The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Full Body

Overhead Press
100 x3, 115 x3, 130 AMRAP (5)
100lbs (Paused) 1xAMRAP (10)



Heavy Squat
310 (Min)
225 2x12 (Lower Back was giving out"

Dammit, cut the squat way too high.


Hammer Chest Press
3 Plates plus 30lbs 1xAMRAP, 2 Plates plus 5lbs 1xAMRAP

Hammer Rows
2 Plates + 5lbs 4x12

3" Deficit Deads
300 2x8


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Full Body

Deads
330 x3, 375 x3, 420 AMRAP (6)


Upright Rows
70's Top Set (4x12)

Front Squats
190 2x8


1 arm Chins
17.5 1xAMRAP (6)
Regular Chins
17.5 1xAMRAP (13-15)



Chest Flys
4x12

Dips
2xAMRAP

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Client Update: Ulises

Client Ulises: 16 weeks.

Before: 143lbs

Goblet Squat - 35lbs x 12
Dumbbell Bench - 35lbs (each hand) x 12
Dips - BW x 12
Chins - BW x 8


After: 152

Barbell Squats - 155 x 8
Barbell Bench - 135 x 5
Dips - BW + 25lbs x 10
Chins - BW + 25lbs x 6

Ulises has seen a marked improvement with ALL of his lifts, but these are the ones that have been consistent from day one in the program. As you can tell he's definitely gotten stronger and put on a sizeable amount of muscle. We're still working to help him get even great results and I look forward to sharing more with you guys as he develops.

Damn good work, Ulises.

Until Next Time,

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Full Body

Bench
180 x 5, 205 x 3, 230 AMRAP (1)
185lbs (Paused) 1xAMRAP (7)



Pause Squats
195 4x8


Rows/Lat Work
4x12

Leg Press
5 Plates Plus 45lbs 3x12

1" Deficit Deads
325 2x8


Monday, July 27, 2015

Full Body

Squat
225 x3, 255 x3, 285 AMRAP (4)


Pause Dumbbell Incline Bench
70's 4x4



1 arm Chins
15 1xAMRAP (9-10)
Chins
15 1xAMRAP (15 ish)

Sumo Deads
Pyramid (405)



Dips
2xAMRAP

Saturday, July 25, 2015

It's that easy?

Recently I began working with the fellow that played Curly opposite of me in our production of Oklahoma! We actually read together in our auditions in August (or was it September?) for the roles we ended up playing. I was coming from Don Giovanni and a lean 190lbs. I was surprised to find a fellow like Mat, 6' 4" and a full figured baritone. He was by no means lean, but I wouldn't consider him to be obese by any account.

Our read was amazing. I was immensely impressed with his acting and communication skills. We both landed the roles. 

While Ol' Yeargain was preparing for the role of Jud Fry by attempting to bulk up, Mat had his own game plan and through the months leading up to our rehearsal process proceeded to get into fantastic shape for the role.



Like Ol' Yeargain, whenever you go through such a transformation you get asked a lot of questions about HOW???? The following is exactly what Mat did. Word for word.

"Hello all you beautiful people.

I’ve had a lot of people PM me to ask what exactly I did to get my old man body into better shape. I’ve written it all out, but first a Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor. I am not a dietitian. I am not a nutritionist. I am not a personal trainer. Please be careful when starting a workout/diet regimen. I personally started my journey into getting into better shape by scheduling an appointment with my Dr. to get a physical done. I highly recommend doing the same.
So here’s the skinny.

Diet:
I did fasted training/dieting. Here’s how it works. You eat all of your calories for the day during an 8hour period. For example, I wouldn’t eat any food till about 2pm each day and wouldn’t eat any food after 10pm. I won’t go into the research that shows the benefits of doing this. If you’d like to know more I highly recommend visiting http://www.leangains.com/. For the first 3 months I also put myself on a fairly large calorie deficit. That means I would burn more calories that I ingested. I allowed myself 1800 calories a day. That’s about a 900-calorie deficit for a guy my size. So, even if I didn’t do any exercise at all and just sat around on my butt, which I am want to do sometimes, I would still lose weight. Having a calorie deficit that large is not particularly healthy, and I don’t recommend it to someone who is not working on a time frame. For those 3 months I felt lethargic and hungry all of the time. The only reason I did it was because I needed to lose fat fast. Another problem with having a calorie deficit that large is that it makes it impossible to build muscle. As much as your body eats fat with that deficit, it also eats muscle. If you need to get rid of fat fast, however, nothing beats not eating much. Another aspect of the diet I implemented was keeping track of my Macros. This is basically balancing your protein, fat and carbohydrates into predetermined percentages of your diet. For example, I ate 40% protein, 35% fat, and 25% carbohydrates every day, or as close to those numbers as possible. There is a ton of information on the Internet if you’d like to do your own research as to why this is beneficial to muscle building and weight loss.
After the first 3 months I had lost about 25lbs and was already looking very different/thinner so I decided to up my calorie intake to about 2300 calories a day. I also started cycling my carbohydrates. What that means is that during the week I would have days, usually 3 a week, where I would up my protein intake to about 50% and drop my carbohydrates to 15%. This gives you the benefit of a low carb diet without some of the negative side effects. I would eat more carbs on lifting days where I could really use the extra energy and less on rest days.

With all that in mind, I wouldn’t have been able to do all of that calorie/macro tracking without the use of the best calorie counting app there is, myfitnesspal.com. It has a huge database of foods and their nutritional information. It keeps track of Macros and is really easy to use. If you don’t use it you’re cheating yourself, and no, I’m not on their payroll.

As for the foods I ate, my staples were Grilled Chicken, Pork Tenderloin, Egg Whites, Pure Protein Bars, Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein, Optimum Nutrition Casein Protein (slow digesting protein I would take before bed), Fiber 1 cereal, Metamucil (With all that protein you need help pushing it through), raw vegetables with light Italian dressing, roasted almonds, Chobani no fat plain yogurt, Dark Chocolate chips (70%coco), dried cranberries, red delicious apples, bananas and sweet potatoes. 90% of the meals I ate over the last 7 months consisted of these foods. I would shake things up with a Salmon filet or a steak here and there, but not that often. I did cheat sometimes too. I love ice cream and pizza. When I would cheat, however, I kept track of the calories and would do as much cardio as I needed to make up the difference.

Suffice it to say the diet works and it sucks. It’s was/is hard to do and you have to keep track of it like it’s your job. For me it was my job so I did it. I literally have a record of just about every piece of food I put in my mouth over the last 7 months. I spent as much time tracking my food as I did eating it. On to training!

Exercise:
I basically lived at the gym. I scheduled my workouts each week and even hired babysitters when needed so I could go to the gym. Most of my workouts took place in the early mornings at around 6:30 – 7:00am. On some days I had to teach too early so I would work it so I could go in the afternoon.

Cardio:
I did HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for 30min a pop at least 5 days a week, sometimes 7 days a week. For more info on HIIT you can check out this link http://www.builtlean.com/…/high-intensity-interval-trainin…/. I did most of my cardio on the elliptical or stationary bike. I have bad knees so I don’t run any more. I would have rather been outside on my actual bicycle but, if you recall, it rained all fall. During the High intensity segments of my cardio I tried to get my heart rate up to about 170bpm and keep it there for about 2 min. HIIT will kick your butt, especially the first couple weeks you start. The good news is that your heart will adjust to the stress in a fairly quick time and you’ll be amazed how much easier it gets. You will also be energized the rest of the day. It doesn’t drain you like long steady state cardio.

Lifting:
I co-opted two different workout programs from bodybuilding.com. Labrada's 12 week program and then Grage's 9 week program. I didn’t follow them exactly. I added more major lifts to the workouts than they prescribed. On Leg days I always did squats and on back days I always did deadlifts. To be frank, you could really just do squats, deadlifts, bench-press and pull-ups and get yourself into fantastic shape. Whatever lifting regimen you take on, if it doesn’t incorporate those 4 lifts then you’re wasting your time. That goes for girls as well. Lift heavy weights girls. Be strong girls, cause girls kick ass. That’s just my opinion but most trainers that are worth your time will tell you the same. On average I lifted 5 days per week for about 1 ½ to 2 hours a pop. That was probably overkill but I was on a mission and felt lazy if I wasn’t sore in some part of my body every day. I have a pretty decent background when it comes to lifting and I chose not to use a trainer. If you have never lifted weights I would recommend getting a trainer to make sure you’re using proper form. Also, make sure someone you trust recommends your trainer. There are a lot of charlatans out there and it doesn’t take much to get licensed in Oklahoma. If you are looking for a trainer I highly recommend Kasey Yeargain. He played Jud with me and is incredible. I just started training with him last week. I’m gonna get ripped. Just wait. Check out his website to get inspired, www.operabrotraining.com.

Our first training session together and we both pulled PR's on the Deadlift.
 

Something else that I did was take BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) as prescribed by leangains. Since I was working out in the early morning but not eating till the afternoon I would use these amino acids to facilitate protein synthesis while I was still fasting. It works like this. I would take 10grams of BCAA’s about 15min before I lifted. Then I would take 10 more grams every hour and a half until I broke my fast at 2pm. You can read about how this works at http://www.leangains.com/.

Supplements:
I used Xtends BCAA’s, Fish Oil, Multivitamin, Iron supplement, glucosamine, vitamin D supplement, potassium supplement, glutamine (post work out to prevent muscle soreness) and the several protein powders I listed above
I think that about covers it. I hope this makes some sense. I’m not proofing what I wrote and know I ramble when I write. If you have any questions feel free to PM me.

Love to all."

So, there you have it. It's as "simple" as that. Except not. There were no gimmicks, no tricks. As you can clearly see, Mat isn't trying to sell you anything beyond hard fucking work. Things that I preach on the daily. Mat earned his triumphs with every single drop of sweat off of his brow. And he has just given you a blueprint on how to get your own kind of success. This is generous information that could help a lot of people that's actually rather simple. Workout hard, eat less food and you will lose weight.

But the fact is that most people won't follow this advice because it's too simple. Because there are no tricks. Because what's required is putting yourself through a journey. One where you work hard, and find what you're made of. Fighting the social battles and sticking to a plan. Consistency is the keys to the kingdom.

Many would see all that Mat has done and ask "was it worth all of that work?" And I know for a fact that mat would tell you that it was worth every moment and more.

Until Next Time,

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Friday, July 24, 2015

Full Body

Overhead Press
95 x5, 110 x5, 120 AMRAP (6)
95lbs (Paused) 1xAMRAP (10)



Heavy Squat
310 Min
225 2x11



Hammer Chest Press
3 plates plus 25lbs 1xAMRAP, 2 plates 1xAMRAP

Hammer Rows
2 Plates 4x12

3" Deficit Deads
320 2x6
 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Full Body

Deads
305 x5, 350 x5, 400 AMRAP (9)
 


Upright Dumbbell Rows
65's 4x12 (pyramid top set)

Front Squat
210 2x6


1 arm Chins
12.5 1xAMRAP
Regular Chins
12.5 1xAMRAP



Flys
4x12

Dips
2xAMRAP

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Suffer to Earn Your Supper

Ol' Yeargain is always typing away. Clickty clack clack all day long. I get up, usually train. Head to work or come back home and hop on the comp. With internet where it is today I can do almost anything I need to as long as I have an internet connection.

When I'm at home in my little cave I like to write emails, programs, or work on my books (along with other super secret projects) all while watching training videos.

However, I don't like to see people doing boring training sessions, where they are just lifting for general fitness. I like to watch people who truly believe in the idea of hard. fucking. work. People who will suffer for their craft. People who will bury themselves underneath a barbell in order to be the absolute best.

Jon North

There's a particular training series captured ala Vlog format that tails the preparation of Jon North preparing for The Arnold Classic in Weightlifting. Nobody knows how to suffer the slings and arrows of training like a weightlifter and Jon is put through the ringer in every episode released. I believe this particular vlog is my favorite, but they are all worth watching:




Branch Warren

Branch is an IFBB pro bodybuilder and has succeeded at the elite levels of the sport. He is noted for his hard, grainy musculature that seems to be the result of complete and total self brutality. He works way beyond the point of human capacity for REPS and crafts his body into a ball of twisted steel. His training is aggressive to say the least.



I'm currently writing a book about training to enhance your acting. I don't have a release date in mind, but I think it will be one of the best things I will ever write. Because it's a topic I'm truly passionate about and one I think should be talked about way more often than it is.

It centers around this idea of suffering. Of earning your spot in the world and allowing that training to forge you into a mindset that will allow you to understand what it means to be broken and rebuilt. I've heard it recently called "paying the rent." Which highlights this idea earning your existence. I've had some minor hardships in my life, nothing that should be bragged about. I can't relate to half the characters I play on a personal experience level. But, I can craft a web designed of anger, pity and even triumph in the context of the gym. It's some food for thought and a topic I will continuously build upon.



Until Next Time,

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It!

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Full Body

Bench
170 x3, 195 x3, 220 AMRAP (3!!!)
180lbs 1xAMRAP (Paused) (8)



Pause Squat
215 4x6



Dumbbell Lat Pull Overs
4x12 (Pyramid 80lbs top set)

Leg Press
5 Plates plus 40lbs 3x12

1" Deficit Deads
365 2x6

Another random bro was taking up the deadlift platform. Didn't feel like tearin up my lower back putting plates together on a shaky surface and opted to save some energy for the upper bro sesh I'm dominating today with Govich.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Full Body

Squat
205 x5, 240 x5, 270 AMRAP (6)



Incline Dumbbell Pause Bench
65's 4x6



1 arm Chins
BW + 10lbs 1xAMRAP (8)
Reg Chins
BW + 10lbs 1xAMRAP (15)

Pause Deads
355 2x6



Dips
62.5lbs 1xAMRAP, BW 1xAMRAP

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Client Update: Christian

It's time to do some bragging on one of my clients.

Christian began working with me around 8-10 weeks ago. (a week or two off in between the 8 week program.)

Before: (After Week 1)

Goblet Squat - 60lbs x 11
Chin Ups - BW x 6
Bench - 135lbs x12
Dips - BWx14
Deadlift - 135x14 (projected 200lb Max)

After: (After Week 7 program)

Back Squat - 145lbs x 12
Chin Ups - BW + 30lbs x 5
Bench - 165lbs x10
Dips - BW + 35lbs x 15
Deadlift - 245lbs



Fantastic work, Christian. Proud to call you my client!

If you want help with getting better results with your training, check out my rates and packages at operabrotraining.com or hit me up at operabro1@gmail.com if you have any questions about online coaching.

Until Next Time,

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Friday, July 17, 2015

Full Body

I'm Overhead Press
105 x5, 120 x3, 130 AMRAP (4)
90lbs (Paused) (13)



Heavy Squat
305 (min)
225 2x10



Hammer Chest Press
3 Plates plus 20lbs 4x12

Rows
4x12

3" Deficit Deads
335 2x4

A bunch of Newbs jumped on the Deadlift platform right before I was about to use it. Instead of trying to work in with their light weight (babbyyyyy) I decided to do a machine deadlift that was brutal on the quads and back. Did some Bicep curls and called it a day.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Full Body

Deads
345 x5, 390 x3, 435 AMRAP (4)

Pull That Shit.

 
Upright Dumbbell Rows
Top set 60lbs 4x12

Front Squats
215 4x4



1 Arm Chin Ups
BW + 7.5lbs 1xAMRAP (8)
Regular Chins
BW + 7.5lbs 1xAMRAP (15)



Chest Flys
4x12 (Cable w/ropes and Pyramid up to 60lbs)

Dips
62.5lbs 1xAMRAP, BW 1xAMRAP

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Capitalize on Vengeance

I'm not sure how many of you view me. It may come as a surprise to you that deep within me is a very vindictive person. Injustice has always boiled my blood. It bothers me so much that I can't stand to hear about it, otherwise it consumes me.

I don't want to get on here to grand stand on a political stance. There's plenty of that going around. Instead I'd like to discuss how that boiling rage can benefit you.

There are two ways to take the words "you're not good enough." You can either let it crush you, or be a means to springboard you forward. 

"I'll show you..."

If you haven't whispered these words in a fitted rage, you're letting the weight of rejection crush you. 

I've received more than my fair share of rejection in my limited time on earth. It's a regular part of being an actor/singer. But even those of you who have no interest in the stage can understand what it's like to not get a job, to get turned down by the "pretty gal" in school, or to just lose.

These are trials. We all face them. You're not unique in this regard. How you face them is what defines you.



There is nothing that replicates trials. However training is nothing more that scheduled, controlled trials. So, yes, in a way it's a replication, but training in itself is a trail. It does affect the central nervous system after all. 

"Rip the head off a goddamn lion."

This should be your thought process when training. This is your moment to fight back. You won't go to jail for putting some weights in the ground, getting pissed and throwing all of your blind hatred into a set of dumbbells. In fact, If you do it right, you'll come back from this venture a stronger, leaner, sexier S.O.B. If you're unsure of how to begin, get my Beginner Gym and Diet Program.

The Point is to take that stupid rejection and self doubt and tell it to "Shove it." Put that energy into the weights, in the weight room, in the temple of self advancement. If you want to prove someone wrong, do it with your walking billboard. Someone thinks you're not good enough, prove them wrong. Show them.

Until next time,

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Full Body

Bench
160 x5, 180 x5, 205 AMRAP (5)
175lbs (Paused) 1xAMRAP (9) <- I think I rushed it/fatigued from late night rehearsal.



Pause Squat
230 4x4




Rows
4x12

Leg Press
5 Plates Plus 35lbs 3x12

1" Deficit Deads
390 2x4


Monday, July 13, 2015

Full Body

Squat
235 x5, 265 x3, 295 AMRAP (2)

Incline pause dummbell bench
60's 4x8-12



1 Arm Chin
BW + 5lbs 1xAMRAP (7)
Regular Chins
BW + 5lbs 1xAMRAP (15)



Pause Deads
330 2x8
 


Dips
BW 1xAMRAP (20?)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Separation Anxiety

Every once in while I like to let you guys in on the mindset of Ol' Yeargain. This past week or so has been an adjustment to say the least. It was the first full week of getting back into daily grind of work and the like. And the first week where I wasn't Jud Fry.

There is a term or something referred as "post show blues." Or Post show depression or whatever. Basically it's when you're no longer in a show and the reality that the friendships, songs, or circumstances you had grown accustomed to in a short period of time are no longer the same. And they more than likely will never be the exact same. That's half of the beauty of it. It's fleeting.

Initially I didn't have a chance to sink in too deeply. The day we closed the show I had rehearsal for a 4th of July gig that very evening. Later that week I had more rehearsal as well as another gig and a performance of an American Standard at church on Sunday. In other words I had things to keep my mind occupied.



But now that the dust has settled, the separation anxiety has set in. Separation anxiety has a little bit more of a serious connotation to it. And I chose such a title because I think there is a lot more serious attachment to this particular project. I was a very good Jud Fry. I did very well and I was recognized for it.




But Jud Fry exhausted me. He took a lot out of me. I don't know if I was just being too mental about it, or if being that angry, sad, and living with that kind of persona inside of my head was truly that taxing. The falling, shaking with anger, yelling, and punching my hand against the chairs and table probably didn't help, but I'm used to that kind of self torture. Maybe Ol' Yeargain is getting OLD. I just know that there was a weight that came with being Jud Fry that isn't usually present. I don't know how long I could live in that skin. Just some thoughts.

But part of me still misses him. I still talk his lines, speak with his voice. I haven't shaved or cut my hair which is a usual tradition for me when it comes to being finished with a show. I also miss the people I had the privilege to surround myself with. Great people, immensely encouraging of my work and contribution to the project. Great performers, a dream cast and crew. Quick and self reliant. Fun was had.

But I must remember that such scenarios are nice, but not what makes the art. An actor/performers work is not in the praise, it's in the preparation. It's in the dedication of becoming another person and telling their story. I wasn't so great at Jud because "I'm so good." I was a good Jud because Jud had a great story to tell and I loved telling that story.



Fortunately, there are other dragons to slay, other fields to farm. The best that I can hope to do is to try to cut a wide swath. I made some really great friends with this project that I plan on keeping around for a long time. Quality people who's goals line up with mine. There are a LOT of adventures to be had and this is just the start of a lot of cool things that will happen. I know it.

Until Next Time,

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Friday, July 10, 2015

Full Body

Overhead Press
95 x3, 110 x3, 125 AMRAP (5)
85lbs 1xAMRAP (Paused) (15)



Heavy Squat
305 Min
225 2x9



Hammer Chest
3 Plates plus 15lbs 4x12

Rows
4x12

3" Deficit Deads
295 2x8



Shoulder/Arm Hypertrophy

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Full Body

Deads
320 x3, 365 x3, 415 AMRAP (6)
This was a gad dang miracle after pulling 455 on Tuesday.

 
Upright Dumbbell Rows
Pyramid (top set 60lbs) 4x12

1arm Chins
2.5lbs 1xAMRAP (each arm)
BW + 2.5lbs 1xAMRAP

These felt badass.


Front Squat
185 4x8



Flys
4x12 (mix of machines)

Dips
57.5 1xAMRAP, BW 1xAMRAP