Written by Jeff O'Connell, Editor-in-Chief of Bodybuilding.com and co-author of 50 Cent's new fitness book Formula 50.
The first thing I learned from Curtis Jackson III, a.k.a. 50 Cent, was to stay on my toes. He can change plans as fast as he spits lyrics, which I learned after signing on to work with him on our just-released fitness book, Formula 50.
After introductory phone conversations and e-mails, I was scheduled to meet 50 Cent in person for the first time at the G-Unit offices in Manhattan. I flew from Boise, Idaho, to New York City on a Tuesday afternoon. After spending time with 50 on Wednesday, I was set to make a short trip to Columbus, Ohio on Thursday for the 2012 Arnold Sports Festival. The Arnold would begin in earnest the day after my scheduled meeting with the hip-hop star.
Early on Thursday morning, my iPhone buzzed. Rasheem was calling, although I had no idea who Rasheem was. "50 wants you to fly with him to L.A. tonight," he said. "Stand by for confirmation and details."
Seven hours later, I was waiting for 50 and his crew at an airfield 30 minutes outside New York. When 50 arrived, he was with Team Mayweather, led by Floyd Mayweather, Jr., his close friend of seven years. This was many months before their much-publicized Twitter meltdown, and two months before Floyd's victory over Henry Cotto. The rapper and boxer were heading to L.A. for a press conference promoting the fight—having flown in from L.A. less than 24 hours earlier.
The pilot headed to the cockpit and the flight attendant made her way through a cabin filled with seven or eight guys wearing crooked baseball hats of various teams, jackets matching the hats, and immense gold wristwatches—gifts from Mayweather to his crew. As casually as I exit a driveway, we were off. "I'm going out to support Floyd," said 50, the outlines of buildings fading to specks of light through the window. "Boxing is a different excitement [from rap]. His passion for music is really what started the relationship."
On the other side of the aisle, 50's love of boxing runs deep. When he was a chubby kid, it was boxing, not music, that helped harden his body and sharpen his mind. In boxing, every chump's gunning for the champ, and the same holds true in the rap game. As 50 puts it, "Right now, some producer is telling some kid, 'That track was bangin', you next.' Challengers come from all corners, so you meet aggression with aggression."
What do the world's best-known rapper and the world's best fighter talk about during a cross-country flight? Sports and women are recurring subjects; in other words, they talk about what the rest of us talk about. With no bell telling him to stop, Mayweather displayed boundless energy; he bobbed and weaved around the plane like he was still in the ring, an effect heightened when 50 told him to show me the speed of his jab, which stopped at the tip of one of my whiskers before I could blink.
50 was more measured and introspective, holding the center of gravity. Over five hours, I learned about his workouts, but I gleaned something even more valuable: the angles this highly unconventional man has played to build both his body and his empire. Here are the nine rules that help him in all facets of life, including fitness:
At the time, 50 was slated to shoot The Tomb with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sly Stallone. Even though both icons are 30 years older than 50, he knew they wouldn't respect him if he showed up soft. "I can't be with those guys and look like I've been off to see the wizard," 50 told me. "You don't want those older guys looking like, 'You need some help?'"
What This Means For You
This approach is key to maximizing your trainer/client relationships, no matter which side of the divide you're on. As a client, if you show up on time, you're raring to go, and you don't punk out, your trainer will guided through a better workout. As a trainer, you earn respect—and loyalty—by treating each and every client as a fitness peer, not just an hour's pay. In either case, preparation maximizes your return on investment.
To read the rest of the article and find out the eight remaining important rules 50 Cent lives by head over to Bodybuilding.com.
Formula 50 is out now. You can purchase a copy here http://www.thisis50.com/Formula50.
50 will be attending several book signings in the upcoming weeks at Barnes and Nobles stores in Las Vegas, Nevada, New York, New York, Clifton, New Jersey and Queens, New York. For the complete itinerary please click here http://www.facebook.com/50cent/events.