Athletes & Celebrities

Heavy Metal Muscle

Bassist Rob Trujillo of Metallica shares his training and talks about the band's upcoming film.


Muslce & Fitness: What does your training look like and how do you adjust it when you’re touring?

Rob Trujillo: I have a trainer up by the studio in the NorCal region, and he’ll come down two weeks before a tour. We get into two-a-days, doing workouts twice daily, and then when he’s not around, I do a stair workout. The stairs are good for me, because I can get a lot done in 45 minutes. It’s about 200 stairs, up in the mountains, and I do push-ups between sets. So, let’s say, when I get three quarters of the way up, I’ll do 20 push-ups; then when I get to the bottom, I’ll do 20 more. When I joined Metallica, I found that using weights inhibited my level of dexterity, and I’d lock up—there’s a lot of fast playing in this band.

You do a crab walk when you’re performing. How are you able to do that?

I’m a pretty avid surfer—I try to surf as much as possible. And I grew up skateboarding and snowboarding. So, I think my natural style is related to some of the board sports I’ve done over the years; and then that kind of evolved into this thing. I can remember the first time I did that crab walk was actually with Ozzy [Osbourne], when I played in his band back in ’96 at a show in Las Vegas.

What can we expect from the band’s new movie, Through the Never?

Through the Never is an exciting film. There’s a great, surreal narrative— it’s kind of a wild journey between the stage and this other world. You’re talking about a stage that’s incredibly difficult. It’s the biggest indoor stage ever; and there are pyro cues, various lighting cues…so your senses have to be intact on that stage, because it can be very dangerous. I always say, being in Metallica is like living an edge-of-your-seat existence: You just dive into the deep and swim with the sharks, and at the end you survive— and it’s great.

For you, where does the energy to do that come from?

I’m 48 now, and our shows are a minimum of two hours on big stages. So you always have to prepare. We all have our own regimen: Lars [Ulrich] is an avid runner—he runs all the time. Kirk [Hammett] does yoga first thing in the morning and before he goes onstage. James [Hetfield] does a lot of biking and walking; he’s more low-impact because he has problems with his back. But during shows, when James and I really challenge ourselves and kind of get in each other’s faces a bit, we push the limit.