How 50 Cent got his ‘Southpaw’ body - and the meditating tip he learned from Deepak Chopra
On the big screen, 50 Cent (whose real name is Curtis Jackson) stars as a boxing promoter opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams in “Southpaw,” now in theaters. On the small screen, “Power,” the Starz series that he executive produces and stars in, was just renewed for a third season. But he has not forgotten his musical roots: He releases a new album this fall. For his latest business startup, 50 Cent, who turned 40 last month, is turning to fashion. He is designing a high-end line of men’s underwear, called Frigo Crown, set to launch this summer.
How often do you work out and what do you do?
I work out six times a week, Monday through Saturday, for about an hour and 20 minutes.
It’s mostly high-intensity, allowing a minute recovery, and then reducing recovery time to 45 seconds. I use a trainer.... I don’t train for a superhero look if there’s not a project in front of me. I try to sustain my health. I like to go to the gym where people are more advanced than me. I drive to Venice, to Gold’s Gym. There you see girls lifting weights bigger than the weights you’re lifting.... It’s motivation.
Are there special foods that you eat or avoid?
I probably shouldn’t have sliced turkey over the counter because it has a little more sodium in it, but I like it and the way it tastes.... I love ketchup and, now, honey mustard. Everything that tastes good is no good for you. I really don’t care for asparagus, but I eat it; it helps me drain water from my body when I’m getting ready for a photo shoot.
How did you start meditating?
I got my mantra from Deepak Chopra. I try to meditate, but I’m still not good at it. I don’t know if it’s that my thoughts are racing so fast that I get lost in thought momentarily. But then I have to go back to my mantra again. Deepak said this is normal.... I try and do it in different places, not always in my house in the area I set up for meditation. The majority of the time I meditate when I’m on an airplane, when I’m stuck in places and have no choice but be in that seat for a long time.
How do you cope with jet lag? How much sleep do you typically get?
I travel so often I don’t usually have [immediate] issues with jet lag. But it catches up with me in two or three days.... I function on about four hours’ sleep most nights. Even my trainer says my performance in the gym is better when I sleep longer. So they got me on melatonin. It helps you sleep longer.... It works for me like somebody punched me, like knocked me right out.
How does exercise make you feel?
A lot better. If I get up and get on the treadmill, it gives me a chance to focus — to think about what’s in front of me that day. I only need 30 minutes max. I like to go faster and not stay on it [the treadmill] all day. If you start doing it too long, you don’t push yourself.