Frequently Asked Questions:
How much time should I take in between sets?
Take as much time as you need to recover for your next set. Don’t go into your working sets winded. These lifts require energy and focus! Think of this as “wait-lifting.” You lift, then you wait until you’re ready to attack it with your full focus.
How much time should I take in between exercises?
Just like with resting between sets, take your time. The point is to be able to put as much into each and every set and rep. You won’t be able to do that by rushing your lifting.
How fast should I lift the weight?
There is no set tempo for this program. Your lifting should be explosive but controlled. Donny Shankle, the great American olympic weightlifter is known for saying “pull that bar like you’re pulling the head off of a god damn lion.” This is a good principle to observe, but don’t throw the lion’s head across the room. You must be in control of the weight during all parts of the lift otherwise you risk throwing yourself out of position and building up poor motor patterns and risking potential injury.
How should I breathe?
You should utilize what is known as the “valsalva maneuver” when lifting weights. Meaning, taking a big breathe while the weight is in a resting position, holding it during the easiest part of the movement (The lowering of the goblet squat, bench press, the bottom position of the dumbbell row) and expelling it during the hardest part (The pressing or Pulling motion.)
Can I change the order of exercises?
I prefer that the exercises are done in the order they are written. They are organized in a way that puts resistance training as a priority. However, I understand that sometimes equipment is taken and time is short. In this circumstance it is OK to do them out of order.
Can I do two workouts on the same day?
No. You need to allow yourself time to adapt and recover from the training session. Doing two full training sessions on the same day as a beginning weight lifter could be detrimental to your progress. If you’d like to separate your steady state cardio and your weight lifting, that is OK. However, your priority needs to be your resistance training.
Can I train two days in a row?
I do not recommend this. However, in a pinch, if scheduling has mashed big events on top of each other, then do what you need to do in order to get your work in for the week. However, if you’re merely going because you’re bored then pick up a better hobby, knock off things from your “to-do list” or develop a better relationship with someone you care about. If you’re going because you think you’re going to make better progress, you’re doing yourself a disservice. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, you may address them at this web address and they will be answered promptly: http://www.operabrotraining.com/program-questions
Words From the First Class of The Iron Chorus:
“Working only one muscle is counterproductive when you could be working your entire body, always try to be better than you were during your last workout and you will be, motivation is key- the first step to getting work done is getting there”
“The warm ups of five reps and the 8-12 reps thing was new to me. I also learned how do the barbell stuff that I was too afraid to try because I thought I'd hurt myself. Also, when in doubt, MO' WEIGHT.”
“There's no bad food. It's all about portion size! MORE WEIGHT! Push through. Give yourself a weight that makes you struggle.”
“Technique really matters, although sometimes it's okay to break it to feel what it's like to go up in weight. Always push yourself, but know when your body is telling you that you're breaking yourself. REST IS IMPORTANT. Consistency is the most important thing to staying fit. The more active you are, the more satisfied and happy you'll feel mentally. A positive mindset makes a world of difference.”
Final Words and One Last Request
No single program can make or break a person. Real success is achieved when someone consistently works hard and builds up patterns that allow them to do so. This program is designed to remove as many obstacles from your path as possible while still allowing you to progress.
I can’t stress enough the importance of progressing the weights and pushing yourself. While training the students of OCU, they’d complete a set with great form, quick, smooth reps, completely besting their last time with the exercise. They’d turn to me and ask “What do I do next?” My answer would always be “MO’ WEIGHT!”
This should be your goal. Get stronger, feel stronger, and the physical changes that you desire will follow. Don’t try to spot reduce or get stuck in an endless cycle of bicep curls and training sessions where you never see the free weight section, walking on the treadmill while reading a magazine. Walk into the gym and try to be a little stronger, a little more physically fit, best your previous performances and you will conquer your goals.
And now a request: Once you’ve completed the first 8 weeks of this program, share your results and your experience. Share it with your friends, your family, and with me. If you’re an actor, singer, or performer share your results with people within the industry. People who run educational programs, who are in universities, and are responsible for the future performers in your field. Learning how to take care of you body is best learned at a young age, where you can formulate patterns and habits that will help you maintain a healthy body regardless of the stressors of your performing career. This book is my contribution to this credo! So, please share with all who can use it’s content!
Until Next Time,
Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.
The Opera Bro