Last year, Michael B. Jordan partnered with Propel Water to bring the Propel Your City Project. The project’s overall goal is to provide communities access to fitness. As the partnership goes into its second year, it has provided more opportunities for people to get fit with various options, including yoga and hiking, expanding everyone’s interest beyond what’s available in the gym.

Blavity recently chatted with the actor and entrepreneur, and he couldn’t contain his excitement about the project and its continued growth.

This year, the collaborative project is launching local fitness hubs in communities where fitness and wellness leaders will teach free classes. In addition to the hub, Propel is giving away $500 to exercisers toward fitness memberships of their choice. Jordan spoke about the project’s expansion. He also expressed happiness about the project coming to his hometown and shared some of his favorite workouts.


We spoke last year about the inaugural partnership between you and Propel. How would you describe the year-to-year growth going into the second year?

Michael B. Jordan: I think it was scaling up, baby. I’m excited about it. We went from working with just a handful of organizations last year to upping it to 60 organizations this year, which is huge. Getting a chance to go back to my hometown city in Newark makes it even better. We are building a dock out there for the Brick City Rowing Team. I didn’t even know we had a rowing team out there. So that was pretty cool to find out and explore and learn some things about my city and another fitness group that is being helped by the Propel Your City Project. 

That was awesome. It’s been great to see and be part of evolving the space. It’s nice going from one thing to now creating a central space for multiple organizations and fitness communities to come in and be able to use. And, I think that the idea around community is what we’re really hitting. This is going to encourage more people to come out, and we will be able to have a further reach. 

After Newark, we’re going to Atlanta, and then after Atlanta, we’re in Houston. After Houston, we’re in L.A. again. So we’re doing it big this year.


That’s exciting, especially being able to incorporate your hometown into this year’s campaign. I remember that the idea was to motivate people about fitness plus health and wellness, but it was also doing so with a buddy system. Does the buddy system help keep everyone motivated?

MBJ: I think one of the best things about fitness is like being able to do it in groups sometimes because I think being surrounded by like-minded individuals, it helps push you beyond your own limits. It kind of helps with holding each other accountable. When you have somebody next to you, it’s helpful to help push through that. So, I think building that fitness community and having that environment is conducive to physical fitness. And I think we’ll see a lot more results and hear more testimonials. 


Do you prefer working out alone, or are you a person who benefits more from a buddy system?

MBJ: Both. I’m self-motivated, and I can be by myself working out. But then I also enjoy working out with my boys. We get together, and we do group workouts also. So, both work for me. When you have a workout buddy, and you’re talking smack to one another, time flies. That is always great. But then sometimes, I may be in one of my modes where I just want to just kind of like be by myself and just get it done.


You mentioned working with Propel to help Newark, New Jersey’s rowing team. What other organizations are you working with?

MBJ: There’s so many this year. It’s about 60, so I can’t name them all off the top of my head. But what I love is the variety. We have some more unique ones that I found and discovered. I also love that we’re tapping into what each city offers. We’re not bringing programs and curriculums; instead, we work with each city, and they tell us what they need, and we build something out from there. 


Speaking of diversifying workouts, what are some of your favorites that keep you excited and not monotonous?

MBJ: One of the more obvious ones for me has been boxing. I think the last decade or so, especially with my professional life, boxing has been a huge staple in that. It’s been my default and something I enjoy doing alone. I can always shadow box, jump rope, hit the bags if I want to, and move around a bit. So that’s something that I tend to go back to a lot. I love water, so anything that gets me in the pool or the ocean or a hot tub or anything like that — whether it’s stretching in there or swimming is great cardio. And water is peaceful for me. It’s also easier on your joints, which I really enjoy getting in the sauna or ice baths. It’s something that is part of weight recovery that I enjoy doing a lot. Lifting weights is cool, too. That’s also a common staple.


Fitness and diet go hand in hand. How does the partnership expand to education about a good diet coinciding with fitness and wellness?

MBJ: This partnership isn’t specified around nutrition and diet as much. It’s one that is more around fitness. But personally, for myself, I tend to eat fairly well. I eat with a purpose. I do love my cheat days and having somehting to look forward to. I like to indulge. But I’m pretty disciplined. I have my daily dose of vegetables and grains. I am high in protein. I don’t do carbs much. I’m a high vegetable fiber type of guy. And I take in a lot of hydration. At 37, you have to incorporate a lot of supplements that you do take as far as natural vitamins and minerals and things that you add to your body that you need.

I always encourage people to get their blood work done and see where the levels are, and see what their body needs.Listen to your body, and give it what it needs.


Tell us a little about what you want people to get out of this year of Propel Your City and how you want to move forward with the brand. 

MBJ: I really want people to just find this sense of community. I want them to find their fitness routine that works for them and work with people to encourage them and hold them accountable on their fitness journey. Whether you like to work out alone or in groups, sometimes being in a group is better, as I said earlier, because it allows you to push beyond your limits and to achieve your goals because you have somebody that’s pushing you to do more. 

Just take a chance sometimes. Starting Day 1 is always the most intimidating. And sometimes, people don’t just take that first step. But I encourage people to just sign up for that class or that thing that looked interesting, that exercise that youwanted to do or even something that scares you — whether it’s cycling, hiking — whatever it may be. It’s not as bad as you think.