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Lift/Rest: Watch Bon Iver’s Workout Video


Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon might have some heavy lifting to do on Grammy night (those trophies are heavier than they look!). Coincidentally, Vernon and his bandmates have embraced a routine of “body weight circuits and running,” according to Jeff Rogers, who began training with Bon Iver a few years ago after a game of basketball with the band at a Wisconsin YMCA.

Vernon suffers from sciatica, a condition that causes pain in the lower back, and Rogers volunteered to provide him with a routine that could lessen the affliction. Vernon was reticent at first — “Just the word ‘workout’ sort of sucks. It’s doesn’t make you feel good. It’s sort of like, dorky or something,” Vernon says in the video below — but he quickly discovered the positives of breaking a sweat on a daily basis. Vernon reveals that while on tour, in the long wait between arriving at the venue and actually performing, the band turns the backstage area into their own personal gym, and there’s footage to prove it.

It’s strange to see the group that gave us “Beth/Rest” lifting dumbbells and wearing shorts, but the routines have helped the band on both a physical and a musical level. “We kept up with it, and it was amazing how much more energy people had, and it would help my voice, it would help everything,” Vernon adds. “It was really good, and fun, actually.”

Just some quick advice for Vernon come Grammy night: Don’t forget to lift from the knees. At least we know he can defend himself in case he pissed off any Grammy voters.