OFFSTAGE: Tim McGraw Says “Kiai” to Workout Regime

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

“Kiai!” That’s Japanese for something like “hell, yeah!” My son’s karate sensei once explained to me, “Kiai gives you power.” And now that I see what martial arts have done for Tim McGraw , it’s obvious that kiai gave him power. According to the latest issue of People magazine, McGraw trains with the martial arts A-lister Roger Yuan. For five weeks before a tour, they do 90-minute sessions three times a day. No, that is not a typo. So that’s almost five hours a day, which means that working out is almost a full-time job for McGraw. Doing all that — and quitting sugar and wheat — helped McGraw lose 40 pounds. And the workouts that McGraw does once the tour begins include two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon and have helped him “relearn how to do a show without alcohol.” Until his Two Lanes of Freedom tour kicks off in May, though, he’s not all work and no play. He told the magazine he loves watching Downton Abbey with his wife Faith Hill and their three daughters on Sunday nights.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.