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30th Apr 2021

Michael B. Jordan’s Navy SEAL workout is absolutely brutal

Celebrity trainer Corey Calliet reveals how Michael B. Jordan got in shape for his upcoming role as Navy SEAL John Kelly in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse

Alex Roberts

“The sessions would be 30 to 45 minutes, but they would be the worst 30 to 45 minutes ever.”

For Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the objective for Michael B. Jordan’s workout plan is slightly different to his previous films.

Black Panther and Creed demanded a certain ‘look’, which made training like a bodybuilder the main focus.

“The aesthetic part was actually the last part, this time,” said his trainer, Corey Calliet.

Calliet is a hugely respected American strength coach and fitness specialist. He has worked in sport, TV and film since 2013, counting John Boyega, A$AP Rocky and NFL star Juju Smith-Schuster amongst his other clientele.

For previous roles, Jordan had to build his biceps, chest and quads to a level he’d never reached before.

“I knew I could make him [Michael B. Jordan] look good,” said Calliet.

But this style of bodybuilding training is relatively straightforward when compared to his Without Remorse workout plan.


“I can make you look good and you won’t even have to run around or nothing,” Calliet added.

He doesn’t think cardio is overrated, but says you can build muscle and burn fat quite easily simply by manipulating your diet.

“If you’re a bodybuilder all you have to do is walk on the treadmill.

“I could get there quite easily and be in great shape but without being in good aerobic shape.”

How Michael B. Jordan trained for Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse

The concept of no cardio quickly goes out of the window when your client is cast as a Navy SEAL, however.

“Michael had to look like a Navy SEAL but he also had to move like one.

“Tactical training, the way he held a gun… we need you to think you’re looking at a real battle.”

Conditioning therefore became a priority for Jordan’s Navy SEAL workout regime.

But traditional cardio was off the menu.

Michael B. Jordan plays Navy SEAL John Kelly in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse. (Photo: Amazon Prime Video)

In order to maintain muscular size and strength while simultaneously building cardiovascular endurance, Calliet had Jordan perform brutal strength training circuits. Every single day.

“We did mostly CrossFit-style training. To me, that’s some of the hardest training in the world.”

Calliet has trained Jordan “since he threw his first punch in Fantastic Four“, and now takes great pride in his accurate portrayal of a Navy SEAL.

Nevertheless, he still had weaknesses that needed to be overcome.

Like a lot of men, legs were not Michael B. Jordan’s natural strong point, but there was no chance Calliet was letting him skip leg day.

“We did a lot of work to strengthen his lower body. The stronger your trunk is, the better your upper body is.”

Calliet’s approach rings true, as your lower body is vital for generating force. Don’t think you can boost your bench press without developing leg strength first.

Calliet reinforces this point when he says “for all men out there, if you want to have a better upper body, make sure your lower body is on point”.

Michael B. Jordan’s workout regime

“I’ll give you one of the most intense weeks,” Calliet said sternly.

Michael B. Jordan’s workout plan comprises two workouts a day alongside weapons training and long hours in front of the camera.

Anyone who thinks Hollywood stars have it easy is wrong.

“The sessions wouldn’t last very long.

“They’d be 30 to 45 minutes, but they would be the worst 30 to 45 minutes ever. Twice a day.”

In terms of the specifics of each workout, Calliet outline the session as:

  • 45 minutes, doing 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
  • You have four exercises.
  • You have a kettlebell, a pair of dumbbells, jump rope (skipping) and then sit-ups.
  • You’re doing 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off of high kettlebell swing, into a dumbbell thruster or dumbbell row, double unders on the rope and then into mountain climbers or sit-ups.
  • Do that non-stop for 30 to 45 minutes

Despite filming on set for over 10 hours a day, Jordan wouldn’t show much fatigue in the gym.

“He would come in from filming all day, tired, we’d go in the gym and work out and I would be very surprised.

“I would just be like, ‘You’re supposed to be tired!’ but he’s mentally strong and tough.”

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse is available to watch on Prime Video today