To look back at the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame is to find the genre littered with bands and enviable frontmen, known just as well for their hard partying ways as they are their hit singles or guitar riffs. From The Rolling Stones to Oasis, these bands made their music not just something to be played, but a lifestyle to be lived, existing on all manner of drugs and booze, fuelled simply by the adrenaline rush that comes with playing onstage before hundreds of thousands of adoring fans around the world. It may be a cliche but it’s also just how it was, and for many, how things still are. But at a time where society seems hell-bent on defying the ageing process and unlocking the Next Best Thing in the realm of health and wellness, Fall Out Bay’s bassist, Pete Wentz, has eschewed all manner of cliches and instead makes eating clean and exercising a priority.
Though Wentz is known for dipping in and out of the spotlight, recently he made headlines after appearing on the tennis court – something he’s known to do – sporting a look that could rival peak Andre Agassi. But it wasn’t just for show, Wentz is actually an avid tennis player is known to hit the ball with a range of A-listers, including Scrubs star, Zach Braff.
Speaking to GQ UK, Wentz spoke about his tennis obsession, saying: “Some days I’m a complete park rat and I’ll play, like, six hours a day. I go through spurts. A couple of days a week I play at the park with old guys who do a lot of…unorthodox strokes. Park tennis is completely different. You have people yelling at you and sirens and police helicopters. And I play at my coach’s house, where he has a little court, which has been really nice in quarantine.”
Explaining the importance of exercise for his mental wellbeing, Wentz added, “If I don’t do any physical activity during the day, I’m not a great person. I’m snappy, I don’t feel good. When I play tennis, when its going well, that’s all I think about. I don’t think about anything else. That’s a nice feeling.”
His forays into the world of tennis saw Wentz look at other aspects of wellness, too. During quarantine he took up meditation, although he says he’s not as good at it as he is tennis, and certainly doesn’t do six hours a day. He said, “I have a really active mind that won’t stop, so I use a mantra meditation. I do that once a day. I realise with all the tennis and the weightlifting, I should be doing more meditation and yoga.”
“That’s what my grandma did every day and she lived forever,” added Wentz. “I’m missing flexibility and balance.”
Lifting is something Wentz has been doing since 2015, when he hurt his back and a trainer suggested lifting weights to get the blood flowing and building other muscles. Wentz sticks to a weights routine that sees him lifting a couple of days a week. “The cardio is good but if I don’t have a certain amount of muscle I’m not really burning fat. For my body type at least, and my age,” says Wentz.
As for his diet, Wentz was vegan and then moved to being vegetarian. He still aims to eat solely plant-based a couple of days a week, but has realised that some things just don’t work for his body. “Garlic is a little rough for me,” says Wentz. Ahead of touring with the band, he admits to cleaning up his diet and even credits The Rock for helping him stay in shape. “The Rock says on Instagram, “The most important lift is the lift of the fork.” When I clean up my diet, it puts me in this basic shape that I should be in. I’ve got a pretty active lifestyle already.”
Given the physicality of performing, it also puts him in good stead for being on stage and dealing with the relentless tour schedule. “I clean it up by doing more lean protein, less sweets obviously, more greens. I do what probably every other person who doesn’t have much choice about where they’re going to eat does: I’ll make the healthiest version there.”