Pop Evil’s Tips For Staying Fit On Tour This Fall

Hello and welcome to the beginning of a whole new work week. We hope the weekend treated you as well as it did us, and that you’ve made it this far through the day without succumbing to a classic case of ‘the Mondays.’ If you did, maybe you just need to stretch and get a little exercise, which is something the following guest post from Pop Evil’s Chachi Riot talks about a lot.

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I know our readers in California may not be able to relate to this at the moment given the heat wave currently making lives miserable, but the rest of North America spent the past weekend waking each morning to a chilly reminder that fall is right around the corner. The leaves may still be green, but the summer temperature have started to drop, and before you know it there will be Christmas displays in every store. For most of us, these subtle changes do very little to change our daily lives, but for artists on the road it’s an entirely different story. Cold weather brings disease, which is the last thing you want, and it makes downtime while traveling city to city far less enjoyable. Weather can also make staying in shape while touring difficult, but lucky for you we have found a solution for that problem, and we brought along our friends from Pop Evil to help.

Chachi Riot, drummer for Pop Evil, is someone who takes his physical and mental health very seriously. He makes time every single day to exercise, regardless of where the band may be, and as a result he’s picked learned a lot about staying in shape while on the road. Somedays he’s fortunate enough to perform near a crossfit gym (otherwise known as a ‘box’), but a lot of the time he and the rest of the band develop their own exercise routines to push themselves while avoiding the health hazards seasonal weather can present. We asked Chachi to fill us in on what bands of all sizes can do to stay healthy while touring as the temperature drops, and below you can find his advice on everything from exercise routines to diet.

If you enjoy Chachi’s advice you should definitely make it a point to follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He shares workout tips and imagery every day, as well as other sites from the life of a rock and roll drummer. Pop Evil can be found on Twitter as well, and they have a slew of tour dates on the horizon. Click here for show and ticket information.

Fall is here. It showed up without warning, and kicked the door down. We’ve already seen nights get below 40 degree and it’s BARELY “mid-September”. But, don’t let the cold bring you down, or ruin your motivation to get/stay fit for the fall and winter months. Here are a few tips to help keep the winter weight off, keep you moving, and help you eat clean, while you’re on the road.

It’s not TOO cold to avoid the outdoors, yet, so take advantage. Get out and go for a run/walk/hike. I highly recommend mixing up the three. Your body needs movement to exercise but, also help help it recover faster. 1-2 days a week run a HARD, max effort 1-3 miles, or try running multiple 100, 400, or 800m’s. These are your high demand days, and should only be 1-3 days a week. The others, use as recover exercise. Take an hour (or more) hike. Go sight seeing and walk with a purpose; or just go for a light 2-5mi jog. Don’t run so hard that you get out of breath, just to keep moving. A week of running might look like this:

Monday – Run 800m. Rest 3min. x 4

Tuesday – Jog 2mi easy pace

Wednesday – Hike 1 hour

Thursday – Rest

Friday – jog 1 mi. rest 5min. x 3

Saturday – Run 400m. Rest 2min x 5

Sunday – Rest

This allows your body to get the high demand exercise needed to burn fat and the recovery work to help reduce inflammation, soreness and keep your heart healthy. (and keep you looking Josh Todd skinny, on stage.)

Running isn’t for everyone so, here are a few inexpensive “toys” to help get you active with lots of options and that are efficient.

– speed rope – a jump rope with a great spin/bearings, allowing you to learn to effectively do “double-unders” (one jump, two rope rotations). Jumping rope blasts fat, works the heart, and takes up hardly any space.

– kettlebell – this is the ULTIMATE workout buddy. You can implement KB (kettlebell) swings, snatches, goblet squats, lunges, sumo-high pulls…. the list is infinite. These are hardly the size of a basketball and can be a FULL body workout. They are perfect for building muscle, burning fat, and keeping you looking like Tim Lambesis – minus the prison sentence. The workout pattern with the KB should be organized similarly to the runs. A few MAX EFFORT days, with a few “paced” days, and a couple rest days. YouTube is a GREAT way to search workouts or demonstrations on any of the above mentioned movements. DO IT.

Eating healthy on the road can be a nightmare. Everyone offers you post-show pizza, free soda / beer, and late night eating happens constantly. AVOID these things when possible. I know musicians aren’t going to stop drinking, haha. BUT – here are some easy tips to follow to help keep (or get you) shredded and keep a little jingle in your pocket:

– eggs. eggs are cheap, easy, and can be prepared TONS of different ways. Pro tip, put them in a NON STYROFOAM cup, scramble them and microwave them. Easy and accessible at most stops.

– oatmeals – oats are SUPER cheap and are also microwavable. I suggest eating them after shows/workouts to replenish your blood sugar and help you recover.

– Chicken THIGHS – thighs are much cheaper than breasts and offer more healthy fats. Grill these over an open fire, in a skillet or bake them! It’s cheaper than you think. TRUST ME.

– Pumpkin – canned pumpkin is delicious, seasonal and super cheap. Throw it in anything!

Lastly, some things to avoid

– BREAD – filled with sugar and insulin spiking carbs. It will leave you full for 20min then starving, and eating more – gaining even more weight.

– Eating out – it may seem like a good idea at the time, like it’s cheaper but, it’s not. DON’T DO IT.

Touring musicians are some of the hardest working people in the world. Their sacrifices are rivaled by VERY few. This isn’t the 80’s, keep yourself healthy and build a career out of this. Smile. Stay on the grind. Good luck and Godspeed.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.