Anna Kaiser has trained her fair share of celebrities and regular exercisers alike over the years. But when she’s working with singer Alicia Keys, she knows she can expect something a little different.
“I’ve never seen her check her phone,” says Kaiser. “Every other celebrity I’ve ever worked with—and also non-celebrity—checks their phones, but Alicia has never done that. The minute she walks into the studio, she is present. She’s like, I’m here, this is my time.”
There is, of course, no shortage of pressing commitments Keys could be checking in on: Hot off her Keys to the Summer tour, Keys is putting the finishing touches on Hell’s Kitchen, a new, semi-autobiographical musical opening November 19 at off-Broadway’s Public Theater, which she’s been working on for over a decade. She’s also a mom, and has her own skincare line, Keys Soulcare.
“For someone who has to show up for so many people, she knows how important it is to get a workout into her day so she can be her best self,” says Kaiser, who has been working with Keys since 2015.
Training with Kaiser has also become essential to boosting Keys’ endurance for long, demanding concerts. It’s often her first stop after landing in New York, and she’s been known to take open group classes in addition to her private sessions. It’s even part of her pre-show routine, thanks in part to her vocal coach, who suggested she incorporate cardio into her warm-up. Now, Kaiser’s signature workout—which involves dance-inspired moves, stepping and jumping on and off a box, and exercises she calls “vertical Pilates”—happens before every show.
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