Justin Bieber's changing body is an endless source of fascination, not least of which to the singer.
Once considered too fey, too gay, too meh, years of insults about his appearance seem to have left the pop star obsessed with his physicality. Ongoing selfie saturation and a fan-friendly habit of disrobing during performances --- as seen in his latest, euphoric Shanghai concert on Saturday --- have left no-one in any doubt that the once baby-cute singer is now a ripped, alpha male idol.
Personal trainer Patrick Nilsson, 29, is the man to credit for Justin's drastic physical transformation and he recently shared details on the regime he designed for the teen singer with Newsday, while traveling on the Asia leg of the Believe tour.
"Justin was about 120 pounds when we started," Swedish born Patrick Nilsson reveals.
He adds, "I want to put at least 20 more pounds on him."
After being recommended by Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, Nilsson has been training the pop star full time since last September and purpose-built workout center at the Canadian's Calabasas, Calif., home.
(Photo: Bieber and Nilsson via Newsday)
Of his first celebrity client, Nilsson, a kinesiology BA graduate, told Newsday. "I was more excited than anything. This is what every personal trainer wants --- to train someone like Justin."
After outlining the pair's five times a week/ 40 minutes sessions --- compound movements to train plural muscle groups --- Nilsson revealed Bieber works 12 total sets per body part, with repetitions of those sets from anywhere between 8-15.
Building up the famously lithe singer's upper-body is the priority."His chest and shoulders -- we need to build those up. It's all about looks," his trainer explains.
It seems Justin is in total agreement.
"We all want impressive chest and arms," he says, later describing his favorite workouts as a "fun day," adding, "Who doesn't like working out chest and biceps?"
But while the laundry list of barbell flat and incline bench presses, burnout flys and push-ups and combinations of cable, dumbbell rows, dumbbell shrugs and multi-grip pull-ups, triceps extensions, lateral raises and all kinds of other exercises sound like any weightlifter's wet dream, are Nilsson's plans to add yet more bulk to the already buff Bieber too much?
Not to Nilsson. He wants to take Bieber to 157 lbs using --- among other things, deadlifts --- where a loaded barbell is lifted off the ground from an anchored, bent over position, and is one of three core powerlifting exercises along with squat and bench press. None of these methods encourage significant muscle stretching or the kind of flexibility found in Pilates mixed with weights programs.
"I want him to look like Marky Mark," Nilsson said, reportedly jokingly. "I feel like this is what he needs to get where he wants to be. He's definitely leaner and a lot stronger."
These intense workouts do not include cardiac due to Bieber's physically demanding stage shows, and Nilsson's seemingly all-consuming desire "to put some size" on the "Beauty and A Beat" star.
Without knowing the trainer personally it would be irresponsible to suggest he is remaking Bieber in his own image, or extending his stay on the singer's payroll. On the other hand, research into the dangers of carrying too much bulk and overtraining stand as cautionary notes.
If Bieber's self-declared ink addiction is anything to go by, it's likely he is probably similarly attached to the buzz of regular hard training. Looking at his musical hero Michael Jackson's dancer's body --- which at the peak of his career circa Bad and Dangerous --- allowed for feats of wondrous physicality on his tours, it seems extraordinary a performer would willingly reduce their ability to move around a stage.
While factors such as an unscrupulous doctor, chronic addiction, and a raft of others played their part in Jackson's untimely demise, it is curious Justin seems to have decided to model his look on the more mundane example set by bodybuilders and possibly Wahlberg, none of whom possess a memorable musical legacy to speak of.
Is this a glimpse of the future Bieber?
(Photo: Mark Wahlberg on the film set of Pain & Gain)
[Image via Just Jared]