How Artists Are Staying Fit During the Pandemic
Gina Turner is a professional DJ-producer and yoga instructor who’s led sessions and sets for Holy Ship!, Dirtybird Campout and more.
Whether engaging with fitness as a profession, practice or as a way to pass the seemingly interminable time, dance music DJs and producers have found fitness routines to be an absolute necessity during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Before 2020, the impetus placed on jet-set hyperactivity in the lives of our favorite festival headliners was significant. DJing is as much a long-form durational exercise as running a 10k or doing yoga for a half-hour. The ability to keep a crowd engaged for 90 consecutive minutes is mentally arduous, especially amid loud noises, depth charge-style explosions, bright lights and a teeming mass of overstimulated humanity.
Now, far away from that wildness, producers from Zedd to Diplo, Louisahhh and Gina Turner are maintaining a regular training protocol while doubling down on altruistic mindfulness. We caught up with these electronic superstars to learn more about their routines and how we, too, can emerge from the COVID-era with some sustainable best practices.
Raver-turned-house spinner Gina Turner has been a yoga instructor for nearly a decade. Festivals from Holy Ship! to HARD Fest and Dirtybird Campout have booked her for live yoga sessions alongside her regular DJ slots. A couple years ago, she launched the DIVINE event concept, combining music, yoga, meditation, tarot, and more into a healthful holistic practice.
“I never saw myself teaching yoga on Zoom, but that’s what I’ve been doing since March,” she says. “Mentally, spiritually, and work-wise, it’s been great to have yoga to fall back upon. I was never into yoga, or DJing for that matter, for the money. During quarantine, though, I have developed my yoga teaching and spiritual healing careers. I also volunteer as a miscarriage and abortion doula, too.”
Turner’s ability to pivot to yoga has strengthened not just her body, but her existential purpose.
“Being a health support system,” she says, “and holding space for other women, in general, who are in need, is essential.”
The intrinsic relationship between mental fitness and physical health is a concern for Paris-based DJ/producer and RAAR label co-owner Louisahhh. She’s known in the touring DJ community as a fitness fanatic who can drop deep, dark techno and run a marathon with equal verve. Her thoughts on fitness during the pandemic are similarly profound.
“In general, the pandemic has allowed me the ability to apply the lessons -- and their related beautiful epiphanies -- that my body has learned through 15 years of fitness,” Louisahhh says. “Without regular access to a gym, getting my 50 minutes of elevated heart-rate a week, five times minimum, has been difficult. I’ve settled on focusing on stretching, balance and strength with 45 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of at-home lifting.”
She also mentioned how important it was to strike a balance between her mental health and her physical appearance.
“I also didn’t set a training goal for 2021, because regulating my anxiety and depression is more of my concern,” she says. “Accepting what my body looks like -- from a perspective of not getting constant feedback from photos being taken of me or performing -- has been a weird development. This has led to a shift in my physical identity, which has been fascinating on top of already being a survivor of substance abuse, bulimia and anorexia.”
Contemplating her compounding concerns, she’s ultimately developed a plan.
“Relearning how to engage with the world -- in a personal and professional sense -- will be hard. But, as long as I maintain a playful and creative mindset, I’m stoked for the future.”
Men’s Health Magazine’s “Gym and Fridge” series has been a tremendous regular watch for those attempting to glean tips and tricks from their favorite male EDM stars-as-quasi-bodybuilders during the quarantine.
“My fitness goals are not to die,” Diplo is quoted maintaining his trademark caustic humor. “I like to take my shirt off a lot on Instagram, so it’s good to at least have muscles.”
The Major Lazer frontman repeatedly pokes fun at himself in the nine-minute interview, but he also successfully navigates a balancing board, jumps rope, performs yoga and squats, and does some push ups -- all without breaking a sweat or appearing out of breath. Though locked down, he’s still up to the task of maintaining a regular and varied training regiment.
Finally, and most likely the most approachable to the average health semi-fanatic, we take a look at Zedd’s routine. He, too, was profiled by Gym and Fridge.
“Being on stage, jumping for two hours can be really enduring,” he’s quoted. “When you’re in good shape and when you do a lot of cardio, it doesn’t feel quite as hard."
We get a bit of insight into his weekly routine: Monday is for chest and biceps. Tuesday is leg day. Wednesday is a rest day. Thursday is triceps and back day, while Friday is for shoulders and everything that was covered throughout the week.
“Having goals is what keeps me motivated,” Zedd is quoted. “I used to just workout to workout, and now … I set myself goals, two-month periods, or three-month periods. To really focus on my goals, that keeps me going.”