John Newman: "Singing is an Intense Workout"

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From a small town in North Yorkshire to the glamour of LA, and a string of number one singles including collaborations with musical A-listers Calvin Harris and Rudimental – John Newman has fully realised his dream of musical stardom. But how does he stay fit while living the celebrity lifestyle on tour?

How would you rate your fitness on a scale of one to ten?

It’s pretty good because I perform for an hour-and-a-half on stage most nights. I also watch what I eat, but it’s hard when I’m travelling somewhere like Kazakhstan, where it’s hard to find healthy food.

What do you do fitness-wise?

I’ve got two personal trainers – one in London and one in LA. I also do weights, especially on my legs, because they’re the biggest muscles in your body. It increases your metabolism and continues to burn fat after your workout. So squats are pretty important.

Where does your fitness come from?

I like to do things that are quite different – whether that’s bleep tests outside, or spending time in the gym. I also enjoy boxing because in my profession, it’s hard to let stress out. Boxing’s great for that.

What do you do to motivate yourself?

It’s all very well to say “Yeah, go and call the personal trainer,” but you’ve got to want to do that in the first place. I’m very honest, so I’ll tell them the truth if I can’t make it. Like if there’s been a free bar at an awards show and I’ve had a few too many the night before…

What will you never do again?

I don’t enjoy running on a treadmill – I’d rather go for a run outdoors. Sometimes, we’ll go out near where I’m performing, and people will say “No, it can’t have been…” They’re used to seeing me dressed sharp, but I’m running past in a sweaty vest and a snapback.

How’s your fitness fingerprint unique to you?

Performing is a special form of fitness – going for a run for 90 minutes is totally different to spending 90 minutes on stage. Having to sing and also concentrate on what the band are doing is an intense workout. 

John Newman’s album Revolve, and Revolve: The Book, the story of the album, are out on October 16

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