In NBC's new hit sitcom, The New Normal, actor Jayson Blair plays a cheating husband who kicks off his role on the series half-naked, mid-thrust, hooking up with a scantily clad women who isn't his wife.
His wardrobe—or lack thereof—didn't change much in the second and third episodes...which means that this 28-year-old actor has to spend quite a lot of a screen time showing off of his body. That means staying in top physical form is all part of a day's work.
You may remember Jayson from MTV's The Hard Times of RJ Berger as the cocky jock, who also frequently flaunted his killer abs. If you're going to play characters known for lean, muscular bodies, you probably have some serious fitness secrets to stay camera-ready.
We wanted the inside track on how to get fit on demand, so we connected with Jayson to find out what he does to stays in top physical form, and ways he's been known to cheat—on his diet.
MF: What kind of training do you do for the roles you’ve been playing, like the confident jock on Hard Times of RJ Berger or the frequently shirtless boyfriend in The New Normal?
Jayson: I’ve been with the same trainer since the second season of Hard Times of RJ Berger. Between seasons and shows, I'll let myself do things like drink beer and eat burgers and I don't really work out as much. But when I need to get back in shape quickly, I start back with my trainer three days a week, take yoga and do a little cardio on my own. I also start focusing on my nutrition and eating clean again.
So when you’re not working, do you let yourself go?
Absolutely. Not totally gone, but quite a bit.
How do you stay in shape when you are constantly on and off the set?
The most important thing is being prepared. The biggest problem people have when they are trying to change their body is being caught off-guard...and when you’re not prepared you overeat or you grab the wrong things because they are available, and you're starving. My dad always brought a cooler to work every day, and I’d used to say “Who the hell brings a cooler to work?” And now I'm that guy. I bring food with me everywhere I go. You can catch me walking to acting class with my cooler. I go to work with my cooler.
Would you ever gain weight for a role?
I would, absolutely. That would actually be great for two reasons. First, if I were willing to gain weight for a role, that means I'd have landed a role of a lifetime. And second—I love to eat! I would probably have to eat a lot of food to get to bigger in a short period of time, and getting to load up on all of my favorites would be fantastic. Of course, It’s easier to put on than take off, but it can be really easy to take off if you stick to a program.
If you weren’t playing confident characters who are constantly disrobing, do you think your personal fitness regime would be different?
Yeah, it wouldn’t be nearly as intense. When I'm not shooting, I work out roughly eight times per month...and I would just do more yoga, not a lot of crazy weights, and just full-body exercises. Regardless of whether or not I'm shooting, there’s a certain weight that I don’t let myself go above. And I'm ok with being a little softer, but not totally soft.
So you like yoga. What would you say to men who think yoga is not very manly?
You have to get over the whole ego and mental block because yoga is so good for the entire body, from the inside out. It only supplements your workout. Your muscles are going to get leaner and longer, you’re going to look more toned. Your posture will get better. It'll make your body so much more evolved than just weightlifting can do. People need to look past that.
In Hard Times with RJ Berger, you play someone who is much younger than you are. Did you train in a specific way to look young?
Yeah, I told my trainer what I wanted and needed, more adolescent-looking muscles, not just crazy-jacked and mature-looking. So he put together a certain program where we were doing high-intensity heavy weights, and super high-intensity workouts to elongate the muscles and make them dense but not super built. A lot of bands, a lot of rope work, a lot of power play and things like that.
What about your go-to workout routine? What exercise do you enjoy most in the gym?
Half-hour of cardio and half-hour of weights.
And what’s your least favorite workout?
My least favorite workout probably is when my trainer makes me work multiple muscle groups at once. Like a squat to press, or rope work and then pushups and then dive-bombers all consecutively.
Do you haven any fitness tips for our readers? What knowledge could you share on creating a healthier lifestyle?
For me as a kid when I was out of shape, I always said that I wanted to be in shape but I never really did anything about it. And when you are trying to get to that next level, or are just trying to lose a few extra pounds, you have to set something and be so, so, so on it. You can’t get off it. My thing is six days a week I'm on my nutrition thing, and on the seventh day, I eat whatever I want. And within those six days, there is absolutely zero cheating.
I don’t do any fruit, I don’t do any grains, I don’t do any potatoes those first six days. I get my carbs from beans. And on that seventh day, I can do whatever I want. With the way I eat, you can easily drop five pounds a week being super healthy and doing it the right way without exercising. But you gotta be on it, you can’t waver at all.
What’s your cheat day? Is it the same every week?
Yeah, Saturday. My buddy was making fun of me the other day. There was this big dinner on Sunday and he was like, “Can’t you just move your cheat day to Sunday?” And I was like, “No, can’t do it. Then nothing is sacred anymore, nothing means anything.” And he was like, “You’re insane..."
A big thing for people is alcohol. People don’t realize how many calories and hidden calories are in booze, and how they impact your body. I usually only drink on Saturdays. But if I drink during the other six days, I’ll have no more than two glasses of dry red wine.
What’s your go-to cheat food?
I like a burger with avocado and sweet potato fries.
Speaking of cheating...in The New Normal, we are introduced to your character, Clay, when he’s caught cheating on his wife. Have you ever been cheated on?
Do you have any tips for our readers on dealing with cheating or knowing when she’s cheating?
Every time it’s happened, and it’s happened more than once, …there’s no hint or foreshadowing, but I’ve just called it.
For example, the last time it happened…I just got back from the most amazing weekend with this girl…And on Tuesday, our first time apart since the weekend, this vitriol thing happened in my gut, and I told my roommate, “She’s going to cheat on me with her ex-boyfriend.” Then I didn’t hear from her for four days. When I spoke to her, I asked if she had seen her ex-boyfriend recently, and she was like, “What...? No,” but I was like, “You’re lying,” and then she said, “Yes.” Prior to that, I had no idea she was actually communicating with him..it was just a feeling. So I asked if she slept with him and she said no, then I asked again and she was said yes. I was like, “That sucks, but I’m not going to say a bunch of horrible stuff that you already think, I’m not that kind of guy. But I really liked you and I wish that didn’t happen.”
I decided to take the high road…There are just so many reasons why people do stuff, that we have to look past our ego and how we feel at that moment, and of course that doesn’t always happen with me. But sometimes, I can take the high road.
Be sure to catch Jayson on The New Normal, airing Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on NBC