On Nov. 14, 2021, 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist Adele performed in a CBS special titled “One Night Only” to promote her new album titled “30,” set for release on Nov. 19, 2021. The special was a mix of Adele’s live performance at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, CA, and an interview with Oprah Winfrey in Oprah’s rose garden.
During the interview, Oprah discusses Adele’s physical transformation of losing 100 pounds in two years. At the 53:30 mark of the “One Night Only” special on CBS.com, Adele shares how the change in her physique was less about dropping weight and more about regaining control of her anxiety and mindset.
I had the most terrifying anxiety attacks…paralyzed me completely.
When Oprah inquired about how heavy Adele lifts in the gym, the global singing phenom said she can deadlift about 160 to 170 pounds.
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Adele trained a few times a week to help with back issues she has suffered from since her teenage years. When she felt “lost,” she noticed how much she trusted her trainer’s presence and how her anxiety was absent while at the gym.
She began training every day to give herself a plan. It offered discipline and structure to her day that helped “keep [her] together.” Lifting weights, Adele says, is her “favorite place to be.” Her prowess with a barbell didn’t come immediately, however. Although she can lift 160 pounds at “her peak,” Adele admits that her training started with lifting 10 pounds. In an interview with Vogue, Adele reveals she trains primarily at Heart & Hustle gym in LA under the gym’s co-owner Gregg Miele.
I’m an athlete. I’m actually an athlete.
To lift heavy in the gym, Adele needs to eat “quite a lot of food.” She is not concerned about following a particular diet, admitting that she ate Chinese food the day before the interview and had McDonald’s recently. For cardio, it seems Adele gravitates towards putting on a pair of gloves and hitting a heavy bag, claiming to be “a very good boxer.”
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Deadlift Tips for Beginners
Adele changed her body (and got strong at the same time) thanks, in no small part, to working on her deadlift. A wise decision since the deadlift is one of the most efficient, well-rounded exercises you can perform. While you may have seen plenty of gym bros slamming bars in the weight room, know that the deadlift isn’t just for meatheads. The exercise requires — and creates — a strong back, powerful legs and hips, and builds your cardio all at once. Here are some simple tips to help you get started with the deadlift.
Get the Hinge Right
The deadlift is a hinge, meaning that your hips perform most of the work to lift the weight. To reap the benefits of the deadlift, you have to bend at the hips properly. To perform a correct hip hinge, stand upright with your knees straight but not tightly locked.
Bend over slowly by pushing your butt back as though you were trying to touch a wall behind you. Let your torso tilt over and your gaze with it. Allow your knees to bend slightly, but don’t do so on purpose. A good hip hinge will have you bent over with your torso roughly parallel to the floor, your spine flat from top to bottom, and your knees very slightly bent. This is the posture that you’ll need to begin a deadlift.
Use Your Legs
The deadlift works your entire body to some degree but is especially good at building up your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. To make sure you get the most out of the exercise, you have to pay attention to how you’re using your body. Once you’ve gotten into a hinge position and have grabbed onto the barbell — or dumbbells, as deadlifts can be performed with various implements — initiate the movement by pushing against the floor with your legs.
Your arms should be completely relaxed, as long as you maintain a firm grip on the bar with your hands. It may help to think of your arms as hooks that attach weight to your body. If your back stays flat and your upper body is relaxed, the tension will go to the right places.
Remember to Breathe
You don’t need Adele’s world-class lungs to deadlift effectively (although they would certainly help!). The more muscles you involve in a resistance training exercise, the more critical it becomes to manage your breathing. A set of deadlifts can easily end up feeling like a light cardio workout too. Take a slight breath in while you’re setting up to lift the weight. As you drive with your legs, hold that breath to help stabilize your core.
When you stand up, exhale fully and then take new air in as you lower the bar back down. This may take some practice, but over time you’ll develop a natural rhythm to your breathing that will help with both safety and performance during each repetition.
Featured image: @adele on Instagram