busta 1Once an artist has landed a multimillion-dollar deal on one of the industry's most successful labels and secured production from the game's primo beatsmith for his next album, life can need some new challenges. Just ask Busta Rhymes, who kept between-studio-session boredom at bay while recording his Aftermath Records debut, The Big Bang, by beefing up. "This last album took three years, so to pass time I began conditioning my body so that I could perform at the energy level I'm known for,” explains Bus, whose eminently animated personality is based in L.A. these days.

Initially hitting the gym on a casual basis, Busta slowly saw his part-time hobby grow into a newly nutritious lifestyle of rigorous exercise and inflexible dieting. "It was just a hobby, at first,” he says. "But then I started to see results that I wasn't seeing before. It just made perfect sense to continue on that path.”