Bryan Bishop: Training on Tour

When your job is to put on a party for 100,000 finding time and energy to maintain your fitness can seem impossible. Coachella Crew Chief – Bryan Bishop knows you don’t need much time, space, or equipment to get a great workout in.

For the past 17 years, Coachella Music Festival has opened it’s “fields” to over 100,000 fans from around the globe hoping to witness amazing performances over 3 days from their favorite artists and DJs. They come ready to party – and the event coordinators/artists never disappoint. In fact, this giant festival has become one of the largest and most sought after music festivals in the world – and when you are Crew Chief – Bryan Bishop, it’s your job to make sure it all goes smoothly.

This isn’t Bryan’s first big event. Over the course of his career, Bryan estimates that he has worked roughly 3,000 concerts, tours, and events. His job is to run all of the labor that builds the stages, lights, and sound barricades. He and his crew of 200+ are also responsible for set changes, loading and unloading trucks, and whatever else each different performance demands. 2016 Coachella featured 188 different acts on 7 different giant stages over the 3 day event. It is a manual labor, up at dawn, working until the middle of the night gig- and in the midst of it all Bryan has always been dedicated to getting in as much training as possible.

“In the beginning the main reason I always worked out on tour was that I needed to be able to use my fitness to make money being a stagehand.  If I wasn’t in shape or healthy, I wasn’t getting paid.  I was the guy who brought weights and would jump rope and be doing pull ups on the load bars off the back of the trucks.”

Bryan says he has spent a significant amount of time training alone on tour or at large events. The music/rock and roll industry isn’t exactly synonymous with health and fitness, especially not out on the road. But, over the years he has seen more and more people come around.

“It’s the old Tom Sawyer trick. If you look like you are having fun – other people will want to join you.”

At most events Bryan is confined to the equipment he can find in his hotel, or his travel kit which includes his jump rope and some resistance bands.  However, at Coachella Bryan steps it up a little bit with some help.  This year he had a storage container with 2 squat racks, a pull up bar, 2 boxes, 2 med balls, 3 bars, 3 kettle bells, an assortment of plates and 2 bikes.

Eating healthy can also be a difficult task when working long days out on the road.  Bryan will admit that he doesn’t get too crazy about his diet, but that he is conscious of it – and that goes a long way.  “It all depends on the catering.  When I am out here on the road I stick to salads, fruit and protein.  I stay away from all of the yummy desserts, breads, and late night pizza……mostly” says Bishop.  He also says that his favorite Progenex Supplements, Peanut Butter Smash Recovery and Grape Force, are really helpful when there aren’t a lot of food options and very little time to eat.

It’s not all work and no play for Bryan though.   He makes sure to take time to actually watch as many of the shows as he can during the busy weekend. This year his favorite acts were Ice Cube, Major Lazer, and Flume.  He also says he absolutely loves his job.  

“I love music. I get to work with my friends. I love building and accomplishing tasks – seeing things through from beginning to end.  I love helping people.  I hire people that typically would have a hard time getting a normal job. I hate offices.  I love having the freedom to do what I want.  I am responsible for my life.  I put in the work and I get the reward.  Just like fitness.”

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