I worked out like Taylor Swift for a week — here's what happened

Omar Vega/TAS23/Getty
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you dropped your life savings on Eras tickets, or you had to Google where the heck this “I’m the problem, it’s me” phrase came from, there’s no denying that Taylor Swift has some incredible stamina. Certainly in a professional sense — she’s been releasing hit music for almost two decades. But you can’t be at the helm of a demanding three-hour stadium show without some impressive physical stamina as well. 

So how does T-Swift stay in such great shape? I did a bit of research to see what a typical workout looks like for the pop icon (spoiler alert: lots of cardio) and decided to give it a go every day for a full week.

Just so there’s no “bad blood” between us — even if you’re a die-hard Swiftie, what works for Taylor may not work for you. I’d generally recommend varying up your workouts to include a mix of resistance training and cardiovascular activity, with appropriate rest days incorporated. If you’re new to exercise, consider scheduling a few sessions with a certified personal trainer so they can recommend a program suited to your fitness level and goals.

What is Taylor Swift’s workout routine?

Being an international pop star requires some serious conditioning, so it was unsurprising to discover that Taylor’s workout routine includes a mix of high-intensity interval training (or HIIT), running, and dance cardio. 

According to this article from Marie Claire, Taylor is a devotee of Body By Simone. Developed by personal trainer and former Broadway dancer Simone De La Rue, the “BBS Method” is a hybrid of high-intensity, dance-based cardio, and light resistance training that assists in building a long, lean, and toned physique. 

On days when she’s not lunge-jumping or step-touching, Taylor hits the treadmill to rack up a few miles while listening to her favorite songs. 

A primarily cardio-based workout program will result in improved endurance and high VO2 Max levels (the amount of oxygen your body can utilize during exercise) — just what Taylor needs to put on an energetic, record-breaking show for the masses. 

I worked out like Taylor Swift for a week — here’s what happened

I’m a bit of a cardio junkie like Taylor, so I was looking forward to a week of pulse-pounding runs and HIIT routines. I downloaded the Body By Simone app (which offers a free 14-day trial), found a few BBS offerings on YouTube (like this workout), and intermixed those classes with 30-45 minute runs. My schedule looked like this —

  • Day 1: BBS HIIT
  • Day 2: BBS Dance Cardio
  • Day 3: 30-minute run
  • Day 4: BBS HIIT
  • Day 5: BBS Dance Cardio
  • Day 6: 45-minute run
  • Day 7: BBS HIIT

Here’s what happened:

My joints didn’t love it

I’ve been a semi-serious runner for the past decade, so I’m no stranger to high-impact exercise. With that said, I learned early on in the process that my body can only tolerate so much running and jumping before my joints start yelling at me. As long as I max out at three runs per week, all my moving parts stay relatively happy.

Knowing this, I tried to space out my week with enough BBS classes so as not to exceed my running limit. Even though I technically ran less than I do regularly, my hips and knees started to ache after a few workouts — likely because both the dance cardio and the HIIT BBS classes involved a lot of high-impact movements and combinations. By day seven, I had to modify most of the HIIT programming to accommodate my cranky joints. 

I lost steam on my runs

One of the most underappreciated aspects of getting fitter is appropriate rest — it’s crucial to give your body time to rebuild and recover before your next effort. 

My week’s worth of working out like Taylor didn't leave much room for a rest day, and that came with some consequences. I usually power through a 30-minute run without issue, but it was a lot tougher to accomplish after two days of higher-intensity cardio. And while my 45-minute run on Day six started out normally, I lost steam about halfway through and had to resort to walk/run intervals. 

I slept like a champ

Like a lot of people, my sleep quality can be sub-par sometimes. I have a tendency to wake up several times a night, and often have difficulty falling back to sleep. 

As the week progressed, I noticed that I was waking up during the night a lot less — once or twice instead of three or four times. Towards the end of the week, I slept a full seven hours without stirring once. Which led me to my next observation…

Overall, my energy levels improved

Even though my two runs felt more arduous than usual, my energy levels in general were notably higher. I’d even venture to say my concentration and focus improved as well. 

I can’t tell whether this was a factor of better sleep quality or exercise routine (probably a combination of both). Whatever the cause, it was a fantastic by product of my Taylor-inspired workout week.

I started dating Travis Kelce

…just kidding.

The verdict? While I enjoy cardio just as much as Taylor does, the high-impact nature of Body By Simone classes paired with running is a bit too much for my joints to comfortably handle. I’d love to see some BBS app classes that feature an instructor performing modifications (as her free YouTube class did) so participants with bad knees or achy shoulders can still reap the cardiovascular benefits of her programs. I’ll probably ditch the cardio-heavy Taylor Swift workouts for something a little more balanced moving forward.

More from Tom's Guide

Jennifer Rizzuto

Jennifer Rizzuto is a freelance writer and certified personal trainer based in Long Island, NY. She covers various fitness-related topics and reviews for Tom's Guide. She also writes sketch comedy and short films, and performs frequently as an actor, singer, and improviser. When she's not writing, working out, or performing, you'll find her trying to convince her husband to get a dog.