break. I think everything is within moderation. If you’re going to grind it out and work seven, six days a week — give yourself a day. Give yourself a moment to have what you want. For me, I order a sh*t ton of food. I eat literally everything that I can and then I just lounge out. Right now is the perfect time of year because there’s a lot of basketball on, you got a lot of anime that’s rocking. So I’m watching shows, watching basketball, and eating.

You mentioned anime. I would love to know what new shows you’re watching currently?

Right now I’m watching Windbreaker that just dropped, Solo Leveling is over. Kaju Number Eight is another one that’s out and Blood Blockade Battlefront is another one that I’m rotating at the moment. I’m a nerd. I watch a bunch of those.

That’s so dope. Was there ever a time when you were physically transforming, maybe for a role, and you were just uncomfortable?

No. I mean, I’ve always been this skinny kid growing up. It was hard for me to put on weight. It was me trying to bulk up, and it sounds like a luxury, but I had to eat so much. But, it wasn’t the type of foods that you wanted to eat. It wasn’t like I could sit there and eat cheeseburgers and pasta as much as I wanted. It was healthy foods. But eating that in bulk was a challenge for me when I was starting to get gains and whatnot. I think there’s an element of that, that was a little frustrating for me because naturally I was a slim guy. I think that was the only time.

I know you can’t really speak on what movie you’re filming currently, but I know you’re probably transforming your look right now. What kind of mental and physical preparation goes into these transformations?

It just depends on the script and the project. I just immerse myself in that world as best as I can. Whether it be music, whether it be watching other films… but music is probably one of the key things. I think music travels time and it puts you in the mind state of whatever you’re trying to do. That’s always been helpful for me to stay in character or to help get a mood or vibe depending on the project.

Also meditating and deep breathing, which kind of go hand in hand. We underestimate the power and impact of deep breaths and letting oxygen into your body. When you get stressed out or you’re frustrated or you feel scatterbrained, all over the place, I think sitting still and taking several deep breaths has always been a good way for me to reset and get refocused. I do that often.

As fans await Michael B. Jordan’s next roles, including the forthcoming sequel to I Am Legend starring Will Smith, they can get involved with Propel Your City’s fitness initiatives here. You can also buy Propel Water online here.