Michael B. Jordan trained hard for his role in Creed—and it shows.
The 28-year-old actor, who plays Apollo Creed's son opposite Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky spinoff, tells Men's Fitness he packed on 24 pounds of muscle for the role.
"Man, he's come a long way," his trainer, Corey Calliet, tells the mag. "When we first started he could barely bench 20 pounds, his legs were flailing everywhere...he had nothing."
The Friday Night Lights alum starts to protest, before conceding, "No, he's right…I hated it. You know, at first you feel like s--t, you're hurting. When things start getting a little easier, when you start lifting weight you never lifted before, when you start bench-pressing 225 pounds 10 times and it ain't nothing, and then you start giving hugs to girls and they're, like, feeling you up a little and you think, 'What's this?'—then it's, 'This is all right.'"
"So I learned to love it when I started seeing results," he tells Men's Fitness.
And while Jordan tells the mag he allowed himself the occasional indulgence and "did cheat days right," his intense discipline and "supercompetitive" nature helped him stay the course when it came to his grueling workouts.
Jordan's focus extends beyond the physical, too, and into his professional life. "I always told myself I'd sacrifice all of my 20s—every day—to my career," he tells Men's Fitness. "Once I turn 30, I'll start to live a little bit more. I can honestly say I'm not living to my full ability right now. Do I sacrifice a lot? Yeah. Do I stay in the house probably more than I would if I were a lot more comfortable financially and had my family set up? Yep. I'd probably go out a lot more. But right now, what do I gotta go out for?"
Fair point. Jordan's full interview with Men's Fitness is on stands now, and Creed is in theaters now.