How to workout like Taylor Swift did for the Eras Tour

David Ho investigates what it takes to be body ready like Taylor Swift for the Eras Tour, which has just resumed with a revamped setlist

“You want a hot body? You better work b*tch,” the wise guru Britney Spears once preached. Being an It Girl in pop culture is no easy task, it takes a lot of work and stamina to get there and stay there.

That’s why pop music icons have fitness routines that have become the stuff of #legends. From Britney’s habit of 1,000 crunches a day and Madonna’s impressive Ashtanga yoga regimen to Beyoncé singing her entire tour setlist aloud while on a treadmill and Jennifer Lopez keeping it fresh with kickboxing and pole dancing, we respect the amount of hard work it takes for these divas to give the world their all on stage.

Taylor Swift burns through approximately 44 songs for each 3-hour show of her Eras Tour, which has resumed after a short break for the release of The Tortured Poets Department album. That’s a lot of cardio fitness needed for singing alone, let alone dancing, playing instruments, and 16 costume changes.

To prepare for something as gruelling as her US$1 billion grossing tour, Swift enlisted her personal trainer Kirk Myers, who has worked with her since her 1989 era. “It’s really hard, some people would probably throw up or have to lay down on the floor if they trained like her,” Myers told Vogue. Swift trains like a professional athlete with an in- and off-season approach, much like her boyfriend American football player Travis Kelce.

Her in-season is when she is on the tour, doing three to four shows a week. But even then, Myers revealed that Swift would average two sessions with him a week. The focus of the training then is more about maintenance, with a focus on “stability, mobility, biomechanics.” 

“While Taylor is rarely able to take a rest day between her gym sessions and shows, it’s realistically crucial to practice taking a break between each workout. Pushing yourself too far can ultimately result in burnout, causing more harm than good to your fitness journey. It’s more important to stay consistent rather than overburdening yourself,” cautions a spokesperson from fitness equipment supplier, Mirafit.

But the gym time is even more intense when she is off-season, prepping for the show. “When she’s not touring, we’re in the gym up to six days a week for sometimes two hours a day,” says Myers. The focuses are strength, conditioning, and targeting her core, which is essential for her singing and dancing.

For the Eras Tour, Swift wanted to do things differently. She joked that she previously toured “like a frat guy.” But this time, she began training six months ahead of the Eras Tour.

Swift has the benefit of a tailored (or should we say Taylor-ed) routine for her. Myers helps her with the strength and conditioning component when they work together. On her YouTube shorts, Swift can be spotted doing Pilates-style exercises to target her core and glutes. The singer uses ankle weights on both legs and practices glute kickbacks. Glute kickbacks target all three glute muscles, the core and hamstrings, making them a great exercise for anyone.  

Myers’ advice is to focus on breathing when doing core work. “I know it’s outside the box, but fully breathing through workouts helps strengthen your core,” he says. Those who are new to breathing exercises can pick up some tips from yoga classes.

Of course, no strengthening routine is complete without some weights. Swift has been seen pumping it at the gym with boyfriend Kelce, even as they travel the world.

Impressively, Swift handles her cardio by herself. The singer-songwriter makes the time spent on her cardio sessions count by turning it into a rehearsal of sorts. “Every day I would run on the treadmill, singing the entire set list out loud,” she told Time magazine . “Fast for fast songs, and a jog or a fast walk for slow songs.” 

Swift also revealed that she started taking dance training lessons before embarking on the Eras Tour. “I had three months of dance training, because I wanted to get it in my bones,” she says, adding that learning choreography was not her strong suit. “I wanted to be so over-rehearsed that I could be silly with the fans, and not lose my train of thought.”

Of course, fitness isn’t all work and no fun. Swift’s YouTube shorts reveals that she occasionally finds time for a round of pickleball, a sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. She can be seen holding a paddle containing the logo of Kelce’s NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs.  

“To perform such energetic three-hour shows almost every night, it’s unsurprising that Taylor has such an intense workout routine. Keeping up strength and stamina has become essential to the singer’s lifestyle,” says the Mirafit spokesperson.

Swift also cut out drinking for the duration of her tour, with the exception being the night of Grammy Awards. She had previously expressed dread at the thought of performing while hungover.

“Taylor has previously commented that she is determined to perform on stage regardless of sickness or injury. It’s safe to say that Taylor’s impressive fitness routine has a huge part to play in the success of the Eras Tour.”

Photo: Instagram @taylorswift

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