Fitness helps me focus, says Rice

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has revealed her gruelling fitness regime in an interview in which she describes former basketball superstar Michael Jordan as her all-time “most beautiful athlete”.

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has revealed her gruelling fitness regime in an interview in which she describes former basketball superstar Michael Jordan as her all-time “most beautiful athlete”.

Ms Rice, 53, told Fitness magazine she realised few other people were willing to rise at 4.30am to get in a daily workout.

“That’s my own particular strangeness,” said the top woman in the Bush administration.

In fact, some days it is 4am and Ms Rice considers 40 minutes on an elliptical exercise machine a “light cardio” day. She adds a tough regimen with weights on those days, under the tutelage of a hard-body trainer.

“Like everybody, I get up some mornings and think: ’I can’t do it’. And then I think: ’Sure you can, because you won’t feel as alert if you don’t’,” she said.

Tennis player Billie Jean King was an early sports hero and Michael Jordan was “probably the most beautiful athlete of all time”.

Ms Rice gave the muscle magazine a glimpse of her weekly weight session in the US State Department gym, including photographs of her grimacing under a weight bar and doing crunches while her trainer stands on her feet.

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