With the right plan and the right discipline, you can get seriously shredded in just 28 days.Read article
Nita Strauss was sitting on a tour bus outside of a venue in Greensboro, NC, doing several interviews while thousands of fans were driving from different cities and states to see her perform live on the latest stop of her tour. Most people in her position would be focusing on the upcoming show or trying to shake the inevitable nervousness that comes with performing in front of screaming fans. One of her concerns on this day was finding time in between those interviews to get a workout in.
“I have resistance bands and a yoga mat with me on the bus,” Strauss says. “There are bands of different strength levels, a foam roller, massage gun, supplements, anything and everything you can think of.”
Even with a large tour, promotion, interviews, and the recent release of her second solo album, The Call of the Void,” Strauss considers training a major priority in her life, and finds ways to get it in every day.
“It all helps me stay on track,” she explains.
Strauss may be best-known in the hard rock and heavy metal world for her association with Alice Cooper, but she has made a big name for herself in her own right by creating instrumental hits and collaborating with other stars in the industry. Her latest album includes songs with David Draiman of Disturbed, Lzzy Hale, and Cooper, among others. She’s even become the official guitarist of the Los Angeles Rams, her hometown team. As busy as she is touring and doing business, an anchor in her life is fitness. She was active as a kid and played a lot of sports, but that took a backseat to touring once her music career kicked off.
Strauss said, “My only focus on fitness was so I could perform onstage. It wasn’t for any health reasons or anything like that. It was a means to an end.”
She has leaned on even more since beginning her sobriety journey in 2015. Reconnecting with training and being in shape is something she credits for being successful on that journey.
“That was the real shift,” she explained. “If I’m going to make this change, I really want to make it worth it. I really wanted to take care of my body as best as I can. I traded the bar for the barbell.”
Strauss didn’t go on this journey alone. She recruited help in the form of her boyfriend, Josh, who was a certified trainer. She also works with coach Tory Wright of Team Elite Physique, who has really been helpful because they have found ways to work around Strauss’ intense schedule.
“Tory knows how to work around my schedule and keep me on track. For example, I’ve been on eight flights in ten days. When I land, I have things to do all day. She can tell me when I need to get the workout in, what I should be eating. That’s been big for me as well.”
Another hurdle she must face is an internal one. One may be surprised to learn that a rockstar doesn’t always have a lot of confidence. Strauss admitted that she can beat herself up at times, which can be a setback. Sometimes the business of music can be a big commitment, and she gets to bed realizing she hadn’t even performed a crunch. Fortunately, having that team of people like Josh and Tory around can both hold her accountable and be the shoulder to lean on when necessary.
“Having to get those pictures done on the same week at the same time is huge. I’m going to have to answer for it if I don’t stick close to my plan,” she stated. “I think the mental part is even bigger than the physical part.”
A very rewarding part of her fitness commitment is that the results are obvious beyond the way she looks. Strauss feels that it has helped her become a better performer, which is important because she knows every time she takes the stage, someone is seeing her live for the first time. That personal commitment to self matters because it helps her be her best for the fans.
“You need to help yourself, even if it means taking an hour to do something that can help you become stronger,” she advised. “Sometimes, the hardest part is making yourself get started, even with all the emails you have to answer and all that other stuff, put your own oxygen mask on first.”
Whether she can go to a gym or must train on her bus with her resistance bands, getting the workout in is a must. For those wondering whose music she listens to when it’s go time, she leaves it to Spotify to make those choices for her.
“It keeps me guessing, keeps it interesting,” she says.
Strauss can see and feel the differences that fitness has made in her life, and she wanted others to feel that way as well. She started working with people to help them achieve personal fitness success as well, and she’s taken that up a notch by putting on transformation contests.
“I do a challenge called Body Shred. We just started another one and have almost 200 people from around the world in it,” she said proudly. “They’re committing to taking the next eight weeks to make themselves stronger and better mentally and physically.”
Beyond her ability to reach out and help others, her contests are another way to keep her accountable and focused on getting better herself. Whether it’s her fans in music or members of her challenges, Strauss wants them to know that she is giving her best to them every time they see her.
“I like to lead from the front,” Strauss says.
The Call of the Void is available now on all major music outlets and on her website. You can follow her on Instagram @hurricanenita.
Banded Chest Press: 4 sets, 12 reps
Bentover Row: 4 sets, 12 reps
Single-Arm Band Fly: 4 sets, 12 reps
Upright Row: 4 sets, 12 reps
Bodyweight Pushup: 4 sets, 12 reps
Banded One-arm Row: 4 sets, 12 reps
Squat: 4 sets, 20 reps
Walking Lunge: 4 sets, 20 reps*
*Steps per leg. (Alternate forward lunge if you don’t have room to walk 20 steps—like on a tour bus!)
Single Leg Calf Raise: 2 sets, 25 reps (each leg)
Single Leg Bodyweight Deadlift: 4 sets, 10 reps
Side Lunge: 4 sets, 10 reps (each leg)
Glute Bridge: 2 sets, 50 reps
Straight-Leg Donkey Kicks: 2 sets, 50 reps (each leg)
Standing Shoulder Press (bands under feet): 4 sets, 12 reps
Biceps Curls: 4 sets, 12 reps
Banded Front Raise, Lateral Rise Alternating Combo*: 4 sets 10 reps
(*Each front raise and lateral raise counts as one rep)
Bodyweight Tricep Dips (on Bench): 4 sets, 12 reps
Banded Hammer Curls: 4 sets, 12 reps
Banded Tricep Extension: 4 sets, 12 reps
Note: Strauss also adds in yoga, stretching, plyo movements and ab circuits as needed!