Usher’s gone through a series of ups and downs over the past couple of years, but what he won’t let break is his overall health and body. The 34-year-old R&B crooner that won the heart of women everywhere in the 90s appears on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine’s 25th anniversary issue.
“I train like an athlete every day, believe it or not,” Usher told Men’s Health.
The magazine’s photo shoot follows Mr. Raymond IV through a series of looks that showcase him training for an upcoming role in which he plays iconic boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. To get fit for the film and truly transform into the 5’10” boxing legend, Usher began cycling 10 miles back and forth to the gym from his Atlanta home. However, during the scorching summer months, Usher found it hard to keep up momentum at times.
“Mentally, I’m the type of person who can ignore the pain. Put it somewhere else and allow my body to just go there,” he told Men’s Health. “But I always suffer. You can’t box, ride a bike for 20 miles in the heat—Georgia heat—and then go to the studio and rehearse. That’s not happening.”
How did he learn to cope with the challenge? By channeling advice from the ring champ. “Sugar Ray Robinson said the most potent weapon in boxing is rest,” Usher says. “Now I realize you can’t push yourself all the way. You have to pull back a little bit.”