Eli Goree Used This Leg Day Workout to Embody Cassius Clay

·2-min read

From Men's Health

When actors prep for a physically demanding role, committing to a training program can be daunting. Then, there are films with marquee roles like One Night in Miami, which drops on Amazon Prime on January 15, where the physical challenge is only part of the process. Riverdale and Ballers actor Eli Goree didn't just have to work his way into shape to cut it as a heavyweight boxer–he had to embody the heavyweight boxer, Cassius Clay, a.k.a. Muhammad Ali. Some roles might be big shoes to fill, but few require actors to become The Greatest.

The film imagines a meeting of four iconic figures–Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, and Clay–on the night the boxer first claimed the heavyweight title against Sonny Liston in Miami in 1964 (Clay converted to Islam shortly after and eventually took the name Muhammad Ali). To get into champ-level shape, Goree committed to a cross-training routine that mixes weight room strength staples with boxing drills to build his body and help him to move in the ring realistically. He welcomed the MH crew to the gym to demonstrate a lower body session that he used to train for the role.

"In order to play the great Cassius Clay, I had to make sure I had strong legs that represented his iconic physique—so I had to do some thing to get me some bulk in my quad and strength in my calf as well."

Check out the session, and if you want to give it a try yourself, make sure to get into the right mindset. If you're training to be The Greatest, make every rep great.


  • Jump Rope Skipping

3 rounds of 2 minutes


  • Dead Bug with Med Ball

3 sets of 10 to 15 reps

The Workout

  • Bulgarian Split Squat

3 sets of 12 to 15 reps

  • Hack Squat

3 sets of 10 to 15 reps

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