Regaining Fitness from an athletic perspective
Here is a fascinating subject. If you watch the video below starting at 21:14, they discuss fitness loss and regaining, and how new science supports the idea that it is actually much easier to rebuild fitness after a period away from exercise than it is to build it in the first place. Essentially, the nuclei of muscle cells do not die as you lose fitness. This seems rather interesting for a brass musician, too. It seems to me like it would be much easier to regain strength than to develop it the first time. I have seen this to be true, as I am a repeat comeback player, and can usually regain the majority of my strength within a month of starting a new routine. Whereas, it took me years as a kid to get to that point in the first place.
I scrunched my chops getting out of bed this morning. Came right back to me.
Dr GO last edited by
I started an exercise routine using the Bowflex in which I have put together 15 Exercises (9 focused on chest; 6 focused on abs) and have found this to have increased my playing dynamics considerably. Here is some research that backs up such a fitness routine:
Chest. 1993 Oct;104(4):1203-4.
Maximum respiratory pressures in trumpet players.
Fiz JA1, Aguilar J, Carreras A, Teixido A, Haro M, Rodenstein DO, Morera J.
Servei de Pneumologia Hospital Universitary Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain.
We studied whether experienced trumpet players can develop higher pressures with their inspiratory and expiratory muscles than untrained subjects. Twelve male trumpet players (mean age, 22.4 +/- 3.3 years) participated in the study. All of them had played the trumpet for at least 4 years and were nonsmokers. Twelve healthy male subjects (mean age, 23.3 +/- 3.1 years) participated as a control group. There were no differences in spirometric parameters between both groups. Maximum respiratory pressures were higher in the trumpet player group (trumpet players: Pmax 151.3 +/- 19.8 cm H2O; Pemax, 234.6 +/- 53.9 cm H2O; control group: Pemax, 106.7 +/- 10.4 cm H2O; Pemax, 189.6 +/- 14.6 cm H2O). We concluded that in young trumpet players, maximum respiratory pressures are higher than in young people who do not play wind instruments. This is most probably a consequence of respiratory muscle training with a wind instrument.
This is "VERY GOOD NEWS". This should tell any comeback player that getting back on the horse is a lot easier than starting all over again. This is a ray of sunshine for those on the fence.
I found out that chasing groupies increased my wind capacities immeasurably. And the prize at the end of the trail significantly increased my respiratory pressure.
Seriously, though, I find this very interesting. As long as you eggheads can keep the information in the realm of we peasants.
My experience as a comeback player is consistent with what Dr. Mark described in his OP. After picking up trumpet again in August after not playing for a year, I regained what was lost in my general trumpet playing skill set surprisingly quickly.
I can generally affirm Dr, GO’s remarks about fitness too. My fitness regimen focuses on aerobic training and exercises for chest and abs maintenance and development. Treadmill time, pushups, pull-ups, and crunches seems to be an effective formula for me.