Nick Cannon, the wildly successful actor, producer, musician and entertainer, is best-known for being a funnyman, but make no mistake about it; when it comes to keeping himself in shape, it’s no laughing matter. Sure, plenty of us workout, push our bodies to the limit and try to find encouraging words that can help us turn motivation into action, but the 38-year-old Cannon takes things to an extreme level, literally building up piles of 30-pound concrete slabs to stay in shape.
In Nick Cannon’s mind, this wall metaphor makes sense, as he described his workout to Men’s Health as being more mental than physical, believing that his routine shows the “mental side of training, you’re breaking a wall down, building it up.” Considering the actor has carried more than 100 of those 30-pound cinder blocks on his shoulders to build a wall, he’s not wrong in his assessment — although he might be a little bit crazy to be so jovial after completing the workout — but it’s all part of Cannon working harder than anyone else.
The mentality to outwork everyone came from Will Smith back in the day, with Nick Cannon saying that the fellow actor told him that, even if he wasn’t as talented as someone else, he could always work harder than them.
“Will Smith told me, ‘Even if you’re not the most talented person in the room, you still need to outwork the most talented person in the room,’ ” he says.
It seems to have stuck with Cannon, because, holding that piece of advice close to him, the guy has maintained a successful career and, in this case, a physique that most 38-year-olds would give an appendage for. But for him, it’s just a matter of hustling and proving to himself that he can push his body to even higher limits.
Cannon’s training reminds him of the effort he needs at the office—as well as what he’s capable of. Before his 90-minute grind is done, he’ll smack a tire with a 15-pound sledgehammer, do sets of upside-down pullups, and drag his 6,500-pound Hummer across the parking lot. “You pull that truck,” he says, “and you feel like you could move a mountain. I feel like a new human after a workout.”
That type of grit and grind is just one reason why Nick Cannon looks like a truck himself, cut with precision and capable of powering through even the toughest terrain. And, while he admits to Men’s Health that this type of workout doesn’t carry the same intensity every single morning, it does show how hard he’s willing to dig to stay in shape.
While it’s clear that everything Nick Cannon does in the gym is done with a purpose, when it comes to his abs, he gives his midsection just a little bit more TLC. For those looking to try and keep up with the guy, here’s the ab routine he detailed to Men’s Health — which isn’t something for the faint of heart.
Nick Cannon’s Ab Workout
Bodyweight ab workouts take you only so far. That’s why Cannon chisels his core with weight-room moves. He ends most workouts with this ab crusher from trainer Arron Sain. “Weighted ab exercises provide resistance and aid in muscle growth,” says Sain.
Cable Crunch: Fix a rope attachment to a shoulder–height cable column. Kneel in front of it, grasping the rope so its handles are near your ears, torso still upright. Pull your elbows to your knees. Reverse the move. That’s 1 rep. Do 4 sets of 25. Rest 30 seconds between sets.
Dumbbell Bench V-Up: Sit on a bench with your legs hanging off one side and your torso off the other, a light dumbbell on the floor wedged between your feet. Hold the edges of the bench and lean back. Lift the dumbbell and pull your knees to your chest. Reverse the move. That’s 1 rep. Do 4 sets of 25.
Rainbow Leg Raise: Hang from a pull-up bar, legs straight, toes together. Raise your feet in a wide arc to the right, then upward in front of your torso. Lower them in a wide arc to the left, then return to the start. That’s 1 rep. Do 4 sets of 12, alternating directions each rep.
Take a look at the video below from the Men’s Health YouTube channel to see more of how intense Nick Cannon’s gym routine is.
We all know that it takes digging deep in order to get results like Nick Cannon has. But, like anything, if you’re willing to put the work in and push your mind and body to new limits, the results will show over time.
You can read the full interview with the actor, producer, entertainer and musician over on the Men’s Health website.