Little Big Town is motor-boatin’ their way to complete country domination. There’s no question the last year has been hard-earned success for the talented quartet—they brought in two No. 1 singles, a hit album, and their first Grammy Award. Plus, the group is nominated for four big awards (including Album of the Year) at the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas (Sunday, April 7).
But don’t mistake their hot career and country chic good looks for a diva lifestyle, especially when it comes to staying in shape. “It’s easy to be healthy with a chef that cooks your food or a trainer who gets you up early in the morning. We’re not there right now. We don’t have a trainer out on the road with us. We’re with every girl in America trying to stay in shape and keep their health,” says vocalist Kimberly Schlapman.
So whether it be doing laundry while grabbing a quick yoga class in between loads or fitting in Barre Method during a short lunchbreak, the ladies of Little Big Town are just like us; real, hard-working moms who face the same roadblocks we do to exercise and eat right. “We face the same challenges that working moms face, juggling kids and trying to figure out how to stay healthy and maintain our weight to feel good about ourselves,” says other LBT member Karen Fairchild.
Both Kimberly and Karen look amazing, so we sat down with the dynamic duo to steal some of their secrets.
SHAPE: You spend so much time on the road. How do you ladies stay in such amazing shape?
Karen Fairchild (KF): We both probably approach it in a similar fashion, but I’d definitely say portion control and eating healthy is key. After shows is probably the hardest to be disciplined. You come off stage and are always really hungry. So that’s when it’s all about making a good choice. I’m not saying I always do, because I don’t (laughing). We also try to keep good sleeping patterns.
Kimberly Schlapman (KS): Portion control is key for me too. When I want to get more disciplined, I’ll use an app that helps count calories. For me, calories really matter. On the road, almost every day I’ll do 100 squats, or sometimes I might do 50 squats and a bunch of leg lifts. I’ll split them up right before I get in the shower and before I go to bed, or sometimes I’ll do all 100 at once. Whatever I do, I try to get those in.
SHAPE: What about when you’re at home? Any specific workouts you like?
KF: I’m really into Barre Method. It’s so great for a woman’s body. We’re blessed in Nashville because we have amazing teachers, especially at Relevé One. And Suzanne Bowen streams amazing classes online. When I’m in a dressing room, I’ll get a yoga mat out and I’ll stream her classes, using the sink, a chair, or a desk as a barre! Last night I didn’t get a workout in, so as I was getting my makeup and curling irons out, I was up on my toes on a yoga mat with two-pound weights trying to curl my hair. You just fit it in when you can.
KS: When I’m home, my hubby and I have a treadmill and an elliptical. He runs seven days a week but I don’t do that much. My little girl also helps with my body strength. She’s five and still wants me to hold her. I’m of course happy about it, but it definitely gives my upper body a workout!
SHAPE: It’s got to be so tough eating right on the road, especially with all the sweets and snacks around. What do you typically eat to give you the energy you need to perform?
KF: I try to have a lot of veggies with salmon and salad before the show. You don’t want anything too heavy, but I do need carbs to last me through the show, like a small portion of mashed potatoes. We both adhere to the philosophy of not denying yourself a sweet. We want to enjoy life so we take a bite then put it down, or just eat something small.
KS: We’re Southern girls so I love southern cooking and I have a big sweet tooth. I just try to limit myself but pretty much eat what I want. I don’t eat fried food every day; I eat healthy grilled food and lots of salads both on the road and at home. I actually went without sugar for two weeks and then ended up at Krispy Kreme (laughing). I need to have small morsels of sweets. If I have a day with the fam with a big family dinner, then I’ll indulge… but then the next day or two I’ll really be strict. I learned that from Dolly Parton, by the way!
SHAPE: Since you both always look so fabulous, you’ll surely be ready for the ACM’s! How does it feel to be nominated?
KF: It’s amazing! We love this award show. The ACM’s are always so fun in Vegas and back with our friends from the business. Being nominated for Album of the Year is just overwhelming and we couldn’t be more excited to have four nominations.
KS: Going to Vegas is always so fun! The ACM is actually the first award we’ve ever won as New Vocal Group of the Year so they will always be really special to us.
SHAPE: When you were recording “Pontoon,” did you have any idea it would turn out to be such a huge hit?
KF: We hoped it would be. It reminded us of the way we all grew up. It really was so nostalgic and brought back so many memories.
KS: It was such a fun summer, living that song with the fans. We began to get videos of people on pontoons out on the lake—it really became the anthem of the summer. It’s just amazing to see all the support.
SHAPE: You’re touring with Keith Urban soon! How excited are you for that, and what’s it like working with him?
KS: We are so excited! We’re out touring in July. He took us on our first arena tour, when "Boondocks" hit the radio. He’s just a good friend and is so very supportive. We’ve been background singers for him a few times too. We’re excited about his music and family. It’s going to be a great summer, all the way through the beginning of next year!