Locksmith – one-quarter of Brit-winning band Rudimental – talks to MF about his love of fitness, battling to stay healthy on tour, and Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Men's Fitness meets Rudimental's DJ Locksmith – Men's Fitness UK

Has lockdown derailed your fitness or have you managed to keep everything on track?

“I’m very fortunate, because I’ve got a gym in my garage, so not much has changed for me in terms of training. That isn’t the issue; the issue is finding new, creative ways to keep my ten-year-old entertained.

“I think a lot of parents can probably vouch for the fact that it can become quite tough, and you feel like you took the whole school situation for granted. But it’s been fun getting him involved in my workouts and keeping him active. We’re up every Saturday morning for Joe Wicks’ YouTube workouts, and he loves all the bodyweight exercises that I do.”

How regularly do you train?

“I train quite a bit: five to six days a week. My biggest weakness is actually allowing my body to rest – I’m addicted to that feeling that exercise gives you, and I love trying new things every day.”

Do you follow a set weekly routine, or is it a bit more flexible?

“It’s definitely a bit more flexible, although I was supposed to do the London Marathon this year, so most of my training this year was geared towards that – a lot of long-distance running, as well as strength work – but obviously that got cancelled/postponed.

“In general, I like to change things up week to week. One week you would probably think I was a CrossFitter, because I would be killing myself on the assault bike, pull-ups, muscle-ups, carries, etc. But other weeks it’s more weights-focused.”

Talk us through your go-to assault bike session.

“I’ve got a real love-hate relationship with that machine, because no matter how much time you spend on it you just don’t feel any fitter on it – it hurts every time!

“A lot of interval work gets done on the assault bike, so something like one minute of 80 per cent effort, jumping off and doing 15 burpees, and repeating that for a certain amount of time or rounds.

“And there is one other session that I love, but don’t do it every week because it’s brutal: I call it ‘5K Hell’:

– Run x 1km
– Assault bike x 10kcal
– Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press x 10 (20kg dumbbells)
– Pull-ups x 10
– Repeat the whole thing 5 times, as quick as you can

“The fastest I’ve been able to do it in is 38 minutes.”

Men's Fitness meets Rudimental's DJ Locksmith – Men's Fitness UK

Do you pay much attention to mobility work and stretching?

“Definitely, and I wish I did more of it when I was younger, because some long-term injuries I’ve got probably wouldn’t be so bad.

“Foam rolling every day is a must for me. I’ve got a 45-minute routine that I have to do if I want to run or put any sort of impact through my knees.

“Every day I spend one minute foam rolling each muscle group, then I move onto some glute activation and a bit of resistance work – that’s just my warm-up.”

When some form of normality is restored and you can go on tour again, how will you prevent your fitness from sliding when you’re away from home?

“That is one of the biggest challenges, without doubt. You just have to be innovative as much as you can, but the nutrition side of things is definitely hardest to keep on track. You’re working ungodly hours, and when you’re pulling into service stations at stupid o’clock your only real options are stale sandwiches or a Maccy D’s. You have to make the best of what you’ve got.

“The training is a bit easier, because you can do bodyweight exercises anywhere. I once converted the whole tour bus into a makeshift gym: I had a pull-up bar just below the stairs and there was a dip bar between the bunks.

“There are also small bits of kit that can fit in your luggage and make all the difference: pack TRX Straps, an ab roller, a skipping rope and a foam roller and you’re good to go.”

You appear on the latest Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins – how tough was that experience?

“One of the toughest experiences of my life, if I’m honest. I was actually talking to Jay, one of the DS, the other day, about the ‘beastings’ we were put through, and we said if you were to take those beastings and put them into a gym routine, you’d probably get through it OK. The difficulty comes when you throw in all the other elements: sleep deprivation, the wind and rain, and living off around 800 calories of food a day.

“It’s not as if you’re just doing a bit of exercise, and it’s a recipe for some kind of breakdown or explosion to happen. Or not – and if you can get through it with your mindset intact, that’s what they’re looking for.

“It was a great experience and I was lucky enough to have made some really solid friends from it. I won’t say too much, but it definitely gets a lot more intense!”

Men's Fitness meets Rudimental's DJ Locksmith – Men's Fitness UK

Locksmith in the latest series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins

Does fitness play an important role in protecting your mental health?

“One-hundred per cent, fitness has had such a positive impact on my wellbeing. That feeling of escapism – going into another world and forgetting about all your stresses and worries – and accomplishing something through sheer hard work, it works wonders for when you return to the day-to-day, because you can take those experiences and realise you can overcome tough situations.”

Any favourite songs on your gym playlist at the moment?

  1. Jose Gonzalez – This Is How We Walk On The Moon
  2. S.A.M. – Fury’s Laughter
  3. Rudimental ft. Afronaut Zu – Krazy

You mentioned your new song, ‘Krazy’ – anything else you’re working on?

“I’m in the middle of a new project, which is something close to my heart. I’m preparing a gym clothing brand, consisting of the usual apparel – your vests, your t-shirts and so on – but also a 10kg weighted vest and vibrating foam rollers.

“It’s something I’ve been working on for about five years and I’ve done everything from the designs, to the packaging, to the delivery, so it feels good to be starting something from scratch and seeing it through.

“It’s called They Call Me Locksmith and I’m hoping it will be ready to go very soon.”

Interview: Isaac Williams