The phrase “fitness tips” and the DJ lifestyle seem like an odd pairing. The life of a DJ isn’t quite as glamorous as a rockstar, but we face many of the same demons — late nights, overeating or indulging in too much booze.
When it comes to health, fitness and diet I’ve personally faced a lot of the traps common to the DJ industry — especially as a business owner who puts in about 50 – 60 hours of office work in addition to DJing 3 – 4 nights a week.
My company runs about 600 gigs a year. I’m always on the run — as are you — which makes us susceptible to these 3 demons:
1. Unhealthy/fast foods
3. Lack of sleep
Four years ago I looked in the mirror and decided to make fitness a priority. And now that we’re coming up on a new year, I’m sure many of you will be committing to a gym membership. This year — let’s make it stick!
Here are the changes I made — which have given me more self-confidence and more discipline with my time management.
1. Go to the gym. Like many DJs, I flirted with lifting weights or doing crossfit before, but in 2016 I made going to the gym a priority — I made it part of my lifestyle. I worked with a trainer to come up with an ever-evolving routine of weights, cardio and functional training to keep things fun and interesting.
Every morning I do cardio on a treadmill at full incline for 35 minutes at 2.8MPH, and then I hit the weights every day at 1 pm.
2. Prep meals. This is clutch if you live a busy life. My trainer helped me to devise a meal plan to help me reach my goals. By prepping meals every 4 days you’ll have healthy food ready to go, this way you’re not tempted to grab fast food or delivery when you’re hungry.
For my maintenance diet, my typical meal would be 40g protein, 10g fat and 35g carbs 5x daily. A go-to for that would be 4.5oz. of chicken, 1 cup broccoli, 5oz sweet potatoes and a teaspoon of peanut butter.
Not a fan of cooking? Many services prep and deliver — I use the RP Diet app which lets me input goals (muscle gain/fat loss), gives macronutrient guidelines, meal suggestions and how much of what to eat. It’s brilliantly programmed.
3. Drink less booze — and more water. In the world of DJing clubs it’s super easy to fall into the trap of accepting shots from every DJ homie or appreciative fan that offers you one. I have a saying, “I don’t drink from tiny glasses.”
I actually rarely drink when I DJ now (in clubs only), and when I do I sip on a good tequila. If you’re looking to avoid beer, then vodka and club is a go-to. I drink more water — two gallons a day, which is a lot easier than you might realize. If you’re drinking vodka and club, definitely have a big glass in between every drink.
Making these changes alone will be transformative — trust me. But remember, the key is to make it a lifestyle, not a crash thing. You might not see visible results for a few months, but you will feel better almost immediately.
As for the lack of sleep issue — I’m still working on it, and we’ll deal with that in a future column!
If anyone has any fitness or diet-related questions feel free to shout at me via Facebook or Instagram @DJAlex Nepa.
“Crack Chicken” meal recipe for DJs on the Go
Here’s an awesome tasting go-to of mine that’s a staple of my meal prep. You’ll need a large crockpot, 5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken, two sticks of low-fat cream cheese, two packets of frank’s buffalo ranch powder seasoning and one packet of regular ranch powder.
To cook, first cook the chicken in it’s own juices or add some chicken stock. Once the chicken is ALMOST cooked (not fully) drain out the juices and add the cream cheese and seasoning packets. You can also grab two forks and start shredding the chicken.
Once it’s done, dive in! I put the crack chicken in a flour tortilla and add some chopped up celery for some crunch.
Macros in a 4.5oz serving are 31.5g protein, 13.5g fat and 6.3g carbs. If you want to lower the fat you can use fat free cream cheese. The tortilla will add 15-25g of carbs depending on the size you use.
Pretty well rounded, delicious and quick meal in a pinch!
DJ Alex Nepa (back in the day aka DJ Kid A.V.), a founding member of remix/production group CVRBND, runs Mint DJ Events, nearby the campus of Penn State University in State College, PA. They do over 600 events a year — from official university events to nightlife and weddings.
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