Any Fellow Drummers Also Gym Rats?

Wopsey

Member
Well, I've been having a hard time playing drums on certain days because of my workouts.

I used to be pretty active in highschool but then got an injury in Football which kept me out of the gym for quite some time. The past few weeks I've gotten back into the training, and well let's just say I haven't been very good with easing myself back into it.

My friend and I went pretty hard back in the day, and as such I'm getting back into it with as much, perhaps more energy and enthusiasm.

I find on Mondays, I won't play much double kick (Monday is my leg day) as it just gets a little to painful after a while. Find myself practicing more with the hi hat (always a good thing I guess).

On Tuesdays I rarely play drums for more than about 30 mins, I just can't do it (Arm days are pretty damn heavy, as I do drop sets and generally spend about an hour and a half on arms).

Wednesdays I'm generally still recovering from Tuesday, and again, only find myself playing drums for about 30 minutes.

The rest of the week is pretty much the same old, however I find from Monday-Wednesday I'm really not playing drums to my full potential because my body is just so damn sore/tired.


Anyway, was just wondering if any of you also spend 3-5 days working out, and if so, does it affect your playing?
 

joeysnare

Silver Member
i definitly hear ya on being tired and sore man. i usually use my drumming time as my warm up and cardio . i do it before i weight train otherwise i find i just can't play drums with any conviction.
 

double_G

Silver Member
same here about 5 days a week. i divide my gym time between strength training, mma or yoga. overall, i don't go crazy hardcore w/ the weights anymore & it did affect my playing negatively when i was doing power-lifting / body building stuff maybe 15+ years ago. got a major wake up call around the mid 80s when i tried to play the Police's "no time this time" after a year solid of intense power-lifting. :((

lately (started this year) i am finding that athletic yoga & hot yoga is incredibly good for drumming. my hands & feet feel a lot looser, faster, stronger & more "balanced". i seem to be making just a bit of technical progress on igoe/mayer concepts & i can see a day where i really cut back weight lifting in favor of mma & yoga only.
 

gjg1986

Junior Member
I keep myself fit but I subscribe to the old 'naked warrior' routine as I hate gyms. I have gone to a band practice on the same day as a massive run and been unable to work the pedals at all.

If you time things right, surely weight training can only help your drumming. Look at Jimmy Chamberlain, he's a bit of a powerhouse and it is built like a tank. The majority of double bass players you see tend to have calf muscles bigger than my thighs. And although that can't compensate for poop technique, it can surely help with endurance, power and speed.
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
I do some fight training on top of lifting weights, and it definitely affects my playing. For example, yesterday was deadlifts, and I don't use straps so my hands and forearms are a little sore as a result. When I first sat down this morning at the drums this morning, overall I felt really sluggish and stiff. After 30 minutes though, I'd loosened up and everything started to feel a little more natural again. By this point in the day, I've put in about 3 hours, so everything feels COMPLETELY fluid and natural now. On days I don't work out, my warmup just goes faster.

As far as the double bass thing, I find that if I have torn my legs down the day before, I couldn't push the speed at all. So instead, I work on coordination exercises, relaxation, and technique with my feet. However, I will say that when I run regularly, I don't really have that problem as much, and my endurance is boosted on the drum set as well.
 

LinearDrummer

Silver Member
I do atleast 5 days a week pushing weights and the heavy shoulder and biceps days makes for killer (in a bad way) practice time.
I've actually lighten up with the military press...playing ride cymbal was getting painful.

I think drumming is like a swimmer where you want to be loose and not all pumped up cause weight training can make you stiff. Cardio and natural body stuff pushups dips etc.. is probably much more adventageous.

Its a tough balance...

Daney Carey used to come to my gym Hollywood Y and play basketball...wasn't too shabby either. Pretty strong dude.

You can tell Lang and Virgil put work in with the curls and I wonder if at times they have issues.
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
Wow, great thread, very interesting.

I'm not a gym rat but I love martial arts. Last year I got into some serious kick-boxing training and that got me wondering if it would affect my playing.

I'd rather be a normal dude who can play the drums great than being freaking Tito Ortiz and play stiff as a dog on a boat, so I quitted that training.

I really miss that rush of getting into a ring, but c'mon, we're all gonna get old, and when we get there I'm pretty sure that we are all going to regret those years destroying our bones and joints hitting sandbags and truck tyres like animals.

Now I'm thinking of trying Yoga but in my gym they're all women so it makes me feel a bit akward... Maybe I could start swimming, even though I hate it.

Anyway, if I ever get depressed for not having Stallone's arms, well, I just think of Jojo and hope that someday I'll have 10% of his talent. :D



Cheers.
 

Wopsey

Member
I would actually love to use my Drumming as a cardio warm up, the only problem with that is the time I work out. I work midnights and work out right after I finish my shift (7 AM). I have a feeling my neighbors (I live in an Apartment) would be absolutely livid if I started playing some stuff at 7AM haha.

I definitely agree that it would be a lot harder to become a good drummer if you were massive. I have no intention of becoming a massive body builder, however just trying to get in better shape/take care of my body a lot more.

Couldn't really imagine a bodybuilder playing some blast beats lol.
 

playItLikeThis

Junior Member
I'm a gym regular, a mix of weights and cardio 5days/week. On bicep days I have zero endurance playing rudiments, but I soldier on none the less. I see it as a second workout. On shoulder days my arms will fatigue quicker when playing the kit. I have to work extra hard for any modicum of speed, as I suspect my years in power lifting thickened my connective tissues. I haven't noticed any problems on the bass drum since I use more hip flexor which doesn't get nearly the work out my legs get.
 

Dj magic d

Senior Member
I absolutely must keep doing cardio (5x week / 45mins /moderately high level/elliptical) consistently to handle weekly gigs. Otherwise, a full night (3 hours of cover tunes) with those hot-ass stage lights will gas me out. Always sweating heavily by the end of the set.
For me, its all about the stamina these days. Hitting brutally hard isn't as necessary anymore ...i let the microphones do most of the work. Additionally I do weight training, but i usually split in up doing upper body one day, and lower body the next Seems to work good for me.
Most of all, if my body tells me to take a day off, and that it needs rest, ill just rest.
 
Hey Wopsey,
1.5 hours just on arms sounds like a massive effort on two small muscle groups!!! Watch out for burn out.
I agree with most of the posts here that shoulders and biceps are the killer workouts prior to drumming. Most other workouts dont really cause me too many problems so I put these two muscle groups together and accept that on this training day, I either, focus on foot excercises or miss drum practise for one day.
This way, I feel that I can still have muscle mass (I do cardio but it doesnt give me the same buzz) and can still play drums six days a week.

Life is short so find a way to enjoy both. ood luck.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I'm not gym rat, but I do go regularly to do both cardio and weight training.

You have to prioritize. Ask yourself which goals are most important to you and work your schedule to that end.

Ask yourself why you're working out. If it's stopping you doing other things - like practicing your instrument - are you happy with that trade?

If you're not, tailor your workout to meet the demands of your practice schedule. If you are, practice when it's convenient to your workout schedule.

We can't have everything.
 

Wopsey

Member
Hey Wopsey,
1.5 hours just on arms sounds like a massive effort on two small muscle groups!!! Watch out for burn out.
I agree with most of the posts here that shoulders and biceps are the killer workouts prior to drumming. Most other workouts dont really cause me too many problems so I put these two muscle groups together and accept that on this training day, I either, focus on foot excercises or miss drum practise for one day.
This way, I feel that I can still have muscle mass (I do cardio but it doesnt give me the same buzz) and can still play drums six days a week.

Life is short so find a way to enjoy both. ood luck.
@ The Spoiler - Haha you must not work out too often! My arm days also include Forearms (not just bis and tris) and I'm probably only working on Bis/Tris for about an hour, I save forearms for the cool down of the day.

An hour and a half although does seem like a long time, but isn't a time frame where I would consider 'burning out' to occur.

I find an hour-an hour and a half is the perfect time for a workout, but anything longer can cause bad form which can result in injuries (so I try to avoid any longer than that).


As for the other comments about choosing whats more important to me, I don't think anyone here should ever prioritize Drumming over their physical health. Maybe not necessarily heavy weight training like I'm doing, however to chose drumming over your health is naive and irresponsible. Without our health, we would never be able to become the drummers we are today!
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
As for the other comments about choosing whats more important to me, I don't think anyone here should ever prioritize Drumming over their physical health. Maybe not necessarily heavy weight training like I'm doing, however to chose drumming over your health is naive and irresponsible. Without our health, we would never be able to become the drummers we are today!
Obviously health is the sine qua non of....well...everything. But, my point isn't to trade off health for drumming. As I said, I too go to the gym and manage to get some non-drumming exercise several times a week. But, as you admit, you're not just working out merely to maintain "health". Otherwise 1.5 hour long heavy lifting sessions wouldn't be necessary.

It's still up to you to prioritize. Do you suppose many of the world's best players regularly missed practice sessions because they'd done super sets on their arms? There is room for balance, but to be really exceptional at many things is very difficult. We have to choose. It doesn't need to be an EITHER/OR choice, just some adjustments and compromises made so that your primary objectives are getting the bulk of your effort and energy.

Politics has been described as "the authoritative allocation of scarce resources", and we need to be kings in our own castles. :)
 

Frost

Silver Member
I don't go to the gym but work out regularly at home.

I'm not sure how much it effects my drumming, I know I tend to feel happier when I'm exercising regularly, which is the reason I do it.
 

JT1

Silver Member
I used to be, I went for a year or so and bulked up a bit, not so much cardio. It did wonders for my confidence. The thing about training is that your body gets used to the punishment eventually and after a couple of months or so, you won't even feel the strain it is having on your body unless you are working too hard. I worked out every day and I found I could still play drums with little or no problem. Just let your body get used to it again first and then you won't feel as warn out when it comes to playing drums.
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
Here's my routine:

Mon: 35 minutes Cardio - Back/Biceps
Tue: 45 Minutes Cardio - Abs
Wed: 35 Minutes Cardio - Chest/Triceps
Thur: 45 Minutes Cardio - Shoulders
Fri: 25 Minutes Cardio - Legs

I lost about 15 lbs of fat, but put back on 10 over the last 3 or so months of doing this. Never been stronger. Wish I had more access to yoga. I really enjoy that. I'd cut out a couple days of lifting if I could do a yoga class instead. I used my lunch hour (turns into about an hour and a half) to do this.

I haven't felt any stiffness or detrimental effects in terms of my kit playing. I use 7A sticks, and play jazz, blues, and hippy jam band stuff. I have burned my shoulders out before a djembe gig. Pretty tough to recover in time to play an hour of West African music after 1.5 hours at the gym. I learned from that.
 
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