Fitness and Drums

By: Tim Phillips

Hi everyone! I am Tim Phillips, a drummer just like you but I have also been a boxer, athlete and U.S. Navy Veteran. Nowadays I am a session drummer and have been in numerous bands over the years most recently SnowBlind. I have been playing drums and other instruments since I was 11 years old. I did take a break from professionally playing while I was in the Navy but since then, I’ve gradually made my way back into the music scene and  improving my drumming and musical skills by practicing, and listening to different genres of music.

Remember Your First Gig?

Remember the first gig you ever played? How about your first practice in your friends’ garage during the summer because it seemed like the cool thing to do? For those who took a more traditional route and were a part of a marching drumline. Do you remember the first day wearing your drums marching in the sun trying to remember your parts? It is no secret that playing drums or anything percussion related can leave you feeling like you have run a marathon. And for that reason, staying in some level of physical fitness is always a good idea while we are waiting for the next gig or opportunity to come up. 

How I Got Started

For me I have always been the kid who played a sport whether it be baseball, football or soccer. So, I never put it together on how my active lifestyle gave me a bit of an edge when I finally joined my high school marching band. Even when I joined the Navy and started working out with some of my best friends McMullen, Thomas and Hebert I never paid attention to how shoulder and arm workouts were easier for me at the time as opposed to anything on leg day. It was not until I started boxing while I was in the Navy that I noticed the same muscles used for punching and foot work were the same that I used for up to five hours a day while driving my parents and neighbors crazy while I practiced. 

Now that times have gotten a little on the crazy side and gyms are closing, I have spoken to a lot of friends that I would normally work out with from different gigs or studio sessions and they all say the same thing. “How are we going to get a workout in now that all of the gyms are closed?” There are a few ways to do this depending on your budget. Some guys I included at one time invested in creating a gym in the garage and have all kinds of barbells, plates and equipment to get a workout that is in some cases better than going to a gym.

Do not worry though this is not going to be one of those scenarios. I am going to hopefully give some ideas on one of the full body workouts I have used when on tour or somewhere I cannot find a gym or box nearby the venue. I hope this helps everyone who looks at it.

When getting these items together the biggest deal at the time was to keep things as close to $100 as possible and easy to carry or pack up when traveling. Most items can be found on Amazon or at a local store if they are open. In these times I will strongly suggest Amazon or any other fitness equipment supplier.


Items Needed:

  • Resistance Bands/cables (5 – 50lbs depending on your own fitness level)
  • Pullup Bar
  • Jump Rope
  • Combat Rope
  • Couch/Chair/Throne/Cajon (if you are feeling fancy)
  • Gym Mat (No shame in stealing your girlfriends or significant others yoga mat if they have one or left it at your house)
  • Towel
  • Your Body

For the workouts I will be talking in reps and sets with a 90second rest period in between each set. A rep is the number of times you perform a specific exercise, and a set is the number of cycles of reps that you complete. For example, suppose you complete 15 reps of a bench press.

You would say you have completed “one set of 15 reps.” A set can be any number of reps, so if you complete 10 reps of a bench press, you would say you’ve completed “one set of 10 reps,” and if you complete just five reps, then that would be “one set of five reps.” Get it? Got it? Good hope you enjoy. Understanding everyone has different fitness levels the workout below is set to be for those who may be more on the beginner levels of fitness. If you are stronger or work out a bit more then by all means add sets as you need to or increase the resistance cable weight to get the best desired results. Above all else, please be careful, drink plenty of water and rest as much as needed in between sets or workouts. I hope you enjoy!

[DISCLAIMER: You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. Visitors who read this blog & newsletter and rely on any information do so at their own risk.]


The Workout:

Grab your jump rope and prepare to the do the following 5 times. Since this is meant to be a warmup before we start the fun stuff it should not take longer than 20 minutes.

Jump Rope Warm Up

Jump Rope Warm Up:

Standard jumps – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Right foot hops – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Left foot hops – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

High knee jumps – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Standard jumps – 20 seconds

Rest – 10 seconds

Rest one minute.

Now the fun stuff

Pushups:  2 sets of 10 reps

Start in a standard push-up position (as described above), with your feet together or no more than 12 inches apart, hands flat on the ground below your shoulders, and arms straight. Breathe in as you bend your elbows—keep them tracking back alongside your body—to lower your chest to slightly below the level of your bent elbow, and then breathe out as you push back up to the starting position for one repetition.

Decline Pushups: 2 sets of 10 reps

To do these please use the couch or anything you can prop your feet on. Elevate your feet on a box, bench, or step to increase the activation of the upper chest muscles and the front of the shoulders (anterior deltoids). The higher your feet, the more difficult.

Pike Pushups: 2 sets of 10 reps

Start in a downward dog yoga position, with your feet and hands just wider than shoulder width. Keep your hips high, heels low, and maintain the inverted-V position as you bend your elbows and lower your head toward the floor between your hands.

Pull Ups

Pull Ups: 2 sets of Until Failure

Grab a bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width, with your hands facing away from you. Hang all the way down. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Count to 3. Lower yourself all the way back down.

Upper Back Row: 2 sets of 12 reps

Sitting down, place the center of the band/cable at the soles of your feet. Grab the handles in each hand and pull towards your chest squeezing your shoulder blades. Return to the starting position. Rinse and Repeat.

Arnold Press: 2 sets of 12 reps

Stand on a resistance band with feet hip width. Take the ends of the band in your hands and bring them up to underneath your chin. From here, rotate your arms out (keeping them bent) until palms are facing forward, then press directly overhead.

Side Delt Raises: 2 sets of 12 reps

Start by standing with your feet on the band shoulder width apart. With your knees slightly bent back straight holding. The handles of the band alongside your body with palms facing inwards. Lift your hands straight out to the side increasing he tension or resistance of the band, until your hands are near an even height with your shoulders.  At the top of the movement, your palms should be facing the ground.  

Forearm Curl: 2 sets of 12 reps

Sit on the edge of a chair or bench. Hold one end of the band in your right hand and step on the middle or end of the band, depending on how much resistance you need. Rest your forearm on your thigh with your wrist just beyond your knee and your palm facing up.

Bicep Curls

Bicep Curl: 2 sets of 12 reps

Stand with both feet on a resistance band. Hold one end in each hand, arms extended, palms facing forward. Slowly curl your hands up toward your shoulders, squeezing your biceps. Keep your elbows tight to the sides of your body. Slowly lower your hands back to the starting position.

Tricep Pushdown: 2 sets of 12 reps

Place a resistance band around hook above your head (chin up bar work well). Grab the resistance band with both hands (palms facing in) just below chest height. Keep your elbows tight into your side and drive your hands down towards your waist. Lock your arms out and rotate your hands slightly outward as you do. Hold for a second and then bring your hands back up to just below chest height.


Squats: 2 sets of 12 reps

While standing, place one end of the resistance band underneath both feet and take a shoulder width stance. Pull the other end of the resistance band up over your head and place it on your shoulders and upper back. To complete the squat, with your chest upright and back flat, push your hips back, then bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground or lower if you’re more flexible. Press your feet through the ground to stand back up.

Lunges: 2 sets of 12 reps

Stagger your feet with one foot in front. Now stand on the band(s) with your front foot. Grip a handle in each hand and raise your hands up to shoulder height. With your back straight, head straight, elbows back, and chest up, lower your hips straight down until your front thigh is almost parallel with the floor.

Calf Raises: 2 sets of 12 reps

Take an exercise band and stand on it. Make sure that the length of the band between your feet and arms is equal on both sides. Grasping the handles of the band, lift your arms toward the side of your head in the same manner as if you were going to perform a shoulder press. Your palms should be facing forward, and your elbows should be bent and to the sides. This movement creates tension on the band, and it is your starting position. While keeping your hands by your shoulder, stand on your toes. Contract your calves hard when you get to the top of the movement, exhaling as you do so.

Jumping Power Slams: 2 sets

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart in a quarter squat, facing the anchor. Hold one side of the rope in each hand, then lower the battle ropes down to your sides with your arms extended. Lower into a squat, tighten your core, and then explode into the air, jumping high, while raising both hands overhead. As you land softly back down into a squat, forcefully slam the ropes onto the ground in a wave motion. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.

Alternating Wide Circles: 2 sets

Stand with feet hip-width apart in a shallow squat. Grip one end of the rope in each of your hands. Tighten your core and move each rope out to the side in a circle motion. Then, complete the circle by bringing your arm back in front of your body. Use the momentum to keep the circular motion going. Each arm should move independently, but still in-sync. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.

Combat Ropes

Battling-Rope Waves: 2 sets

Hold the ends of the rope at arm’s length in front of your hips with your hands shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and begin alternately raising and lowering each arm explosively. Keep alternating arms for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.




Tim is an Endorsed Cruise Artist with Collision Drumsticks.

Based out of Atlanta, GA, Tim is a talented session drummer that we know and trust. Tim has always been drawn to music. Over the years, he played on a neighborhood friends drum set until he was able to save up to buy this really old 1970’s Remo drum kit from an estate sale his grandmother was running. He says, “I think I practiced almost five hours a day, playing to everyone that I thought was the best version of what a drummer should be able to do.” 

To learn more from Tim himself, here’s how you can get in touch:

Tim Phillips

Artist Profile

YouTube | Instagram | Email


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Select your currency
GBP Pound sterling