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Music / April 2016

Experts Reveal How to Work Out Like a Mega Star

Performing is an art. It takes time, focus and dedication. For many musicians, that level of intensity and hard work shows in their music. But beyond building their craft in the studio, building their bodies is just as important.

For every mega artist who releases an album, a world tour is almost always inevitable, and with touring, especially if there's choreography involved, staying fit is key for putting on sold-out shows.

Celebrity fitness trainer Mark Jenkins knows all about the touring life. For the past 20 years, he's been sculpting the bodies of A-list musicians for dozens of world tours, movie roles and award shows.

Similar to Jenkins, Miami-based celebrity trainer and ReebokONE instructor Jacqueline Kasen has also trained high-profile clientele. Her fitness expertise has transformed dozens of Grammy-award winning DJs, Olympians, and famous Hollywood actors.

Together, they reveal some insider tips on how they train our favorite musicians into shape.

Assessing the Performer

According to Jenkins, developing a training plan begins by assessing the performer on stage.

"I always go to the artist's show," Jenkins says, "and once I check out the show, I look at the audience, I look at the body and then I try to figure out how I'm going to design the program to enhance what I see; what I visualize happening."

After Kasen meets with a performer, she makes sure to ask vital questions about their overall health, fitness goals, and the amount of time they wish to train. Oftentimes, when a performer visits for a day or two, she tailors her training sessions to meet those time constraints.

"If I'm working with a singer and dancer," Kasen says, "I'm going to make sure we're doing a lot of endurance exercises and power movements. But if it's a short period of time, I'm not going to introduce something really challenging because I don't want them to be ridiculously sore."

Building the Body

For Jenkins, shaping up musicians means making them look exactly how they sound. During his 30-day training session with pop stars, Jenkins combines cardiovascular work, like jumping rope, with compound movements like squats and deadlifts. He also has them run and sing at the same time, an old trick he learned from boot camp.

"I have them sing while they run," he says.

"I'd have them sing the whole album. If I'm getting someone ready to perform back to back every night, we're working on the aerobic capacity for them to be able to sing and dance at the same time."

Strength training is also key.

"You actually want to lift heavy and hard," Kasen says when describing her own fitness regime with clients. "You want to have that strength and that power. Over time, when you lift weights, you'll be able to make it last. What I do is keep it in the 10-rep range, for whatever exercise it is, and then I supplement it with a cardiovascular exercise that's really intense and really short."

Maintaining the Training

Both celebrity trainers say whether or not you're a famous musician, maintaining a steady workout, motivation and strong relationships, is important for staying in shape.

"You have to believe in what you're doing," Jenkins says, "I get transformations because of the relationship I have with my clients, so when I'm not with them, out of respect, they do what I tell them."

Kasen also believes that motivation is everything when it comes to training and that it often provides calm to a musician’s busy lifestyle.

"They have so much going on in their lives," Kasen says, "that working out is their release or break from the world. When they walk in, you can tell how relieved they are. They don't know anyone and they know that people are going to leave them alone. They can relax."

Music / April 2016