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Pumping Metal: Jared James Nichols Discusses Getting and Staying in Shape

While supporting his self-titled release via Black Hill Records, Jared James Nichols joins us for a Pumping Metal interview about his daily fitness regimen, gym playlists, and exercise routines.



For a young man at the age of just 33, Jared James Nichols has accomplished a hell of a lot since he first moved to Los Angeles from his native Wisconsin in 2010. It didn’t take long for the accolades to start coming, with a victory in the Gibson Les Paul Tribute Contest coming shortly after his move. Now residing in Nashville and a brand ambassador for Gibson, Nichols has become a highly regarded blues rock guitarist and performer, and earlier this month dropped his third full-length album through Black Hill Records, featuring the singles “Down The Drain” and “Hard Wired.”

It’s a no holds barred approach to rock n’ roll, songs that are heavy on guitars and sound ideal for live shows. It’s an album of his influences, the rock he grew up listening to, the blues, grunge rock, and alternative rock; if it influenced him, it’s on here in some way, shape, or form. These songs were recorded at an important time for Nichols, as he had broken his arm a few months earlier and had serious doubts about his ability to play the guitar in the same way ever again. Fortunately, it has all turned out positively, and this new self-titled record is the result.

What does Nichols enjoy doing outside of music? Staying fit, of course! We caught up with Nichols for a new Pumping Metal interview in which we discussed his daily fitness regimen, staying fit during the pandemic lockdowns, and what lessons he’s taken from his exercise routine.

First things first: what’s your weekly routine or an average workout for you?

Jared James Nichols: “I work out every day! It doesn’t matter to me whether I am on the road or home, I do something every single day. Ideally, I do anywhere between one to two hours. It’s part of who I am and what I do. I love it.”

Was there ever a point in your life when you were out of shape?

“Coming up in my late teens and 20s, I was a very skinny guy with a bad diet and zero motivation to work out. I was caught in the trap of staying up way too late, being on tour drinking, then too much caffeine, and usually one big meal in the day. It’s funny how in the moment, I didn’t feel horrible, but looking bad, it was a terrible shape to be in.”

What did you learn about yourself when you started taking fitness more seriously?

“I have always been disciplined and very serious when it comes to my craft, playing guitar. When I made that transition to my health, it was an immediate positive change. The biggest thing I learned about myself was my own personal empowerment. I believed in myself to push harder and really take it further than I imagined I could.”

What do you think is the biggest thing holding others back from achieving their best results?

“Self-doubt. There is that voice we all have in our head that tells us we will never be good enough. It can creep in and try to ruin everything we work for. It’s very important to be in control of your destiny.”

Which sport or exercise have you found the hardest? Did that come as a surprise?

“The basics (laughs)! I am a simple guy when it comes to training. Squats, deadlifts, even a simple pull-up. I always tried to shy away from exercises that made me feel weak when performing them. But in reality, those are the ones I now face head-on and embrace now.”

How did you stay in shape during the pandemic?

“I started the most basic home gym I could. It was literally a set of adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, and an Olympic bar. It was instrumental in keeping me sane and in shape while be quarantined at home.”

Gym playlist: top three tracks for when you have to dig deep.

“Love this!

Black Label Society – ‘Suffering Overdue’
Pantera – ‘Great Southern Trendkill’
Mountain – ‘Never in My Life’”

Gym playlist: top track that gets you ready to start your exercise.

“Whether it is a live concert or a gym session, I always start off with ‘No More Tears’ by Ozzy Osbourne. It’s the song I always fire up to.”

What’s your proudest achievement when it comes to fitness, health, and exercise?

“Finding therapy and love in lifting weights. My proudest achievement is breaking PRs, whether it is on the bench, or squat, and empowering myself to be even more strong on and off the stage.”

How do you stay motivated?

“I am easily motivated. Playing music and exercising goes hand in hand. It is the yin to the yang. Health is crucial while traveling and being held accountable to deliver night after night.”

Artwork for the album ‘Jared James Nichols’ by Jared James Nichols

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