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- Demi Lovato’s workout routine involves a variety of different physical activities, including boxing and jiu-jitsu.
- I found boxing to be incredibly taxing but also rewarding.
- Taking a jiu-jitsu class taught me important self-defense lessons.
- I can honestly say the whole experience wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
I’m not an athlete. I’m not a gym rat. I’m just an average woman that works out at least twice a week but typically despises every minute I spend on a treadmill or elliptical. This is important context for the exercise journey I’m about to take you on.
For exactly one week, I worked out like Demi Lovato, which involved buckets of sweat and the perfectly curated pop-punk playlist. Make no mistake, Lovato’s routine is strenuous and, at times, trying. It’s impressive that the star has time to workout amid her hectic schedule and yet, her workout routine doesn’t skip a beat.
In the past, Lovato has been open about her struggles with addiction, mental health, and eating disorder and has expressed that exercising has been a vital part of her recovery.
So, what does a week training like an A-list celebrity like Lovato look like? It’s active and ever-changing. Unlike other celebrity workouts that seem rather repetitive, Lovato’s routine involves a variety of different physical activities, including boxing and jiu-jitsu. It’s important to note that Lovato typically works out six days a week, leaving Sundays open for herself.
Prior to working out like the “Solo” singer, I spoke with Rumble trainer and CPT Kendall Wood about Lovato’s martial arts-focused routine to gain a bit more insight into the week of seemingly daunting week of training I was about to face.
“The biggest appeal of boxing-focused training is that anyone is capable, regardless of age, size, sex, or fitness IQ,” Wood told INSIDER. “Boxing-focused training conditions the cardiovascular system, while also recruiting major muscle groups from head to toe, making this a full-body workout that is both anaerobic and aerobic. In other words, 10 rounds of boxing is like a long-distance run at a sprint-interval pace.”
According to Wood, training like a boxer or participating in another martial art-focused exercise involves non-stop movement and demands power from your entire body, including your mind. There is, however, the risk of “taxing” on your joints, specifically the shoulders, knuckles, and wrists.
Day 1: I began her boxing routine
- Marilyn La Jeunesse
I’m a relative newcomer when it comes to boxing. I’ve been to a few Rumble classes here and there in the name of journalism, but it’s not something I’m necessarily good at. My technique needs work and I’m pretty darn slow – but it’s all about confidence and practice. In my latest boxing workout, I felt quicker and more energized post-completion, but that wasn’t without the too-frequent thoughts of giving up in between rounds. At some point, I felt as if I did just one more sprawl or modified Russian twist I might pass out.
As a boxing novice, for the most part, Wood’s advice to me was approaching the routine at a slower pace and attempt to focus on my technique.
“Like any other sport or new exercise regimen, you should give yourself time to adapt to not only the physical demands of boxing but also time to learn the proper technique,” she said. She also recommends I balance out my boxing workouts with yoga or pilates to recover.
“Above all, always listen to your body; when you feel like it’s time to take a break, a rest day is probably best,” Wood said.
Thankfully, my water bottle and the ability to workout at my own pace made the class a bit more bearable.
Day 2: Walking is my preferred form of cardio
- Marilyn La Jeunesse
Lovato balances her workouts between cardio, strength training, and MMA. Seeing as my body was sore and exhausted from the day prior’s workout, I opted to walk to and from my birthday party and consider it my exercise for the day. My phone said I walked exactly a mile and a half – the bar is about 20 minutes walking distance from my house, so that seems about right. The only exercise my phone didn’t register was the frequent back and forth I was doing between different friend groups and the occasional dance.
All in all, I definitely got over an hour’s worth of cardio – although perhaps not in the way specifically specified in Lovato’s workout interviews.
Day 3: One hour on an elliptical is harder than it seems
- Marilyn La Jeunesse
On day three and I hit the gym with positive vibes and good intentions. Originally, I planned on jogging for an hour before lifting weights, but all the treadmills in the gym were occupied, leaving me a choice of three ellipticals to claim as my own.
Needing a bit of motivation, I turned on Spotify’s “Feeling Accomplished” playlist but after 30 minutes of on-again, off-again tempos, I switched to my personal playlist “Warped Tour”, which I felt Lovato would appreciate.
Burning nearly 400 calories and “running” nearly two miles, I was proud of myself for not giving up. However, this cardio session completely exhausted me and I skipped my strength training for the day. I didn’t have it in me to lift even a two-pound weight above my head.
Day 4: I walked from Brooklyn to Manhattan
- Marilyn La Jeunesse
I had plans with my partner’s family most of the day, so I knew I wouldn’t have time to commit to Demi’s intense workout plan later. So, I improvised and strong-armed my significant other to walk from our apartment near Prospect Park to Lower Manhattan. It was cold, slightly rainy, and definitely not the best day to walk nearly four miles from one borough to the other. But, through much complaining and a few wrong turns, we completed the trip in about an hour and a half – 30 minutes more than Demi’s typical cardio workout.
Our trip took us over the Manhattan Bridge, which was pretty much deserted except for a few wandering tourists who mistook this metal behemoth for the Brooklyn Bridge. The walkway views were absolutely stunning and the rain had finally stopped, so there was just a romantic layer of fog sitting atop the Financial District. Needless to say, I got great Instagram content from this trip and actually enjoyed the challenge of walking outdoors with a purpose, as opposed to my typical aimless wandering.
Day 5: My lesson in self-defense
- Marilyn La Jeunesse
Loyal Lovato fans know how passionate the singer is about jiu-jitsu, a Japanese martial art with a heavy focus on “grappling” and priceless lessons on self-defense. So, I booked a class at the Sei Shin Dojo with Sensei Tony Ip on ClassPass.
Unlike other exercise classes I’ve attended through the years, jiu-jitsu isn’t a one-off class you can go to occasionally. There were three other students in my class, each of whom had the traditional jiu-jitsu uniforms and a different colored belt to indicate their level.
Although only an hour long, I felt like I learned valuable self-defense skills that can be used in the face of danger – presuming my attacker was untrained. The class made me feel like I had some sort of control over my life like I could fight back if something bad were to happen. In my first lesson, I had already learned a basic jiu-jitsu choke and how to escape an unwanted wrist-grab situation. It’s easy to see the allure of the classes as a near five-foot-nothing woman living in New York City.
For anyone looking to join a jiu-jitsu class as a beginner, Sensei Tony told INSIDER they should be focused, committed, and open-minded. He noted that it’s important to take things with a grain of salt, be patient and “be prepared to invest your time and effort into [training].”
Day 6: Boxing is worth the pain
- Marilyn La Jeunesse
Exactly 24 hours post-jiu-jitsu class, I found myself in the locker room of Rumble, putting on my wraps and mentally preparing for the next 45 minutes of non-stop training. My stomach hurt pretty badly and I had a stressful day at work, so things weren’t off to a great start. But, halfway through the second round, I started to feel better. I channeled my stress and pent-up anger into my workout, pushing myself to do one more burpee, one more jab-cross.
The beauty of this workout is that no one can see you – at least not really. The lighting is dim, the music is loud, and everyone’s so focused on themselves that you don’t have to feel self-conscious or worried you’re doing something wrong. It’s all very much “go at your own pace” with plenty of encouragement. You might not be working out as quickly as your neighbor, but so long as you’re pushing yourself to do the most, that’s all that really matters.
Ultimately, I can see why Demi chooses boxing as one of her go-to workouts. I feel stronger and less stressed after every session. Although it doesn’t replace therapy, helping to visualize my fears, stress, and anxiety onto the numbered bag in front of me has definitely helped clear my mind.
I went into this specific workout slightly mad with a tightness in my chest and left feeling like I could breathe again with the angry thoughts all but dissipated. My revelation during this particular boxing class was that 1) being upset over something trivial isn’t worth the stress and 2) why obsess over something you can’t fix?
Day 7: It’s rest day
Even a superstar actress and singer knows taking rest days are important. Demi typically reserves Sundays for her R&R days, but I trade it in for a Wednesday night as I have a work event to attend. This also happens to be my last day of the Lovato workout plan, so it all worked out perfectly in the end.
With six days of back-to-back exercising under my belt, I can honestly say the whole experience wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. For the most part, plenty of stretching and post-exercise recovery shakes helped ease the day-to-day body aches I expected to have after a grueling workout. Well, at least to me the workouts were grueling, seeing as I’m not a professional or avid trainer.
The hardest part of Demi’s routine is making time to work out. And, while I’m fully aware that I’m not as busy as a world-famous celebrity, I do have a pretty packed schedule and had to push back my regular sleeping schedule to accommodate this week’s worth of change. It was worth it though.
Of all the celebrity workouts I’ve tried, this was the first that I was excited to do each day. It was different, dynamic, and the martial-arts-focused classes made me feel like I had some control over my life, even if it was just for an hour.