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Weightlifting - Heavy work out at the gym and singing.

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Daug Poland
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Hi there!

Recently I decided to strengthen my wretched body (I'm skinny) . I do pushups, I exercise the abdominal muscles and running. But I want to develop my muscles a bit more. Do a little body-building.

I read somewhere that the heavy lifting is not good for singers. That it somehow affects the muscles of the hyoid and larynx.

From what I know, the epiglottis closes during the effort to protect the vocal cords (Adarth somewhere wrote some on that).

Do some of you have any experience with this?

regards!

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I work out a lot - pushups, crunchies, weights, etc. I found that it has no effect on my voice. It was also thought that strength training was bad for pro golfers. Along came Tiger Woods who completely dispelled that theory. I see absolutely no downside to exercising. If you do it right, it can only have positive benefits.

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Here's some guesswork.

There was a world champion golfer (Texan if I recall) who started exercising, and afterwards lost his "touch", even after he stopped exercising. This makes sense. His muscles had developed a memory, and exercise affected it.

This 60s joke. A woman sees some famous baseball players at a restaurant, introduces herself and noticed had pot bellies and were out of shape (e.g., see Babe Ruth's pot belly). She says, I thought baseball players were athletes! They replied, but mam, we're pitchers! Back in the 60s and 70s, pitchers developed a style and they stayed out of shape to retain their style.

Nowadays, we have muscular baseball players, who can hit, run, pitch, and field than those in the past. Taking these analogies to singing-- when exercising, one will definitely affect one's previously-learned muscular control, and also exercising tends to shorten certain muscles. These minuses can all be counteracted by stretches and posture, so that one can additionally gain power and better tone.

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Daug - if you want to get into shape you should check out the book - PACE by Dr. Al Sears. This book totally changed how I exercise. According to him, you should not be doing the traditional "aerobic" exercises as they will weaken both your heart and lungs in the long run. His exercises are all built on interval training which is what all olympic athletes do. It takes A LOT less time to do Pace exercises and it is much healthier.

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you can weight lift in many different ways. I did weight lifting for years and then crossed over to boxing. I was as stiff as a frigidaire, because weight lifting is so much about strict, isolated moves, while boxing is fluid, relaxed and dancing. When I finally got that into my head, I could merely adapt my weight training to be more flexible, not just changing exercises, but by actually staying more loose and relaxed in weight training.

An opera singer once told me to never train my abdomens because he said that would make them stiff when they need to be supple and sensitive...dunno about that one...

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Actually, the abdominal anchoring works the same. The only difference is that you neither suspend the breath, nor exhale slowly right away, but clamp it in for a couple of seconds (during muscle contraction) and then you exhale, the less explosively, the better, because you need to sustain the muscle tension in your abs throughout.

Abdominal rigidity during and after strength-training could be easily offset by stretching exercises - something that weigh-lifters almost completely ignore. Done properly (proper stretching and warming-up included, not the jerky, helicopter-like stuff most people do), physical training should not be a hindrance to singing at all.

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Enrico Caruso would take long walks where ever he traveled to. First, it was good exercise and gave him agile lungs. Second, he was prone to allergies and wanted to acclimate his body as quickly as possible so that it would not interfere with his performance.

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Daug - if you want to get into shape you should check out the book - PACE by Dr. Al Sears. This book totally changed how I exercise. According to him, you should not be doing the traditional "aerobic" exercises as they will weaken both your heart and lungs in the long run. His exercises are all built on interval training which is what all olympic athletes do. It takes A LOT less time to do Pace exercises and it is much healthier.

Thnx Geno. I will check this book. :)

Oh, BTW, being skinny is an advantage in the long run. Wait 10 years and look around at your peers then. You have a huge head start, if you're skinny without exercising. Take it as a positive attribute.

Really? From what I've heard -when you want to build muscle, it is good to have weight. :rolleyes:

I want above all to strengthen the shoulders and arms (extend them :P ) So far, exercise seems produce positive effects. I have more overall strenght and energy.

Thnx for reps guys!

Regards!

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I have been doing a lot of excercising, gym and dancing being the main two types. I feel that it have only had positive effects for my singing. My goal was never to be a body builder though, so I haven't been the most extreme guy at the gym. But keeping in good shape is most certainly good for your voice, increasing lung capacity and overall muscle control and tonus.

Also, looking good when on stage is a pretty neat side effect :)

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  • 2 years later...

I love going to the gym! :)Gym workouts are one of the best ways to turn healthy and fit, and increase your energy levels. Exercise can help shun excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. A good work out fights obesity and heart problems by improving blood circulation to the heart. Also, it lowers the chances of a stroke. Indeed, it carries many physical and mental health benefits. But you have to make sure that before beginning any new exercise program, consult your physician first because there are also contraindications. This is to prevent from worsening a certain health condition.

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What would be the danger of using the valsalva technique?

I ask because I do use that when I lift because as I understand it it is "proper" technique when heavy lifting (before an injury I was up to squatting ~300lbs for 5 reps, 405 for 1 in deadlift, and I still can do 190lbs for 5 in the bench press, all at 165lbs) and I'm not going to stop doing it, since I don't want to hurt myself lifting and your body is LITERALLY your life.

I wouldn't be surprised if all that stuff + singing caused my silent reflux, but hey, I'll take Zypan indefinitely if it means I can keep pushing myself lifting and singing:cool:.

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What would be the danger of using the valsalva technique?

Diaphragmatic hernia? That'd come to mind as the first thing.

EDIT: And nice poundages. Don't neglect the arms. I'm 170lbs and I do 10x210lbs on the bench press brah. Even with my shitty spine.

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Diaphragmatic hernia? That'd come to mind as the first thing.

EDIT: And nice poundages. Don't neglect the arms. I'm 170lbs and I do 10x210lbs on the bench press brah. Even with my shitty spine.

Thanks man, I've always had something come up (lost ~30lbs, partially torn rotator cuff) around when I get to 190 or so that always keeps me there. Hopefully when I get my other full-body exercises (squats+deadlifts) back up I can get to 200+.

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