Janet Jackson’s trainer doesn’t do cardio with her, just weight training

These are photos of Janet Jackson at the after party for her State of the World Tour stop in LA yesterday. (She started in October and the tour goes through mid December.) I’m so happy to see these because we don’t often get photos of Janet. She looks amazing, if a bit plastic, and lost all her baby weight and probably then some to prepare for her tour. We’ve heard about Janet’s diet and exercise schedule in the past, when she was eating five meals a day at about 250 calories per meal, and I would expect that she follows a similar diet now. That’s all to say that weight loss is either 80/20 diet to exercise or 90/10 depending on who is giving the advice, so exercise is a smaller component than a lot of people think. It’s still interesting to me to hear Janet’s trainer saying that she doesn’t do any cardio with her at all in their sessions. Here’s some of what her trainer told People:

To get back into touring shape after giving birth to her first child, Janet Jackson‘s workouts were “focused on intensity,” says her trainer Paulette Sybliss.

Sybliss says the 51-year-old singer wanted to get stage-ready after delivering son Eissa on Jan. 3.

“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 tells PEOPLE. “She sings and dances. She does them together — she doesn’t do one or the other.”

Jackson started working out again eight weeks after delivering Eissa, and would train with Sybliss at least four days a week for 45 minutes to an hour.

Sybliss says she focused their workouts on weight training — not cardio.

“People are quite surprised, but we did no conventional cardio the entire time we worked out together,” she says. “It was weight training.”

“When you work your muscles in that way, your body is going to continue to burn calories. 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.”

An added bonus of strength training: It prepared Jackson for the intensity of performing live.

“I remember her saying to me at one point, ‘This feels like my dance routine, because it’s intense, with quick rest, back to it, quick rest.’ And that’s how I structured my sessions, that’s what I wanted,” Sybliss says.

[From People]

There’s more in there about how intense the training is and how Janet dislikes doing legs. Janet must get cardio while dancing on stage as her trainer mentioned and I would guess that she’s also practicing the choreography with her people. I do hard cardio for about 45 minutes to an hour every day, maybe a little less now that I’m trying to run on days when it’s not freezing out, so I have a hard time relating to this. I know I neglect strength training, but I do get it in classes like Zumba Strong and kickboxing-type workouts. Anyway I enjoy hearing from celebrity personal trainers because I like getting their tips. More than anything I learn that you should do what works for you and keeps you consistently exercising. Janet is not one of those celebrities who regularly talk to magazines to give diet, fitness and beauty tips. She’s barely on social media either. Now that Janet is separated and is touring it does feel like she’s opening up a little more, but it’s guarded and through sources instead of directly. Speaking of that, her makeup artist just told Ebony about the products he uses on Janet.

With the Boss #janetjackson and the Nike squad. Thanks to @mishayyyy for setting up our day at Nike HQ

A post shared by Paulette Sybliss (@madamp1) on

Also this is Janet’s trainer! I think I’m going to lift some weights tonight.



photos credit: Backgrid and Instagram

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20 Responses to “Janet Jackson’s trainer doesn’t do cardio with her, just weight training”

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  1. Snowflake says:

    I used to do cardio. My husband told me to stop and only do toning. I was like, no, that won’t work, I’ll gain weight. I also ate whatever I wanted. But I wasnt losing weight, even though I was working out. Then i decided to start counting calories, even though I really didn’t want to do it. I lost weight rapidly, I guess I was eating more than I thought! Now I’m at 1800 calories a day and only do toning, once or twice a week. Much easier, once you get used to it. I still eat mostly what I want, but it still forced me to eat healthier so I don’t go over my calories.

    • denisemich says:

      Hmm. Weight training works better for losing weight and firming muscle. I think the sole benefit of cardio is heart health. I don’t think it is very good at helping you lose weight.

      I have had much more success with Jillian Michaels than Tracy Anderson hop around stuff.

      • ell says:

        ‘I think the sole benefit of cardio is heart health.’

        this. you should do cardio because it keeps your heart healthy, but it won’t work for weight loss, really.

      • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

        Cardio works for weight loss. It’s a fact. That trainer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Equating cardio with “just” running is not ok since cardio can be any exercise routine that will raise the heart rate up to a certain value. Who is this guy? Really. And don’t we all know, those celebrities who lose PP weight running after their toddlers, LOL. I switch my workouts regularly and my metabolism fires up when I do cardio. I currently do a combo of jumping jacks, moving planks, ab exercises and squats in quick succession. I have to add dumbbells for my squats because my muscles tell me they need to be challenged even more. Anyway, at least to me, the point of exercise is not weight loss, that’s just a limited focus. Exercise can improve health, physical and mental, provides the body/brain with more oxygen, increases detox through perspiration etc. For me, it also helps making the right food choices, if I exercise I eat only healthy food, if not, I will crave either crisps or cake. And it’s a way to create discipline and can provide a huge sense of achievement.
        JJ’s calory intake is another issue. I am not up-to-date with WHO standards, but from what I can tell if a person eats 1,250cals/day and spends say 500 or more throughout the day, that does not leave many calories for the body to use and that sounds like starvation. A certain amount of calories is needed to provide energy so the body and its functions – breathing, digestion etc work properly. Maybe it works for her, who knows. But I think it’s dangerous to take on “celebrity” advice or follow their diets. The required caloric intake varies from one person to another depending on their age, height, lifestyle, and metabolic rate and can be adjusted in some cases so that a person can lose or gain weight. It can happen that a person has underlying medical issues that affect their body to the extent that it won’t give in to diet and exercise, and that’s what needs to be addressed as a priority.

      • Ange says:

        Except for the jumping jacks all those other exercises are body weight exercises though, so they’re kind of a mix of cardio and weights.

    • Hunter says:

      I’ve also lost weight doing only intense weight training and eating around 2000 cals a day. But I eat mostly veggies, moderate protein and heavy healthy saturated fats. I just plain hate cardio. I managed 5.5 miles at our zoo last weekend, and swim from time to time, so I manage to get some. But for me, and at my age (I’m over 40) it’s just more efficient and more enjoyable to do strength training. I will have to incorporate more cardio, though. If sitting is the new smoking, as I’ve been reading, I’m in trouble. I sit at a desk for 7 hours a day.

      • kibbles says:

        Depends on the individual body type, but typically, if someone remains active just by running, walking 10k-20k steps a day, or goes to the gym for an hour, and they eat fewer than 2000 calories a day, they likely won’t be morbidly obese. If that person wants to look super fit, then it would require cutting down more calories.

    • NewDazeNewz says:

      I just do hot yoga, the sweat surely must help metabolism. I eat whatever I want, but I only crave lean protein, veggies and whole fats. I don’t do any weights or cardio, but then again, I’ve been fit my whole life w moderate fat. I don’t want to change per se, just maintain what I have and de-stress. I only have about 2 hrs of “me time”, , so yoga is my everything.

  2. NoKiddingCats says:

    Janet looks AMAZING ( and yes, a bit too plastic-y ). Giving birth at age 50 and touring at 51? Hell YES she’s getting plenty of cardio!

    • Babs says:

      Yes, she looks glorious. I hope the sotw tour will come to Europe. Love Ms Jackson! The Velvet Rope turned 20 the other day, it’s crazy.

  3. Electric Tuba says:


  4. tmbg says:

    She is beautiful. I wish she had skipped the trademarked Jackson family nose job, but she’s still gorgeous and really hasn’t changed much over the last 20 years.

    I wonder if I could skip cardio and just use weights if I decided to start really working out. Cardio sort of makes my anxiety worse. I always feel nervous when my heart is beating really fast, even from exercise.

  5. BJ says:

    She probably gets enough cardio performing on stage several times a week.

  6. LizLemonGotMarried says:

    I do a mix, small classes (4-6 people) and trainers write our workout each day to ensure variety: Monday is lower body, Tuesday is High Intensity Interval Training, Wednesday is upper body, Thursday is HIIT and Core, Friday and Saturday are Metabolic Conditioning. I’ve only lost about 20 lbs, but my body is changing all the time. I have a long way to go-I just started this at the end of June, but I already feel SO much healthier and more capable. When I started I could barely work out 3x a week, and now it’s a regular part of my day every day except Sunday.
    I need to adjust my diet more, but that’s the hard part for me.

  7. detritus says:

    It sounds like she’s doing the reps in quick enough succession to keep her heart rate up. Like circuit training.

    She looks great and I hope she’s doing well. I take this as a good sign.

  8. Sherry says:

    She looks fabulous!!! The dancing will give her all the cardio she needs. When I was in college, I was a theatre major and took 3 dance classes one semester, plus walking all over the campus. I ate huge amounts of food, but the weight kept dropping. I’m 5’2 and at one point that semester I weight 94 pounds and looked skeletal.

  9. Eliza says:

    If she’s still eating only 1250 calories a day, doing weight training alone would have toned her body, but she also would have had plenty of cardio from her dance practices too. I doubt she needed additional gym-based cardio on top.

  10. Tata says:

    Saw her in concert and she was amazing. Her voice and dancing are as good as they ever were.

    Does anyone else think 1250 calories is really low for all the activity she does?

    2-3 hours performing, even just singing, takes a lot of energy but Janet is doing a lot of singing and dancing at the same time still!

    • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

      Yep, I think that amount of cals is too low when combined with the calories she spends.

  11. jetlagged says:

    I was talking with a couple of trainers not too long ago and they were strong advocates of doing mostly strength training, but still worked cardio sessions into the schedule. When I told them I hated cardio they said our heart is a muscle too, so think of cardio as strength training for your heart. Now I don’t grumble as much when I do it.