A few years ago, Men’s Journal published a profile on Eminem and how he beat his addiction to drugs and alcohol through exercise. In the piece, he emphasizes how he was big into cardio and hammering on the treadmill.
Here’s what he said at the time:
“I got an addict’s brain, and when it came to running, I think I got a little carried away. I became a fucking hamster. Seventeen miles a day on a treadmill. I would get up in the morning, and before I went to the studio, I would run eight and a half miles in about an hour. Then I’d come home and run another eight and a half. I started getting OCD about the calories, making sure I burned 2,000 every day. In the end I got down to about 149 pounds. I ran to the point where I started to get injured. All the constant pounding from the running began to tear up my hip flexors.”
The Citius Mag staff tried brainstorming ideas behind Eminem’s training but speculation quickly shifted to figuring out what he must’ve listened to while spending so much time on the treadmill.
Here’s what we concluded:
As someone who has spent much of this winter on the treadmill, I actually ran 12 miles on four different treadmills in one training and listened to Boz Scagg’s “The Essential Boz Scaggs”. It was delightful and it’s a phase that I’m going through right now.
I like to picture Eminem as someone who is listening to anything but rap on the treadmill right now. I think we kind of gathered that from his latest album, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”. Released in 2013, what we have is a different type of Eminem from the one that we see in his early albums that were fueled with rage and goofiness. With “Rap God” and “Bezerk”, he’s pretty upset with the direction that the genre has gone in. So because of the feelings that he conveyed in that album and because he acknowledges that he’s no longer the wacky newcomer on the scene from “The Slim Shady LP” or the maniac from “The Eminem Show” or “Encore”, I’ll go with just some throwbacks like Run DMC or anyone from the list that he gave at the 2003 Grammy’s.
Eminem respects the game.
After Chavez’s spiel, I’m going to take a contrarian stand. I don’t like Eminem. I don’t even think he makes the Mount Rushmore of Detroit-area hokey white rappers or occasional rappers. (That would be Kid Rock, Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope of Insane Clown Posse, plus Mike Posner. They are all terrible, and express at least an inkling of self awareness about it.) I’d imagine Eminem, while jogging a stupid amount, was just as into himself as he is in everything else that he does. So in all likelihood, he probably listened to pulled audio files of copyright-infringing YouTube compilations called, like, “Best Scenes from 8 Mile,” and “Lol B Rabbit shooting his self on repeat.”
I am making broad-based and wildly unsupported assumptions about Eminem’s psyche, but he seems like someone who is A) bipolar and thus B) loves a good self help podcast. Not sure where the bipolar fits in but 10 minutes into a 60-minute jog on a treadmill you come to realize that it is in fact a terrible substitute to running outside and I could see Em becoming increasingly depressed. Besides, any music-based listening would have to elicit feelings from his old addict self. On Being and TED Radio Hour by NPR seem like good motivation podcast picks for the man.
(Editor’s note: Maybe the Citius Mag podcast for inspiration?)
How much does a treadmill cost these days? That’s right, you have no idea, mostly because they’re too expensive for regular “folks” to buy. And if you’re dumb enough to waste your money on one, I’m 100% positive that it turns into a glorified clothes line after the first month when you realize running indoors is for hamsters, MC Hammer and Chavez.
All of this to say that Eminem heads to 24 Hour Fitness only to realize he forgot his iPod at home. Everyday. Because he used to do a bunch of pills and his brain leaks vital short term memories like a sieve. Sad, dejected, day in, day out, he listens to the sound of his own feet pounding, the whizzing of the tread beneath him, the coughing of his ponchy treadmill neighbor, and probably a rerun of Law and Order SVU on the TV in the corner.
He listens to the Mariah Carey Merry Christmas album on loop because he still hasn’t gotten over his obsession with her from 2009 when he dropped the very contentious track “The Warning” (Mariah Carey diss). He needs the blood-boiling fury and adrenaline that only her voice combined with annoyingly out of season Christmas songs over and over again could provide to get him through his two hours of treadmill running each day.
Or maybe, the truth is that he needs the two hours of daily treadmilling in order to work out his blood-boiling fury over Mariah.