There are two secrets to Janet Jackson’s incredible post-baby body: weight training and personal trainer Paulette Sybliss.
First, can we say how refreshing it is to know that famous folks are employing Black women trainers? And secondly, how fantastic has Jackson looked for her State of the World tour so far?
Image via Getty
It’s all due to the intense workouts Sybliss has been putting the 51-year-old star through. With the major goal being to get Jackson back in shape and ready to tour months after welcoming son Eissa in January, anything short of intense wouldn’t have worked.
“That was my goal. I needed to get her not just looking fit, but to be able to move, to talk and to sing,” Sybliss shared in a chat with PEOPLE.“She sings and dances. She does them together — she doesn’t do one or the other.”
But instead of focusing on tough cardiorespiratory workouts, Sybliss had Jackson pick up weights. Eight weeks after having Eissa, they started strength training four days a week for up to an hour. When paired with Jackson’s other commitment of dance rehearsals in preparation for the tour, with a source saying back in August that she was rehearsing more than 10 hours a day, her body had no choice but to change.
“People are quite surprised, but we did no conventional cardio the entire time we worked out together,” she said. “It was weight training.”
Why consistent weight training? The easy answer is afterburn.
“When you work your muscles in that way, your body is going to continue to burn calories,” she said. “You may burn some calories when you step on a treadmill, but the minute you stop your body stops; you’re not burning any more. So my goal was, every time she’s not with me, I need her body to be working.”
Sybliss had Jackson doing everything from back work to one-arm rows to help her strengthen and sculpt her arms and shoulders. But leg work? The pop icon couldn’t stand it.
“I think back work might be her favorite, if I had to choose,” she said. “But I think all the sessions are quite challenging … She didn’t look forward to any of the leg sessions. They were intense. They had to be intense — the bigger the muscle group, the more you’re going to have to physically work it to feel it. But that was where we would be doing the work and burning the calories.”
Sybliss told PEOPLE that she’s working with Jackson for the rest of her tour, and that includes more than 40 shows. With all the dancing, singing and moving around expected of the 51-year-old, the trainer plans to keep her strong so her body will be prepared for what’s expected of it.
“Now my goal as a trainer is to keep her fit, to keep her healthy,” Sybiss said. “She still has 40-plus shows. You can compare it to an athlete — they’re so strong but they’re often bordering on an injury. So my goal is to keep her going, keep her strong and healthy.”
This content was originally published here.