by Kimberley Cummins
Performing is said to be an arduous task. Ask entertainer Michael Mikey Mercer and he is quick to agree.
Last year the 30-year-old took Crop-Over by storm when he won the Party Monarch and Sweet Soca competition and was crowned the Road March champion.
In a telephone interview with Loving Me this afternoon he revealed that he was working hard to retain these titles this year, but stressed that it would take more than good music to accomplish this feat.
He noted he would need both physical and mental strength to succeed. But Mikey told his fans they need not worry because he had worked himself into shape through a combination of many hours of training in the gym and as well as karate lessons.
On average, he said, he spends close to 20 hours a week training. His personal trainer, Audrey makes sure his exercise routine includes going to the gym daily, 45 minutes of weights, one hour of cardiovascular exercises utilising the stair master, skipping and treadmill, a process that ensures he works a different body part each time. In the evening the concentration is on karate for two to three hours.
He said his trainers too were very aware of the expectations musically so in addition to assuring he maintains a healthy routine, if he has to perform the next day they try not to work too much on his legs so that when he is on stage they won’t be sore.
“It is one thing to be singing in a booth in a studio but another to be running on stage for one hour to one and a half hours, jumping up, dancing and singing at the same time — you need lung capacity to operate,” Mercer said as he added that cardio exercises in particular, helped a lot with his on stage performances.
But Mercer, who is also a lead singer of the band Soka Kartel, admitted that before he got accustomed to his routine, exercising was a bit daunting.
Always a little “on the bigger side”, when he entered secondary school at age 11 he began to take karate classes, he recalled. Knowing he was above the size of the average karateka, he realised he would have to put in extra work to get his speed and power up to scratch. At age 16, he joined his father, Fitz Mercer, who was into power lifting, in the gym and since then it has been a place he called “home”.
“It helps me to learn to work with what I have. The gym helps with my karate and my hand eye coordination. It is about practise — getting your body accustomed… Size does not impact,” he said. firstname.lastname@example.org