Last weekend, Philadelphia music fans blew the lid off Powerhouse Philly, as surprise guest Nicki Minaj joined Young M.A. onstage to add a little more fuel to the fire. The packed house—in Minaj’s boyfriend Meek Mill’s hometown—got to see two of the hottest rappers of the year together for what must have been a magical moment.
But magic aside—like Minaj’s verse on “Monster”—let’s get to what you’re here for: how to look like Nicki Minaj. The truth is that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never look exactly like her. What you can do, however, is focus your diet and your workout in a way to give you similar results: a small waist, solid round butt, and lean physique.
Getting lean—no matter who you are—is best achieved with a low-sugar diet, plenty of green vegetables, and a regular workout routine. Resistance training works best, and if you’re pressed for time or want to boost the intensity of a workout, circuit training is recommended. With a packed schedule and the tons of dancing she does, it’s likely Nicki uses HIIT circuit training to keep her cardio up.
Sculpting Your Butt and Flattening Your Stomach
Nicki Minaj doesn’t use any secret workout or diet tricks to keep her lean and curvy. She works out regularly, eats right, has an active lifestyle, and the right genetics—genetics are what determine the exact shape and structure of your body (diet and exercise can make fat and muscle cells bigger or smaller, but your genetics determine how many of these cells you have, how they respond to stimuli, and the shape they grow or shrink). Diet and exercise can help you tighten and firm your body if you’re willing to put the work in.
For a fat loss/muscle building diet, you want to make sure you’re not eating very much—if any—refined sugars. You can still get sugar from fruit and complex carb sources like oats and sweet potato, but avoid stuff like candies, chocolate, soda, and fruit juices.
Avoid blending fruits for smoothies, instead electing to eat them whole. When you put them into a blender to make juice, you lose all the fiber, causing your body to metabolize the sugars as if they were from a candy bar.
It’s also important to make sure you’re getting plenty of green vegetables to provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while also helping with nutrient absorption. Lastly, you’ll want to get about your body weight (or slightly more) in grams of protein per day to promote the growth of lean tissue.
If building a round backside is what you’re after, there are a few exercises that can help you accomplish this goal. The four best exercises to hit the glutes are squats, lunges, hip thrusts, and stiff-legged deadlifts. For the squats and lunges, it’s important to go deep enough to feel the glute and hamstring muscles stretch before pushing out of low position, making sure you squeeze your butt at the top of every rep.
When performing the thrusts and stiff-legs, ensure you’re getting a good contraction and holding it for a second or two. Perform each exercise for three to four sets of 10-15 reps.