Bone Crusher: Battle Tested

    When one hears the term “war hero,” many historic names come to mind – from King Leonidas of the mighty 300 to “Stormin’ Norman” Swartzkopf to… Bone Crusher? That’s right, you read correctly, because this February, Bone Crusher’s fitness DVD Battle of the Bulge will invade a store near you.    The video […]



When one hears the term “war hero,” many historic names come to mind – from King Leonidas of the mighty 300 to “Stormin’ Norman” Swartzkopf to… Bone Crusher? That’s right, you read correctly, because this February, Bone Crusher’s fitness DVD Battle of the Bulge will invade a store near you. 


The video features low to moderate workouts for people with limited mobility due to age or body type. It is already available for pre-sale at most major retailers, and according to Bone over 30,000 orders have already been taken since November with Walmart alone.


We asked Bone what viewers should expect to see when they press play.  “A lot of energy and a lot of fun,” he replied.  “This will be a situation where you’ll pop in the DVD and think ‘Wow, I can do what that guy did.’  I think people can identify with me. I’m approachable and am someone who has actually done what they’re trying to do.”


Bone thought that it was important for him to make a DVD that could especially help the obese, the elderly and other populations who have a desire to lose weight but can’t move around that easily or afford expensive pieces of gym equipment. 


“Because of this DVD I pay a lot of attention to infomercials now,” he explains.  “I used to look at some of these guys that workout and think like ‘Damn, I’m used to just sitting around and chillin.’  The average Joe can’t do those exercise programs.  Battle of The Bulge has workouts for beginners, and then when you want to make things harder, the exercises continue to the intermediate level all on the same DVD.”


In many ways, Battle of the Bulge is a follow up to his successful stint on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club 4 where he shattered the show’s weight loss record by dropping 54 pounds over the course of the competition.  The 6’1” lyricist tipped the scales at 424 pounds at the initial weigh-in, but had slimmed down to 370 pounds by season’s end. 


Of course, being invited to appear on this show also comes with the not so subtle hint that people think that you’re overweight.  Bone saw it as an opportunity instead of an insult.  “I always try to be real with it,” he says. “I just went in to try and get the money!  I’ve always been a big guy so I wasn’t offended. This is what I do anyway. Bizarre from D12 actually first told me about the show, we did a tour together.  My wife wanted me to get healthier too though, so you know how that goes.” 


Despite initially going into the season mostly for the money, the show helped Bone Crusher apply his legendary energy and focus into taking better care of his body.  “A lot of the things we did, y’all didn’t see. A lot of people think that stuff is staged. It’s not staged. Those ‘thick camps’ are a monster!”


Of course, some of Bone Crusher’s punishment was self-inflicted as he pushed his body and mind to new limits, often working out twice per day.  Bone typically works out every single day by playing basketball, although he recently blew out his knee and has been sidelined from his cardio until that heals.  Prior to the injury however, he also stayed in shape by riding his bike and walking on a treadmill.  “Don’t run on the street,” he warns. “You’re killing your knee. That’s what happened to me on the court.”


He also doesn’t use weights.  “I’m not looking to be bulky anymore,” he explains. “I used to be a body builder [and] an All American tackle [in high school football].  I thought about pursuing that but then I got caught up fighting a lot and got into it with the coach.”


In college, Bone also won multiple strong man competitions easily bench-pressing 485 pounds repeatedly.  “I was crazy in college,” he laughed, “I used to take 365 [lbs] with my feet in the air.”


Today. Bone substitutes the weights with a high volume of push-ups and other natural movements.  He also has completely changed the way that he eats.  “It’s not rocket science,” he says. “You cut back on your eating, and you sweat and you lose weight.” Bone also refrains from drinking and smoking.


He attributes his pre-Fit Club body to a steady diet of burgers and other junk foods consumed while on the road performing.  The show taught him how to put together a more balanced diet.  He’s also learned to season a lot of soy and tofu products to taste just like meat.  The show also taught him [Dr. Ian Smith’s] Fat Smash Diet that starts with a nine-day vegetable and fruit ‘detox’ where you can’t eat bread, cheese, starches or rice.


Bone doesn’t recommend doing things such as the Fat Smash Diet long term, or trying to eliminate things from your life without allowing time for your body to adjust to the changes.  “[You can’t] stop all at one time, cold turkey.  Your body is gonna crash, ‘cause food is like a drug, a dope.” 


He does stress however, that people need to evaluate their lifestyles and make changes sooner rather than later.  “Make sure you watch yourself and keep moving forward and keep your health together.  The way healthcare is today in America, you need to stay as healthy as possible.  You can’t smoke 40 blunts, and then drink Hennessy and Heineken but never drink any water.” 


Bone Crusher remains close to many of his fellow cast members from Celebrity Fit Club 4 as they help each other continue to fight their personal weight loss battles.  “Angie Stone, Erica [Eleniak], Nick [Turturro], Vinnie [Vincent Pastore of The Sopranos], I talk to those guys all the time. Matter of fact I talked to Nicky last week.”


 I tried to get Bone to call out some other celebrities who he thought needed to go on the show next but he wouldn’t budge!  “I’m gonna stay away from that one,” he explains, although he does see the show as a great opportunity for Hip-Hop and R&B artists.  “People see the human side of us. Rap stars don’t get that type of exposure, so it was definitely a good thing and a way for people to see me in a different light.”


Viewers of the Food Network’s Top Chef may have also seen Bone Crusher in a different light as he served as a judge on multiple occasions.  “(My) grandmother taught me how to cook. Before rapping really took off, I would go to these different kitchens when I needed a job to pay rent.  At the time I had just had my first daughter, and got tired of construction and the dirt, so I took pay cut to work in kitchen.”


He turned out to be a natural and moved from short order cook to sous chef.  “I did that for years,” he laughs. “I could cook fast and really good. At Ying Yang [restaurant] I would cook, and then run up on stage and perform!” 


Eventually his rap career did take off, so he was able to trade in his spatula for a microphone, but his love for cooking is still strong and a cookbook may be in the works.  In the meantime, aside from the Battle of the Bulge DVD, Bone Crusher has the new album Planet Crusher that will be dropping in May through his own label through Universal. “The first single is called ‘Transform’ so look for that!”


Since Bone Crusher’s tracks are so good at hyping everyone else up, I wondered if he ever rocked his own music while hitting the treadmill or working out. “No, once I write it, I let it go,” he says. “I usually just listen to whatever’s hot at the moment. I have been listening to Little Brother in my music player a lot lately.”


When that “Transform” video hits the airwaves, one thing is for certain, Bone will definitely have a new wardrobe, as he’s continued to slim down since his days on Fit Club.  “I’m [feeling] good, my pants I was at a 56/58. I’m in a 48. I threw all of them big pants in the trash.  I have a pair of 50’s but they’re way too big still.” 


He also dropped from a 3x tee down to a 2x, and is currently weighing in at 350 pounds with a blood pressure of 177 over 40. 


Bone Crusher has definitely come a long way with the fitness and nutritional changes that he’s made in his life. Now his mission is to help inspire others to follow his path with the aid of his Battle of the Bulge DVD.  He’s also looking to set up a blog to provide viewers with advice and the ability to ask him questions.  


“Don’t give up, ‘cause it’s gonna be hard,” he says to those facing challenges with weight loss.  “Sometimes you’ll lose a lot of weight but gain some back. Nothing in life worth having is easy.  People are gonna see that I’m still big, and we’re still in the same fight.  We’re gonna laugh together, we’re gonna cry together but we’re working on this fight together.” 


Go to to check out the trailer for the DVD.


Darrell W. Butler is a certified personal trainer and strength coach with the American Council on Exercise (ACE).  He is the founder of Industrial Strength & Performance (I.S.P Fitness) and has trained at facilities throughout the nation. You can find out more about his work at