Is playing the drums a good workout?

Playing the drums while wearing a fitness tracker

From the Virgin Active website to promote Pound
From the Virgin Active website to promote Pound

Jam-ercise

Recently I had to play the drums and thought it might be a good idea to track the activity using a fitness tracker and heart rate monitor to see if drumming is indeed a good cardiovascular exercise. With a few local gyms launching classes like POUND® the popularity of combining fitness and music seems to be taking off. Disclaimer – I am not a good drummer but managed to keep a beat.

 

 

 

 

The Garmin Forerunner 35
The Garmin Forerunner 35

The gadget

The device used is the Garmin Forerunner 35. It is predominantly a running watch but has multisport features to support other activity tracking. In this case it was set to “cardio” mode that does not engage the GPS tracking but only the other sensors relevant to indoor cardio sessions.

 

 

 

Some cool learnings from the session:

  • According to my age the maximum heart rate is about 186 bpm. The maximum heart rate achieved for this session was a whopping 155 bpm which puts it at 83% of output.
  • Uploaded it to Strava and only got 4 likes. Seems like exercise community doesn’t regard drumming as an serious exercise but after seeing these statistics they might have to reconsider!
  • The first twelve minutes were uptempo songs and the rest of them were slow. There is a heart rate spike towards the end which is probably just due to excitement.
  • The activity was too short to qualify for Vitality points on Discovery. Have to drum a little bit longer next time.
Cool heart rate graph export from the Garmin Connect application
Cool heart rate graph export from the Garmin Connect application

What did you think of this experiment in exercise and music? Let me know in the comments below.