(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Approaching hip-hop’s 50th birthday, James Todd Smith, of course more famously known as LL Cool J, has every right to slow down, rest on his laurels, count his money and perhaps even call it quits. After all, contrary to the fact that many hip-hop artists have fairly short careers, the 55-year-old LL has spent over two decades in the limelight, including two Grammy Awards, 11 platinum CDs, a hit TV show and more than 20 feature films.

But instead of winding down, he’s still doing music, still acting in TV shows and movies, and even producing a few shows behind the scenes. But reinforcing his status as one of Hollywood’s very fittest, he came out with the book LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout, collaborating with Scooter Honig, his personal trainer of nearly 10 years.

“Working out is a huge investment in yourself, and it builds equity in your body,” says LL. “It helps in all your decisions. It helps you negotiate. It clears your mind. It gives you strength to overcome obstacles. It’s a deep thing, you know?”

His workout plan was born of necessity during concert tours. LL and Honig would hop off the bus in the middle of a desert for miles of roadwork, or scramble over the fence of a high-school football field to do wind sprints followed by pullups on a goalpost. Their super efficient, use-what-you-have approach, where not one single second is wasted, comes in handy during a time crunch, either LL’s or yours.

One of the reasons LL Cool J looks the way he does is that his trainer combines old-school exercises like bench presses and curls with “cardio blasts” designed to produce maximum results in minimum time. LL’s book blends this unique “combination-platter” approach with free-weight bodybuilding, plyometrics, fighters’ moves, calisthenics and endurance training, all designed to build muscles while burning fat. The beauty is that the added muscle and staggered cardio can make you a fat-burning machine, even while sleeping. The net result? One day you might wake up looking like an LL Cool J version of yourself!

Below are excerpted examples of three of his explosive routines, both the workout schedule and explanations of the key moves.

(Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout (Chest, Bicep and Cardio Circuit Excerpts)

Do this circuit plan once a week for a month, replacing your normal chest and biceps sessions. Try upping your poundage and cardio intensity a bit week to week. At the end of the month, go back to your normal training for chest and biceps and use circuits for another part of your body.

Before the workout, warm up for 5 to 10 minutes using a treadmill, a stationary bike, or some other cardio apparatus. Jumping jacks or running in place will also do the trick.

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