How Many Calories Does Jonathan Majors Eat a Day?

The budding star was hailed as "godlike" in his latest film

A photo of Jonathan Majors against a black background.
The 33-year-old took on a dramatic four-month routine in order to transform his physique.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

The first time I saw Jonathan Majors was in A24’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco. He played a speculative playwright, beset by seismic neighborhood turnover in the Bay Area.

The role earned him a slew of supporting actor nominations, and helped launch a career that has taken on a breakneck pace since the advent of the pandemic. Majors appeared in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, an American Western with Idris Elba called The Harder They Fall, and last year’s war film Devotion. This year, he’ll grace silver screens as a bodybuilder in Magazine Dreams, Kang the Conqueror in Marvel’s latest Ant-Man entry, and as a fighting prodigy/frenemy of Adonis Creed (Michale B. Jordan) in Creed III.

Suffice to say, Majors’ roles have gotten larger. Both in scope…and in physical size. And in order to transform himself from an arthouse actor to a comic book character, he’s had to adhere to a dramatic daily routine.

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According to a recent article in Variety, Majors had to eat around 2.5x the daily recommended caloric intake for men in order to attain and retain the hulking figure he’s brought to his three latest roles. “I’m 6 feet tall. I’m 202 pounds,” he said. “In order to to grow that you have to eat as much protein that you weigh. I ate 6,100 calories a day for about four months. That included the pre-work and the post-work of ‘Creed III.’”

If that sounds like way too many calories, that’s because it is. But consider how frequently — and intensely — he was working out: to the tune of at least two two-hour sessions a day, plus a potential third workout after he finished up whatever he was finished shooting.

In recent years, especially in the wake of the Marvel revolution, celebrity coverage has lionized the preposterous lengths that movie stars will go to look fit in a role. It often feels unhealthy — little wonder many actors have confessed that their mental health plummeted as they achieved their physical peak.

But Majors’ transformation has been an unique case, as in the film Magazine Dreams (which premiered last week at Sundance), his character is obsessed with achieving what he perceives as bodily perfection: biceps larger than his head. So within the story, that inevitably means three-workout days…and a side of 6,100 calories or so. The film producers, then, can probably be excused for pushing Majors into such a maximalist, unsustainable routine. After all, early reviewers have said that he “astonishes” in the role, delivering “all-in performance for the ages…[of] god-like glory.”

And always important when taking on these projects? Know thyself. Majors liked training for Ant-Man, Creed III and Magazine Dreams. ““I played football in Texas. I got an appetite,” he said to Variety. “I really like being physical. I like hiking and running. I’ve got dogs. I’m only 33… I got to do something to stay with it.”

As for what he ate to reach those unholy totals day in and day out: “Lots of chicken. Lots of elk. That’s just for me. I like it.”

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