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DB & Fitness

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by gruffpuppy, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. Any of you do anything to keep in shape?
    Having worked contruction for years weightlifting has always been my choice. I have been reading lately that this is the worse "healthy" activity for musicians.

    Didn't know if anyone had any problems with this or other forms of exersise.
    I just read the book "The Athletic Musician." The book seems to want you to do lots of stretching but stay away from pretty much everything else.

    Any views?
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I practice, as well as teach, Yoga.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I did Aikido for quite a few years, then "lost" my dojo due to divorce. After that, I took up weightlifting - no, not the meathead type (my trainer was a woman, and was more interested in health than mass). I used to lift 4 days a week, but now am so busy that I'm lucky to get a workout in once or twice a week. I've heard a lot of people give this advice about weight training being bad for musicians, and I personally think it's rubbish. There's intelligent weight training, where you give yourself a total body workout with weight amounts that aren't going to hurt you, and then there's MEATHEAD weight training where you spend a lot of time wearing spandex, laying in tanning beds so you can turn a nice shade of orange, and generally trying to make yourself look more like AHHHNOLD.

    Intelligent weight training, when coupled with proper stretching and aerobic exercise, is a very good thing for anyone, including musicians.
  4. lpbassics

    lpbassics Guest

    Jan 26, 2002
    this is a little off topic, but i was gonna take ninjutsu.

    andbody have experience in martial arts?

    i'm 18 and i REALLY want to do it so i'm just wondering if i'm too late or something. And i'm really into ninjutsu's format. with, like a quarter of it having to do with fighting, and much more on mental training and such.

    Just looking for any help in getting started.

  5. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I workout about 3 times a week on weights. I have to say that this is the best thing I've done for my playing (besides practicing ;) )

    My sound has gotten bigger, I'm more aware of what muscles I'm using to play -lots of back and shoulder & less fingers and forearms. I can play longer, and I have no pain or tiredness anymore. I read where Gary Willis suggested machines over free weights to save your hands all the gripping motions, but barbells and dumbells work okay for me.

    I should also mention that my posture is better -I stand when I play and this also helps keep my back injury-free.

    The secret is to develop slowly -don't just add plates as fast as possible. Warmup, stretch, and don't forget to floss!
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I do some running, biking, and swimming, as well as all the usual stuff to keep muscle from turning to jello. I also enjoy some occasional horizontal aerobics with my wife;)
  7. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I lift weights and walk everywhere (I have no car). I did manage to mess up my wrists a few months ago while lifting, but this was due to bad technique. I can't believe that this could be harmful to a musician if you do it properly and don't push yourself too hard.
  8. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    :D You're a step ahead of me then!! As anyone who has seen me recently, you don't get this great body by accident.............oh wait, maybe you do.

    Seriously, I have gotten back into playing tennis (which I played competitively in high school) which gets me running at least once a week. I've found that it uses similar muscles in the back to bass playing, which helps. Also, I don't really get winded from carrying the bass, stand, amp, and gig bag for a few blocks, which is a good thing. If I drop about, oh, say 50 pounds or so maybe I'd be the next Charles Mingus;) As it is, my weight goes up and down like Mingus' did.

    Sigh. There is too much good bar-b-que and steak in Oklahoma.

  9. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    In Indiana you play basketball. Hence, I play basketball three times a week at 5:00 am, all of us at or around forty years old Couple of ex-professional football players, couple of ex-college basketball players, it's good competition.

    Mandatory once-a-week golf in season. I walk my club's course, no sissy-a$$ riding in carts.

    None of this has any beneficial effects on my bass playing. In fact, I jam fingers playing basketball, and my golf game just plain ticks me off.

    I digress.
  10. jimclark68


    Dec 16, 2000
    Morganton, NC
    Cycling, kayaking, and some hockey occassionally. I have a chronically achy back, that standing and playing the bass for long periods of time aggravates (sp?); all of these things help my back. Except being checked into the boards.
  11. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    12 oz. curls once a week or so.
    Carrying a briefcase.
    Walking to lunch.
    Loading a DB into and out of the car once a week.

    So the answer is no.

    Hey Chris - I did Aikido for awhile several years back. Loved it but didn't have the time to commit.
  12. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    used to, then I got so many bands going, and neglected that. Hoping to get back down to one, and get back to swimming, and mild weight lifting.

    Exercising helped me a lot, with my overall energy, and one other thing, posture. A good posture will help take care of your back. If you slouch too much when playing, you'll probably regret it later.

    I can feel my back and stomach muscles turning to jelly, its not a good feeling at all.....
  13. Thanks for all the answers, I will stick with the weights, maybe lighten the load and add more stretching.

    You really are not going to improve working out only once a week, I suggest you do your 12 oz. curls at least 3 times a week. In a couple of weeks you should be able to move on to the 16 oz. curls and then maybe Foster Oil cans.

    Good Luck!
  14. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I do.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - the vast majority of great DB players I have seen in Jazz don't look all that fit - they mostly have something to rest their basses on - like Rufus Reid! ;)

    I think a lifestyle of driving to gigs all over the place in smoky clubs, playing to the early hours of the morning, where the only food available is liquid and alcoholic, makes for a difficult time - fitness-wise! ;)
  16. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    yeah, it has seemed for years like the guys i admire (bass playing-wise) all have a little somethin' extra weight-wise. i thought that the extra weight in the right forearm might be key to getting good tone and that i should start lifting weights and eating more. :)

    in terms of exercise, i play a bunch of ultimate frisbee, which is big in the northwest. it's mostly running, so it seems like few of the muscles involved are relevant to playing the bass.

    sean p
  17. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I run 4 times a week (average 20 miles + or -), do pushups and crunches, and when I get motivated, go to the gym. It's hard for me to stay with a lifting program, but not hard at all for me to go run. I find that the mental aspect of exercise helps me even more than the physical benefits, which are a plus too. I simply play better when I exercise regularly. I find a lot of upper body lifting exercises help with DB technique and stamina, but simply playing the bass itself is enough exercise for your hands!
  18. bassy18


    Oct 30, 2001
    will having arthritis be bad for my bass playing...i mean i am pretty young..18...still a baby.....but i have arthritis in everything but my hips. The doc says don't stop what i am doing, but i have days where my back hurts or my fingers are stiff. I listen to what my body says, but like when i turn thirty....do you guys think thats the end of me?
  19. I will go for a two or three mile run several times a week, as well as do 150 pushups several times a week, usually offset from when I run. But the rest of the time I spend on the couch wathching TV, or on the chair on talkbass.:D
  20. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Bassy, in my age group and up, a lot of the folks I work with are dealing with arthritis a bit. They all seem to just play through it. Oscar Peterson is maybe the best known example of someone who soldiered on for years through the pain.
    I've only known one young person with arthritis, a dancer/instructor. He ended up quitting in his mid twenties. But he was not anywhere near as motivated as you seem to be; he was fine with pursuing something else as a career. I have a hard time picturing you too far from bass anytime soon.

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