Weightlifting and Guitar?

I just started lifting weights and am actually really enjoying it. I know im probably just paranoid but…will lifting have a negative impact on my guitar playing? Finger fatigue? Technique problems? Thank you!

almost certainly not

I dont think so. I know many great guitarisrs that lift.

Unless you manage to hurt yourself with poor lifting form, I don’t see how.

DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) could be temporarily uncomfortable while playing, especially if you’re just starting out with lifting and all stimulus is new to your body, but the (enormous) benefits of weight training outpace that greatly IMO.

For what it’s worth I’ve been lifting in one form or another since I was 15 and my dogwater playing is completely and utterly unrelated to that :smiley:

This guy seems to manage fine


Also just remembered Troy is pretty jacked

I’d say no in my experience, just don’t practice guitar immediately after lifting weights. It won’t increase your chance of injury or anything, I’ve just found that dexterity/finesse takes a hit - spacing them out by a few hours is probably fine.

That said, one famous player who has claimed bodybuilding negatively impacted his playing is George Lynch.

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@murphy_5150 only thing I would keep in mind is overall CNS fatigue / exertion, especially if you push close to failure. I’m kind of having that issue currently; haven’t felt like playing in about a month, and I think it’s because I’ve been pushing physical endeavors pretty hard for a couple months.


On the whole I never noticed a difference; I have a friend who has chronic tennis-elbow but it’s because he ignored the pain and wouldn’t correct his form. If you follow an established program and use strict form you should be fine.

I lift a few times a week. In fact, I was just about to knock out some sets. I don’t lift heavy or get too crazy, though. No 1 rep maxes for me. But I do leave myself pretty wiped out after a workout.

I would just advise against lifting on days you’re gonna be playing for an audience. If you have a gig to do or a recording to make you might not wanna lift on those days. No, it won’t hurt you, but it could knock your playing back a few percentage points (as in being less than your normal 100 percent), which could be the difference between feeling like you’re really nailing everything with ease and struggling to play your best stuff. That’s what I’ve noticed anyway.


This post is kind of funny to me for a couple of reasons.

Back in the early naughts, Yngwie Malmsteen had a website where he had this faq section. People would ask him all sorts of things in which this man would be the last person you would want to ask. One of them was exactly this question, and his response was something akin to “No, I do not think this is a good idea. Big muscles makes you too bulky and slow, train for repetition, etc.”.

This is of course not true. I agree with @Pepepicks66 in that you likely may notice a difference if you try to play right after you have worked out, and that is likely due to fatigue. Weight training really shouldnt have a big negative affect on your fine motor skills in general, and weight training may even improve these because there is mounting evidence that it is really good for your brain! Which IMHO is the most important link and anything you can do for your CV system is beneficial as well in this regard.


Thank you for the well thought out response!! Im definitely not trying to get huge haha, just having fun lifting and maybe finally trying to get above 135 pounds body weight

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For that you need the caloric intake. Your diet is more than 60% of this game. If you are trying to stay natural I wouldn’t expect much more than 5lbs of pure muscle gain the first year you do this. Don’t look at the scale, worry more about how you look and feel.

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If you deadlift, just be prepared to have even more calluses than you already have from playing guitar!

The opposite is more likely to be true. Guitar playing will most likely impact your weightlifting!

I say this light heartedly after many years of shoulder issues caused by spending so long hunched over the guitar with poor posture.

I played guitar for years before I got in to strength sports.
I’ve spent a lot of time with the olympic lifts so I can’t comment on body building, but from multiple procedures and endless physio I can say if you can get strong and maintain good posture it’s most likely to benefit you in the long run.

For some reason I feel like maybe hand strength may have benefits to guitar playing. But there would be no way of knowing unless we could get a world class climber to show the benefits if he also played guitar. But it would have to be more along the lines of fast twitch muscle fibers if that is a thing in the hand. And also another factor comes into play here as well if the mind isn’t very musical, lacking an ear for music, the benefits of that speed might not really do anything.

but seriously, I banned myself from playing sitting down about 5 years ago and feel a lot better for it


Guitar posture has always been a difficult aspect of playing for me. Play standing up solves a lot of problems, although the weight of a hefty solid body electric guitar can become burdensome as the hours go by.

Many years ago, I banned myself from ostensibly correct classical position because of upper back cramps and I’ve been better for it. It turns out that a lot of people have the same problem with classical position.

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Same, standing only and V shaped guitars have done wonders to my posture and ergonomics and I find I don’t get hung up on difficult stuff as much.

The parts in Philip Toshio Sudo’s “Zen Guitar” about tension really made me hyper aware about how much damage any tension anywhere does to technique and ultimately expression on the instrument.

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Tosin Abasi has posted himself lifting some respectable weight on his insta, it doesn’t seem to have compromised his guitar playing.
Personally, I’m not super serious about fitness, I go to the gym three times a week, but I’ve noticed an improvement in my posture and my core strength that translates to, among other things, better endurance playing guitar.

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