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“Weight training”… aging piper/post-Covid?

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  • “Weight training”… aging piper/post-Covid?

    Back on the pipes after 25 years… and a combination of age (60) and lack of upper body training suggests I start a weight program (tone/duration vs. “hulk”). Our lap pool opened yesterday-“ after 17 months (I cycle/walk so aerobic capacity is good) and the plan is for 6-8K meters per week - but has anyone ever seen a “weight training program” for pipers?

    Ideally there might be a reference to a kinesiology thesis?

    ”Squeezing” (lats, upper back, shoulders, core)?

    Anyone have a 3x/week program they’d like to share?

    Appreciate the help!

  • #2
    Greetings, LeoCDN,

    First!!--Welcome back!!--to our ever-roiling--Pot of Piping
    Porridge!! :-)

    Most glad--to have your company--again!! :-)

    To your questions--hmm--I would hazard--that--any "heavy"
    weight training program (for pipers or no)--would be much
    less beneficial--than the ones you have outlined for yourself

    As with much in The Piping Game--repetition--sees its way to--
    Hitting the Mark!! ("Softly, slowly catchee monkey." :-)

    What ever course you may choose--wishing you--All the Best!!,

    Last edited by Pip01; 08-03-2021, 06:13 AM.
    My friends all know,
    With what a brave carouse...


    • #3

      As a proponent of basic weight training to improve a piper's comfort and stamina, the first thing to say is that anyone new to weight training who follows any sensible program will have gotten most of the gains they will get from a piping point of view in the first six weeks or less. This may be a little longer for someone a little older like yourself but at the end of the day, muscles grow at any age, and that growth is beneficial in all sorts of ways. For example, the biggest benefit to me was not just comfort playing, it was the fact that I could stand all day in a kilt and not feel in the slightest bit tired or sore by the end of the day. I could get home and do something, as opposed to flopping on the sofa for the evening.

      To begin with, I wouldn't be concerned about bagpipe-specific training. Any solid beginner's program will cover the main things you should cover, and in any case you should train the big compound lifts before any kind of accessory training. Once your squat and deadlift are good and hefty, then you might look at how you're doing, how the instrument feels under your arm, and see whether or not any specific work might be useful.
      -- Formerly known as CalumII


      • #4
        As a weight training aficionado once upon a time, I found that stretching before piping GREATLY helps with soreness and tightness of the muscles. At the very least try that. I tend to do any little bit of stretching throughout the day.


        • #5
          A Very Partial
          Originally posted by sjcavy

          ... I found that stretching before piping GREATLY helps with soreness and tightness of the muscles.

          ... I tend to do any little bit of stretching throughout the day.
          Begging the pardon of All--as I fall into this marked--and downward---digression...

          I as well--have found a bit of stretching--and laying hands on a couple o' three
          pints of Guinness!!--"GREATLY helps with soreness and tightness of muscles." :-)

          "Sauce for the goose?? Sauce for the gander!!" :-)

          My friends all know,
          With what a brave carouse...


          • #6
            Anything that gets you "IN THE ZONE" Pip!


            • #7
              Not to be too personal, but my mum went into hospital the day after her 88th birthday with COPD difficulties and pulmonary edema that led to a small heart attack. Two stents and more of March spent in the hospital than out of it, she's back home and has had visiting nurses and therapists visiting. One has been very keen on low impact stretches and exercises aimed at improving lung capacity. Some are yoga-like. One is as simple as sitting on a chair or bench with arms crossed over the chest and gently leaning side to side, which helps stretch the diaphragm and allows the lower lobes of the lung to expand, and hopefully grow a bit.
              A good place for the original poster to start would be to purchase a 5000ml spirometer (not that expensive) and get an idea of their lung capacity. It does drop sharply after age 50 in men and women. Mine's about 4500ml now. When I was young it was about 5800. Hopefully doing the same exercises with mum will get me back over 5000.
              Some like this video may help you:

              Before you start fixing problems with your reeds, check to see if the bag or stocks are leaking.