Flo Rida's hit single "Whistle" is set to top the three million mark in downloads. That gives the rapper-singer-songwriter three multi-million-selling singles from his latest album, including "Good Feeling" and the title track, "Wild Ones."
His sales have been robust, just like his eye-popping physique. Flo Rida, born Tramar Lacel Dillard, might be the most buff breakout performer since 50 Cent. Appearing on the cover of 'Muscle & Fitness' magazine, he owes his superhero silhouette to Tony Bradham, a former pro boxer who was a sparring partner for Lennox Lewis, the most recent undisputed heavyweight champ of the world.
After they were introduced a few years ago, the performer visited Bradham for a demonstration of his boxing-based workout. "Five minutes into the workout, he said, 'You gotta come on the road with me," recalls Bradham.
Flo Rida caught the exercising bug as a football and basketball player in high school. He could bench press 370, and he once deadlifted 500 pounds – in sandals. But it wasn't until he met Bradham that the 33-year-old entertainer achieved his full potential in the gym. Bradham, who toured with Flo Rida for a year, has him on a comprehensive regimen that combines weightlifting, stretching and plyometrics (jump training) with grueling boxing drills. Flo Rida is in the gym seven days a week, often twice a day.
Now that Bradham is back home in Florida tending to his business, Boxing Your Way, Flo Rida relies on his security crew to goad him during his routine. "Sometimes if I'm delayed in an airport, me and my security will get down and do some pushups and sit-ups," the rapper-singer-songwriter told Men's Journal at a recent Samsung Smart TV launch in New York City. "I make sure I throw in a lot of cardio, maybe running on the treadmill for 20 minutes, and just doing boxing, which burns a lot of calories. If I'm in the hotel, I bring my mitts."
Bradham works with other high-profile clients, including Miami weather anchor Vivian Gonzalez. He says his phone has been ringing off the hook since he started training Flo Rida: "I met Akon in L.A. He introduced himself and said, 'Oh, you're the one! I've heard so much about you.'"
The trainer, who once fought the Ukrainian giant Vitali Klitschko, says Flo is tireless in the gym, though that wasn't always so. "A couple times I was working him real hard, and his security guard said, 'Tony, that's enough.' I said, 'Do I tell you how to do your job?' Flo was laughing. He said, 'You crazy!'