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Weight loss/workouts/overall body health

How's it going, y'all? My name's Nick, I just got the course today. I've taken voice lessons for four years, performing operatic and Middle Eastern music live (though my heart belongs to rock and roll), and I'm excited to develop my voice even further through the KTVA course! That said, I know losing weight and getting in shape will be key pillars of that development, and I was hoping to get some advice on that.

Here are some of my current stats, partially for anyone reading, partially to remind myself where I am and where I need to be:
Age: 26
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 340 lbs (this is a 45 lb decrease from last year)
Current regime: 30 min elliptical 5 days a week (high steepness/resistance, keeping heart rate between 137-156)
Non-smoker/non-drinker
Current diet: 2500-3000 calories per day as recommended by my BMR. I eat out more than I should; I'm working on replacing diet sodas and coffee with water and herbal tea; home-cooked meals are generally healthier lentil/eggplant dishes with vegetables, though I need to monitor my olive oil/feta/possibly spice usage better

So my first question is, what muscle groups should I ideally be working on during weight training, if that's advisable? I've heard a lot of contradictory advice both online and from voice/choral teachers on what training to do. For instance, some have said working on abs can be beneficial, others that ab training can lead to stiffness and inhibit performance. What have y'all generally found to be the best regime for improving singing?

Secondly, a few times now I've lost significant amounts of weight (usually by low carb/keto, which I've promptly gained back and would like to avoid repeating as a weight loss tactic) and it's affected my core and my diaphragmatic support such that I've almost had to retrain myself to get it back (my teacher at the time confirms this is likely what happened). Is there anything special I need to do to make sure my support adjusts to what I hope will be a more gradual weight loss?

Any help on these fronts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all so much in advance!

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    WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,042
    Answer ✓
    Welcome to the course mate, I'm Chris and been with the course just over a year.

    Im only comfortable giving very general advice regarding diet and fitness, and I'm not advanced enough to know how it will affect your singing in the future.

    I follow a very basic plan, I've never been over weight but it helps me to manage it. If you burn less calaroies than you consume you gain weight, if you burn more, you lose weight. Diets are something you do for a period of time to achieve a weight loss goal, a dietary lifestyle is something you do forever. These are basically what I follow. To keep the weight off you can't revert back to old habits.

    Muscle weighs more than fat, but also having some muscle helps burn more calories because they are more nutrient hungry. So incorporating a weight workout to me is beneficial. Overall, you want to workout all the main muscle groups, usually compound exersices like squats, chest press and lateral pull downs ( back) is a good place to start. I do sometimes skip or reduce my ab workouts the day before I know I'm going to have a tough singing workout.

    @doc_ramadani is our resident medical expert here and I'm sure he will be able to give more detailed advice for you if I have been incorrect.

    It's great to have you here and look forward to hearing you🙂
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    Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,406
    Answer ✓
    congratulations on getting the course, you will like it a lot!

    I don't know how it will tie in with singing, since I don't know whether or not it affects my voice (on the course now almost exactly a year), but what I do for fitness (I never had to lose weight but use it to keep fit'):

    *kettlebell training, you might want to check out a guy called Pavel Tsatsouline

    it is basically a mix of cardio and weight training, and I find it more fun than normal "bodybuilding" type of training. also, it is very minimal in what material you need (a kettlebell or two is enough). I combine it with body weight exercises like pushups, pull-ups, squats, burpees etc. i did moderate "bodybuilding" type of exercises (bench presses, weighted squats, deadlifts) and found they make you really stiff the next day, something I do not get from kettlebell exercise (to be fair, it also does not grow big muscles like bodybuilding, but that's not what I was into anyway, and it doesn't sound like you are either). it is more geared towards "functional" and overall fitness, rather than big growth

    *tabata protocol
    you can arrange exercises into a cycle, with 40 secs heavy work and 20 secs rest, then next set/next exercise. you can also incorporate the elliptical. google it, and if you can't find enough info, let me know and I break it down for you in more detail. you can get pretty fried from 20 minutes of this.

    I think it is always good to hit the body with different stimuli, so maybe try to mix it up a bit, so your body can't ease into a routine, which might mean that you plateau. sometimes I will do a workout tabata style, sometimes i do 3-4 exercises with 3-4 sets each, in a sequence (where i do the sets of the first exercises back to back, then next exercise, etc), or sometimes in a circuit (doing one set of each exercise, then go back to the beginning, etc).

    don't forget to properly warm up before doing heavy exercise!!!

    *for my abs, at the end of every workout session, I do a 6-minute routine from youtube (i think the channel is called "xhit daily") which I find to be beneficial for my support with singing, but obviously, I cannot prove it. I think I would notice if it would inhibit my singing.

    *as for diet, I am like 95% vegetarian (with the occasional exception), and you are right about lentils, they are great, eggplant usually needs a lot of oil to cook it (I find). you might want to look into broccoli, it is a staple for (not only vegan) bodybuilders. steaming is your friend if you are counting calories. also, I learned how to cook Indian, it is a very good way to incorporate lots of veg without it being too bland (depending on your taste). salads with grated carrots, cabbage, kidney beans etc can be really nice if you add (home-made?!) kimchi to the salad as a "dressing". it gives it a nice taste and makes it taste more "solid" than a normal salad.

    that's all I can think of for now, I can give you more details if you have any questions! good luck :)


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    doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management Posts: 3,978
    Answer ✓
    Hi Nicholas, @HardRockGuru

    our mate Chris (@Wigs) tagged me.

    As a Medical Doctor I meet people that want to loose weight every day. The trick is to change you living habits over a long term. The less dramatic the changes for the moment seem to be the better it is on the long term. Short diet changes will likely lead to gaining even more weight.

    I have a recommendation to you which I will send you via PM.

    Doc

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