The trainer of ‘Creed III’ and the keys for the biceps
When you think of muscle on the big screen, one of the most important image traits that often comes to mind is a pair of biceps the size of a blockbuster.
One of the experts responsible for creating some of the most impressive arms on today’s action stars is Corey Calliet, the elite trainer who has helped develop two of the best physiques in Hollywood at the moment: Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors, stars of Creed III.
When it comes to building big-screen biceps, Calliet says there are two main keys: form—which includes foot placement—and intensity. The celebrity trainer and former bodybuilder explains to Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS, that Building a Hollywood physique isn’t just about moving weight, it’s also about keeping your heart rate up and your form intact.
“I love doing things at a high pace, high intensity, no matter what I’m doing,” Calliet says. “As long as I pay attention to form and control, I am able to get what I want, ‘Cause I want to get that heart rate up. Even when I lift weights. I don’t like doing heavy weights and then sitting back and relaxing.”
As an example of how anyone can prepare for the movies as the duo in Creed III, Calliet shares three Hollywood tricks she uses to get her clients armed and ready for any action scene.
Creed III Trainer Biceps Keys
short sets for muscle fatigue
3 rounds of 8 to 12 reps with each weight
The descending series are brutal. You start with a normal set of curls, and just when you think your biceps are fried, you drop the dumbbells, pick up a lighter set, and do more reps. Then you do it one more time. Before you know it, you’ll have done almost 30 reps with this set.
The key to the knockout sets, according to Calliet, is knowing how to keep a rep or two “in stock” so you’re not completely exhausted after the first set. This should help you get over the tiredness, but at the same time not exhaust yourself too soon.
More important than the total number of reps, though, Calliet says that throughout the set you need to focus on form and maintain the mind-muscle connection.
Perform two to three loose sets, starting with eight to twelve reps before lowering the weight and performing another set. If you do it at the beginning of a workout, Calliet advises doing three sets total. When used as a finishing move, a full set – by now you should have around 30 or more quality reps completed – should suffice.
Master the Half-Iso Curl
3 sets of 10 reps
Although the dumbbell curl is often performed as a unilateral exercise—alternating between each arm—this version doesn’t offer much rest. By maintaining a 90-degree grip with your “non-working” arm, the standard dumbbell curl becomes much more of a challenge than it seems.
With this movement you get a great commitment of the biceps with both arms. As you focus on the one-arm curl, you are also forced to pay attention to maintaining the grip with the opposite arm. It won’t take long for you to feel the crazy pump and again as you focus more on maintaining that mind-muscle connection.
Do about three sets of 10 reps with each arm to get a ridiculous pump.
Spider Curl for maximum contraction
3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
A perfect Hollywood ending to creating your own set of action hero arms is this finishing move that focuses on the mind-muscle connection. The unique angle of the spider curl – you’re “glued” to a bench with your arms locked to the top of the seat to eliminate the possibility of cheating. This allows you to work the biceps even more.
Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor and squeeze your glutes and abs while you are glued to the bench. Do three sets of eight to twelve repetitions with each arm. You can even alternate each arm to create more focus and awareness in your curl, Calliet advises.
“Anyone can build the body they want if they take the time, are disciplined and consistent,” Calliet says.