Sitting on a tour bus outside a venue in Greensboro, NC, Nita Strauss gave several interviews while thousands of fans from different cities and states flocked to see her live at the final stop of her tour. Most people in her position would be focused on the upcoming show or trying to shake off the inevitable nervousness that comes with performing in front of screaming fans. One of her concerns that day was to find time to exercise between interviews.
"I have resistance bands and a yoga mat with me on the bus," says Strauss. "There are bands of different strengths, a foam roller, a massage gun, nutritional supplements, and anything else you can think of."
Despite a major tour, promotion, interviews, and the recent release of her second solo album, The Call of the Void, Strauss considers training a major priority in her life and finds ways to achieve it every day.
“All this helps me to stay on the right track,” she explains.
For Nita Strauss it is now: dumbbells instead of dumbbells
Strauss may be best known in the hard rock and heavy metal world for her collaborations with Alice Cooper, but she's also made a name for herself creating instrumental hits and collaborating with other industry stars. Her latest album features songs featuring David Draiman from Disturbed, Lzzy Hale and Cooper, among others. She's even the official guitarist for the Los Angeles Rams, their home team. As busy as she is, touring and doing business, an anchor in her life is fitness. She was active and sporty as a child, but touring took a back seat as her music career took off.
Strauss said, "My only focus on fitness was being able to perform on stage. It wasn't for health reasons or anything like that. It was a means to an end.”
Since beginning her journey to sobriety in 2015, she's become even more empowered. Success on this journey, she says, has come from reconnecting with exercise and staying in shape.
“That was the real change,” she explained. “If I make this change, I want it to be really worthwhile. I really wanted to take care of my body as much as possible. I traded the barbell for the barbell.”
Nita Strauss' fitness requires team effort
Strauss did not make this journey alone. She recruited help in the form of her boyfriend Josh, who was a certified trainer. She also works with Team Elite Physique coach Tory Wright, who has been really helpful in finding ways to deal with Strauss' intense schedule.
“Tory knows how to meet my schedule and keep me on track. For example, I was on eight flights in ten days. When I land I have something to do all day. She can tell me when to exercise and what to eat. That was great for me too.”
Another hurdle she faces is an internal one. One might be surprised to learn that being a rock star doesn't always have a lot of confidence. Strauss admitted that she can sometimes beat herself up, which can be a setback. Sometimes the music business can be a big commitment, and as she heads to bed she realizes she hasn't even done a crunch. Luckily, a team of the likes of Josh and Tory can hold her accountable and lend a helping hand when needed.
"It's huge to have to take these pictures in the same week and at the same time. I have to take responsibility if I don't stick to my plan," she said. "I think the mental part is even bigger than the physical part."
A very rewarding part of her commitment to fitness is that the results aren't just evident in her looks. Strauss thinks it helped her become a better artist, which is important because every time she takes the stage she knows it's the first time someone is seeing her live. This personal commitment to herself is important because it helps her do her best for the fans.
"You need to help yourself, even if it means taking an hour to do something that can help you get stronger," she advised. “Sometimes the hardest thing is just getting started. Despite all the emails to answer and all that other stuff, you should put on your own oxygen mask first.”
Whether she can hit the gym or has to work out with her resistance bands on the bus, working out is a must. For those wondering whose music she's listening to when it's time, she lets Spotify make those decisions for her.
"It leaves me puzzled, it remains interesting," she says.
Strauss can see and feel the changes that fitness has brought to her life, and she wanted others to feel those feelings too. She began working with people to also help them achieve personal fitness success and has taken this even further by running transformational competitions.
“I'm doing a challenge called Body Shred. We just started another project and almost 200 people from all over the world are involved,” she said proudly. "You commit to using the next eight weeks to get stronger and better mentally and physically."
Along with her ability to reach out and help others, her competitions are another way to take responsibility and focus on getting better yourself. Whether it's her music fans or members of her challenges, Strauss wants them to know that she's doing her best every time they see her.
"I like to lead from the front," says Strauss.
The Call of the Void is available now on all major music networks and their website. You can follow her on Instagram @hurricanenita.
NITA STRAUSS RESISTANCE BAND AND BODYWEIGHT WORKOUTS
chest and back
Banded Chest Press: 4 sets, 12 reps
Bentover series: 4 sets, 12 reps
One arm ribbon bow tie: 4 sets, 12 reps
upright row: 4 sets, 12 reps
Bodyweight push-ups: 4 sets, 12 reps
Banded One-Arm Row: 4 sets, 12 reps
Bodyweight Leg Day
squatting: 4 sets, 20 reps
Walking lunge: 4 sets, 20 reps*
*Steps per leg. (Alternate forward lunges if you don't have room for 20 steps - like on a tour bus!)
One leg calf raise: 2 sets, 25 reps (each leg)
One Leg Bodyweight Deadlift: 4 sets, 10 reps
Side lunge: 4 sets, 10 reps (each leg)
gluteal bridge: 2 sets, 50 reps
Donkey kicks with stretched legs: 2 sets, 50 reps (each leg)
shoulders and arms
Standing shoulder press (bands underfoot): 4 sets, 12 reps
Bicep curls: 4 sets, 12 reps
Alternating combination of banded front raises and side raises*: 4 sets of 10 reps
(*Each front raise and side raise counts as one rep)
Bodyweight tricep dips (bench): 4 sets, 12 reps
Banded Hammerlocks: 4 sets, 12 reps
Banded Triceps Extension: 4 sets, 12 reps
te: Strauss also adds yoga, stretches, plyo movements, and abdominal circuits when needed!