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  #1  
Old 02-26-2010, 07:51 PM
drummerBUMMER drummerBUMMER is offline
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Default Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

i started to lift weights couple of weeks ago, if u guys have any problems u can forsee that might affect my playing plse say so...also, do u think it wud be a smarter idea to stik simply to bodyweight exercises, for a musician it shud be a better idea for times when u re on the road, no access to gym or any equipment, mite as well us the best gym available rite, MY OWN BODY!!! if anyone knows a gud book i can order from amazon or e bay showing me bodyweight exercises only lemme know...ANY WORDS appreciated...
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

I'd stay away from lifting heavy weight honestly. Maybe if your doing light weight/more reps it would be alright just to tone yourself up. I have always understood the bigger you get the slower you get. Plus look at the pro drummers....how many of them do you see that have arms the size of their head? I can't think of any lol. Plus trying to play and practice while being sore as hell is a B***ch!
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:05 PM
JoeLackey JoeLackey is offline
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

It doesn't seem to bother Kenny Aronoff too much, haha.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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It doesn't seem to bother Kenny Aronoff too much, haha.
I completely forgot about him! He is fairly big.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

i don't think weight training has any negative effect on drumming, unless you drop a barbell on your foot or something.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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Originally Posted by JAKD-UP View Post
I'd stay away from lifting heavy weight honestly. Maybe if your doing light weight/more reps it would be alright just to tone yourself up. I have always understood the bigger you get the slower you get. Plus look at the pro drummers....how many of them do you see that have arms the size of their head? I can't think of any lol. Plus trying to play and practice while being sore as hell is a B***ch!
JoJo Mayer makes comment of this in his DVD Video. Not that you shouldn't workout, but that big muscles are slower muscles.

I think the prudent thing would be to just monitor your abilities as you work out. You can always modify your workouts if you find it having an adverse affect on your playing. Nothing is permanent, not even body building!
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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Originally Posted by dairyairman View Post
i don't think weight training has any negative effect on drumming, unless you drop a barbell on your foot or something.
lol that made me laugh :)


I did some weightlifting before (not the shabby though, amateur stuff) and didnt really got influenced by it.

Even if it did, it could be positive aswell (it increases strength, overall condition)
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

You can lift for bulk, for strength, and for endurance. Strength and speed won't hurt and the bulk may. Try lifting for endurance and strength and it will not hurt. But remember you are only using drum sticks and not tree trunks to drum with.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

The thing about weight training is there are two different ways to go about it.

What most people think are the big guys who lift as much as possible, grunting all the way.

The other way to go about it, is to lift lighter weights, but go for repetitions, which builds endurance, and tones muscles, without out making you arms the size of your toms.

Lifting heavy weights for only a few reps can have some negative effects on drumming.

Lifting slightly lighter weights for 30-50 reps each will build endurance and not slow you down.

Bobby Rock, Kenny Arnoff, Neil Peart and Dave Weckl have all been known to work out with weights, but no one accuses them of being negatively effected by working out.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

i work out with weights and i haven't noticed any problems.

whatever it does or doesn't do for my drumming, it definitely helps me haul around that 10 ton hardware bag i've got!
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

I go to gym 3 times a week and this improves my drumming
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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Originally Posted by JAKD-UP View Post
I'd stay away from lifting heavy weight honestly. Maybe if your doing light weight/more reps it would be alright just to tone yourself up. I have always understood the bigger you get the slower you get. Plus look at the pro drummers....how many of them do you see that have arms the size of their head? I can't think of any lol. Plus trying to play and practice while being sore as hell is a B***ch!
Unless you're planning on being 300lbs, I don't think you'll EVER have that problem... and even then, it would be fairly neglible. A guy who is 150lbs and weak for his size in his forearms and fingers (or the majority of the non labourer drumming population...) will be slowed down by the weight he has to move far more.

It will take the average guy at 5'9 a good, long, hard slog of some years at training - even purely bodybuilding orientated - to reach a "mere" 190-200lbs at less than 10% bodyfat. That's not a lot of weight to lug around, but it's a lot of muscle and a conditioned frame.

Getting "arms the size of your head" takes freakish genetics and years of intense training.

Worrying about lugging around excess fat is WAY MORE of an issue than excess muscle ever could be. I know a few 300lbs drummers, and I know a LOT of drummers over 200lbs. (LEAN 200lbs guys are rare, and it takes building an awful lot of muscle to get there) Despite the horrific health issues however, the weight they need to move has a minimal factor on their speed compared to their technique and forearm/wrist conditioning. These guys have no problem playing death metal sets. A bulky muscle guy will have even less to worry about.

The most critical thing for drumming, IMO, when it comes to weights, is avoiding injury. The wider variety of intense physical activities you do, the more chance that you could get hurt, so just like drums, refine and refine and refine that technique. I take one day of drumming a week - that's the day after I do lower back and shoulders. Not because of soreness (despite bodybuilding, I get very little of that), but because one day off is a good idea anyway, (I drum full time), and there is no better day than when delicate injury prone muscles are recovering than to take off. Conversely, after I train quads and chest/upper back, my rotator cuffs and lower back aren't hit very hard, and I can have a 10 hour drumming session the next day no problem. Much nicer to drum with a recovering chest and lats than the more delicate areas. My rotator cuffs would get very tired very quickly drumming the day after shoulders.

Rotator cuffs are delicate and get used alot in moving around the kit, so I do specific rotator cuff exercises (L-Fly's) too.

Also, in drumming we develop the flexor muscles of the forearms and fingers alot, but this can leave the extensors relatively neglected, which can lead to elbow trouble. So I recommend any drummer do finger extensions with elastic bands and reverse curls, or a form of reverse wrist curl that DOESN'T irritate your wrist joints. (I need a thick bar to safely do reverse wrist curls). These things won't add significant visible muscle to your physique or even build great overall strength, but they focus on oft neglected smaller muscles and can keep you injury free and healthy to employ the basics.

Also, there are many ways of training to minimise soreness. I do a bodybuilding routine, and have low levels of it, even though this is probably the most soreness guaranteed way of training. I spend several weeks building up to my top weights with frequent workouts (pure conditioning and technique building) before employing slow steady progression on basic exercises for a few months (1 kilo a week). No drop sets or intensifiers or any fancy stuff. Just, consistent, hard work, lots of warming up, lots of Vitamin C and veggies and fruits, plenty of protein and water. Very little soreness, certainly none that could get in the way of my drumming. It's all about a decent approach.

If you do a pure strength/conditioning routine it should be even less of an issue.

Last edited by Duckenheimer; 02-26-2010 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
The thing about weight training is there are two different ways to go about it.

What most people think are the big guys who lift as much as possible, grunting all the way.

The other way to go about it, is to lift lighter weights, but go for repetitions, which builds endurance, and tones muscles, without out making you arms the size of your toms.

Lifting heavy weights for only a few reps can have some negative effects on drumming.

Lifting slightly lighter weights for 30-50 reps each will build endurance and not slow you down.

Bobby Rock, Kenny Arnoff, Neil Peart and Dave Weckl have all been known to work out with weights, but no one accuses them of being negatively effected by working out.
Actually there's thousands of ways to go about it. Safely doing strength focused training should not impede your drumming whatsoever unless you injure yourself.

You could do a bodybuilding routine like me. (Which isn't about "the maximum weight I can lift", though I do multiple sets close to failure of 5-15 reps). Or you can train 6 days a week with heavy weights, but never go anywhere near failure, never even get a burn and cycle your loads. This is awesome for building strength AND endurance, and even better, no sore muscles, still full of energy after each workout, and LOADS of time to improve your technique and skill. (After all, strength is mostly neuromuscular coordination). Like drumming. How could this possibly hurt your drumming? Or you could do a circuit routine. Or a sports specific routine. Etc. etc...

(Best thing I ever did for chinup endurance was doing 5 reps every time I walked past the weights room)

Oh, and it takes more than a little while of bodybuilding or strength training as well as freakish genetics to "build arms the size of toms"! Trust me, 365 days of hardcore bodybuilding and an extra 20lbs of lean muscle and 99% of people's arms will still be smaller than most Olympic Sprinters. You'll never accidentally wake up too big one morning, no matter WHAT routine you do....
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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Originally Posted by ChipJohns View Post
JoJo Mayer makes comment of this in his DVD Video. Not that you shouldn't workout, but that big muscles are slower muscles.

I think the prudent thing would be to just monitor your abilities as you work out. You can always modify your workouts if you find it having an adverse affect on your playing. Nothing is permanent, not even body building!
Jojo's DVD is great but he is a little misinformed on the muscle issue. He falsely claims that slow twitch fibers are for strength (incorrect) and endurance (correct). Fast twitch fibers are the ones used for strength and speed (Just think how quickly a 1,000lbs deadlifter would fly back if the weight magically disappeared or how much force is exerted by the world's fastest men).

Big muscles are only slower if all things (strength, endurance, technique) are equal to when they were smaller... but such highly trained muscles are rarely that. Keep improving your technique (in both disciplines) and it'll be a total non issue.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

From my own experience, weight lifting DID have an affect on my drumming.... to an extent.

I took years off of the drums through college and thereafter when I got married - during which time I was heavily into bodybuilding. Unfortunately, it was not the type of conditioning with high reps and cardio to increase my endurance. Rather, I was lifting heavy weight in the 10-12 rep range and even heavier in the 3-8 rep range of course. This built my muscles to a fair size (I am 6'1", 210 and 18.5" arm size... benching 3 plates - 315 for 4-6 reps or 225 for 12-14 reps) with about 15% BF.... and I am now in my 30's. I was skinny growing up and have a skinny frame by nature (small wrists and skinny bones). As I started working out I also required more food which bulked up my body mass... fortunately without storing too much fat as I have a fast metabolism (at least it was fast through those younger days;).

With that said I was extremely weak with the drumming muscles (forearms and wrist motion) once I started back drumming. I was/am extremely slow due to the overall size and tightness of the muscles even after a year off of extreme weightlifting. I am not nearly as flexible or nimble as I was when I didn't weight lift and overall my reflexes were much faster before lifting. Now of course age and everything else comes into consideration as well. But I would definitely attribute some of this to lifting. As others have already stated, there are several ways to train and I would suggest endurance and light/moderate weight training over bodybuilding style training as it pertains to drumming.

As far as just being a large or heavy set drummer, I don't know too many drummers faster than Eric Moore and he is probably in the 300+ range.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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Originally Posted by Duckenheimer View Post
Actually there's thousands of ways to go about it. Safely doing strength focused training should not impede your drumming whatsoever unless you injure yourself.

You could do a bodybuilding routine like me. (Which isn't about "the maximum weight I can lift", though I do multiple sets close to failure of 5-15 reps). Or you can train 6 days a week with heavy weights, but never go anywhere near failure, never even get a burn and cycle your loads. This is awesome for building strength AND endurance, and even better, no sore muscles, still full of energy after each workout, and LOADS of time to improve your technique and skill. (After all, strength is mostly neuromuscular coordination). Like drumming. How could this possibly hurt your drumming? Or you could do a circuit routine. Or a sports specific routine. Etc. etc...

(Best thing I ever did for chinup endurance was doing 5 reps every time I walked past the weights room)

Oh, and it takes more than a little while of bodybuilding or strength training as well as freakish genetics to "build arms the size of toms"! Trust me, 365 days of hardcore bodybuilding and an extra 20lbs of lean muscle and 99% of people's arms will still be smaller than most Olympic Sprinters. You'll never accidentally wake up too big one morning, no matter WHAT routine you do....
Thank you for the clarification. :-)
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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Originally Posted by Sopranos View Post
From my own experience, weight lifting DID have an affect on my drumming.... to an extent.

I took years off of the drums through college and thereafter when I got married - during which time I was heavily into bodybuilding. Unfortunately, it was not the type of conditioning with high reps and cardio to increase my endurance. Rather, I was lifting heavy weight in the 10-12 rep range and even heavier in the 3-8 rep range of course. This built my muscles to a fair size (I am 6'1", 210 and 18.5" arm size... benching 3 plates - 315 for 4-6 reps or 225 for 12-14 reps) with about 15% BF.... and I am now in my 30's. I was skinny growing up and have a skinny frame by nature (small wrists and skinny bones). As I started working out I also required more food which bulked up my body mass... fortunately without storing too much fat as I have a fast metabolism (at least it was fast through those younger days;).

With that said I was extremely weak with the drumming muscles (forearms and wrist motion) once I started back drumming. I was/am extremely slow due to the overall size and tightness of the muscles even after a year off of extreme weightlifting. I am not nearly as flexible or nimble as I was when I didn't weight lift and overall my reflexes were much faster before lifting. Now of course age and everything else comes into consideration as well. But I would definitely attribute some of this to lifting. As others have already stated, there are several ways to train and I would suggest endurance and light/moderate weight training over bodybuilding style training as it pertains to drumming.

As far as just being a large or heavy set drummer, I don't know too many drummers faster than Eric Moore and he is probably in the 300+ range.
I think there are too many variables here. I am much more flexible than when I used to stretch every day but not weight lift. I would put this down to constant refinement of technique for weightlifting (for good form front squats, power cleans, stiff legged deads, dips, chins, all with full range of motion, I also do cardio). Like you said, you are now in your 30s, and your drumming muscles were neglected, despite increased arm size and weight, and you did not focus on cardio.

Getting back into weight training while drumming has greatly improved my conditioning for drumming (in long hours on the throne, strength of posture, more capable muscles, endurance and better coordination, and most specifically strong rotator cuffs, hip flexors - previously serious weak links in my drumming chain!), but only because the two are combined and I try to be sensitive as to how to make them work together, even though I am not weightlifting specifically for drums.

Most athletes do strength training (and some level of muscle building) and this greatly improves their reflexes and speed. But of course this has to be combined with the sport. Together, they are much greater than the sum of their parts. Speed in drumming comes down 99% to technique and conditioning (both strength and endurance, and general coordination) of the small muscles in the forearms and fingers. Neglect that and let the years pile on, and naturally, you'll regress hugely in everything that you aren't directly practising.

(You made some damn fine achievements in the weights world btw.)
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

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I think there are too many variables here. I am much more flexible than when I used to stretch every day but not weight lift. I would put this down to constant refinement of technique for weightlifting (I also do cardio). Like you said, you are now in your 30s, and your drumming muscles were neglected, despite increased arm size and weight, and you did not focus on cardio.

Getting back into weight training while drumming has greatly improved my conditioning for drumming (in long hours on the throne, strength of posture, more capable muscles, endurance and better coordination, and most specifically strong rotator cuffs, hip flexors - previously serious weak links in my drumming chain!), but only because the two are combined and I try to be sensitive as to how to make them work together, even though I am not weightlifting specifically for drums.

Most athletes do strength training (and some level of muscle building) and this greatly improves their reflexes and speed. But of course this has to be combined with the sport. Together, they are much greater than the sum of their parts. Speed in drumming comes down 99% to technique and conditioning (both strength and endurance, and general coordination) of the small muscles in the forearms and fingers. Neglect that and let the years pile on, and naturally, you'll regress hugely in everything that you aren't directly practising.

(You made some damn fine achievements in the weights world btw.)
I fully agree.... there are a lot more variables that go into this. I am definitely slow due to the neglect and lack of using said forearms and fingers as well as just plain old getting older.

My biggest problem was "combining it with the sport". This is a great point and I NEVER combined bodybuilding with any other sport. In fact, I went out of my way to be less active during the day so I could focus ALL of my energy into the weights. Therefore, I was pretty powerful at the weights but I would be a complete slack if I had to play basketball or something. But, that was my focus at the time and I would not be interested if I had to lift and play a sport.... as naturally I would not have as much energy to focus on the weights. I only had one thing in mind at the time and that was getting stronger and bigger but in a natural way. Looking back it was not worth it and I was caught in a zone and addiction of wanting to be bigger. It was all or nothing for me and if I had to sacrifice some strength and size to allow for another sport than I would just as soon quit bodybuilding. As such, I got back into drumming and noticed that (with the extra energy spent on drumming) I lost some strength and size in bodybuilding. Then, decided to quit bodybuilding as my interests have shifted to other things.

However, this is a bit of a different story than what I think is going on here. Therefore, working out AND playing the drums should not have a negative impact on playing the drums.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

Good advice on this thread.

Weight training, like anything else, needs to be done correctly and prudently. Having said that you have very little risk of getting huge unless you are genetically gifted or take steroids etc. If you are weight training to build up stamina as well as how you look try to rest very little between sets. This will cut down on your ability to lift heavy and to bulk up. If you do this though form is crucial to avoid injury.

I do wrist dumbbell work right before I play drums. I do forward and reverse writs curls, Hold the bell on end and twist side to side (try the middle first and work out - do this one gradually) and simulate hitting the drum with the bell. After doing this I never experience soreness during or after playing.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: WEIGHT TRAINING AFFECTS ON DRUMMING(advice needed)

I remember reading somewhere that Mike Bordin says he doesn't lift weights b/c he his afraid it will single out muscles he doesnt particularly use for drumming and will have negative effects on his technique. Instead he does things like chopping wood and lifting boulders(haha).

He has a point cause power is definitely not an issue with that guy. He beats the heck out the drums. Not sure if every has access to chopping wood or boulder tossing in their backyards/apartment buildings though haha.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

Be careful not to injure yourself, RSI in the wrists will definitely affect your drumming.

...also be careful to keep your wrists from bending too far back or forth and to do stretching.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

I'm bench pressing 350 pounds with 40 reps and ... haha, just kidding. I can, however, carry my 16" kick drum, but it's hard work ...
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

ive been lifting weights for about 15 years now, and the only detriments to drumming that ive found is....

1. if i push myself too hard while doing bicep curls my wrists do get a little sore, but it doesnt affect my practice much. if youve been lifting for a long time your used to being sore on a regular basis and should know how to push through it.

2. if your chest gets too big it can get in the way of crossing your hands a bit,just the act of reaching around your own pectoral reduces your reach a bit.

other than that weight lifting has only made me able to better handle the rigors of a demanding drumming shedual,made it easier to lug my gear around, and stomach and back excersices have helped me keep a good posture while playing.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

Hey Crew,

Here's my input-
I'm 52, and fighting age tooth and claw. I lift religiously, and have found that it helps with EVERYTHING in my life, especially drumming.
I was benching 220 (ten reps, 4 times a night, 3 nights a week) about 8 months ago, and have cut back to just benching 185, (I don't have a spotter anymore) doing 20 reps a night, 2 nights a week.
Lately I've been concentrating on dumbbells, 45# on each, doing curls, butterflies- vertical and horizontal, overheads, corkscrews (best for drumming), and "punch throws".

One of the things that I noticed was the faster movement I could accomplish with hand and wrist movement. Another is that I breathe in better 'cycles' while drumming and get better timing, delivery, and speed. The best reward is the increased stamina- I can do a bunch of fast & hard songs for a longer time, and not have to worry about "pacing" fast and slow songs in the play list.
I stopped sparring (for a few months) a couple years ago, fearing that i might injure my hands, wrists, etc., and not be able to do a gig if that happened. Now I know better- I have a 30 year old sparring partner who is fast and really keeps me on my toes, and it has helped me (not only for exercise and proficiency) but with drumming and reflex, too. Another thing- it helps keep the normal "aches and pains" down to a minimum, or maybe I'm just blaming the "impact" pains on what used to be "geezer body aches".

I'm not a "buff mofo" or anything, just trying my best to stay in shape, and fight that age crap. I do look pretty good for my age, but I'm no magazine cover!

Cheers,
C. p.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

I'm no ashamed to admit that I was that overweight kid in high school with no arm muscles and little endurance. I mean, I maxed out at 225 pounds at 6'0" one and a half years ago, found it a struggle to do twenty pushups and couldn't run more than a half mile without resting. I've been kicking myself to get into the healthy range of being for a little over a year, but have ramped it up a lot since I decided to go military six months ago.

Anyway, the point is, yeah, exercising affects your drumming. But I'd rather adjust to having more muscle mass and a healthier mind than to having flabby arms, a gut and being depressed.

I've also noticed that technique gets a lot easier when you work your arms and hands out. 20lb free weights and practicing on a guitar would *REALLY* help anyone. Also, a good jog.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

Well i weight trained for many months when i was drumming, i didn't see a huge down fall in my playing however certain factors became more difficult. The heavier the weights got, the more it took its tole on my wrists and that is the primary reason that i stopped. Not only that if you think you are going to play after a night of training your legs...you can forget it! =P
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JT1 View Post
Well i weight trained for many months when i was drumming, i didn't see a huge down fall in my playing however certain factors became more difficult. The heavier the weights got, the more it took its tole on my wrists and that is the primary reason that i stopped. Not only that if you think you are going to play after a night of training your legs...you can forget it! =P
hahahahahah that is so true, if you really train legs hard it can even hurt to sit on the toilett lol.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

If your in better shape you will always perform better. End of story.

Just be sure not to smoke yourself to the point that you will be unable to play. So be smart when you workout. But I can tell you beyond a doubt long term wise it is definitely beneficial for you to work out even with weights.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Weight training effects on drumming (advice needed)

I think weight training does nothing for speed and control. But groove will be improved deeply pocket pocket.

Bernhard
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