My bassist suggested not only running but shadow boxing for drumming—keeping the arms up. Currently, I do sit-ups, crunches, pull-up & chin ups, free weights & of course stretches—but I find that I have less time to do working out as I drum more. I know to give a day of rest to each muscle group, so I try to do the weights & upper body stuff same day as drumming. I try not to over work them & make them sore for practice. I try to do the workout of arms AFTER drumming... not always possible.... because I’m afraid they will be sore if I do workout before drumming. Plus, sometimes drumming works upper & lower VERY HARD, so I don't want to work out on arms or legs next day.

For example, for a while I would practice with bands on Wednesday, Friday & Sunday, and occasionally Saturday. Tuesday & Thursday I would usually have off. So I would do upper body training Wednesday, Friday & Sunday, as I was already working those areas by drumming those days. Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays were usually my days of rest, so I would listen to tapes of songs to learn for the bands, do sit-ups & some drum pad work. I have been told It is ok to do sit-ups & crunches every day. I stretch every day—mostly my legs, but also my arms. I do a standard ham-string stretch where I put one leg up on a 4' high step & keep both legs straight—and bend down towards the raised leg’s foot. I stretch my fingers, hands, and shoulders. I stretch before rehearsals & afterwards. That is really good for your body. I do stretches every day.

Ginseng is a root [originally used in Asia from what I understand] and there are many types: Siberian & Panax being 2 common ones. I use panax ginseng in liquid form that comes in little vials. It helps increase flow of chi (energy) not like speed or caffeine that makes you falsely energetic —but by reducing energy blockage. That’s as clearly as I can put it. I think the theory is that is increases oxygen efficiency of your body metabolism or something like that, but Iím not an expert.

Ginseng is subtle— so don't worry that it’s like speed or anything. I love it & swear by it. Of course there is controversy as to it’s true worth, but I can tell you it is not just psychological for me. My experience has been that the quality control on Chinese ginseng can be erratic. It almost always has a good effect. Sometimes it is just very mild. I have never felt a negative effect from ginseng. It really helps me feel and play my best, so I definitely recommend it. I get mine in Chinatown in NYC —about $5 for 30 vials. I take 1 vial a day and every few weeks I skip a few days (recommended by a naturalist). When I play drums I take a 2nd vial 30 minutes prior to playing. HOME