From Drums To Double-Unders

Go behind the scenes with Fall Out Boy drummer Andrew Hurley as he talks touring and CrossFit.
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Doing CrossFit workouts on a regular basis is a challenge for even the most experienced athlete. Making time for fitness gets even harder if you aren’t worrying about how to juggle your training schedule between work and family vacations but around rock shows that you and your band play night after night all over the world.

Andrew Hurley, of the band Fall Out Boy, began his fitness training eight years ago as a way to stay in shape when he toured and performed.

Fall Out Boy's Andrew Hurley talks to writer Jamie Toland.

Fall Out Boy's Andrew Hurley talks to writer Jamie Toland.

“I started functional fitness stuff with Gym Jones in 2007, and I was doing their remote programming in 2009. By the time the band came back from hiatus in 2013, I had my own equipment at home and did most of my workouts there,” Hurley said. He soon realized that being a musician and finding time to train on the road wasn’t going to be simple.

But because of Fall Out Boy’s recording and tour schedule, Hurley didn’t have the luxury of doing workouts at home very often. The solution was for him to take his own programming and go into any fitness facility to do his own workouts. This was easier said than done.

Andrew CrossFit

“The volume at Gym Jones was always more strength- and conditioning-based and higher volume. I was tired of trying to find facilities that would let me do whatever I wanted. I knew that CrossFit gyms had everything that I wanted to use,” Hurley explained. So he started searching out CrossFit boxes to train at.

The more Hurley visited boxes, the more he started to get interested in the workouts they were doing. Once he tried out CrossFit training, he fell in love with the intensity. Eventually, he began to make the switch from his own programming to CrossFit workouts.

“Before we went back on tour, I had never tried to “drop in” at a box,” Hurley said. “So the first time I did a drop-in was at CrossFit Hollywood, I think. But what I found at CrossFit was that a metcon could be just three minutes long … but ruin your day. Early on I’d look at a workout and think, ‘Oh, that’ll be easy,’ and then it would smash me.”

Andrew Lift

Now finding a box to train at is commonplace for Hurley. He relies on the generosity of affiliates all over the world, and what once was just a place to train because they had the equipment he needed is now just another part of his tour life.

“It’s kind of easy because we’re on a bus and I wake up early at the next venue every day, and there are so many boxes now that I can find one within 15 to 20 minutes from where the venue is,” he explained.

The only issue is the logistics of transportation. After he locates an affiliate, he has to find a way to get there and then find the time in his schedule. “I can get an Uber or a runner to take me,” he said. “It’s kind of nice because most boxes usually have classes at 10, 11 or 12, and that’s perfect for me because it’s before the meet-and-greet and other show-day stuff. Also, it’s nice to walk in some place and be back in ‘regular life.’”

Hurley and Fall Out Boy have a substantial following on social media, so while he does get recognized in and out of the box, he said that for the most part, people are cool and let him do what he came there to do: train.

“I don’t get recognized that often when I walk into places — sometimes if they follow me on social media and they know that I’m in town but not too often,” Hurley said. “And I get invites on Instagram, and that’s cool.”

While a great deal of his time is spent traveling and training on the road, Hurley does get a break from time to time, and when he does, he spends it training at his 48-acre ranch just outside Portland, Oregon.

“In Portland, I have an attached garage that’s probably bigger than most CrossFit gyms, so I mostly train there,” he said. “I have everything: TrueForm, SkiErg, (Concept2) rower. I also started following CrossFit Invictus’ competitor’s programming, so I mostly do that programming.”

Hurley likes all types of CrossFit movements, but he considers himself a bodyweight specialist. Drumming is great for his cardio capacity but has its drawbacks in terms of the wear and tear he’s had on his back and shoulders.

Andrew Lift 2

“I feel like I can do bodyweight movements all day. I really like snatching because I feel like I finally ‘cracked the code.’ I’ve gotten better. I still have a hard time squat-snatching because I have bad shoulders from drumming. Because I’m here,” he said, slouching his shoulders to mimic his drumming position, “and I sleep like this. But I’d say cleans I love, deadlifts, deadlifts I’m good with. I like chippers with cleans, deadlift, bodyweight stuff, running — that’s what I’m good at.”

While none of the other members of his band share his enthusiasm for fitness or CrossFit training, he said that there are more and more people in the industry who are starting to get into it.

“There are tons of other musicians who are starting to get into fitness, and some even are getting into CrossFit,” Hurley said. “People from the punk scene or even the pop/punk scene, there are some things that are similar to that and CrossFit and the music goes with the culture.”

As both the popularity of Fall Out Boy’s music and CrossFit continue to grow, Hurley’s story could become more and more commonplace. Someday soon there might be all types of rockers dropping in at boxes all over the world.

Hurley said that the community is what makes it so easy for him to do what he does.

“What’s cool about CrossFit is that the people I’ve met are so grounded and humble,” he said. “Almost every single time I’ve trained at a box, no one really says anything or makes a big deal about it. Maybe after, they’ll be like, “can we get a picture,” but they usually just let me come in and train and let me do my thing, which is cool.”

Andrew and Jamie