Fitness and trumpet playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 4INer, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. 4INer

    4INer Pianissimo User

    Dec 31, 2013
    OK, Since it is the time of the year when we all make promises to ourselves that we likely won't keep, I thought I'd pose a question to the collective. I've really packed on the pounds the last few years. And now that I'm on the comeback trail with the trumpet am finding breathing and phrasing way tougher than I remember. So how much of my struggle can I attribute to not having played alot for the past 20 years, and how much can I blame on the pounds? I've seen a ton (pun intended) of great players who were testing the weight limits of whatever stage they stood on, so I know it's possible to play large when you're large, but besides the obvious health risks how does it affect playing. And yes I'm looking for motivation to stick with my new years revolution....:D
  2. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi 4INer,
    It's hard to argue with feeling good about one's self.
    Motivation? That's easy. "Just do it. Know that you will stumble and alway get back up QUICKLY!."
    That's the secret. Always get back to eating correctly quickly.
    Hope this helps.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    We don't need to be buff to play well, but good heart health sure doesn't hurt. Power walking is a good thing, and even taking stairs instead of elevators can have a positive impact. I took up jogging in college (mainly to hang out with a cute flute player who was jogging) and at the advice of my trumpet professor was aware of my breathing. With aerobic exercise the tendency is to breathe shallow and fast, so I tried to breathe deeply. A fun little read: How to Achieve Total Fitness in Just 30 Minutes a Week | Fitness Nomad Report

    I'm curious what our tame doctors have to say.
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I've seen a few pretty large guys (like Al Hirt and Maurice Andre) who seemed to have no trouble playing...;-) I'd guess that breathing ability is very important, but weight by itself isn't a determining factor. That said, I've been in a fitness program for almost 6 months now, have toned up, lost 18 pounds, and have much more stamina than before. That has made a noticeable improvement in the endurance side of my playing, probably from better breath support.
  5. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Think I'll hop in my car and drive to Panda Express.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    There are quite a few fine players that one would not want to be behind when climbing a long spiral staircase.
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I'm also trying fitness improvement by using my Chuck Norris Total Gym 1000 - uhm yes ive had it awile and usually use it for 3 or 4 months every other year to drop 20lbs. I never have the resolve to continue cause like - what if I'm healthy when I die - what a waste of time it would have been ROFL ROFL ROFL --- Seriously aside from the health component, I believe EXERCISE and getting to a suitable weight and toned physical shape is beneficial in ones Self esteem/confidence. If nothing else do it for that reason alone to aid in playing the trumpet
  8. johnande

    johnande Pianissimo User

    Jun 3, 2009
    western Wyoming
    4INer.... In an otherwise healthy young person, moderate overweight (short of obesity) would have little effect on respiration. However, as a result of the aging process there is a "normal" decrease in respiratory function (see link below). This "normal" decline of the respiratory system is exacerbated by excess body weight and lack of exercise as well as some medical problems. Although you might not notice any improvement in playing your trumpet now, I suspect that maintaining a normal BMI (body mass index) and a good exercise program would help you maintain your playing level as you age -- and probably provide other health benefits as well. JA

    Aging changes in the lungs: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I'll take a kegger over a six pack ANY DAY!
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    SERIOUSLY... As we gain weight, there is a tendency to restrict diaphragm movement. At what point this happens, it is not known. In such a situation, you would notice it easier to play standing up than sitting down. If you notice no difference, than your weight is just fine, and NOT contributing to putting air through the trumpet. For this I know... Trust me, I'm a doctor.

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