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Before Tim McGraw and Thomas Rhett were getting attention for their workout routines, Kenny Chesney was turning fans’ heads with his dedication to fitness. Now, as he approaches 50, the superstar is opening up to GQ about how he maintains his tip-top shape.

“I felt better on stage than I’ve ever felt this past summer. I wasn’t feeding my body negative things. I wasn’t killing myself in the gym, but working real hard when there. When I was 27, I didn’t have to make those decisions. Now I do,” he confesses.

Part of his secret is that he no longer imbibes when he hits the road. “I didn’t drink out on the road, which might surprise some people. Once I make up my mind to do something, that’s what I’m gonna do. I have that mental makeup.” 

But Kenny doesn’t want you to think that means he never has any fun. “I can go down and hang out on the boat in the island and stay for an overextended vacation, enjoy it, then come home and cut it off,” he says.

Just like Kenny lets himself relax sometimes, he’s also learned when it’s time to buckle down and be serious. “After New Year’s, I put it on lockdown,” he reveals. “I train hard starting the first week in January. I’m pretty tunnel-vision:  I know what it takes to do what my body wants when I get up on stage. Last year we worked every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from the end of March to the end of August, without a weekend off.”

His newest secret is a Woodway treadmill called the Curve. “There’s no plugging it in. Your body does the work and moves the belt. Walking on it is hard, much less sprinting. Running on the Curve got me in better shape than I’ve been in.”

You can bet Kenny will be in tip-top condition by the time he hits the road with Miranda LambertSam Hunt and Old Dominion for his Spread the Love tour April 23 in Auburn, Alabama.

You can read more about Kenny’s diet and workout secrets online at GQ.com.

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