Common has been in the public eye for nearly two decades— racking up Grammys and scene-stealing roles opposite Christian Bale and Angelina Jolie—but the rapper/actor/author doesn’t dwell on the past. Instead, he looks forward. “No matter how far I’ve come, there’s a long way to go,” he says. “I want to continue to grow as an actor, as a musician, as an artist. And I want to contribute more to the world in positive forms.” That mentality of growth and positivity carries over to the gym, as well. “I feel positive energy when I work out, even when I go in tired. You go in there with a mind-set of the way you want to look and what you want to accomplish.”
That’s a far cry from where he was 20 years ago. “When I came into the game, I wasn’t working out. I was eating a lot and drinking a lot of beer,” he recounts. “Now I am deﬁnitely more ﬁt and more focused.” Losing loved ones to drug addiction while growing up on the South Side of Chicago changed Common’s outlook on life. “I wanted to do something special in life, and my deciding to be healthy was part of that decision,” he says. “When you work out and eat well, then you feel more conﬁdent, more vibrant, and your mind is clearer, too.”
When he’s home in Los Angeles, Common works out with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak. Shooting hoops is Common’s cardio of choice, but he also runs while spitting out rhymes. “It’s a tough endurance workout, especially when your rhyme pattern is ﬁlled with a lot of words.”
And if you’ve ever seen this dynamic performer in concert, you’ll know that his hip-hop sets are workouts themselves. “I come off the stage and everything is drenched in sweat—from my T-shirt to my underwear!” he says. “I would equate it to being in the Tour de France. It’s not as long, but it’s just as intense.”
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