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Q&A: Corey Calliet on Training Celebs, Revenge Bodies, and Benching 515 Pounds

Corey Calliet
Photo by Bobby Quillard
Photo by Bobby Quillard

Bad news: Between 80 and 90 percent of fitness resolutions end up failing (especially if you’re living in these cities.) Good news: The Manual has your secret weapon, which comes in the form of celebrity trainer Corey Calliet.

Calliet makes a living sculpting actors into Greek gods for the silver screen, having been hired by Walt Disney Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Marvel, MGM, and Universal to work his muscle magic on their stars.

He’s currently working with the cast of Marvel’s Black Panther as lead trainer and previous trained Michael B. Jordan for his role in Creed. Calliet’s other trainees include rapper A$AP Rocky, NBA force Tyreke Evans, Star Wars’ John Boyega — the list goes on. Calliet splits his time between these efforts and being a trainer on E!’s hit show Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian and doing motivational speaking.

A post shared by Corey Calliet (@mrcalliet) on Jul 29, 2016 at 6:20pm PDT

So yeah, he knows a thing or two about keeping with your gym routine and becoming a beast. We chatted with Calliet to get you tips reserved for celebrities and to talk muscle, food, and mantras for when you feel like quitting.

At what number of pull-ups and crunches is a man considered “fit?”

One hundred crunches, 20 pull-ups.

What are some celeb training secrets an average guy can use today?

Training twice a day gets the results I’m looking for with my celebrity clients. The first session includes moderate to heavy weightlifting and typically [high intensity interval training (HIIT)] training for the second.

If you could workout with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Why are our fitness resolutions and goals important to stick with?

I used to overweight and unhappy. Becoming healthy changed my entire life, from my job, to the way I feel every day! A healthier life is a happier life.

What are your earliest memories of wanting to be strong?

In 2002, a friend of mine told me I wouldn’t work out every day when I went to college. He was a high school football player and I was in the band. Needless to say, I proved him wrong, and here I am.

Speaking of strong … what do you bench?

My best bench press was 515 pounds!

A post shared by Corey Calliet (@mrcalliet) on Nov 23, 2016 at 6:00pm PST

How many hours do you spend in the gym a week?

Around 25.

What was your journey to becoming such a renowned trainer?

I was a bodybuilder for eight years, and that’s when I learned a lot of what I know about training and sculpting the body. When I came to [Los Angeles], Michael B. Jordan was my only client, but after Creed, my client list grew very quickly.

We hear you’re a father, so we have to ask: What are your thoughts on “dad bods”?

Dads should strive to be the healthiest they can be. We have a very important job to do.

Being a motivational speaker, can you explain the importance of mental fitness as well as physical?

It’s easy! If your mind is not prepared to lead you on the journey you want to take, your body won’t follow.

Can you give us some mantras to keep pushing through in 2018?

  1.  Repeatedly tell youself “Let’s Go!”
  2. “Don’t quit on me.”
  3. “Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself.”
  4. “Work for it!”
Dexter Pukes While Cooking With Corey Calliet | Revenge Body With Khloé Kardashian | E!

You’re a trainer on Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body. How can we use revenge as a motivator?

Men want revenge bodies as much as women. Either it’s because they’re hurt or they’re ready to make a change. The reward is finally being able to be happy with themselves, inside and out.

Any foods or drinks you suggest staying away from if we want to look, well, like you?

Candy, soda, anything fried! If you naturally feel bad about it, stay away.

What is the biggest workout joke that nobody should be doing?

The biggest joke is not working out! If you are physically able to, you should be.

Keep rolling with more fitness tips from expert trainer Mike Barwis, RUMBLE Boxing co-founder Noah Neiman, gladiator Lee Jimenez, and model Michael Markiewicz. Feature image by Bobby Quillard.

Jahla Seppanen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Born and raised off-the-grid in New Mexico, Jahla Seppanen is currently a sports, fitness, spirits, and culture writer in…
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