Eminem, pictured on the red carpet at the Southpaw premier, is physically healthier than he’s been in years. Slim Shady’s secret? At-home exercise DVDs. (Photo: Debby Wong/Corbis)
When you think of a celebrity workout, you probably imagine some pricey personal trainer whose program costs more than your rent. Or a luxe boutique studio — the kind with chandeliers and its own brand of socks.
Leave it to Eminem to keep it real. In the latest issue of Men’s Journal, the Academy Award-winning rapper confesses that he’s now in some of the best shape of his life thanks to at-home exercise DVDs. Some of his favorites include Shaun T’s Insanity and Tony Horton’s P90X, two of the best-selling fitness DVD programs of all time.
Eminem, who recently contributed the boxing-inspired song “Phenomenal” to the Southpaw soundtrack, confesses that his weight approached 230 pounds while he battled addiction to prescription painkillers Vicodin and Valium.
Slim Shady wasn’t so slim during the late 2000s as he struggled with pill addiction. (Photo: Getty Images)
After a 2007 overdose landed him in rehab, Eminem started running as part of his recovery, Men’s Journal reported. At first, the exercise helped him sleep and gave him a natural endorphin buzz. But he soon began to run too much, sometimes logging 17 miles total during twice-daily treadmill runs. He weighed less than 150 pounds at one point, and started getting injured from the constant pounding.
In order to balance out his running routine, Eminem looked to a simple, popular solution: workout DVDs. “I know a lot of these DVD guys are wacky, but I’m alone in my gym; I need someone on the TV yelling to motivate me. Besides, some of this s— is entertaining,” Eminem says.
Shaun T’s Insanity workout, which features high-intensity interval training, was the first DVD series Eminem tried to balance out his running routine. The extremely challenging fitness program (as the name would imply) has you work out to your max for three minutes, then rest for 30 seconds, for a total of 30 to 60 minutes. Eminem says Insanity was so much fun that it quickly became his main workout.
When he had enough of Insanity, he moved on to Tony Horton’s immensely popular 90-day DVD fitness plan P90X. The program prescribes workouts six days each week, and the workouts are designed to get progressively harder as the plan goes on. P90X includes elements of cardio, strength training, stretching, athletic conditioning, and balance training.
Nowadays, Em tells Men’s Journal that his favorite workout DVD is Body Beast, a muscle-building program created by Sagi Kalev, two-time Mr. Israel. Devotees to the 90-day program use free weights such as dumbbells to tax the muscles enough to inspire growth. The program follows a more traditional strength-training setup, where you do legs one day, back/biceps another day, and cardio/abs the next day.
Eminem even fills out the workout log that comes with the programs. “Once you’re at a place where you’ve made progress and you’ve got some time invested in it,” he says, “you don’t wanna quit and give up what you started.”
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