Tim McGraw stands with a kettlebell in his right hand, back pin-straight, and looks toward the wall at TRUMAV, his new gym in Nashville. He starts walking, then smiles. “I call this Taking Out the Trash,” he says.
A natural storyteller, McGraw’s got names for other moves, too. He does a yoga flow and dubs it Infinity. He squats deep and opens his torso to one side and calls this doing Cheyennes. He does sumo-stance squats, focusing on pushing his butt back, part of his quest for thicker legs. Those are Beyoncés.
This is how the 52-year-old country-music star injects fun into a vicious 90-minute sweat he designed himself, aiming to push his own limits. “I don’t really get tired of training,” McGraw says.“There’s such a feeling of accomplishment that comes from the feeling of being my age and still being at the top of my game.”
McGraw wants you in that position, too; that’s why he’s become one of a growing number of celebrities—like Mark Wahlberg, Tom Brady, and Chris Hemsworth—leveraging global stardom to build fitness and wellness brands. McGraw creates his own workouts and partnered with exercise chain Snap Fitness to design TRUMAV, which is filled with his favorite gear (kettlebells, TRX straps, and battle ropes). His new book, Grit & Grace: Train the Mind, Train the Body, Own Your Life, describes his late-career fitness transformation.
Eleven years and 40 pounds ago, he realized he’d lost control of his own fitness when he starred in Four Christmases. He’d grown up playing sports, but he was up to 215 pounds, and his daughter Gracie noticed, saying he looked “big on the screen.” “I got out of it for a while,” he says. “I was in the prime of my career, and I wasn’t capitalizing on it.” So he ditched alcohol, burgers, and “truck-stop foods” and began walking in the morning.
That became a 20-minute run, and soon he was lifting weights. And he realized it was helping his music. “I use my whole body to sing—my legs, my butt,” he says. “And having more control over those things makes my voice stronger.”
He also started taking his workouts on the road. The same equipment he got for TRUMAV is always at his trailer. Hours before every concert, he works out with his band, often using moves he learned from a trainer he sometimes works with, Roger Yuan. “I’ve learned a lot over the last three or four years.”
McGraw takes pride in his transformation because it never had anything to do with the popularity contest that is celebrity. “Most things in this business are out of your control,” he says. “What the radio is going to play, how many records you’re going to sell. Control the things you can, and maybe that helps.”
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My whole life, I’ve lived according to one key value. I guess I’ve done so from an early age, when I wanted so fiercely to get beyond my circumstances. That value is, Be ready. Be primed for opportunity when it shows up, because it will come once, it will move on quick, and if you’re not ready to make the shot, your whole destiny can change in a heartbeat. Miss that moment, and you’ll live the rest of your life wondering just how much of your potential never played out. That’s when I decided to go from being in good shape to being in the best shape of my life. #GritandGrace
None of this means McGraw (or any celeb) should be your source of gym wisdom, but there is plenty that this wave of Hollywood athleticism can help you do. “Guys like Tim and Chris shouldn’t be viewed as fitness gurus,” says MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. “They’ve experienced success. That’s not pushing somebody else to success. Just
be inspired when you see them crush their own workouts.”
Back at TRUMAV, McGraw is crushing this workout. One moment he’s climbing up two ropes; the next he’s flipping his torso upside down on them and hoisting his legs skyward. Then he’s flipping a tractor tire. He doesn’t slow until he begins doing burpees and pushups.
When he’s done, he feels energized. “This workout is my meditation,” he says.“It frees things up in your head so you can get the trash out for a little while.”
Break of Brawn
In a pinch for a quick sweat? Try this 20-minute basic bodyweight session, a McGraw creation. He doesn’t have a name for this one, so let’s call it Not a Moment Too Swoon, a play on one of McGraw’s big hits.
Warm up with 3 sets of 20 jumping jacks, resting 30 seconds between sets. Do the first set slowly, picking up speed with each set. Then work through the following circuit. Do each move for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds. Rest 1 minute after each round. Do 5 rounds.
Start in pushup position,hands directly below your shoulders, core tight. Bend at the elbows and shoulders, lowering until your chest is an inch from the floor, then press back up. Too easy? After you press up, lift one hand off the floor and open into a side plank; alternate sides.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, core tight. Bend at the knees and push your butt back while keeping your chest up; lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand up, squeezing your glutes at the top. Too easy? Squat down until your thigh sare below parallel, or shift your feet wider.
Lie on your back, feet hip-width apart, heels on the floor. Keep your chin up. Squeeze your abs and, lifting your torso from the ground, reach for the ceiling. Lower with control. Too easy? Do V-ups. Lie on your back, legs straight and arms extended. Lift your straight legs and arms, touching your hands to your toes.
Author: Lara Rosenbaum
Source: Mens Health: Tim McGraw Trains Hard to Stay Country Strong