Former 'Bad Boys' Body Double and Celebrity Trainer Manning Sumner Recalls the 'Pressure' on Set of 2003 Film (Exclusive)

The former body double and current CEO of Legacy Gym and No Days Off has spent twenty years training celebrities thanks to his time on the Will Smith-led film.

From playing Division One football to acting as a body double to training some of the most notable celebrities and athletes, Manning Sumner has nearly done it all in the world of fitness.

Now with Bad Boys: Ride or Die topping the box office, the one-time body double, 46, is reflecting back on how his journey began on the set of 2003's Bad Boys II. Even if he never got to actually meet the movie’s stars, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

“You had all the stunt doubles and body doubles in their own area, says Sumner on his time on set, where he recalls his being used in one important scene that made the final cut.

“One particular time, [director] Michael Bay comes in and he's screaming at me. “He's like, ‘You need to understand that your hands are the only thing people see on the movie screen.’ So he's like, ‘Don't f--- it up.' It's a lot of pressure on you. I was lighting a fuse, I think is what it was."

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment "Bad Boys II" on DVD
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment "Bad Boys II" on DVD

Still, "moments like that were really cool," he says. In all, “It was really fun. It's kind of funny though, you leave and you're like, 'Oh, I'm going to get another role and I'm going to work my way up and become a movie star.'" As with the plot in Ryan Gosling's hit movie The Fall Guy, "It didn't quite work out like that," he says of his big dreams, "but it was definitely a fun experience."

Though Sumner’s big screen experience ended with the Bad Boys II film, his subsequent training reputation grew to the point where he would soon travel cross-country training professional athletes and celebrities.

Related: Will Smith Revives Box Office with Big Opening for Bad Boys: Ride or Die at $104.6 Million Worldwide

“I actually had an opportunity to train Scott Stapp, the former lead singer of Creed,” says Sumner. “ That was also just a very unique experience, taught me a lot. I got to be in the studio a lot, got to help him with his nutrition, his diet and see that rock star lifestyle, which was wild to see.”

He took advantage of the opportunity to train in facilities around the country until making the decision to develop his own facilities to equip himself better to train everyone from athletes to regular gym goers using his P.I.T. method, grouping together people from every walk of life.

“You've got to kind of figure each person out,” says Sumner. “You've got to find what makes them click. And that's really with anybody. Not everybody has the same what I call 'workout love language.'"

With his training facilities expanding Sumner set his focus on a new area in his No Days Off Brand, recently launching a canned water that would eventually find its way into Kaseya Center, the home of the Miami Heat basketball team.

“Our cultures just matched perfectly,” says Sumner. “So we set up a meeting with the Miami Heat. We literally had a cardboard cutout of our idea and they absolutely loved it.” Now his water is the official brand the team uses and he himself has trained hoop stars like Kevin Durant and James Harden among others.

Despite a whirlwind of businesses and projects, he still finds time to "be present" with his family recently welcoming a second child.

Related: Michael B. Jordan Is 'Excited' to Work with Will Smith on I Am Legend 2: 'I've Looked Up' to Him (Exclusive)

“I get up at 4:00, I come to the gym, I work out, I might train a couple of people or check some emails, then I drive back home to take my son to school,” says Sumner. “So that's something that means a lot to me to just make sure that I'm the person taking him to school every day.”

Sumner is preparing to expand his Legacy facilities across the country along with hopes to get a can of his No Days Off water into the hands of as many people as possible.

“It's a commitment to becoming your best self,” says Sumner “It's never too late to become a better version of yourself."

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