By Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks first made a name for herself on American Idol with her to-die-for singing voice, and she has continued to win over our hearts and radios for almost a decade with her catchy R&B and pop hits. Jordin has also become a role model for healthy body image, embracing her curvy figure while also keeping fit and active — we met her at Bandier in the Flatiron District for this particular interview. So what is a Day in the Sweat Life like for Jordin Sparks? Read on.
1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
When I wake up? I actually thank God that I woke up. You know? Because it's not promised... so I do that first. And then I get up, wash my face, brush my teeth, all that good stuff, so I'm not like making anyone crazy when I walk outside. If I'm working out I have a very hard time eating right before I workout, so I'll maybe eat something small like an apple, or a banana, or maybe a smoothie. But I can't do a full meal, it just feels weird to me. And then I try to work out, whether it's doing dance fitness, or circuit training, or hiking. I love to hike, I'm from Arizona, with trails everywhere in my backyard, and I love to do that, I love being outdoors — so I try to do that if I can. Honestly, my schedule has been so crazy right now that it's probably been about a month and a half since I've literally been in a gym, but I'm working on it. That's why that workout killed me. I was like: "Lord Jesus, I am out of shape right now." But it's ok. It's alright.
2. What is your go-to workout?
My go-to is usually circuit training, like high intensity circuit training. For me, being in a gym for 2 hours just is not my thing, so with circuit training you get your heart rate up high and keep it up for a shorter amount of time, but you're still burning the same amount as you would if you were just taking your time doing 2 hours. So I like it because it's quick and it's fast. I do Sensazao dance fitness — it's Latin dance fitness, Samba, Rumba, it mixes Reggaeton, with a little bit of hip-hop in it, and it's so much fun. And I think they've got some stuff on Youtube if you want to look it up. It's really really, really fun. And then, I like to hike, I like to be outdoors, I like to mountain bike, I like to play sports, I'm kind of a tomboy that way.
3. What does a typical day of meals and snacks look like for you?
Oh, right now? Or like when I'm good? (laughs.) Well... someone a little bit ago asked me what my caloric intake was, and I'm not really a calorie person — because when I indulge I have no idea, it's off the charts. But a good day would be waking up, probably some egg whites, I love avocado, so I love to get that… egg whites and avocado, maybe some fruit, and then I try, I really try to cut out carbs but I'm just, you know, I'm German and Norwegian, and I love bread. Give me some bread and butter and I'm good to go. I try to get my carbs early in the day, so at lunch I'll maybe do maybe a turkey club or something. So I got my protein, my lettuce, tomato, bread, put it in one thing, good to go. And then dinner would maybe be like some salmon or chicken breast, either a salad, or maybe some... what do I make at home? Like some chickpeas and tomatoes mixed together. Let me think. What else? What do I put on the side? Like asparagus, too. So maybe some asparagus as well. And I don’t drink soda, so it's something like Perrier or Pellegrino. That's, like, a really good day. Snacks are like an apple or banana or something like that. But you know, if I want to have a cupcake, I'm going to have one. So we can throw those in there too.
4. Speaking of, what is your favorite indulgence?
My indulgences... as far as food goes: I love cupcakes. I like sweet and salty, so like kettlecorn, dark chocolate with sea salt, salted caramel cupcakes, let me think... as far as other indulgences: I love massages. I travel so much, I'm on planes and in cars, constantly in heels and stuff like that, that I actually need them. But I love them. If I could have a super power it would be to snap and have phantom hands rubbing me at any moment. That would be my favorite thing. I would just be doing this and they would be rubbing my shoulders, I could just be walking around with them rubbing me. Phantom hands just to rub my shoulders.
5. Do you meditate?
I do. I feel like meditation, breathing, and prayer are pretty much the same thing. So I pray a lot. You know, before I perform I get really anxious just because I'm excited to be on stage, not scared, but just like: "When can I go out there?" Which in turn makes me breathe faster, which in turn makes me shake, so I have to pray and just calm myself down. So I pray, you know, I'm thankful for everything I get to do, so I'm meditating or praying or doing something like that multiple times a day. Just, life is good, so it's always good to say thank you.
6. What can we find in your gym bag?
In my gym bag you'll probably find lip glosses, baby wipes (you want to stay fresh), deodorant definitely, perfume definitely, water, gloves (because I like to do weights so I don't want to get calluses on my hands). I also have… what do they call them? Nike has these feet wraps that have traction on the bottom, so when I do hot yoga my feet don’t slip. Those are in my bag, I love them; I need a new pair because they're not sticking anymore and I'm slipping in my yoga class. And then a towel because I sweat a lot, as you noticed, and then probably depending on what I'm doing, then a change of clothes. If not, then I just head home. But, if I need to change... you know.
7. What is your favorite activewear brand?
Oh crap... because there are so many good ones! You know what the crazy thing is actually being here, I just was introduced to Bandier. And I am so happy that designers are getting it: they're like, women want to look good when they work out! Hi! When you look good, you feel good! It makes you want to workout a little more. You're like: Oh I look good in this mirror, I'm gonna keep doing this! I have to say, I don't know if I can pick one… But there are some new ones that I just learned of: ALO yoga pants, they've got great yoga pants that I've actually worn for everyday stuff too. Mix it with a shirt and some heels, you're good to go! Nobody would even know the difference. I also like K-Deer, and then actually this I've got here, which is L'urv. Which is funny, cuz I lurrrve it. Which I think they thought of that when they created it, so it's like: that's really cool! And obviously Nike, Reebok, you know... Adidas, they've been around for so long. But it's nice to be able to come in here and be like: that's cute, that's cute, that's cute. I'm good with wearing this.
8. What's the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?
Pray! I pray. Last thing I do before I go to bed is I pray. I thank God for getting me through another day, and I pray for my family and friends, to keep them safe. And also last night before I went to bed, I was in complete gratitude, probably for like 5 minutes, I was just praying and just thanking God like: "Thank you so much that I get to have the opportunity to do this again, and my family is all healthy and they're safe, I'm in love, things are good! I'm just like: I'm not deserving of this, but I thank you so much that you let me do it." So I definitely pray.
9. Last question: What or who inspires you?
Well, I would have to say my younger brother, (obviously my mom, and everybody I grew up with), but my younger brother. I want to be just like him when I grow up. He's incredible, he just makes you look at life differently. He talks to you, and he makes you think. It's never empty when you talk to him. You always leave feeling better, like you've grown or you're a better self. And he's just, you know, providing for his family, and he's a great father, and a great person, he's the best brother I could ever ask for, so... I want to be like him.