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Grisha

 

Posts: 1235
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

Guitar and Weight Lifting 

Hi All,

After a long period of losing muscle and gaining weight I finally decided to get back in shape. I started lifting lighter weights, biking and some other exercises (like 20 minutes of burpees) about 7 weeks ago. At first I noticed that my playing degraded and I would miss strings with my right hand, and my left hand always felt tense. But in the past few weeks my body adjusted and my hands became more relaxed than they were prior to exercising. I also noticed that certain things that were physically difficult for me before (like long runs, fast arpeggios, or even left hand work) now take much less effort. I also notice an increase of speed in scales, especially bursts. Seems like I can channel more energy to my fingers.

What are your thoughts and experiences?

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 4:55:16
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2969
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Hi Grisha, great playing as always

I enjoy playing more. like I enjoy everything else more, when I am not depressed.

Keeping in shape makes me happy.

I like to run to keep in shape because it is a very natural whole body activity and (at least where I am) it allows me to enjoy nature.

I used to go to the gymn and do calisthenic type stuff but in the end I found that I would overdo it and end up with aches and pains or become too interested in developing nonfunctional strength.

I am pretty sure that I could beat Paco even in his teens over most distances from 100m to 26miles. And I am also certain that I will never play more than one bar of semiquavers at 220 bpm with two RH fingers.

I hope to live beyond my sixtieth year and to be happy and that the happier I am the better I will play. But no matter what I will never play as well as Paco did at twenty.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 5:16:08
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1235
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Thank you, amigo! I am not sure I fully understand your post...

Just like you, I am certain I will never play like a 20 years old Paco.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 6:21:19
 
machopicasso

 

Posts: 827
Joined: Nov. 27 2010
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

I've been lifting heavy weights ever since I started learning flamenco guitar. I've never found the former a hindrance to the latter, though with one caveat: I can't play (nearly as well) immediately after working-out. I need a few hours to cool down. (Some years ago, I had a gym buddy who was a classical guitarist studying with Manuel Barrueco -- also from Russia, actually; a guy named Piotr Pakhomkin. He reported the same thing).

I'm guessing that gripping dumbbells -- especially if you're doing bicep, tricep, and forearm exercises -- concentrates blood flow into your arms and hands in ways which are momentarily disadvantageous for the finer movements required for playing guitar. So, cooling down and stretching post-work-out can make for an easier transition back to playing.

One other thing I noticed: Last December, I injured my left rotator cuff pretty badly. As a consequence, quick changes in fretting position (e.g. from the 1st fret to the 10th) would sometimes hurt. I've since recovered from the injury, so it's no longer an issue. But all of that to say: If you start lifting heavy weights, make sure to do some rotator cuff exercises so as to avoid an injury which can interfere with your playing.

Incidentally, nice job on that falseta!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 8:58:54
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3736
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Just a couple of general thoughts on the matter:

Unless one is "developing nonfunctional strength", as well remarked by David, physical exercising should primarily be benefitting literally any action, from banal conducts like walking or lifting a sack of potatos, over sexuality down to fine motor skills like with playing the flamenco guitar.

In addition to that there is the matter of dopamin which gets increased through physical engagement. A substance known for effecting behaviour and enhancing sensations of motivation and learning ability.

Personally I assume that it is also having consequences on projection. Hence on the way an individual estimates ongoing action and anticipates immediate results.

In a short: I suggest that the overall positive effect of fittness may effect your playing and what you think of it, respectively what you anticipate to come out of it.

Conditions that should yield considerably on a musicians performance. After all mood and vision make for a major part of how you do / progress with playing music.

JMTC.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 9:07:52
 
Arash

Posts: 4401
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Hey Grisha what a coincidence, thats interesting, since I did the same thing
and started about 3 months ago to get in shape again.

I wake up at 5 o'clock each morning since that time (also Sundays) and go out with my bike for 45 minutes in fresh morning air in the small forest nearby.

Then back at home around 30 minutes weight lifting 4 times a week
(started with low weights and slowly increased the weights a bit,
but I dont want to increase too much), crunches, pushups, etc.

I had the same experience....at the beginning it wasn't good and my playing wasn't the same like before starting sports ...then slowly I got back to the same level. But honestly I don't feel like i have much more power now when playing. The only thing that is much better now is that I'm more relaxed while playing. Sometimes I had some kind of tension (both in my head and my hands) and thats much better now.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 10:17:00
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2969
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

quote:

ORIGINAL: Grisha

Thank you, amigo! I am not sure I fully understand your post...



I really didn't put it very well did I.

What I should have said is that I personally prefer running.

You might enjoy the Julian Lage audio clip I posted off topic, he talks about the weight of the guitar and quite a bit of stuff. I've never seen anyone play any instrument more comfortably than him.


D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 11:06:10
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3736
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Long time ago something rather obvious was handed out as information, but weirdly the world seems not to have noticed.

Making sports early in the morning is about as matching to your body like an ice pop after an extensive walk in the Arctic. ... Or maybe sex in the sauna ( which I tried once, and it wasn´t really such a great idea).
... Or to use a close analogy: Do you know how rubber bands get torned the fastest? When extremes from lose to tensioned get altered too suddenly.

Your poor body has just come out from sleep to then be strained? That is the best way to make the advantage of sports questionable and to reduce the benefits of physical exercising.
- And no stretching is going to change much about the contra productive situation. ( Whichs effects are being largely overrated and misunderstood anyway.)

With common daily routines, physcial exercising is best executed after 5:00 pm. That is when your body is best prepared for straining.

- Just like with the engine of your vehicle. It likes to be warmed up first, before you floor its gas pedal.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 11:23:54
 
rojarosguitar

Posts: 242
Joined: Dec. 8 2010
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

quote:

...I am certain I will never play like a 20 years old Paco.


But you play like you and that's much better. Imagine everybody would play the same ... how boring ... I enjoy your playing very much.

As to physical training, I made the experience that training the arms and hands too heavily impairs the fine motorics, it makes everything a bit more rough ... For loosing weight and keeping in shape it is not necessary to develop too many muscles in the arms, IMHO

_____________________________

Music is a big continent with different lascapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

A good musical instrument is one that inspires one to express as free as possible
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 12:32:58
 
tele

Posts: 1404
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to rojarosguitar

Healthy body means healthier brain, so I can see only benefit from physical excersice, however long cycling trips tend to numb the hands which can't be beneficial especially if playing guitar after cycling

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 16:25:53
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1235
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Thank you for your thoughts, guys!

I only train with light weights, mainly with 12 and 20 pounds (for the last 3 weeks). Before that I only had 9 pounds to work with. I mostly train my back, legs, chest and core. Arms see less workout, although triceps get a bit more. Most effective exercise I found is the burpee with push up and jump, which I do 210 times in 20 minutes.

As far as biking, I mainly do it inside. My girlfriend has a nice spin bike that is a pleasure to use.

I noticed positive effects on my brain, which is more alert and calmer at the same time. I also am in better mood than before, generally.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 16:51:54
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2817
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

I do not lift weights, but for decades, since I was a young man, I have played squash on a regular basis. I still play squash in my dotage (three times a week with a regular partner), but age forces me to play "old man squash," i.e., I am much slower on the court, but I try to play smarter.

I think that regular exercise enhances one's overall health and mental well-being. When I am on a consulting assignment overseas--for two, three, or four months--in a place that lacks squash courts, and I don't get the same regular exercise, I begin to feel I've lost my mental edge and have a sense of being less alert.

I haven't measured the effect on my guitar-playing (such as it is), but I am sure that lack of exercise must have some negative effect, just as I am sure that regular exercise has a positive effect.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 17:03:39
 
keith

Posts: 1106
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

grisha--i have noticed that lifting weights and then playing guitar and hour or two thereafter was not a good mix as my forearms had not "calmed down" enough to be loose. i work out in the morning and then go to work so by the time i get home things are loose. on the weekends it is another mattter--i need a few hours for things to get loose.

i think machopicassio was on the right track. when doing arm work the forearms are used extensively if one grips the weight--that is, one puts the bar into the palm and the fingers roll over the bar. this action engages the forearm which is in itself not a bad thing unless one plays classical or flamenco guitar and then it may have a positve or negative effect. i use the open palm technique on weekends so as to not engage my forearms as much (and i have noticed the open palm better engages the target muscle. for example, an open palm curl is more difficult to do as it makes the bicep work harder since the forearm is doing a lot less work.

you can try this at home. flex your forearm (bicep curl if you will) without any weight and do a curl with the palm open and one with the hand in a fist. you will notice the difference.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 18:12:29
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1235
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Thank you! I try to reduce the forearm workout by not lifting heavy. Bicep curl is the exercise I like least (and do less of), precisely because of forearm workout being part of it. When I do it, I let the wrist hang loose.

As for running, I can't really do it. After a couple of weeks I always end up with knee pain. Proven many times over.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 18:26:46
 
Thomas

Posts: 225
Joined: Oct. 5 2005
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Ruphus

quote:


Your poor body has just come out from sleep to then be strained? That is the best way to make the advantage of sports questionable and to reduce the benefits of physical exercising.
- And no stretching is going to change much about the contra productive situation. ( Whichs effects are being largely overrated and misunderstood anywa.


I am a runner since my early twenties, always in the early morning, besides a cup of coffee always on an empty stomach and I never ever experienced any discomfort for my body. I usually run between 10 and 13 miles, 4 times a week...
I guess it is simply a matter of personal routine and adaption.

_____________________________

TeFau Studio Thomas Vogt
Cuadro Sur Guitar Trio
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 18:40:39
 
Arash

Posts: 4401
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Thomas

yeah its also biorythm which can be different from one person to another.
not so important if you do it early in the morning or at 5pm, as long as you feel good and see and feel the results.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 21:25:32

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Well, you're making me want to go workout now.

I finally got my bike fixed recently, and have been doing a
few laps around my neighborhood everyday. Good for the
mind and a little cardio.

Hearing your results makes me want to try some lifting.
I think i would be careful and start really slow.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 22:31:42
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1235
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Cool! Beware that there is an adjustment period involved. As my muscles grew I had to learn how to control them in bigger size.

By the way, it would be cool to meet you when I play in Baltimore this December. Hope you come. Let me know!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 22:48:24
 
Arash

Posts: 4401
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

yeah guys, don't exaggerate, you don't wanne look like this and play a taranta or something. that wouldn't be authentic



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 22:55:52
 
tele

Posts: 1404
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Arash

I use the varigrip for finger muscles, it's great for warming up also, worth the money

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 28 2014 23:03:20

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

quote:

By the way, it would be cool to meet you when I play in Baltimore this December. Hope you come. Let me know!


Absolutely, i'd love to see play live. I am only 20 minutes from Baltimore.
I will check your schedule for details.

TK

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 0:19:39
 
jg7238

 

Posts: 2807
Joined: May 11 2009
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

I do a bit of light dumbell squats (20 pounds) and some lunges followed by an hour and a half of cycling every other day.( I love those climbs).. I do find that my playing is better all around(scales, arpeggios are faster, cleaner) and more relaxed, focused. Basically experiencing the same thing you are.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 1:07:16
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1322
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Ten years ago I was really into weight lifting. I still have a power rack; a two-position bench; a convertible, selectorized-plate machine w/300 lb stack; etc. I have a mig welder so I actually made some of this weight equipment.

Grisha, IIRC the last time you lifted weights you quit because you thought it interfered with your sensitivity. From the video you provided that doesn’t seem to be the case this time. As others have commented exercise improves a person’s mood, intellect and ability to perform.

If you don’t already have padded wrist straps you should buy a pair. They help transfer most of the weight directly to your wrists instead of first going through your fingers to your wrists. They work for most pulling movements. Standing exercises such as shrugs, upright rows, and the dead lift and sitting exercises such as seated rows and lat pull downs all place a lot of stress on a person’s fingers without wrist straps. You will only be able to apply one strap tightly so I suggest you learn to wrap your right hand first. This will provide more protection to your right hand. I’ve met power lifers who played electric guitar well, but they didn’t have the same sort right hand technique required for flamenco.

I like these lifting straps: http://www.sportchalet.com/product/padded+cotton+lifting+strap.do

When it comes to pushing exercises like the bench press, close grip bench press, etc. you can experiment with using a thumbless grip. This takes some of the stress off of your fingers and places most of it on your palms. Good luck!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 5:13:30
 
Grisha

 

Posts: 1235
Joined: Mar. 17 2005
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Thank you very much for the info!

So glad to hear exercising works for a lot of people!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 6:42:44
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3736
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

The healthy gasping in the morning h... (in reply to Thomas

quote:

ORIGINAL: Thomas


I am a runner since my early twenties, always in the early morning, besides a cup of coffee always on an empty stomach and I never ever experienced any discomfort for my body. I usually run between 10 and 13 miles, 4 times a week...
I guess it is simply a matter of personal routine and adaption.


If you like to cherish the idea then that is what you will do.
But mere fact remains that there are plain physical and nervous contradictions with waking up to making sports. From parasympathicus against sympathicus to cardio and muscular contrast. It is just what it is, with the bodys generous ironing out of its mistreatment not equalling a suit procedure yet.

It is the same principle with occasionally unergonomical guitar technique ( which idolized followers seem unable to understand). Just because individual artists being able of gaining great results despite a detouring technical detail in question does not mean that they couldn´t be faring even better with a physiologically perfected routine.

Ergonomy is basically staying the same for everyone, as things usually keep proportion. And that is also the case regarding many other body related matters

People who exert contrafunctional behaviour like detering their bodies right out from bed over long period of time must count with a shortening of their life span.

You may complain to physicians about unpopular circumstances like that, but chances are that it can´t really change much about corporeality.

My first cars engine had a hairline crack from been strained cold, even though I could had sworn that it wasn´t necessary.

Ruphus

PS:
If you like the healthy feeling of the morning hours, take a walk.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 8:57:48
 
Thomas

Posts: 225
Joined: Oct. 5 2005
 

RE: The healthy gasping in the morni... (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Thomas


I am a runner since my early twenties, always in the early morning, besides a cup of coffee always on an empty stomach and I never ever experienced any discomfort for my body. I usually run between 10 and 13 miles, 4 times a week...
I guess it is simply a matter of personal routine and adaption.



If you like to cherish the idea then that is what you will do.
But mere fact remains that there are plain physical and nervous contradictions with waking up to making sports. From parasympathicus against sympathicus to cardio and muscular contrast. It is just what it is, with the bodys generous ironing out of its mistreatment not equalling a suit procedure yet.

It is the same principle with occasionally unergonomical guitar technique ( which idolized followers seem unable to understand). Just because individual artists being able of gaining great results despite a detouring technical detail in question does not mean that they couldn´t be faring even better with a physiologically perfected routine.

Ergonomy is basically staying the same for everyone, as things usually keep proportion. And that is also the case regarding many other body related matters

People who exert contrafunctional behaviour like detering their bodies right out from bed over long period of time must count with a shortening of their life span.

You may complain to physicians about unpopular circumstances like that, but chances are that it can´t really change much about corporeality.

My first cars engine had a hairline crack from been strained cold, even though I could had sworn that it wasn´t necessary.

Ruphus

PS:
If you like the healthy feeling of the morning hours, take a walk.


The subtext of your reply implies that I am obviously too dumb to recognize the described negative impacts of my sports routine.
Obviously you're in the know....
I run since more than 30 years now, so please don't tell me that I am up a blind alley.

_____________________________

TeFau Studio Thomas Vogt
Cuadro Sur Guitar Trio
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 9:27:45
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3736
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

Personal empirics are a subjective estimation / will not make up for general / scientific findings.

Wanting to have carried out well, does not mean that you can build a new medicine around it.

What is so hard about understanding yet most trivial of facts?
When waking up your body is being sleepy. The exact opposite from being prepared to making sport.
That it will be yet many hours later.

Basics of organism.
Do you really believe that your physical body will be making an exception of common function, because you are wishing so?
This silly principle still these days. And the earth was built 6000 years ago, innit.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 11:11:20
 
Don Dionisio

 

Posts: 360
Joined: Feb. 16 2011
From: Durham, NC

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Grisha

For those who have not met Grisha in person, he is built like a boxer.
With some weight lifting, he has the potential to be quite buff/muscular.
Ole, Grisha!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 13:02:45
 
Arash

Posts: 4401
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: The healthy gasping in the morni... (in reply to Thomas

One thing I learned is always listen to your body, instincts and your soul, which is - again - different from one person to another and never a general rule which has to be followed by everyone. Specially with subjects like health, nutrition, sports, etc. there is a new "theory" each year.
They have to sell their books too you know.

And for Ruphus:

http://www.herzstiftung.de/Trainieren-in-den-Morgenstunden.html

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 13:35:49
 
keith

Posts: 1106
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Guitar and Weight Lifting (in reply to Ruphus

drat, another thread at risk for going down the tubes.

ruphus, i would imagine one could find 50 advocates for running in the morning, 50 advocates for not running in the morning and 50 advocates for either side. there is enough empirical evidence as well as anecdotal evidence that running/working out in the morning poses no sigificant problems other than not having enough light or having to shovel snow rather than spend time at the gym.

i think you missed two important variables. first, people's body clocks do not operate the same so what works for some does not work for others. secondly, people who exercise in the morning actually wake up and move about the house before hitting the pavement/gym. early morning exercisers tend to know their body and when it is ready to hit the pavement or gym.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 29 2014 13:45:45
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