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March 2, 2019

Mick Jagger Diet and Exercise Program

Photograph courtesy of Lori Ortega Sammon.
Photograph courtesy of Lori Ortega Sammon.

The Mick Jagger Diet and Exercise Program

Though band members of The Rolling Stones have lived life in the fast lane it turns out that Mick Jagger has lived a pretty clean lifestyle since the mid 1990’s. He has a meticulous diet and exercise program. And, other members of the band have also been more health conscious in their later years.

In Keep Rolling Like The Rolling Stones we stressed the point that staying active, having a passion for something, and living life with purpose can offset poor health habits to a certain degree as well. Combine all of that with a healthy diet and exercise program and you can function well in your later years as Mick Jagger has demonstrated.

From a sports medicine perspective, two things impressed me most about Jagger’s performance at The Rolling Stones’ Zip Code Tour show in Columbus in 2015. His stamina is remarkable and his posture is still very good for a 71-year-old. What he does and can do at age 71 should be an inspiration to all of us especially those over the age of 70.

We all know the importance of stamina. But, I have found posture also to be a reliably good indicator of someone’s overall health and fitness after age 55. If you can maintain your posture in your 70’s you probably are doing a lot of things well when it comes to health and fitness.

As we age gravity pulls us down. Women tend to succumb to gravity in their upper backs and men in their lower backs and both in the neck. You have to be in good health and fitness to fight off gravity as it is a rather persistent force. Jagger has very good posture – and there is a good reason he does which we will get into later.

Watching him perform I figured Mick Jagger must have a personal trainer and decided to research it. It turns out he does have a trainer and more. In fact, when on the road the Stones employ a staff of 200 including fitness trainers, dietitians, physiotherapists, massage therapists, and chefs.

His workouts are reasonably intense and diversified. He is careful about what he eats. According to this article he now eats a keto diet. The keto diet restricts carb intake (he does eat some carbs before a show – see below) and is higher in protein than the usual American diet. It does not necessarily restrict calories but is a form of a low glycemic diet that facilitates the maintenance of healthy body weight.

He is very disciplined and is very regimented. He approaches his training and nutrition just like a competitive endurance athlete. There is a teaching point there. We ALL need to be disciplined with our eating and exercise even if we are not training for something because after all, we are all training for life.

What my research on Mick Jagger’s health habits and family history uncovered may surprise many of you.

Jagger’s Dimensions

He is taller than most people realize at 5’10” and now weighs 161 pounds and has maintained a 28-inch waist throughout his adult life. (I recall a Dallas Cowboy running back having thighs that were 32 inches each). He probably seems shorter as he seems to like tall women. L’Wren Scott, a former girlfriend stood 6’4″.

He has youthful genes. His father died at age 93. His father was a physical education teacher and Jagger has been exercising since age three and has remained fit ever since. His father instilled in him a strong work ethic. While inheriting youthful genes helps, about three-quarters of how well or poorly we age is now felt to be driven by our lifestyles.

The video below is still the best video in terms of overall quality I have seen showing Mick Jagger up close moving and strutting on the Zip Code Tour. We used in our previous post on The Rolling Stones.

Mick Jagger’s Workouts

What does it take to be a young Mick Jagger even in his 70s? First, his personal trainer is Torje Eike, a Norwegian trainer whose clients include Olympic athletes and professional soccer players. Jagger’s overall exercise program is quite diverse.

He trains five to six days a week and his workouts emphasize stamina and balance. Leading up to a tour Mick Jagger runs eight miles a day including sprints. He also swims, kickboxes, and cycles. This would explain his ability to sing and move continuously during a concert without sounding short of breath.

He does some resistance training. To maintain his balance and POSTURE he takes ballet lessons and performs yoga and Pilates. On stage, I did not witness any hesitancy in his movements and he still moves with a certain amount of fluidity, grace, and efficiency.

He’s been known to cover 12 miles on stage dancing and strutting during a concert. I find this hard to believe though for a two-hour concert as it would mean he is moving at 6 mph which is a running pace and he clearly does not run the entire show. At that pace, he would complete a marathon in less than 4 hours (3 hours and 51 minutes if I calculated correctly). The numbers are more believable if the 15 minutes of encore time are included which would mean is he is moving at 5.33 miles per hour which is a jogging pace. I suspect that 12 miles reflect a three-hour concert which I believe The Rolling Stones performed in their youth which would mean moving at the brisk walking pace of 4 miles per hour the entire show.

Regardless, he is usually moving in one fashion or another most of the concert. Remember – MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE!

Mick Jagger Diet

He eats organic foods after being sold on the idea by Jo Wood, wife of Ronnie Wood band mate of The Rolling Stones. Jagger eats far more than people might think because he expends a lot of energy and I suspect also has a naturally high metabolic rate.

His diet has been consistent with that of high endurance athlete for many years and consists of whole-grain bread, potatoes, rice, beans, chicken, and fish. While on tour he eats one pasta meal a day four hours before a show. This would ensure that his muscles are glycogen-filled for his performance. He also loves avocados – a terrific source of healthy fats.

As mentioned earlier he has gravitated to a Keto diet and it’s unclear if he maintains a Keto diet while touring or goes back to a more endurance athlete diet where he consumes more carbs when he is on tour.

He uses the following nutritional supplements: vitamins A, C, D, and E along with B complex. He also takes cod liver oil (omega-3 fatty acids), and ginseng and ginkgo Biloba which help endurance and brain function.

Long before they became fashionable among rock musicians, Mick Jagger has protected his hearing by wearing custom-made earplugs. He drinks minimally nowadays and reports no use of drugs in decades. And, he has found healthier ways to unwind and manage stress. He prepares for a concert two hours before it starts getting his body, mind, and voice ready for the performance.

Fun Facts About the Columbus Concert

I have a patient who had insider knowledge of The Rolling Stone’s performance in Columbus. He came into the office to see me four days after the concert.  He shared with me these tidbits.

  • The Rolling Stones stage and sound and lighting equipment came loaded on 18 semis. It takes nearly a week to transport, assemble, and take down the stage, three large video screens, and sound towers. Since they are performing two shows a week there are two-stage crews that leapfrog each other going from city to city.
  • In addition to cans of beers being sold at concession stands, beer kiosks were also used in which individuals could swipe their credit card and receive two cups of beer at a time – but no more than every 11 minutes. Apparently no more than 10 beers every 55 minutes should keep one sober.
  • When going through their soundcheck Mick Jagger was all business and there was no doubt he is in charge and everything was done to his liking.
  • Mick Jagger used oxygen when he came off stage during the show. But, so do football players. I think this simply shows how active he is on the stage and also highlights that he prepares himself like an athlete would, wants to perform as well as possible, and leaves nothing to chance.

As a fan and someone who admires those who reach the pinnacle of their profession, I appreciate individuals who are consummate professionals, prepare diligently to display their craft, and take it to the next level. Mick Jagger is one such person and he highlights the benefits of the “anti-aging” model that focuses on exercise and nutrition.

He is the exception. And, that should be the goal for all of us. To take whatever we do and whatever we are to the highest level possible and not settle for anything less than our best.

It has now been four years since the Zip Code Tour and Jagger is now 75 and still going.

At this stage in life Jagger tries to live in the present. I will end with this quote of his. “I try not to think about when I can’t do this anymore. I say, ‘don’t look at the clouds of tomorrow through the sunshine of today.'”

See related articles”

Become More Attractive: Improve Your Posture

Don’t Resist Resistance Training

10 Tips for Starting an Exercise Routine

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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

  1. The next morning, the electricity was off in the neighborhoods around the show – which we all thought was pretty funny!

  2. I told my doctor that I wanted to train like Mick Jagger before we went to the July 8th concert He said, yes, but I’m sure that he has an entire crew of people working on this. Yes, but he can be a model for many of us fans. We’re not quite his age, but we’re getting there. I’d think Jagger’s 12 miles would be like Leslie Sansone’s ‘equivalent miles’ in her exercise routines.. Regardless, I have a lot to get to the point of Mick’s workout, as I’m more 3-5 miles a day and that really is not enough. I’m glad that someone did do a bit of research into his routines. I knew that he was a runner and trained, but wow. Thanks for the great article!

  3. Excellent article ! So good to see a Master at work. Thanks for research & for understanding Mick’s stature in a number of fields. He certainly inspires me.

  4. I have been dying to learn about Mick’s diet and training regime. He is an inspiration to me. I am a very active 63 year old woman. For what it’s worth, I weigh what I weighed in high school.

  5. Micks been my number one with the rest of the boys keath Ronnie Charlie Bobby Bill daraDl and the brass

  6. I really like their music, they have a style that is classic, I admire Micks longevity as an artist, his energy seems boundless, he is a true inspiration to me wanting to have they type of superior health he exibits, now I am happy to know what he does to keep fit, Thanks for the article.

  7. Such a great read I am 51 yrs of age and have admired Mick Jagger since I could walk mick Jagger you are extremely inspiring, I was diognois with a tumor recently it has been a changing life physically I have so much respect for our elders and the disabled; it is definately life changing tho nothing is stopping me; Mick Jagger you are a true motivator I am following your health and wellness strategies to gain my mobility and health back I am way to young!! I love Micks outlook “I try not to think about when I can’t do this any more. I will say, ‘don’t look at the clouds of tomorrow through the sunshine of today.’”

    1. Thanks for sharing, Deb. We wish you well as you conquer your health challenges. Stay motivated! Stay young at heart!

  8. Doing my own MJ workout as i am reading this article. Just finished radiation treatment for Prostate Cancer. Feeling stiff and sore this am. Start my workout with Kinks live (till the end of the day) then the live Stones concert at Havana takes over. Great way to get the body moving. Great article . |Thanks for writing it. PS I’m 70.

    1. Nothing like some good music to workout to. Thanks for sharing your story. Wishing you a full recovery from prostate cancer. Stay young at 70!

  9. Good genes maybe, but you’d think he would not have to have heart surgery at 75 after all that stuff! I know people in their 90’s that smoke and eat garbage and never had surgery. LOL!

    1. Apparently he has a valvular heart disease which many times is not related to lifestyle.

  10. I’m turning 69 and take great pride in my health and appearance. It feels terrific to wake up every day and dress in younger men’s clothes. Doctors are always amazed at my fit appearance, but I’m a long way from Mick’s level. I’m 5’7” 149 and still working on shedding my mid section but watching his Havana concert on tv and reading this article has really inspired me. His body looks the same as it did decades ago. Truly an amazing man. Diet, movement, resistance training, and ever-evolving goals are key.

  11. As a “club musician” performing 50-60 nights a year, usually 4 hours plus 3 more hours setting up & tearing down, I look to Mick, Stephen Tyler, Rod Stewart, Paul Rodgers, to name a few, for examples of how to handle that while still putting on a top notch show. I’m almost 64 and I hope to continue performing for another number of years. I’ve been in the gym for years but have not paid enough attention to diet. That’s about to change. I’m amazed watching the quality of show those guys can still put on. I still have a 40 hour a week job on top of all. A challenge yes, but the rewards are immeasurable. Also, to anyone who thinks it’s about the money for the older performers, BS!!!… It’s beyond understandable what it feels like to share with an audience great music.

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