3 Tips to Help You Avoid This Beginner’s Mistake

Physical Tips

As you know by now I am a huge proponent of exercise as a way to stimulate everything from creativity and problem-solving, to generating a sense of gratitude and the drive to succeed.

These are all VERY important for musicians.  And exercise is the quickest and simplest way to get these juices flowing. However, many times in our exuberance we actually over do it and end up creating the opposite of what we want to accomplish.  It’s very important that you feel good.  Feeling good is the basis for creating great music and putting on a great musical performance.

My major screw up!

Several years ago I found myself really out of shape and decided that it was time that I did something out it. I went to the gym for the first time after about a 10 year hiatus.  I remembered approximately where I had left of, at least I thought that I did… about how much weight I had lifted, how many reps, which exercises I did etc…  In spite of this little voice saying, “Don’t you think that you should take it easy? After all it’s been at least ten years since you trained.”  “Oh what do you know?” I replied, “I took resistive exercise in college.  I know what I am doing.”  I launched right in at full tilt, pumping away at each exercise totally determined to shape up.  I only worked out for about and hour that first time. No need to over do it.   I felt surprisingly good afterwards.
I awoke the next morning unable to lift my arms above my shoulders, or turn my head more than 45 degrees to the left or right.  My back was stiff, and I could barely walk.  I shaped right up alright.  I took the shape of Grandpa Stucky, the only things missing were baggy slacks pulled up to my nipples and a cane.  The cane would have actually been helpful.  “Okay, you’re a little stiff.” I rationalized.  “I’m sure I feel a lot better tomorrow and then I can get right back to the gym.”  Day 2: The stiffness was now stiffness with muscular pain.  The pain deepened over the course of the day and into the next day.  It seemed to work its way in to my bones.  I was so sore that I became sick to my stomach.  It was three weeks before I could go back to the gym.  When I did go back I worked out like a sissy.  Very light weight, lots of stretching, and I limited my workouts to no more than 30 minutes.  Lesson learned!

Don’t set yourself back on your way up!

Follow these tips to avoid my “major screw up” and feel great.

1.  Start out easy.  In the beginning a little exercise will go a long way.  Brisk walking or light jogging is plenty for a beginner. Hint: if you used to work out but haven’t in a year or more, you’re now a beginner!
2.  If you’re going to use weights, or weight machines start out with light weight and work up slowly.  2-3 sets of light weight with no more that 10 reps. There will be a period of experimentation when starting out. Just accept that.
3.   Get help! I highly recommend that you work with a trainer. At the very least read some books, and do some research on the internet, just to get a general idea of where to start.  Be aware that there is a lot of B.S. out there that’s why it’s best to work with a trainer to get you started off in the most efficient way possible.

It won’t take as long as you think!

Take your time and work up slowly. You will be much better off in the long run.  You will be much more likely to stick with it and expand your regimen,  and avoid this novice mistake. Once you have laid the foundation you can expand your workouts, and increase the intensity at a pace that is good for you!  You will feel better; have more energy, more creativity, and the ability to give truly dynamic performances.
Lou Lombardi is a musician and motivational author and educator. He works with musicians helping them create sustainability, vitality, and longevity.  Get Lou’s 5 Quick Tip Videos TOTALLY FREE at Rockstarbodiesformusiciansover40.com