EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a preview-only version of Adam Levine's cover story in the October 2017 issue of Men's Fitness. For the full story, including exclusive content, pick up a copy on newsstands on Monday, September 11.

It’s a cloudless, windless afternoon in Beverly Hills that’s officially 92° but feels closer to 92 billion° when you’re in direct sunlight. Adam Levine doesn’t seem to notice. He’s standing shirtless in his driveway, a layer of sweat covering his tatted-up body, playing a losing game of tug-of-war with his rare 1973 Porsche 911 RS.

With knees slightly bent, feet staggered, and hands white-knuckling one end of a battle rope, he leverages every ounce of his 176-lb frame in an attempt to pull his 2,300-lb, German-engineered roadster.

“Are you sure it’s in neutral?” Levine jokes.

Ultimately, he does move the vehicle...about three millimeters. Still, it’s enough distance for the photographer to get the shot.

Levine spends the day in motion—shuffling multiple times from his home gym to his basketball court to his backyard. Many ideas emerge on the fly: Man vs. Car, Warrior II while holding a weight and basketball. Ultimately they come to represent a merging of “old and new”—and, on a deeper level, a guy who happily goes against the grain in fitness, in music, and in life. Because normal is boring, and boring is unacceptable to him.

We wrap the shoot more than an hour late, and Levine is much to blame—he just wouldn’t quit. The dude was beat but offered to keep going, to do more—standing, sitting, crouching, shirt on, shirt off, pullups, dips, smiling, everything this side of Blue Steel.

In fact, throughout the day he was upbeat, on-point, and polite. No bullshit star moves, tantrums, outrageous demands, or complaints—just a guy doing the work because he had an opportunity to do it, and it had to get done. Later that evening, as I thought back on the day, it gradually dawned on me: plenty of cash in the bank, a kick-ass house, sweet rides, a model-hot wife, and way too cool...

That guy I got to hang with was just too damn perfect to be Adam Levine.

For more of Levine's thoughts—on touring with Maroon 5, The Voice, and being a family man—pick up the October issue of Men's Fitness on newsstands starting September 11, 2017. Also in this issue: Our 2017 "Game Changers" list, five out-of-the-box food swaps, and interviews with Taron Egerton and Jessica McNamee.