Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

R&B singer bumps up the beats to lose love handles

Singer-songwriter Dru does pull-ups during a workout with personal trainer Rommel Oliveros at Evolution Martial Arts Fitness Academy in Mississauga.

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

After changing his West Indian diet and altering his training routine to burn more calories in one workout, Dru lost 20 pounds – and his linebacker look – in a year. Now more streamlined, the 34-year-old Mississauga-based R&B singer is fit to tour his second solo album, On the Brink. Still, to lose the love handles, he has to bump up the beats.

My goal

"To be lean, athletic, and capable of performing for a two-hour show."

Story continues below advertisement

My workout

"I used to lift a lot of weight and got husky. My trainer, Rommel Oliveros, is a Muay Thai fighter."

Mr. Oliveros, who designed a 45-minute workout of high-intensity circuits with three to four exercises in three to five sets (based on the posterior or anterior chain, or push and pull opposites), shares a sample workout week.

"Day 1 is Circuit 1: bench press, standing rows, bench jumps; Circuit 2: kettle bell swings, medicine ball splashes, hanging knee raises; Circuit 3: squats with shoulder barbell press, wide grip pull-ups, plank to push-ups; and then a cool-down followed by stretching.

"Day 2 is running at a moderate pace for 35 to 45 minutes, 2.5 to 5 K.

"Day 3 is Circuit 1: barbell squats, push-ups, leg-ups; Circuit 2: hamstring curls, TRX pulls, bicep curls; Circuit 3: tire jumping, leg extension, abdominal flutters; a cool-down.

"Day 4 is a rest.

Story continues below advertisement

"Day 5 is Circuit 1: standing shoulder press, dips, half-burpee; Circuit 2: core row pulls, mountain climbers; Circuit 3: tire flips, medicine ball push-ups with burpee and throws; a cool down.

"Day 6 is a moderate jog.

"Day 7 is a rest."

My lifestyle

"Breakfast is two boiled eggs, one slice of rye toast – no butter. I work out after breakfast, but sometimes I won't eat before exercising, to burn off calories from the night before. I'm supposed to eat every three hours, and in between major meals I have a snack. After a workout I have a low-carb protein shake. Three hours after that I have small meals: a handful of rice, grilled chicken, and a lot of spinach. A snack is yogurt and almonds. After 2 o'clock there's no carbs. The fifth meal is a simple salad at 9:30 p.m.

"The stops on the road are fast food, and I try my best. I have one cheat meal every Sunday; I love fried foods, jerk chicken, oxtail, rice and peas, I'm in heaven."

Story continues below advertisement

My motivation

"Pressure to compete with Usher and Chris Brown. Long term, to age gracefully and take care of myself. I have a six-year-old daughter, I call her my engine. She drives everything."

My anthem

"Drake's song Headlines."

My challenge

"I love brownies."


Brent Bishop, author of The Think Factor, says two changes will help him achieve his goal.

Add in fitness evaluations

"Dru needs to change the stimulus and change it up every three months. He needs an overhaul based on what he's attained, and to record measurable results. If he continues with the same program, his weight loss becomes a pound a month, and he might end up reverting, putting on weight."

Use a heart rate monitor

Mr. Bishop offers an equation for cardiovascular training that metabolizes fat calories effectively: 180 minus age. In Dru's case, 180 minus age 34 gives Dru his lower training zone of 146.

"Bump that up 20 beats and 166 is the high range, so even though Dru's doing circuit-training, he should be in the higher level of this zone, over all, six days a week.

"On the treadmill, Dru will notice he'll need to adjust his speed every couple weeks to stay in that zone."

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.