"If getting stronger means getting more toned and slimmer, so be it, as long as strength comes with it. I've never tried to be skinny. It's my not thing."
Ellie Goulding’s hit songs, “Love Me Like You Do” and “Burn,” are tunes that your body instantly responds to. They’re the kind of tracks that get you grooving and moving before you realize what’s even happening—which makes a ton of sense when you learn that the 28-year-old singer, who just released a new album called Delirium, is a workout fanatic. In fact, she is so passionate about exercise that she is a brand ambassador for Nike and even designed a workout for the Nike+ Training Club app that incorporates her favorite full-body techniques. “My goal always is to get stronger,” says Ellie, who has run five half-marathons. “I want to be strong and ready for anything.” To get there, this non-diva has life philosophies that she stands by. Listen in—she explains the four rules that rock her body and her world.
Own your vices: “I’m never ashamed to talk about my past. I smoked for a long time. I still drink alcohol. I believe you have to find balance. We’re expected to stay fit and eat healthy all the time, but that’s just never going to happen. We all have to deal with stress. Sometimes at the end of the day, I want to have a drink, and I’m not ashamed of that.”
Eat like a champ...but not always: “I call myself an aspiring vegan. It’s challenging, but not impossible. You just have to eat or drink a lot of greens. I make green juice for myself almost every day. I put in things like bananas, avocado, spinach, broccoli—whatever’s in my fridge, really. Sweet-potato fries and salad is my absolute favorite thing. It’s the perfect meal. I eat a lot of quinoa and nuts too, but I also love eating chips. It’s actually easy to be a bad vegan because a lot of junk foods are vegan!”
You have to HIIT it hard: “I feel so exhilarated after working out. That’s what gets me motivated and what will drag me out of bed. When I’m not on the road, my trainer comes to my house a few times a week and we go for a run outdoors and then do weight training. Or I go to his Barry’s Bootcamp class. I like it because you spend half the session running and half doing weight-and-floor work. It’s really good for endurance, and it keeps me super focused. I also take another class that’s 45 minutes of HIIT training, which is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I come out of there feeling like something big just happened to my body, and I’m completely drained. Of all the workouts I’ve done, this has been the best for me.” (She's even taught a Barry's Bootcamp class!)
Think strong, not skinny: “If getting stronger means getting more toned and slimmer, so be it, as long as strength comes with it. I’m happy with my figure. I’ve never intended or tried to be skinny. It’s my not thing.”
For more from Ellie Goulding, pick up Shape's December issue, on newsstands November 24.