Usher is the man! He approaches everything he does the same way. It has to be perfect!
His interview with Men’s Health magazine gives us an insight into his exercise routines but also in the way he lives. Read on to get all the details.
Usher On . . . Work
“Imagine working in a studio till 4 o’clock every morning. You sit on a couch and waste energy. You eat a million and one things. So we built a gym in the studio, where I go pump some iron with Cliff [Boyce, his trainer]. Everyone looks at us like we’re crazy, but when I go back into that booth, I’m pumped.”
Usher On . . . Stress Relief
“My life is work, work, work, work, work. So, naturally I have to have some moment for myself at the end of the day. Most of the time, I’ll add a workout because it’s something I want to do for myself physically, or I’ll go and read a book, meditate, or whatever it may be, just to keep myself sane.”
Usher On . . . Health
“At the age of 18 or 19, I broke down a lot. I’d get colds, catch the flu, ’cause I just wasn’t taking care of my body. I wasn’t eating right. I wasn’t taking vitamins. I wasn’t sleeping, which I still don’t do. That’s part of my problem–not resting.”
Usher On . . . Fitness
“If you take care of your body, it’ll take care of you. The benefit obviously is that I’m protecting my body from being harmed. I did my best to prepare and condition my body over time. If I didn’t do this, I’d look a mess because of the lifestyle I live. I mean, the moment you go off, you notice the difference. You move slower.”
Usher On . . . Looks
“Part of the selling of an artist is how you present yourself. If you look the part, people will believe you.”
Usher’s Exercise Routine
Here are some exercises he does. Sitting toe-to-toe with a partner, legs spread in Vs, launching that medicine ball at each other. When one catches it, he lowers his back to the floor, then fires back up to a sitting position and returns the throw. Brutal. “Watch your breathing,” warns Usher. “When it’s burning, you can’t give up. You don’t pay attention to pain. Just breathe through it.”
He continues with some wild moves, including a snakelike variation of the pushup. What is that, you say? Usher’s legs are straight and spread wide, hips high, forehead hovering just above the floor. He swoops down so his body is flat and just above the floor, then comes up into a cobra, all in a fluid motion. Not only does it look cool, it works almost every muscle in his remarkable body. He also does an intense 5-minute circuit of Arnold presses, V presses, modified lateral raises, and pushups — all part of a routine he’s using to build a back as ripped as his trademark abs. He stretches for 10 minutes before and after every workout and employs a combination of Pilates, yoga, and massage to loosen himself up for dance moves. He boxes and break-dances for speed and agility, lifts and runs for strength and endurance.
What about the Abs?
And for his abs…. he eats.
“If you eat clean, you get better results,” he says.
Usher is dialed in — using advice from his trainer, Cliff Boyce, to achieve the body a millennial music star requires, and also to stay healthy as life’s pace quickens. We’ve adapted his plan, plus those of the Pistons’ Ben Wallace, actor/adventurer/seducer-of-fine-women Matthew McConaughey, and six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, and we’ve added in a strength and conditioning plan from Mark Verstegen, whose programs have fortified professional athletes at his Arizona gym. In short, we took elements of all-star workouts and built them into a program any man can follow.
Usher’s Workout Plan
Under the eye of his trainer, Cliff Boyce, Usher combines moves for body, mind, and voice. Here’s a typical workout:
Meditation and visualization: 20 minutes
Static stretching: 10 to 15 minutes
Intervals: 30 minutes on a treadmill or bike
Strength: 60 minutes of supersets and circuits
Abs: 10-minute circuit
Static stretching: 10 to 15 minutes
Steam-room intervals: 5 minutes in steam, 5 minutes in a cold shower, 5 minutes in steam (The contrast of hot and cold stimulates bloodflow to help his muscles recover; the steam keeps his voice smooth and his skin toned.)