Pumping Metal: J Temp 13 on How Healthy Living Intersects with the Rockstar Lifestyle

For our latest edition of Pumping Metal, J Temp 13 joins us to discuss his interest in fitness, his routine, and how health and wellness interact with music.



The rules of the game have changed, but that doesn’t mean we have to abandon the things we once loved. That’s in a nutshell the sentiment behind J Temp 13’s brand new single “Kenopsia,” a song in which he pledges his allegiance to the spirit and vitality of live music and the sense of community which it helps to induce. An old school rock n’ roller to the core, he’s more than willing to admit he misses clubs and concert halls, the places he has always thought of as being like a second home to him. J Temp 13 recently rolled out his latest record America or Bust, a new 13 track full-length that elaborates on his current views on life in America, the pandemic, its effects on the music scene, and the determination he has to help make things feel normal again.

Kenopsia is a term used to describe the atmosphere of a place that is usually a hotbed of activity and social interaction, but is now still and quiet. Think of a school hallway when the lights go out and everyone goes home for the day. It’s a very accurate, catchall term to describe the events of the last two years and what society had become relegated to. J Temp 13 may be frustrated, but there’s no quit in him as he hopes to be part of the reason people get excited to go to a live music club again.

What goes great with rock n’ roll? Pumping iron, of course. For our latest edition of Pumping Metal, we are joined by J Temp 13 who discusses his interest in fitness, his routine, and how health and wellness interact with music.

Why and when did you get into fitness in the first place?

J Temp 13: “I’ve always been pretty active since I was a kid, lifting and playing sports, etc. I had some serious back issues in adulthood, which culminated in a major surgery in 2011. Since then, I’ve been very conscientious about fitness and my health in general.”

What about exercise, health and fitness makes you take it seriously?

“I think exercise is really the fountain of youth. So, as I’ve aged, I’ve made it a point to continually put more effort into health and fitness. If I (or anyone for that matter) want to be around for a long time, it must be taken seriously.”

Weights, cardio, callisthenics, CrossFit, MMA… what’s your jam?

“I was into CrossFit prior to my back surgery, but for the past decade, it’s been mainly cardio and core workouts with some weights mixed in. In 2014, I really got into distance running. Prior to that year, the farthest I ever ran was five miles, but since then, I’ve completed 15 half-marathons along with other ten and five-mile races and a few 5Ks. Not only is running healthy, but it’s also extremely therapeutic.”

Artwork for the album ‘America or Bust’ by J Temp 13

Describe your weekly routine and/or an average workout for you?

“I usually do a long run (five or more miles) on the weekend and aim for a short run or two during the week. I also try to work my core twice/week and get a day of lifting, mainly upper body, in as well.”

What music gets you extra pumped when you’re exercising?

“Metal or EDM, but mostly metal. I listen to a lot of Slipknot, Tool, Pantera, etc. when I run. I’m a huge Queen fan so some of their older albums like Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack, and News of the World get in the rotation too.”

Do you ever listen to your own band’s music when working out?

“Not typically. If I do, it’s usually my former band’s (Hot Ham & Cheese) last album of original material called The Onions Have Eyes. That’s a good album to run to.”

Being a touring musician, how do you stay fit on the road?

“Actually, it’s been quite a while since I’ve toured on any level, so this hasn’t really been an issue as of late. However, roughing it on the road at the independent level is not easy so I would probably have a hard time staying fit if I was doing it now. Good thing I don’t have to worry about this at the moment (chuckles).”

Some people go vegetarian and vegan while others slam steaks, whole poultry farms, and a kitchen sink in regimented six-meal sittings. Where does your diet sit?

“I would say that it’s somewhere in the middle. I love eating a lot of vegetables and some specific fruits (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, nectarines), but I also enjoy chicken, cheeseburgers and the occasional filet minion. I’m a big carbs guy too… I’m a sucker for pasta and French fries, unfortunately.”

Supplements, yay or nay, and why/why not?

“I think it depends on the individual and what they prefer. I used to take them quite a bit when I was younger, but it’s been a while since I’ve been on a consistent supplement regiment apart from a daily mix of vitamins (multi, C, D). I’ll also drink whey protein shakes from time to time, but that’s about it these days.”

Morning, noon, evening, night… when do you like to exercise? Does it even matter?

“I guess it doesn’t matter, but I really like early morning runs. When I’m doing other exercises such as core and weights, I prefer the evening. However, if I’m ‘getting it in,’ that’s all that really counts.”

How do you find your healthy lifestyle impacts your music and/or live performance?

“I think it greatly impacts it in a positive way. For example, I’m more of a studio rat than a live performer these days. When I’m in really good shape, I’ve found that doing something like tracking vocals is much easier than when I’m not. And when Hot Ham & Cheese was active and performing regularly, it was imperative that I was in the best shape possible in order to deliver solid live performances. We were a power trio with intense music, and I was the lead vocalist/guitarist, so those gigs were not easy if I felt sluggish. Being in good shape allowed me to always pull through regardless of any circumstances.”

Do you balance the “rockstar” lifestyle with being fit/healthy? Or is it one or the other for you?

“Yes, I do actually. As with anything in life, balance is key. I enjoy being fit and living a healthy lifestyle, but I’ve always been a partier too. So, there’s no reason to give up either. Everything in moderation is a good adage to live by.”

Have you ever tried steroids?

“Nope. I was never into being ‘huge’ or anything like that. And certainly not at the expense of my health. That was a risk I was never interested in taking.”

What’s your opinion on performance-enhancing drugs?

“To each their own, but they’re not my thing. If I was going to put something foreign into my body, it consisted of recreational and not performance-enhancing drugs.”


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