50 Cent has long been celebrated for his muscles as well as his lyrics. The actor and rap icon chatted with Men’s Heath for its “Hip-Hop Is 50!” special issue and dished the inside story of his bodybuilding journey. These are the highlights.

50 cent muscles
50 Cent In Da Gym / Instagram


50 Cent was predictably blunt about why he started weight-training: “to get myself stronger, ’cause who’s to say you’re not gonna get hit again?” By hit, he means shot. The 48-year-old, New York native (born Curtis Jackson) was shot nine times in 2000 and restricted to a liquid diet for six weeks. Even before that he took inspiration from D’Angelo’s steamy 1996 music video “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” or more precisely to how positively women reacted to D’Angelo’s lower abs in that video. “They were talking about a Brad Pitt [V-cut lower abdominal] line! I’m like, ‘Wait, what’s that?! Oh, nah, that’s important.”


In 2003, the video for 50 Cent’s breakthrough single “In Da Club” was even bigger than D’Angelo’s hit. And there was 50, upside down, with his own sculpted abs. When it came to “In Da Club,” 50 Cent told Men’s Health, “I put the gym in the middle of the video because, to me, that’s where I looked the coolest. That’s where I learned strong is not all [about] muscle; it’s about being mentally and physically strong.”

50 cent muscles
50 Cent introduced in the “In Da Club” video / YouTube


After 50’s appearance in a tank-top at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show, the internet was unforgiving. “50 Cent looks like he was hit by inflation,” joked one Twitter user. “50 Cent looking like a whole dollar bill,” said another. “Looks like 50 Cent has been spending a lot of time at the candy shop,” quipped another, referencing one of the rapper’s hit songs.

50 opened up about his weight gain: “I put more weight on for the role on the ABC show [For Life]. I was eating everything to get as big as possible, because it was a jailhouse [role], so it didn’t matter if I wasn’t cut up.” He went on to say, “I’m bigger than I was in the original video [for ‘In Da Club’], but damn, I ain’t fat. After the Super Bowl was over, I’ve been hungry since.”


50 Cent has been training and sticking to a diet ever since the Super Bowl. The prolific actor/producer/rapper also shared with Men’s Health the importance of working out as he ages: “It’s more important to get back in shape now than it was then. Simply because I am getting older. It’s harder.” 

50 cent muscles workout
Fold-out cover for Men’s Health “Hip-Hop is 50!” issue.

50 Cent has an unverified bench press of 405 pounds on our list of Celebrity Bench Presses

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