On the cover of Vogue‘s April issue, Rihanna is looking fab. And while that’s no surprise, the magazine declares the singer to be in “the best physical shape of her young life.”
So what’s behind Rihanna’s peak physique (other than great genes)? Ary Nuñez, the artist’s feisty personal trainer and owner of Gotham Global Fitness. A Brooklyn native, Nuñez has three black belts and is a professional dancer.
“Working with Rihanna is really a treat,” she says. “She’s so hard working, and she’s an artist so she gets bored. I gotta keep it fresh.”
Here are three tips Nuñez uses when training the young rockstar with a tiny case of fitness ADD. Apply them to your workout while grooving to “Oh, Na, Na, What’s My Name?” for maximum focus and effect.
1. Listen to your body. Nuñez emphasizes that your body will not respond physically if you’re not giving it what it’s asking for. “I’m working with an individual—it’s like we’re sparring, we’re reading each other,” she says. “If Rihanna comes in and has an enormous burst of energy, we’re going to work with that energy. If she’s coming in and is exhausted from work, then the workout focus changes to ‘How can I restore you, so you can be up and working again tomorrow?’”
2. Keep it fresh. Nunez combines her knowledge of martial arts, dance, and calisthenics to keep Rihanna interested. The biggest muscle is the brain.”Every minute, every second is different,” says Nuñez.
3. Know what you’re training for. “If we’re training for a tour, we work on stamina, so she’s able last for 2–3 hours on a stage,” she says. But the workout changes if Rihanna is preparing for a movie role or the red carpet. You build a workout around a goal. —Lisa Elaine Held
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