RUN-DMC's Darryl McDaniels Explains Road To Fitness & Training!

RUN-DMC's Darryl McDaniels takes time from his hectic schedule for this in-depth interview about life altering experiences and living a life of health and fitness. Find out how he trains and more right here!

Article Summary:
  • DMC started weightlifting after being laid up in the hospital.
  • DMC finds basic exercises, primarily free-weights, to work the best.
  • His new album, book and television projects are in production.
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    An Interview With RUN-DMC's Darryl McDaniels
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    [ Angela ] I am here with...
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      [ DMC ] Darryl McDaniels is my name, I go by the name of DMC on stage, D from Darryl, MC from McDaniels, but I can make those letters mean anything with the D, M and the C, like, Devastating Mic Controller, Darryl Makes Cash or Doing Mines Cool.

    DMC
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Darryl McDaniels & Angela Mraz
    At Gold's Gym In Totowa, New Jersey.

      I am a musician; I'm DMC in the place to be of RUN-DMC. I love Rock n' Roll and Hip Hop and some Folk Music. People all over the world know me as The King of Rock.

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    [ Angela ] My first assumption for your phenomenal physique would have to do with stamina and stage presence. It must take a tremendous amount of energy to sing and dance on stage, not to mention all the traveling you do, so we can be clear tell me why do you work out so hard?
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      [ DMC ] Admittedly, I used to drink a lot and eat very little. When I ate it was almost always whatever was available, and whatever wasn't at all healthy. In 1999 I was laid up in the hospital with a very serious health problem.

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      I spent almost nearly a month living intravenously. No solid food or liquid for a month, then weaned on to clear liquids, fish, chicken, and veggies. Needless to say, I lost a lot of weight. When I was released from the hospital people commented that I was too skinny since I lost so much weight. But you know what? I thought I looked good and I really felt better. I wanted to stay this way so I started weight training to get even healthier.

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    [ Angela ] Weightlifting and all the aerobic exercise you do has really paid off. You look fabulous. Can I ask you how much you weigh now?
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      [ DMC ] I'm about 6'1" or so and do my best to stay in the range of 220 to 225 lbs.

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    [ Angela ] I see you quite often at the gym, lifting and of course more often than not going crazy on the elliptical.
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      [ DMC ] Yes, I work out here at Gold's Gym in Totowa, New Jersey; been working out here for about 3 years. It's a great facility and I love the shakes as much as I love the elliptical machine!

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    [ Angela ] Ok, so here you are an artist who brought Hip Hop to the mainstream, a superstar. Strip all that away and you're a normal person who works hard to stay in shape... so even a star needs to work hard to look good, right?
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      [ DMC ] Of course! You have to take care of yourself no matter who you are, nobody can do for your body what you can do.

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    [ Angela ] Care to share your secrets to fitness success?
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      [ DMC ] Sure, it starts with my training philosophy which is "consistency, discipline and dedication"! I try not to lose or gain too much and try to maintain. I do full-body workouts every three days because touring and travel is so unpredictable. Every couple of months I work with a personal trainer to break the monotony, switch it up to learn new things and change up the workout to shock my body just to make sure I don't get bored doing the same routine over and over.

    DMC
    + Click To Enlarge.
    I Change Up The Workout To Shock My Body.

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    [ Angela ] Free-weights or machines?
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      [ DMC ] I like free-weights the best and love body-weight exercises, for some reason they seem harder than everything (laughs). I mix in machines depending on how I'm feeling, and just to do something different.

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    [ Angela ] Can you give the readers some types of exercise you do for your back? Also if you could give us a little info on set and rep counts.
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      [ DMC ] I typically do pulldowns, rows and those all so hard pullups. For most exercise I typical do 3 sets within a rep count of 8-12. You want to know a secret?

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    [ Angela ] Sure!
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      [ DMC ] Changing your hand positions target different areas of your back (smiles). Wide, narrow, palms facing in or palms facing out, you need to switch it up.

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    [ Angela ] That's a great tip! Now how about for chest?
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    [ Angela ] Arms?
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      [ DMC ] (Flexes his muscles) I've had these arms since I was 12, my friends used to call me Popeye (laughs). I train arms a little different, less sets and higher rep counts, in the 20-25 rep range.

      You'll see me doing hammer curls, standing curls and reverse curls. For triceps I just do pull- and pushdowns; again low sets and high reps. I really think it's important to feel the muscle working.

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    [ Angela ] What about those abs?
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    [ Angela ] What do you do for your legs?
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    [ Angela ] Nothing too fancy?
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      [ DMC ] Nope, basic exercises; lift the weights, feel the muscles work and focus on the task at hand!

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    [ Angela ] Let's see, what do we have left... shoulders?
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    [ Angela ] Same rep and set philosophy?
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      [ DMC ] Yes, 3 sets, 12-15 reps per exercise.

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    [ Angela ] OK so now we know how DMC spends his time in the weight room. Care to shed some more light on your cardio workouts?
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      [ DMC ] I do cardio everyday, not just to burn fat and calories but also as my way of relieving stress. It's like my meditation period, or reflection time. If I'm working on new music, it's when I write the whole complete song, so if you see me in the gym, I'm not crazy or talking to myself, I am writing new lyrics. 45 min. top-hour is what I like to do. The elliptical machine is my favorite. Stairmaster is the next alternative.

    DMC
    + Click To Enlarge.
    If I'm Working On New Music,
    Cardio Is When I Write The Whole Complete Song.

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    [ Angela ] You and I both know that exercise is only half the answer to a fit and tone body...
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      [ DMC ] I know where your going with this and you're right! It's been over a year since I removed fast food from my diet and that alone has paid tremendous dividends! I do my best to stay away from fried foods. I'll only eat this a special event or at high quality restaurants.

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    [ Angela ] (laughs) of course not...
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      [ DMC ] (Laughs) I'm trying to fix that as we speak, make sure you write that down. I will eat a good filet mignon every now and then.

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    [ Angela ] And do you take supplements?
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      [ DMC ] Sure, I have been for a long time. Before my workouts I take Probolic SR from MHP. I like it because of its amazing taste and the fact that stays in my system for more than 8 hours, I also take Anadrox Pump and Burn before my cardio workout, great product! It gives me so much energy plus keeps my muscles pump the entire time during my workouts.

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      As a post-workout I take Dark Matter, great taste - great formula to help recover and increase muscle growth. I also take Glutamine SR during the day. Now don't forget I am always on the go so I keep "Up Your Mass" bars with me at all times!

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    [ Angela ] Awesome, so now everyone knows all about your workout and eating habits. Care to share what truly motivates and influences DMC?
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      [ DMC ] I've been married for 14 wonderful years to my lovely wife Zuri, which by the way means "Beautiful" in Swahili. We have a 14-year-old son named Dson - I'm D and he's my son, who is ready to start training too. He wants muscles and abs!

      My influences are Sarah McLachlan, John Lennon and a rap group called "The Cold Crush 4 MCs" with DJ Charlie Chase and DJ Tony Tone, who were out before RUN-DMC. My mother and father and brother are my idols because they adopted me when I was a month old and are the best family a kid could ever have. Byford and Bannah McDaniels and Alford receive family of the universe award. I have to let the world know that.

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    [ Angela ] That's amazing, you are a true inspiration. Your life is hectic, you travel and tour yet you still find time to take care of yourself. I really appreciate you sitting down with me and sharing all this wonderful information. Any final words?
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      [ DMC ] Exercise is a way of life, its good for the mind, body and soul, its kind of like Hip-Hop and Rock-n-Roll! I also have a new album coming soon, Heaven Up In Hollis, a book and some TV and movie projects on the way. Peace!

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