Kenny Chesney’s Secret to Staying Fit After 50 is Ridiculously Simple

Kenny Chesney has been pumping out country hits since the mid-nineties. His first album In My Wildest Dreams was a modest success, but it was the albums after that that took his career steadily to the top.

His second album went gold, the following two after that went platinum, and his 1999 album, Everywhere We Go, hit the rare distinction of going double platinum.

Now in his 50s, Chesney is still making new music, going on tour and filling up stadiums. Putting on crowd-pleasing performances can take a lot out of a singer at any age, so how does Chesney keep fit despite his “island lifestyle”? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Kenny Chesney keeps a few key rules when it comes to his tour preparation

Kenny Chesney performs onstage
Kenny Chesney | Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images

Chesney certainly has a certain sex appeal, and it’s more than just his tractor. He keeps lean and fit without going too crazy with his workout and diet routines. One simple rule he sticks to is keeping himself carb-free after 5pm. In the age of all kinds of crazy and restrictive diets, this one seems very doable, and it Chesney it is. He’s been practicing this simple principle for years now.

In a recent interview, he explained:

“I eat protein and double up on my vegetables. You go to bed at night without eating any carbs, and you wake up feeling leaner. I do have a protein-based protein shake, so if I am hungry at 8 or 9 p.m., instead of eating, I’ll just down that, and it really helps you lean down a lot.”

His other big rule is this: “Before I go on the road, I don’t have any alcohol.” He takes the transition from drinking on his boat to abstaining as all part of the job, joking, “You know, it takes a lot of work to get in them show jeans.”

His diet consists mostly of vegetables, eggs, brown rice, and lean meats like salmon or chicken. He does allow for Sundays as a cheat day when he can enjoy Italian or Mexican food.

Kenny Chesney’s workout routine is nothing crazy either

Of course, diet isn’t enough to get the lean muscles Chesney sports when he’s playing his guitar in his signature sleeveless t-shirt, he does need to spend time working out as well.

In a 2016 GQ interview, he shared: “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.”

Chesney’s goal to stay lean and flexible results in much of his time at the gym spent on cardio and body-weight reps as opposed to lifting heavy weights.

Part of not lifting heavier weights is also due to a shoulder injury he sustained years ago. He works with a trainer and says, “I don’t work out any more than an hour, but that hour is intense.” 

What about Kenny Chesney’s island lifestyle?

Chesney has a reputation for being a bit of a beach bum, and he even has his own line of rum called Blue Chair Bay. When he’s not on tour, he spends a lot of his time on the island of St. John, a part of the US territory, the US Virgin Islands.

He says that despite growing up in the Smoky Mountains, he has an affinity for the sea and has “always felt a certain sense of peace and freedom on the boat that I don’t get on the tour bus.”

On St. John, he has a rich social group and was highly affected when the islands were hit by Irma and Maria all in one devastating hurricane season. 

This inspired him to begin writing songs and collaborating with other musicians that had a strong connection to the Caribbean like Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Buffett, and Mindy Smith.

These collaborations culminated into the album Songs for the Saints, and proceeds from the sales went towards Chesney’s Love for Love City Foundation.