Nita Strauss is a long way from your average fitness enthusiast. The badass guitarist has been touring for 1
Three years later, she is fitter than ever, and she has made serious progress in another department: her solo career. Strauss & # 39; s first solo album, [ControlledChaos will be released on November 16, and it's sure to have eagerly awaited the album and the solo tour, considering Strauss's fans are her Kickstarter campaign goal out of the water. Their original $ 20,000 target for the album was not only met, it was 800% funded. Strauss also starred WWE superstar Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania and we doubt that their well-deserved involvement in WWE will end there.
Despite her busy schedules and constant travel, Strauss remains a killer form and sticks to her nutritional goals. We got her on the phone to talk about her new album, on-the-go fitness tips and dieting during the tour.
M & F : First, what? She motivates to get fit again a few years ago?
STRAUSS: I am 31 years old. I've been touring since I was 15, and over the years, it takes so much wear on your body. At about age 28, I changed this switch because I found that my body was not the same as it was. I know that over time it will get more and more difficult, and I saw all the effects of the unhealthy lifestyle – the alcohol, the junk food, the whole time on the road, constantly on airplanes and touring buses and playing six or seven shows each Week.
If you do not take care of your body, your body will collapse quickly. So in September 2015, I decided to make that change and put myself first.
When you change your lifestyle in 2015, you lost 50 pounds during your tour. Was that intentional or was weight loss just a side effect to getting fitter?
It was a bit of both. I think a lot of it was alcohol. Until you cut it out, you do not realize that so many people are on tour who are sober and do not feel the need to have this crutch every day. I was not a super social kid and did not have the easiest time to make friends. But when I started playing in bands, everyone has only a few beers at the rehearsals, at the shows or whatever, and alcohol is a great balance. It's a great way to make friends and interact with people.
When I cut out alcohol, I thought my body was like, "Oh, thanks." We were traveling with Mötley Crüe at the time, so everyone warned me, "Oh, these guys are crazy, they're celebrating so much." But it was actually Nikki Sixx, when I got sober, I came to him like, "Hey, do you have any tips for me? Do you have anything?" He gave me great reading materials and all those different things that were really, really helpful.
The most important thing to remember is that you control yourself. Nothing else can control you. No substance, no fluid, nothing can control you except yourself. When you have made that change and see all the positive effects that are happening in your life, you will not go back.
What are your personal hacks when it comes to leading a healthier lifestyle while touring? How did you learn to take time for it?
The first thing I did was go to the bar after the show to get up early for the gym. If you get up at six in the morning to go to the gym a few times, you'll find it very easy to go to bed at nine.
The delivery of meals was also a great catalyst. I've been eating Trifecta Food on tour for about a year and that was the real game changer. If you're out and about all the time, it's great to have a healthy option, because if you're looking for food, it's easy to say, "Well, there's a pizzeria or the tube right across the street just pick it up because it's there. "But if you already have healthy food in the fridge, it's very easy to make that healthier choice.
What is your diet strategy on the road?
I have intermittent fasting for about eight months, maybe a year. I totally love it, because if you only know that everything you get is water then it's easy to stay on a diet. I love fries and sweets and almonds and cashews – all that I can munch all day long, and that was my downfall for a long time on my fitness trip. If you're not really diligent, whatever you use to track your macros, do not think about these handfuls of cashews and what it adds to your daily calorie count.
I do not eat after 8:00 pm So when I leave the stage at 10:00, all I have is water and I also take BCAAs during the show. That will calm me down during the show and the evening. I think it's really about thinking. If you have the attitude, "I will try not to eat," then you are already preparing for a nibble. But if you have the attitude, "I'm not eating after eight and that's my life," if you do not give that option, it's easy. It is as much a part of life as sleeping and waking up.
Are there any difficulties when it comes to traveling?
One thing that presents a challenge is to switch between time zones. Sometimes I go to sleep in Japan and wake up and fly to the US and it's like, "Wait, it's noon, but it's four in the morning where I've just been."
My strategy is to go in the time zone you are in. It could mean being a little hungry, or it could mean food when you're not that hungry, but it's especially amazing for jet lag. My two little hacks for jetlag stay with intermittent fasting in the time zone I'm in and get a workout as soon as I get to the city I'm in. This will cure any jet lag you have, because after a good workout, you are tired enough to go to sleep.
What is your training program? Is it a heavy lifting or cardio?
I raise five days a week. Another big change for my fitness routine was my coach Ingrid Romero and her husband Joe from Team Edge. I send them progress pictures every two weeks, and they adjust my routine to how my body reacts. That's huge, because everyone can follow a workout, and I've been tracking workouts for years – you can just grab one from a magazine and get started. That's great if you just need something fast, but nothing beats individual coaching.
Do you have any exercises if you do not come to the gym and you just go? something bodyweight or do it fast?
Oh, yes. I have the DDP Yoga app on my phone and you do not need any gear. When I do my own tours, there are no hotels, no gym, nothing. We do it in the parking lot and it's really easy, there's no equipment. I also wear resistance bands with me and you can do a great workout with resistance bands. Another app called Instant Fitness also has some really great bodyweight exercises that I love.
What inspired you to work on the solo album Controlled Chaos which you will release right now?
I've been touring for 16 years now and spent most of my time playing other people's music. It's not that I'm not extremely grateful for this career – I would not trade it for anything and I love what I do. But I still feel the need to make my own music, tell my own story and write my own songs.
We had a few months off the Alice Cooper Tour last summer, which was a blessing. If you find out as a working musician that you have several months off, your first reaction is panic. But it became a blessing, because I was able to do my solo recording, Controlled Chaos . And that's something I've wanted to do for a very long time.
You also played Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania. How did you come to WWE?
My manager, Josh, has this big vision, and if he has something in his mind, he keeps pounding on it until it happens. He had the idea of working with WWE, and as soon as he has an idea in his head, he just moves forward and kicks doors. If a door does not open, he kicks the next door. He has contacted WWE and we have been confirmed for Wrestlemania – I think it was less than two weeks before the event – and since then we have had a really strong relationship with WWE. There is more to it.
For a long time, fitness and music were largely male-dominated areas. What was it like to enter this scene and become a bad female force?
I think it's the time of female advancement. If you look up, from NASCAR, to mixed martial arts, WWE, to every male-dominated field, there are now women who are rising and being respected. Not that there are not always women in these fields, but now the girls get up to play with the big boys and say, "Yes, I can squat just like you, I can lift just like you, and I can play as many notes on the guitar as you do, and I can drive the truck as fast as you do, "and it's incredible to be part of this revolution.
Follow Strauss on Instagram @hurricanenita and check her website to pre-order her upcoming album and get some merch.
Controlled Chaos falls on November 16.