Scaling The Fitness Summit With Chris Letchford

Last week, Scale the Summit guitarist Chris Letchford (that’s him second from the left) shared his workout playlist. Fortunately, he was also kind enough to pass along tips for working out and eating well while on tour, all of which are pretty useful even if you’re not in a band. Despite what Chris may say below (and the terrible headline above), pick up a copy of The Migration–it will undoubtedlely help you look like this guy with little to no additional work:

Working Out While On Tour
This is a tough one for most. You are already tired, hungry, grumpy, annoyed, etc., so it can be hard to get motivated to make yourself even more worn out, but it’s worth it, I promise!

Working out actually can raise your energy levels, especially when combined with healthy eating. You are able to sleep better on days that you worked out since your body is able to go into a deeper sleep to start repairing on the damage you have caused to it. You will wake up more refreshed and ready to go!

How I Make It Work On The Road:
The best way to fit it in is to load in first, get that out of the way and then immediately do your workout. Though I like to try and quickly run over to a LA Fitness, as it’s just easier, there isn’t a location in every city we play or within a realistic driving distance. So I bring a dual set of BowFlex Select Tech adjustable dumbbells with me on tour and a collapsible bench–it’s everything you need to do all workouts. The ones I have only go to 55 pounds per arm, which is not enough for some of the more compound exercises like bench press, but it does the job and you make up for the loss of weight with more reps. We also bring a pull up/push up bar.

My favorite three exercises, which would really be best accomplished in a gym with a lot more weight, are bench press, squats and dead lifts. Most of these you can’t really do while on tour with just 55 pound dumbbells, but you can hit all the same muscles regardless and still get in a great workout. I prefer compound movements as you burn more calories and work more muscle in less time.

Eating was the hardest thing on tour. It took us some brainstorming and our new way of eating healthy definitely takes a lot more planning, but it’s all doable if you dedicate yourself to it. 70% of your fitness goals will be met from your diet alone, and only around 30% is what you do in the gym. You have to fuel your body!

For food, we carry the largest cooler we could find, which is big enough to carry food for a few days for about six dudes. We store it next to the side door of our trailer, for easy access. If you are in a bus, there are ZERO excuses–you have multiple coolers inside and a fridge. We have done one tour in a bus and it was spoiling, so keep in mind all of this health/fitness is done in a van, so it’s doable! When you are on a bus, you arrive at the venue when you wake up, plus I was sleeping around 11 hours when on the bus. You have so much extra time to kill, what better than a solid hour workout!

For actual food, we carry a camping stove grill to cook, and I just got a surprise present from the girlfriend before we left, which is basically a miniature oven that you can fully cook raw foods, steam vegetables, etc. I’m very excited to try it out. It’s very small, so it takes up little space in the trailer. It’s cheaper to cook your own food, since you can cook more in bulk.

So besides cooking our own foods, Whole Foods is a great place to stop and pick up already cooked healthy foods, like grilled chicken (plus all meats), cooked veggies, and we always stock up on fresh fruits.

Last, the most important thing is to make sure to stay hydrated. I sweat a ton on stage, while working out, loading and unloading gear, etc. Sodas on tour or just in general are not the way to go, stay away!

If healthy food is not a priority just because of money, remember that hospitals and medicine are also every expensive, eventually it will catch up to you and then that financial burden will drop down on you all at once. It’s better to eat healthy now and not wait until its too late. A third of the country is considered obese and the only reason is over eating and lack of exercise. People look to diet pills, surgery, etc., but it’s literally as easy as changing what and how much you eat. I have a student who lost 100 pounds in only ONE year from changing his diet and exercising–he is a different guy, overall happier person and feeling great. Anyone can do it, just have to make the decision. You can still have crappy food from time to time, everyone that knows us know that we hit up Buffalo Wild Wings regularly on tour, but in moderation. Just writing about it makes me want to get a dozen Mango Habnero wings right now! I only eat these kinds of food for ONE meal per week, it’s my reward for eating well the rest of the week. If you do start to eat clean and drop all processed sugars, you’ll see the cravings go away. It’s bizarre the way the body works.

If you are working out, wanting to start, could care less, I can’t listen to my own record while working out as that’s just weird. I know the music so well that I would be distracted during every second. Our new record The Migration came out last month and it’s our most aggressive sounding record so far, looking forward to seeing if it makes it into anyone’s workout mix. Even if you’re telling me to screw off thinking “these crunchy granola dudes have convinced everyone they’re cool, and they’re not cool. It’s backwards, and unnatural, and it’s gotta be stopped,” that’s also cool, but you should still check out The Migration as it really has nothing to do with working out!