Usher stays in incredible shape, and trains as hard as an athlete often, but he challenged himself like never before as he worked out this past summer for the role of Sugar Ray Leonard in the upcoming film ‘Hands of Stone.’ The R&B superstar is gracing the cover of the 25th Anniversary November issue of Men’s Health magazine.
For the feature he brings the cameras into his gym, and talks about his grueling workout.
Usher’s desire to come closer to an authentic fighting weight of Leonard led to a fateful decision. He bought a bike and began cycling. “My second day I decided to ride to the gym,” 10 miles from his home in Atlanta. “So I rode there. Boxed. Rode the bike back home.” Big mistake. “Mentally, I’m the type of person who can ignore the pain. Put it somewhere else and allow my body to just go there,” he says. “But I always suffer. You can’t box, ride a bike for 20 miles in the heat—Georgia heat—and then go to the studio and rehearse. That’s not happening.”
He credits the biggest lesson he learned to another former ring champion. “Sugar Ray Robinson said the most potent weapon in boxing is rest,” Usher says. “Now I realize you can’t push yourself all the way. You have to pull back a little bit.”
See more photos from the Usher’s feature below:
For the full story and interview, pick up the issue on newsstands or download the interactive digital edition now.