“I know plenty of jacked guitar players”: John Petrucci on why guitarists should work out (responsibly) at the gym

“I have Zakk Wylde coming into my camp in a couple of weeks… He’s shredding like never before.”

John Petrucci on stage playing an Ernie Ball Music Man electric guitar

Image: Sergione Infuso / Corbis via Getty

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John Petrucci, guitarist for prog metal outfit Dream Theater, has discussed why he thinks guitarists shouldn’t avoid working out, but should be hitting the gym responsibly.

In a new interview with Killer Guitar Rigs, Petrucci is asked if he has ever thought about how working on his fitness could impact his music career.

“I would say the only thing – as a guitar player who lifts as well, what I’ve learned is just how to do it in a way that it’s safe for my hands. And sometimes you do things that are a little scary, or you make a little mistake in the gym, and then you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m never going to do that again’,” he says.

“I think if you approach it in a way, where you’re disciplined about it, where you’re working out with a correct form, where you’re not just trying to lift the heaviest weight that you can… You gotta keep all this stuff in mind and work out responsibly as a musician.”

The guitarist goes on to conclude, “The last thing you want to do is injure your hands or injure your wrists or have a problem. And people who lift weights and go to the gym – we’ve all had those. We’ve all tweaked shoulders and backs and things and you do have to be careful. But the idea to say, ‘Oh, I can’t work out because it’s going to affect my playing’ – I know plenty of jacked guitar players,” he laughs.

“I have Zakk Wylde coming into my camp in a couple of weeks and he’s another guy. He’s in just an amazing shape and he’s shredding like never before.”

Last month, Petrucci launched his own guitar software brand to promote “high-tech products that enable guitarists to share in his love and pursuit of amazing guitar tones”.

Named Tonemission, the brand released its first product, the John Petrucci IR Collection: Vol. 1, which is a curated collection of impulse responses from Petrucci’s signature guitar rig created with the intent to replicate the Dream Theater guitarist’s exact signal chain.

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