Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White was born in Brooklyn, New York. He spent his teen years in Bridgeport, Connecticut and attended Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. He started studying martial arts at age 7, has trained in 8 different styles and hold 26 martial arts titles, including the US Open, the North American Open and New England Grand Champion. White found small roles in tv and film in the early ’90s such as on Saved by the Bell and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. His breakout came in 1995 playing the lead in Tyson. White then played Spawn, becoming the first African-American to play a superhero in a major motion picture. He has gone on to play in many films, including Blood and Bone and Creed II, and he starred in and directed Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown. White is also the voice of Green Lantern in the video game Justice League Heroes. White has a production company called Jaigantic Studios. He is married to actress Gillian Iliana Waters and has 3 children from previous relationships. He has millions of followers on social media. White is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 225 lbs.
Michael Jai White’s Diet
White doesn’t mess around with his diet. He prefers organic and locally grown foods, and always has plenty of vegetables and fruit. He also eats lean animal protein like chicken and fish, along with some red meat. White will usually has 5-6 meals per day, and he often eats at home. He gets a lot of nutrients through his food, but he also supplements with things like BCAAs, protein and creatine. He goes easy on the alcohol and doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, although he sometimes succumbs to a snack attack.
- Medium Fat 30% 30%
- Medium Carb 40% 40%
- High Protein 60% 60%
White avoids processed food and eats fresh, local, organic produce whenever he can get it.
Fill Up With Greens
White eats a lot every day. Whether he’s at home or at a restaurant, he fills up with salads, veggies, and lean protein.
Pump Up With Sups
When White needs to put on muscle quickly, his go-to is creatine. He also takes branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and a couple of protein shakes every day.
Those Crafty Elves
White’s kryptonite is Keebler Townhouse crackers. He has been known to eat them by the sleeve.
What to Eat
Townhouse Crackers (cheat)
What to Avoid
White on Townhouse Crackers
‘If they’re around, I’m eating the whole sleeve…Those damn Keebler elves.’
White on Clean Eating
‘I’m pretty consistent. I get a lot of vitamins through my diet.’
White on Supplements
‘If I had to gain weight quickly, I’d use creatine. It makes me hold a lot more water in my muscle tissue.’
White on Cooking
‘I don’t cook. I think they named the “Mike”-rowave after me.’
Michael Jai White’s Fitness Routine
It’s All About Balance
White says he likes to balance strength with esthetics. He is happy with his size, and doesn’t aim to get any bigger.
Seven Is a Magic Number
White holds a black belt in 7 different martial arts disciplines: Shotokan, Tae kwon do, Kobudo, Goju Ryu (under Master Eddie Morales), Tang Soo Do, Wushu, and Kyokushin.
Keep ’Em Guessing
White does a workout plan called Focus T25 that incorporates several martial arts-type exercises and works on the principal of muscle confusion.
Advice for Beginners
White struggled to make gains when he was first starting out. He says that if you work the whole body equally, your imbalances will remain. Focus first on areas where nature fell short to even yourself out.
Focus on the Back
White says for a balanced, strong body, you must concentrate on developing the muscles on the back of the body. Wide-arm pull-ups are his go-to.
Medium Reps, Full Power
White prefers to go full-on with speed and power and a moderate amount of reps.
Supersets for the Win
White recommends alternating wide-arm pull-ups with bench presses for a well-balanced physique. He benches 115 lbs., about half his weight.
Work With a Partner
White and his wife work out together, inspire each other to stay fit, and consider exercise a pillar of their relationship.
A Michael Jai White Routine
Cardio: 5 days x 45 min on treadmill, stair machine, running or heavy bag.
Strength training: 5 days x 90 minutes of weights, kettlebells, pull-ups, martial arts, etc. Mix up your exercises and focus on your weaknesses. Do 4 sets x 15 reps, with 12 total sets per body part.
White on his Physique
‘Since I don’t want to be any bigger, I use weights purely for toning.’
White on Martial Arts
‘You develop a lot of core strength from martial arts. I train to stay functional, so I would never do heavy curls because adding size to my biceps is kind of useless.’
White on How to Get Big Guns
‘Everyone wants big arms and a big chest, but 80% of the guys I see in the gym are doing it completely wrong. They don’t realize the shape of your whole arm and chest is dependent on your triceps and back.’
White on his Favorite Exercise
‘Pull-ups are easily my favorite exercise because they are one of the best at strengthening your back, which keeps your esthetics balanced and makes you look good without a shirt. It also straightens out your spine.’
Michael Jai White’s Supplements
Most days, White takes branched-chain amino acids. BCAAs promote muscle growth and reduce post-exercise soreness and fatigue so you can work out longer.
Michael Jai White’s Lifestyle
Rise & Shine
White says there’s no excuse not to get up and exercise first thing, and that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your kids.
White started his martial arts career by watching from the bleachers until the master allowed him to train for free. By the time he was 13, he was taking out men twice his age and size.
Punching Is Fun
As a kid, White would go into abandoned buildings and punch holes in the wall as entertainment.
Heavyweight Role Model
White worked as a junior high school special ed teacher for three years before his acting career took off.
Just Say No to Cane Day
White is in his 50s, but you’d never know it. He says he takes care of himself because this body and this life are your only true possessions. He calls aging ‘Cane Day’ for the day when he will need a cane, which he hopes is a long ways off.
White on Creating Healthy Habits
‘That feeling of accomplishment can become addictive.’
White on Cheating Old Age
‘The more I work out, the longer I delay Cane Day.’
White on his Role Models
‘I remember as a young man seeing these bigger-than-life strong images of black manhood in the form of Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly, Billy Dee Williams. All these guys were alpha males who were smart, attractive. I said, “Wow, I want to be like that.”’
White on Himself
‘Just by nature, I think in comedy…I’m usually in some goofy headspace. It feels natural to me.’
White on His Acting Roles
‘The majority of roles that I’ve played have had very little to do with being black. It doesn’t matter what color you are.’