To say Steve Aoki doesn’t have a lot of downtime would be an understatement. Last year alone, the 41-year-old DJ and producer spent more than 300 days on the road, playing more than 250 shows that spanned concerts, club dates and festivals. This year, he’s already booked dates well into the fall. And when he isn’t traveling, Aoki is hosting residencies in Vegas at clubs like Hakkasan and JEWEL.
The “Waste It on Me” DJ says his grueling travel schedule made it difficult early on in his career to keep fit, which proved to be a problem since the excesses of tour life also made staying healthy a priority. While he would frequent CrossFit classes when he was at home, there wouldn’t always be a gym available when he was out of town.
His search for discipline and routine led to the creation of “Aoki Bootcamp,” a new fitness program that launched this week via the NEOU app. The free app lets users stream workout classes from around the world, and the new partnership includes health and fitness videos featuring Aoki along with a certified trainer. Naturally, all of the workouts are set to Aoki’s music.
“It’s very hard to work out on the road because of this fast-paced schedule I have,” Aoki explains. “We’re going from city to city every single day, so Aoki Bootcamp is a way for me to find discipline on the road and to also create a routine where I know I can work out in any place, anywhere, anytime, with whatever tools are in front of me.”
Aoki partnered on the project with longtime friend Nathan Forster, a former tennis pro whose obsession with fitness led to the launch of NEOU last year. The company operates a buzzy 20,000-square-foot studio in New York, offering everything from boxing, to cycling and high-intensity interval training. Many of the classes are filmed, and then posted on the NEOU app.
After multiple conversations with Forster, Aoki says he realized the two shared similar philosophies on discipline and taking care of our bodies, while also wanting to give people access to the exercise studio experience, from the convenience of a hotel room or home.
“This app is for everyone, but especially people who are constantly on-the-go and need to work out quickly,” he says. “These days, you need to be adaptable, and that means being able to work out anywhere, even if a gym isn’t available.”
Aoki says his current workout regime is simple. “Right when I get into the city, I like to get my workout in quickly and right away. That way, I get my workout done and can go on with the rest of my day,” he says. “In some cases, I do it right after the show, while my adrenaline is still rushing. Or I do it before the show, in my greenroom.”
His basic routine: start with doing 100 squats, followed by 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups. “Once you finish those three off, try to get a one-mile jog in so you can burn some calories,” he says. “If you can, do another set of the 100 — one in the morning, and one at night.”
And while you don’t need any equipment to get started, Aoki says he swears by four things to keep him motivated on the road.
1. A resistance band
“I always keep a set of stretchable resistance bands around, and I like using them to strengthen my shoulders and legs. Loop one end around a doorknob and you can do all kinds of arm workouts. They roll up literally to the size of an egg, too, so it’s super easy to pack.” Purchase: $35.99 on Amazon.com.
2. Small weights
“You’ll want something to activate your muscles, and I like using little, 4-5 pound weights. You can add them to your core workout, add them to your squats, add them to your jog, or hold them while doing your jumping jacks and lunges. They’re also small, so you can throw them in your luggage.” Purchase: $17.61 on Amazon.com.
3. A fitness tracker or smartwatch
Aoki partnered up with Diesel last year to launch a touchscreen fashion smartwatch. Dubbed the “Full Guard 2.5,” the watch tracks your heart rate, calories, pace and distance, and lets you control music from your wrist. Unlike other models in the marketplace, the watch swaps rubber and silicone molding for anodized aluminum and stainless steel finishes, and can be customized with leather or denim straps. “I use my Diesel watch to monitor my performance,” Aoki says, “and to make sure I’m doing something that gets my blood pumping.”
4. A solid playlist
It’s no surprise that Aoki curates his own playlist for his workouts. The SVN Sound headphones ambassador says his current jam is “Hit Your Heart,” his new collaboration with Norwegian singer, Dagny. Two other faves: “Flow” by Bear Grillz, and the hit single, “Feel It,” which teamed Aoki up with EDM producer, Max Styler. “You’ll definitely catch yourself humming along to that one,” Aoki says.
At the end of the day, Aoki says the important thing is not where you get your sweat in, what you use or what you listen to, but that you make time to do it.
“We are moving so fast these days, it’s easy to forget to work out,” he says. “It doesn’t matter where you are or how you do it, you just need to make sure you’re willing to do it. It’s important to create that habit.”
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