The Contrast

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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

More Opening Night Thoughts

I got a quick itch to spill some guts before heading to the venue for opening night of Oklahoma! where I'll be singing Curly McClain.

I heard some more cool news today that I'm excited to share with you all, but I'm not at liberty to say anything until I get ink on paper and what not. Knock on wood, ya know? But it got me thinking that I'm going to have this feeling of Opening night nonsense potentially for the rest of my life. Which is both cool and bothersome.

The day of opening, I usually like to have some shit to do during the day. Something that keeps my mind busy, otherwise I'm just putzing around singing way too much, warming up too much, thinking about "can I head to the venue yet?" It gets annoying. That's partly why I got started with my training business, keep me from spazzing out on performing.

When a show is really important to me, or if I'm a big figure head in the piece (the lead, like with Curly in Oklahoma!) or it's a big new company that I want to do really well for, then I'm not nervous necessarily, but I'm squirming, eager to get onto the stage and DO it.

I hate this feeling, because I wonder if the morning nonsense that I feel when singing will linger till the evening, I start to second guess shit I felt like a monster at just two days ago. Do I feel a tickle in my throat? I hope I don't cough on stage, I got to remember to pick up the pace on this line and slow it down on that - stay focused! Make sure to introduce that special color on the passaggio, you know the one. I pack my bag to take to the theater way too early, check it multiple times to see if I forgot anything. I don't stress eat anymore, but I'll usually eat all of my planned food for the day an hour before I even leave the house/apartment.

But then I'm on stage, and it feels perfect. I'm focused, in the moment. I'm not Kasey anymore I'm (Fill in Blank) and I'm not talking with my friends, but with people in this new world manifested onto this small space of magic. Maybe that's it, I spend so much time in the world of the character that the real world outside of the stage feels awkward, the skin doesn't feel like mine. I want to be at the theatre and wear THOSE clothes.

Making yourself feel comfortable on stage, making that floor space your home - suddenly everything else outside of it feels stupid - unnecessary, and you are just trying to figure out how to get back to your home. Just some thoughts.

Until next time,

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

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Friday, October 30, 2015

Upper

Overhead Press
120 x5, 135 x3, 150 AMRAP



Close grip Pause Overhead Press
105lbs 3x8



Bent Over Row
175lbs 4x12

Weighted Dips
55lbs 4x8-10

Pause Pull Ups
20lbs 2x8

Chest Flys
3x12

Bicep/Tricep Superset


Lower

Deads
195 x 20, 245 x 20, 290 x 20




Pause Front Squat
165 3x6




Pause Leg Extensions
175lbs 3x12

Leg Curls
155lbs 3x12

Seated Calf Raises
2 plates plus 20lbs 3x15-20

Late releasing this, but as you can tell, I didn't skip shit, despite life being ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hungry

As a professional actor/singer who currently lives in an area where performing opportunities, although quite delightful, are not abundant. So I find myself frequently combing through the audition tabs of local (and not so local) theatre companies in case they've released an audition notice.

And when I see an audition notice, my heart starts to palpitate. I look over what show it is, what roles are available, and if I see something I know I'd be perfect for, I literally start to get the tingles.

I'm not perfect by any means, but I know what I do well. Tall, sing at a high level, good on stage. In the right role I'll not only do well, I'LL THRIVE. And when I see these golden apples fall across my lap, I know that I must pick it up, unhinge my jaw and bite!

I just found a great audition opportunity that works perfectly with not only my current rehearsal performance schedule but also would tie in VERY well with my current travel goals. I'm excited about this and feel like I have a very good chance of at least having a GOOD appearance for the company.


Hungry


I don't particularly like "competition." I've certainly never done well in vocal competitions. I feel like they only really get one piece of what I offer. But when somebody trains hard at what they do (for me it's singing, acting, looking good on stage via lifting heavy weights) then they've got a certain NEED to demonstrate their work and pit it against others in a competitive environment.

For me, it's auditions...

I don't think I'm better than anybody. I'm not worth more, my voice isn't perfect, I've got long limbs and a dopey grin. But, in the audition room my goal is to try and convince you that if you did NOT cast me, you'd be missing out on something special. I don't want to leave any question marks in their mind, because I know that if I leave even a hint of "what if" floating in the air, then they are going to go with a safer bet. Somebody they know. Somebody that somebody knows. Right now I'm a no-name, they have to throw the dice and see if it lands on snake eyes, hope that I'm not an insane person, difficult to work with. I have to prove that all within minutes of them seeing me perform.

Those seconds feel like hours, my heart races. You walk in trying to demonstrate an air of affability while exuding confidence and professionalism - but not seem like you're "faking it" or "trying to hard." It's a very odd presentation of yourself. Going in there to prove that YOU can be more than just YOU, that you can in fact be somebody else and do it exceptionally well. Confusing as hell to say the least, but remarkable in it's own way.

There have been a lot of really great auditions as of late, but then there is the occasional mediocre or even bad audition that makes my skin craaawwwllll. And as much as I love the good auditions, the ones that went poorly will always be the ones I remember the most. They're carved into my heart - I'll take away lessons from those awkward rooms for the rest of my life. And after each bad audition I slink away, licking my wounds, gathering up the strength and hunger to attack it one. more. time.

Until Next Time...stay hungry, and as always...

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

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Upper

Bench
100 x 20, 130 x 20, 155 x 20




1 Arm Pause Chins
12.5lbs 1xAMRAP



Reg Pause Chins
17.5lbs 1xAMRAP

Shoulder Super Sets

Face Pulls
3x15-20

Bicep/Tricep Super Sets

Monday, October 26, 2015

Lower

Squat
140 X 20, 175 X20, 205 X20

Sumo Deadlift
325 2x6



Deep Leg Press
2 Plates plus 35lbs 3x12

Lunges
35lbs 3x12

Calf Raises
540lbs 3x15-20

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Feelin' Cheap

I've talked about this feeling before. You're in a show, you love every minute of it. You love the people you're surrounded by, you're being fulfilled artistically, you've made friends, you've made memories. You've become attached.

Then the final curtain falls. And everybody says goodbye, and all you have left is a check with your name on it. Like being woken early in the morning and being told there is a 20 dollar bill on the dresser for cab fare. You feel cheap.

Don't get me wrong, money is nice. In fact it's awesome. But in many ways, money makes you feel cheap. That's why it's so taboo to discuss in the performing world. Because what we do can't be measured with something as concrete as a number. What I've given to this project can be summed up more than just my time, that music, those people, they now have a piece of my soul. My heart!

Just like that poor gal who scoops up her clothes off of your apartment floor, last night she thought you shared something special. And maybe you did, but that guy is thinking about how he has to get to work, training, his next project and although he'd love to stay and chat - the day must continue, and the landlord doesn't like tenant's guests to linger. It's by no means personal, but it's hard to deny that feelings are inherently confusing.

Music and money don't mix very well. Money is an idea, a system of trading, a means to an end. But music...music and theatre is nearly inexplicable. It's power over our hearts and minds is uncanny. The right song can crumble a nation. I still have memories working with actors in particular scenes where the air seems like it's been sucked out of the room. Nobody is breathing, you can practically hear the tears dripping of their cheeks. You've broken hearts, maybe even changed peoples perspectives, maybe their lives. How much do you write on the check for something like that? Any number seems absurd. Too low or too high. It's relative, dictated by the moment - the basic cost of you being there, not the quality of the art presented in front of you.

 

No such thing as a Rich Actor 


A lot of what I do is done in hopes of one day becoming an immense financial success. But the pipe dream of becoming a rich performer has died a LONG time ago.

1.) Actors trade time for money and if you've ever read a book about becoming rich you understand that this is a recipe that will leave you poor or below the upper Escalon forever.

2.) Our success relies very heavily on circumstance. And sometimes the things that pay the best aren't necessarily the things that will give us the most artistic fulfillment. If you sing for your supper, eventually you'll find yourself singing things you don't like just to have food on your plate. You start to become bitter, and the thing that brought you endless joy becomes that obnoxious 9-5 you never wanted. Seems silly.

3.) The gifts we have are precious. They can be taken from us in an instant. You must respect this and acknowledge that one day the thing that has provided us financial success could one day vanish completely. In essence, don't put all of your eggs into one basket. Love each and every egg you have, but don't depend on one basket. Scrambled eggs.


In an ideal world I wouldn't receive one red cent from performing. Everything I made I'd probably need to give to Uncle Sam for his cut of the pie anyway. Tax laws are brutal on performers. I'd either wave my fee or find a means of taking that money and escalating the production or the experience for the rest of the cast and crew. Even as something as simple as taking everyone out for a celebratory dinner. I have fond memories of a colleague during Oklahoma! who doubles as a brain surgeon. He bought the entire cast and crew pizza during the long tech rehearsals. A simple gesture that meant a lot to people and was another opportunity to connect.

I've heard that Frank Sinatra would start recording projects days early and they'd just meet for meals or whatever and get to know each other. It would cost extra time and extra money, but in the end they had to do fewer takes, they developed a relationship and trust that made the music pop. I'm not sure if any of that is true, but it's something to think about and a great fuckin' story.


Until next time,

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

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Friday, October 23, 2015

Upper

Overhead Press
110 x3, 125 x3, 140 AMRAP (3)



Close Grip Pause Overhead
100lbs 1x12, 2x8



Bent Over Row
170lbs 4x12

Weighted Dips
45lbs 3x8-12



Pause Pull Ups
17.5lbs 2x6-8

Chest Flys
3x8-12

Bicep/Tricep Superset

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lower

Deads
370 x5, 420 x3, 470 AMRAP (1)


Cake


3" Deficit Deads
350 3x4 



Paused Front Squat
195 3x4 



Bulgarian Split Squats
45's 3x12 (each leg)

Pause Leg Extensions
160lbs 3x12

Leg Curl
140lbs 3x12

Seated Calf Raise
2 Plates plus 15lbs 3x15-20

Tonight is Opening Night of Oklahoma! at Rose State where I'm playing Curly McClain! Wish me positive vibes, feeling great!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Singin' some Oklahoma! on The News.

Excuses and other self manufactured B.S.

Excuses/Self Manufactured B.S.

The path to success is lined with corpses seared with the words "but" "maybe" "if only" each scarlet letter stinking of indecisiveness and excuse. The excuses that fall out of our mouths is remarkable. I'd almost prefer they didn't even try then make an excuse. At least without trying you can plead ignorance or call it a choice. Half assing is the illness that plagues us all. If you're going to do something, do it all the way or drop it. Don't Point the finger.

It's disgusting seeing people create blockades for themselves. I don't care that you didn't do it! I don't have an agenda or a political platform. You either got the job done or you didn't. If I was your boss and you didn't do your job, I would fire you. If you were my tenant and you didn't pay your rent, I would evict you. As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing for failure. If you're traveling and don't look ahead to find a place where you can train where you'll be located, then of course you're not going to get in your training sessions. If you don't bring something to eat, get in your protein and fiber and do your best to regulate your blood sugar, you're going to get hungry, you're going to get hangry, and you're more than likely going to binge on something that's not going to go well with your physique and fitness goals.

With things like fitness or nutrition, you get my same product no matter WHAT you do. You and you alone suffer the consequences. My body will look the same no matter if you skipped a workout or not, or if you pigged out on Fritos at 2am last night after a night of binge drinking. I will train you and prescribe you the same advice I give all of my clients, regardless if you follow through or not. The main issue one has to come to grips with is OWNERSHIP. You have to own your mistakes and learn from them. Learning is important to growing and understanding what led to your failure so you won't repeat it.

Just. Do. It. 

This week I taught numerous people how to deadlift. I worked them all up to a heavy single. Many felt the donkey kick of their central nervous system screaming "NO" for the first time in their lives. 

Some heard their brain begin to phonate on the N of "no" and drop the weight right away. And every time I said "try it again." I Set them up for cues to get out of their way and then fire them up with a passionate "you CAN do this."

The looks on their faces when they beat the weight were priceless. Because they didn't just beat the weight, they bested themselves. Their body said "we can't do this" and they said "shut the fuck up" and proved it wrong. 

Nobody set world records this week in my class, nobody did anything that was alien to what our species is capable of. But until today they didn't know they could do it. In fact many assumed they couldn't and would never do so.

In the world of weights, many women assume they are incapable of lifting certain weights. They think that anything about a 15lb dumbbell is going to crush them. This obviously isn't a universal truth, but I can recognize patterns enough to acknowledge that within this statement lies truth. It's amazing how seeing them glow after crushing a huge weight. suddenly the light inside of the them that had been pushed deep into their belly where it was almost a barely flickering ember is ignited like a Bon fire. Then they think "I wonder if I can lift heavier than that."

And this doesn't just afflict women. There are plenty of men who assume they are weak too. They assume they can't push themselves to a point where they can lift their own bodyweight off the ground. But with the right tools, they can. In Fact many can push themselves quite far the first time they approach a lift. I had one of the guys in my class rip 315lbs off of the floor and lock it out with no problem. Never once done a deadlift. Truly Remarkable.

And as amazing as it is when they succeed, It's remarkable how mad they get when they can't lift the weight they want, too.

Good!

I don't want people to walk around cold inside, curious what it feels like to be brave, to beat something, to win. I don't give out second place trophies. You either lifted the weight or you didn't. You either get the triumph or you stare at the weight and think "you son of a bitch. You bet your ass I'll be picking you up soon." It leaves them hungry for progress, something VITAL towards success.

So in the end, stop self sabotaging, learn from your mistakes, and get hungry for progress.

Until next time,

Lift Big, Sing big, and Look Great Doing it.

The Opera Bro

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Upper

Bench
190 x 5, 215 x 3, 240 AMRAP
Smoked this.

Pause Bench
175lbs 2x8-10



1 Arm Pause Chins
10lbs 1xAMRAP



Reg Pause Chins
15lbs 1xAMRAP

Shoulder Super Sets

Face Pulls
3x15-20

Bicep/Tricep Super Sets

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lower

Squats
255 x5, 290 x3, 325 AMRAP (Single)



Pause squats
235 3x6



Sumo Deadlift
300 2x8



Deep Leg Press
2 Plates plus 30lbs 3x12

Lunges 
30lbs 3x12

Calf Raises
530lbs 3x15-20

Friday, October 16, 2015

Upper

Overhead Press
100 x5, 120 x5, 135 AMRAP



Close Grip Pause Overhead Press
95lbs 3x8-12

Bent Over Row
165lbs 4x12




Decline Bench
Heavy Single (85 x 3), 80lbs 1xAMRAP (15)

Pause Pull Ups
15lbs 2x8

Chest Flys
3x8-12

Bicep Tricep Superset



Shoulder Superset

Next week is Oklahoma! as Curly McClain

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lower

Deadlifts
345 x3, 395 x3, 445 AMRAP (4)




3" Deficit Deads
310 2x8





Pause Front Squat
150 3x8



Bulgarian Split Squat
40's 3x12 (each)

Pause Leg Extensions
150lbs 3x12

Leg Curl
130lbs 3x12

Seated Calf Raise
2 Plates plus 10lbs 3x15-20

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Putting in the reps Part 2

-Click Here for Part 1 -

The law of 10,000 hours is no longer just a bit of knowledge tucked away in a book by Malcom Gladwell. Nor is it just something that the truly elite intuitively understand and teach. It's become a movement that has spurned many to suck it up and "grind."

There are many who have tried to "hack" the system. But I don't consider their solutions to be long lasting or even remotely monumental. It's a parlor trick, a novelty. That's cute, but where will you be in 4 years. My guess is worse off than where you started. To be successful you've got to develop successful patterns, habits and instincts that always leave you winning. But in order to win, you've got to understand what it's like to lose.

Most people achieve their 10,000 hour mastery in about 10 years. And although I'm by no means a master, I've been able to achieve moderate success relatively quickly in my pursuits of both Singing and Fitness. But it's not because of hacks or "quick fixes." It's because of obsession and a willingness to put in the hours.

I had become very familiar with the principle and benefits of dedicated practice from my time as a martial artist and when I became a dedicated violist. I applied those same principles to learning how to play the bass, guitar, and became fairly proficient. The basic principle was just to work and work a lot.

When I began singing and training, I quickly noticed that the limiting factor for both was anatomical. My voice could only sing so much and I could only break down my body so much. But that didn't keep me from testing my limits over and over again. If I wore out my voice so much that I couldn't phonate the next day, then I'd rest it, or I'd taper back my practice to accommodate. If I brutalized my body so much that it was difficult to walk then I'd do what I could that day.

Basically, no excuses. Work with what you can. Put in the work.

How I put in 10,000 hours in Singing/Performing


People are always amazed when I tell them that I didn't even sing a note until I was a senior in High School. And even then, I didn't sing a lot of notes and the ones I did were NOT very good. But practice doesn't have to be good. It doesn't have to happen in front of a paying audience or even in the confines of a studio, it can happen everywhere. It doesn't matter if you suck, the key is practice. When in doubt, practice. Get in the reps. Practice when you're at home, when you're driving, when you've got 10 minutes here and there.

The greatest piece of advice that I could give to poor singers who need to work survival jobs is to get a job that allows you to be completely un-monitored by a superior or customer for the majority of the time. Not so you can slack off or be a waste of space, but so you can open your mouth and mindlessly sing free from judgment or potential unemployment. Delivery jobs are perfect for this. Hours in the car with just your stereo. Hopefully you've got control over your audio!

My first "Lead" was Giorgio Germont in La Traviata. But the entire summer before the auditions even occurred I worked as a full time delivery man. I not only learned the entire role backward and forward by listening to recordings of the MASTERS of the rep (Robert Merrill, Sherrill Milnes, Ettore Bastiannini, Leonard Warren) but I also gained stamina from singing literally hours every day. I'd sing till I couldn't sing anymore. Then I'd rest and attack it again. This tactic allowed me to be able to sing my first Verdi Baritone role at the age of 22, even when I developed a sinus infection during tech week. One of the most nerve wracking performances of my life. But I had put in the hours and dedicated myself to the craft, and I was able to succeed despite the failure of my anatomy.

The majority of my "reps" in singing and performance have been done in my car while delivering food. Even to this day I sing for hours on end. It's the easiest way to learn new repertoire. I learn rep by putting in reps.

Eliminate flukes, forget circumstance. In the end you just need to do it more and your body will discover efficiency. THEN, when you've discovered how to do something easier while still achieving a similar result, then you'll have found your own level of mastery.

 

How I put in 10,000 hours in training 


I embodied the term "over training" for the majority of my beginner years. And frankly I don't regret a single moment. Maybe I could have made more progress or gotten the progress I currently have a lot sooner. But what I did learn was the lifts, and I learned them quickly. I learned what worked and what didn't work. What hurt and how to not make it hurt. I learned how to train with an injury and how to prevent injury. I would tape up my hands if I tore massive holes in my calluses.

My frequency in the gym was made possible due to one thing - my employment at the YMCA. Having a job at the YMCA allowed me to not only make a little money, but also allowed me to save a little money by giving me a free membership to all of the other YMCA's in Oklahoma. I'd train before AND after my shifts. Two a days.

I shared my time with school, which is the ultimate place to be able to knock out two a day style training. Especially if you have a small campus. Rarely are people in a position like with college where you have your day set in front of you in hour long blocks. My training was LESS than idea when I first began. I'd have a whole day set for just bicep training. And although I know that this kind of training is NOT optimal, it did allow me to develop a LOT of different training tools to help target pretty much every muscle in the body. These are things that have proven extremely beneficial when traveling and equipment is inconsistent.

The "Squat Every Day" program has recently made a comeback in the training game. And although I've never squatted EVERY day, at one point I was squatting around 4-5 times a week. I did this because my legs and glutes were a huge weak point. When I did squat it hurt so freaking bad for days on end that the thought of getting under a bar again was terrifying. My technique was so far off from my anatomy that I would frequently injure myself. Basically, I realized that I just need to do more of it and figure out how to hit depth and not fall to pieces, and this was achieved by squatting more frequently.


Final Note


There is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to this game. You can bury yourself under a lot of weight, or wreck your body so much that you bury yourself under not so much weight. The biggest concern with putting in lots of training time is injury. But injury is part of the game, many people hurt themselves with training. But the point is to avoid massive injuries and to develop exquisite technique so that your injuries aren't a result of stupidity but simple wear and tear that can be fixed through traditional recovery measures. Rest and food.

So in the end, you've got to recover from what you're doing to yourself, but don't let recovery be a crutch that prevents you from ever doing any real work. You've got to push yourself to see how far you can go, then taper it back. The slingshot effect will be immense. And it will train you for when times are NOT optimal, when your body feels like hell and your mind isn't in the game, you can put on your headphones and just put your head down and do the work.

Until Next Time

Lift Big, Sing Big, and do a LOT of it.

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Upper

Bench
175 x3, 200 x3, 225 AMRAP

Pause Bench
170lbs 2x10

1 Arm Pause Chins
7.5lbs 1xAMRAP



Reg Pause Chins
12.5lbs 1xAMRAP

Shoulder Super Sets

Face Pull
3x15-20

Bicep/Tricep Supersets

Monday, October 12, 2015

Lower

Squats
240 x3, 275 x3, 310 AMRAP


Pause Squats
250 4x4 



Sumo Deads
340 3x4


Deep Leg Press
2 Plates plus 25lbs 3x12

Lunges
25lbs 3x12

Calf Raise
510lbs 3x15-20

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Love the Obstacles

The obstacles are sexy.


Walking to the campus gym where I train the students of the OCU Opera and Mt program, it's cold, wet, rainy. A sky burdened with black, dropping sheets of of icy tears. The first of many cold mornings where the elements offer up their blockade. This morning is no different, just less convenient. I feel like Rocky Balboa. I walk with that hungry look in my eye, hood over my head. Each step takes me closer to the goal. The rain that was blowing on my windshield now gusts across my face, and now I'm smiling again. My devotion to my practice is tested once more, and I'm excited by this prospect.

I have many fond memories of times I was trudged in ice and snow, rain and sleet to get in my training sessions. I remember times when I'd start my car with thick stacks of snow laying atop it, turn the heat full blast just to have to step out with my ice scraper and clear the windows. Hands freezing through my cheap gloves, now soaked with melted frost. The heater was of little immediate help so I continued shaking like a leaf until the temperature became bearable, all the while looking through frosted windows, my dodge caliber scooting carefully over the icy streets.

I'd get to the gym and like always it was a ghost town. A person here or there had braved the streets, a few grumpy employees. But for the most part it was me and my drive that filled the floor. The metal is rusted, cold, and it's knurling bites extra hard into your chapped and dry hands. I keep all of my layers on through my warm up sets all the way through my initial working sets. Pealing a layer each time it became invasive of the flexibility or the range of motion. By the end of the training session I'd be overheating in a T-Shirt.

After packing up my gym bag with the tools of my betterment, I'd walk out into the cold day with a sun greeting me. I embraced the chill as it now cooled my fevered skin. The feeling is that of victory. Victory over the obstacles set before me by the elements, but also victory over self. But this feeling of achievement is only the result of the obstacle that came before it. Now that I've become addicted to the iron and have found ways over many obstacles, I relish the challenge over the reward.


It wasn't always this way...



I used to have to force myself to get my ass up before 8am with mantras like "successful people do what they have to do whether they feel like it or not." These mantras had their place. It forced behavior that was otherwise out of the normal and transformed it into habitual practice. 

Some people think their mere attendance is enough. That's why places like Planet Fitness are multi million dollar business. It gives you a low barrier of entry and no real obstacles to over come. But they aren't the only ones to blame. I witnessed a lady the other day come to the gym wearing street clothes, sipping on a 44oz soda just to sit on a recumbent bike and barely peddle while texting on her phone. I hope she didn't consider that an effort on her part, and I feel that very few would disagree. She certainly overcame no obstacles, she didn't even change out of the clothes she wore for work/school/whatever. She let the comfort of the outside invade a place where the discomfort is purposefully manifested.

To grow you need to overcome obstacles and observe marked improvement. Complacency is a slow dirge to the burial grounds of life. Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.

Before I adopted these principles and created these habits, the many times I quit was each in itself a death. It was only when I finally stopped allowing myself to give up, to embrace the discomfort and fall in LOVE with the obstacles that I was finally able to shed the cloak of cowardess and wear the armor of bravery.

Until Next Time,

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

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com



Friday, October 9, 2015

Upper

Overhead Press
60 x 20, 75 x 20, 90 x 20



Barbell Rows
160lbs 4x12 



Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Heavy Single, Then 70's AMRAP



Pause Pull Ups
12.5lbs 2x6-8

Chest Flys
3x8-12

Bicep/Tricep Superset

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Lower

Deads
320 x5, 370 x5, 420 AMRAP




3" Deficit Deads
335 2x6



Pause Front Squats
160 3x6 



Bulgarian Split Squats
35lbs 3x8-12

Pause Leg Extensions
140lbs 2x8-12

Pause Leg Curls
120lbs 2x8-12

Calf Raise
2 Plates plus 5lbs 3x15-20

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Upper

Bench Press
160 x5, 190 x5, 215 AMRAP


Pause Bench
165 2x8-12

1 Arm Pause Chins
5lbs 1xAMRAP



Reg Pause Chins
10lbs 1xAMRAP

Behind the Head Press
85lbs 3x8-12



Alternating Upright Dumbbell Row
45-50lbs
3x8-12

Face Pull
3x15-20

Bicep Tricep Superset
2x8-12

Monday, October 5, 2015

Lower

Squat
225 x5, 255 x5, 290 AMRAP (5)



Pause squat
210 2-3x8



Sumo Deads
320 3x6



Deep Leg Press
2 plates plus 20lbs 3x12

Lunges
20lbs 3x12

Calf raises
500 3x15-20

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Upper

Overhead Press
115 x5, 130 x3, 145 AMRAP



Close Grip Paused Overhead Press
135 2xAMRAP, 95 1xAMRAP



Barbell Rows
155lbs 4x12

Dumbbell Bench Press
Heavy Single (100's) Then 70's x AMRAP



Pause Pull Ups
10lbs 2x8



Chest Flys
3x8-12

Bicep/Tricep Superset

Put in the Reps

There's a famous quote by Ronnie Coleman, known by many as the Greatest Bodybuilder who has ever lived.

"Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but ain't nobody wanna lift these heavy ass weights!"

Well Ol' Yeargain has come up with a saying for singers...

"Everybody wanna be a singer, but ain't nobody wanna practice this hard ass music!"

If you want to use your voice professionally, you need to sing and you need to sing a lot. You need to sing literally thousands of hours with all sorts of variables attached. You need to practice. Different styles, languages, tempos, dynamics, notes from the bottom of your register to the extreme tops. Don't let anything be a barrier. Have an immense palate of colors and brushes to paint your canvas. In short, fuckin' practice. 

Repetition and varying the ways I repeat the music has allowed me to not only learn music efficiently, but quickly. If I'm performing a piece of music (especially by memory) I've more than likely sung through it dozens of times before ever performing it in front of some one.

It's all About the Work


The principles of building an impressive physique and singing at a professional level aren't terribly different. Basically, you got to put in the work.

The path to mastery starts the same for everyone. You start by sucking. Then work to suck less each and every day. You collect as many tools as you possibly can, and continue to work - this time at an accelerated rate. You discover which tools fit the job you need it for best. Suddenly, you no longer suck. Then one day people will take notice of your product and then call it "talent."

Talent is a fabrication.

There are definitely certain natural qualities that are genetically bestowed upon people to allow them to excel above others, but in the mix of it all, these gifts matter little without an intense work ethic. Technique and consistency is something that's acquired.

The phrase "it takes 10 years to become an overnight sensation" pops into mind. The people who we will worship for their "talents" are out there right now slaving away at their crafts. Making moves, seizing opportunities. They are WORKING.


Don't be Afraid of Hard Work


In the fitness industry people like to point to "over training" when people aren't seeing the results they want. I've written about this topic before, but I've also pointed out frequently that you can't know how far you can go unless you've put yourself out there. Everybody knows that Ol' Yeargain used to train 6-7 days a week, two a days. And I did so for months and made tremendous progress. The main issue with overtraining is that people can't hang. They injure themselves or burn out and quit. If you know how to taper off the workload and phase in and out of these cycles of working to the bone, then you're going to THRIVE.

I've been told by people before "You don't learn how to sing high notes by singing high notes." That may work for some of you, but If I hadn't sung a song, aria, or scene with a big exposed high note in it a shit ton, I'd be crapping my pants. I believe in the principle of practicing. I learned how to sing high notes not normally sung by most baritones by trial and error and lot's of repetition.

You know why I can randomly insert high notes into whatever I'm singing? Rage on high A naturals, Bflats, B naturals, C naturals? Because I've sung hundreds of them over the past few years. Maybe even thousands. They don't scare me. That's not talent, that's an acquired skill. Now I can sing them in public, no problem. Time under tension.

Have I sung myself hoarse? Yes, multiple times. Multiple times in one day in fact. I've sung full operatic roles twice in one day and finished off barely being able to whisper. I've figured out a way to sing through head colds, sinus infections, allergies, lack of sleep. Is it pleasant? Hell no. It sucks so bad. But life, and especially the life of a performer will never be ideal. Live theatre is just that. Living, breathing, and aching. Sing for your supper, team. Work Hard, earn your place in the stars.

Until Next Time,

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

The Opera Bro

Operabrotraining.com

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lower

Deadlifts
190 x 20, 240 x 20, 285 x 20





Heavy Back Squat

Change of Scenery?


Paused Front Squats
190 2x4

Leg Press
3 plates 3x12



Bulgarian Split Squat
30's 3x8-12

Pause Leg Extensions
130lbs 2x12

Pause Leg Curls
110lbs 2x12

Seated Calf Raise
2 plates 3x15-20