How Beyonce got ripped for Coachella

Beyoncé's 2018 Coachella performance was jaw-droppingly memorable and most importantly — symbolic. At one point during her two-hour-long set, Queen Bey declared (via Fortune):, "Coachella, thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline." Unapologetically proud of her roots and culture, she paid tribute to Nina Simone, included quotes from Malcolm X, and even performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing" — a song commonly dubbed the "Black American National Anthem." Perhaps DJ Khaled said it best when he declared that the festival "gotta rename Coachella the Beychella." Fans totally lapped it up.

In addition to, you know, casually making history, fans were also quick to notice something else about Beyoncé – she was insanely ripped. Considering she gave birth to twins merely eight months before the Indo, Calif. show, viewers were left mouth agog at just how fantastic and fit Bey looked.

Fast-forward to one year later, in April 2019, when Beyoncé released Homecoming, a concert doc of her momentous Coachella performance. Besides giving the Beyhive a chance to watch the performance, fans also had the opportunity to get into the singer's head as she narrates the entire process. She even offers insight into how she gained her rockin' bod back! Behold: This is how Beyoncé got ripped for Coachella.

Her diet was extremely intense

There's a reason why Beyoncé looks totally ripped — her diet is literally no joke. In fact, fans couldn't believe the grueling diet Beyoncé stuck to for her Coachella prep. As she revealed in the Homecoming documentary, "In order for me to meet my goals, I'm limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … I'm hungry."  

The star allegedly has some pretty intense demands backstage too. An insider told the Daily Star that Bey demands hand-carved ice balls to suck on and insists that zero junk food finds its way to her environs. If she does get peckish, snacks on-hand can include "glass platters of almonds and oatcakes," along with a "strict green-only policy" when it comes to the salad bar. According to the tab's source, Bey is "extremely regimented and is taking everything extremely seriously, so she expects her list of demands to be adhered to." Although those backstage diet needs seem rather sensible, she does have one alleged diva request that had us scratching our heads. According to the Daily Star's digging, she's been known to ask for "special titanium straws which are used to drink a special alkaline water that's served at exactly 21 degrees." Okay then.

Rehearsals sometimes lasted more than ten hours

The rehearsals for Beychella were absolutely exhausting and spanned a total of eight months! As revealed in Homecoming, Bey's preparations began with four months of rehearsals with the band, followed by four more months of dance rehearsals. One of her dancers, Amandy Fernandez, talked about the process with Oprah magazine: "We rehearsed like eight-plus hours a day — sometimes 10 hours or 12." 

As hard as those practices must have been for the dancers, you can all but guarantee they were equally rough for Beyoncé. In the documentary, she spoke about the difficulty of coming back to rehearse right after giving birth. "It's hard," she said. "There were days that I thought I would never be the same. I would never be the same physically, my strength and endurance would never be the same." The star also noted how rough rehearsals felt in the beginning — she suffered from muscle spasms and a general feeling that her body "was not connected."

At the end of the day, Bey is a total queen, and her motivation is incredible. In a documentary clip that shows the grueling beginnings of the performance process, audiences watch as Beyoncé wraps up a break and declares: "Eventually, I want to be able to SoulCycle, the stairs, and rehearse in a day." 

Her attitude helped her persevere

Before hurling yourself into an extreme diet, it's essential to love your body no matter what and maintain a positive outlook on your goals. Bey did just that for her Coachella prep, telling Vogue: "I became vegan temporarily, gave up coffee, alcohol, and all fruit drinks. But I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves … I think it's important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies."

It's the little wins that kept her on course, too. Homecoming gave us an adorable glimpse into an ecstatic Beyoncé — 33 days before the big performance — gushing to the camera: "Okay, this is seriously a huge accomplishment because I did not think I would ever get back to my old costume and I'm actually in it! I can still move! I still have a ways to go, but this makes me feel good because I've been sacrificing, working hard. Huge, huge, huge accomplishment." We guarantee that anyone who's a part of her Beyhive was beaming right along with her!

Hydration, hydration, hydration!

Wonder why Bey is always glowing? Part of her wellness formula involves drinking a ton of water. In an interview with People, Bey explained how her life has changed since being a mom. "I try to take care of myself, drinking at least a gallon of water with lemon a day and making sure to take my vitamins."

Clearly an H20 fanatic, the "Lemonade" singer has gone even further in her quest for hydration by spicing things up with a little bit of flavor. She investing in a cold-pressed watermelon water startup, known as WTRMLN WTR. According to Fortune, she issued a statement calling the company "the future of clean, natural hydration." She added, "This is more than an investment in a brand, it's an investment in female leaders, fitness, American farmers, and the health of people and our planet."

Anyone else suddenly singing Bey's 2013 hit "Drunk in Love," which includes the verse: "I've been drinking, watermelon." We have a feeling she won't be stopping anytime soon.

She burned an obscene amount of calories

It seems that whenever Bey goes on tour, she looks like toned perfection. According to Life & Style, the singer once mused, "I can't eat what I want, and I can't not go to the gym. The truth is it's a lot of sacrifice. It's more about your mental strength than physical strength. You have to push yourself." That said, it was more than just mental strength that helped Beyoncé achieve her Coachella goals. According to Oprah magazine, the singer revealed that "she's likely burning 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day between SoulCycle spinning classes and rehearsal." Umm, what? Could a Fitbit even keep up with that kind of pace?

In the end, the starlet tried to make her rigorous training schedule as fun as it could be. In addition to her monster dance rehearsals, the "Formation" singer also attended those aforementioned SoulCycle classes — sometimes even dragging hubby Jay-Z or former Destiny's Child bandmate Kelly Rowland along to feel the burn!

Jay, who?

Beychella was obviously all about Beyoncé and her fans. The Queen ensured everything was perfect for her performance — even if that meant putting Jay-Z on the back burner. During one scene in Homecoming, audiences watch as the "Partition" singer gets stern with her staff because they're running out of time before Coachella and she's feeling "frustrated." Jay-Z is there too, looking somewhat bewildered. When she's finally finished venting, one member of her crew quips: "All right, have a good anniversary." Finally smiling, Bey gets up to leave with a patient Jay-Z, who sheepishly waves good-bye. Though Jay is a music icon in his own right, he is cast in Bey's documentary as somewhat of a bystander — relegated primarily to glimpses of him with the kids.

That said, Beyoncé makes it clear that remaining focused on the festival was a challenge for her too. "My mind was not there. My mind wanted to be with my children. What people don't see is the sacrifice." We do get to see Bey bring her tots on set with her at times (complete with adorable Blue Ivy sightings), but it's the singer's commitment and dedication to not let anyone or anything get in the way of her goals that is truly unreal.

Pregnancy didn't stop her from working out

If you think it's hard working out with one bun in the oven, try doing it with two. Somehow, Beyoncé managed to trek to SoulCycle classes during her pregnancy with twins Rumi and Sir. According to a source for Us Weekly, she took classes "almost every day." Insiders dished that Bey would arrive with her hubby after the lights were dimmed and sneak out early before getting spotted by the masses. 

Don't worry, working out while pregnant can be a really healthy endeavor for mamas and their babies. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Physical activity in pregnancy has minimal risks and has been shown to benefit most women, although some modification to exercise routines may be necessary … Women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to engage in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises before, during, and after pregnancy." Of course, every woman and every pregnancy is different, so it's always best to talk to your doctor before, you know, you try to pull a Beyoncé with your own baby bump.

She made lifestyle changes for her kids

While Beyoncé certainly upped the ante with her veganism during her Coachella prep, that diet wasn't a brand new venture for the superstar. The power couple began pursuing a vegan diet back in 2013, when Bey's trainer, Marco Borges, suggested they do a simple 22-day vegan challenge. "They loved it," Borges told People. "They walked away with a greater understanding of the powerful benefits of plant-based nutrition. They were getting people saying, 'Your skin has this glow.' And who doesn't like being told they look awesome?" (He's got a point and we're taking notes.) 

Borges penned The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World and even got the Carters to write the introduction. Opening up about their switch to a plant-based lifestyle, Jay-Z and Beyoncé said: "Having children has changed our lives more than anything else. We used to think of health as a diet — some worked for us, some didn't. Once we looked at health as the truth, instead of a diet, it became a mission for us to share that truth and lifestyle with as many people as possible."

Her biggest motivator was making history

The cultural significance of Beyoncé's Coachella performance was enormous. As she became the first African-American woman to headline the 19-year-old festival, the living legend wanted everything to be flawless. As she said in her Homecoming documentary: "When I decided to do Coachella, instead of me pulling out my flower crown, it was more important that I bring our culture to Coachella."

Queen Bey and her team slayed the performance. Fans and celebs rushed to Twitter to rave about the historic moment. In the Homecoming film, Beyoncé says: "It was important to me that everyone that had never seen themselves represented felt like they were on that stage with us." That concept wasn't lost on those around her. Reflecting on the performance, one of her dancers gushed: "Looking at what she wanted to bring to the community and caring about current events and caring about what, you know, her people are going through, and wanting to shed light and wanting to put a proud moment on stage for us … it gives you a boost. It's like wow."

She pushed herself farther than she knew she could

There's no denying that what Beyoncé did for Coachella was absolutely incredible. The singer got real in her Homecoming documentary: "I definitely pushed myself further than I knew I could, and I learned a valuable lesson. I will never, never push myself that far again."

While she certainly met her goals, could she have done something differently and still achieved them? According to Healthline, experts caution against extreme dieting. "Dieting is a type of forced starvation," said nutrition therapist Alissa Rumsey. "When you start to restrict types of food and/or amounts of food, your body switches into survival mode, triggering cravings and overeating. So the more you try to not have something, the more your body will crave it." Rumsey also pointed out the mental and physical fatigue that comes along with these types of diets, so how on earth did Bey do it?

At the end of the day, the "Halo" crooner admitted she won't push herself to that extent again. "To this day my arms, shoulders, breasts, and thighs are fuller," she told Vogue in a 2018 interview. "I have a little mommy pouch, and I'm in no rush to get rid of it. I think it's real."