Broadway Inspires a "Rocky" Hard Body

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • When it comes to motivation and weight loss, goals do a body good.  Typically, an event like an upcoming wedding or anniversary, or if your child is having a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration, or maybe it's a class reunion that fuels the desire for a leaner, more svelte torso, or toned arms.  Though health should be a real inspiration, I think we can all agree that it just doesn't have the oomph or nudge-factor like a family event or seeing past classmates and wanting to look good. 

     

    Personally, I'm always a bit jealous of performers who perform dances on stage, because the workouts and performances tend to yield amazing looking bodies.  Because of the stamina necessary to face the daily grind of dancing onstage in a musical, or to manage some rather physical acting on stage, most actors also have to follow a diet and sleep schedule that helps to keep them in shape and energized. 

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    Recently Broadway has been producing some very toned and healthy looking bodies. And Rocky, the new show based on the boxer and the movie series, is apparently the ultimate motivator.  After all, the lead actor has to look the part of an authentic boxer, which requires regular workouts off stage to maintain his physique and his stamina, while giving it all on stage to convince audience members that he is the champ!

    A recent New York Times interview with the actor Andy Karl playing Rocky Balboa on Broadway in the musical Rocky revealed the grueling workout he experiences on stage, with no less than four separate fight scenes.  He confessed that behind the scenes he had been a gym member, but he was in no way prepared to take on the incredibly physical role.  

     

    It required smart workouts and committing to using a personal trainer for several months.  The goals before the production actually began were to build stamina and muscle mass, especially in the shoulders.  This was achieved with a varied exercise routine that included using kettle bells and a contraption with straps called the TRX, which uses your weight as resistance, and some other unique approaches to building intrinsic muscles.  The intrinsic musculature is located underneath the big muscles. When you add mass to these underlying muscles, your overall look bulks up.

    Karl also acknowledges that he cleaned up his diet.  He now subsists primarily on chicken, lots of vegetables, and he avoids milk and bread.  I assume by bread he means grains, and this outline is a diet typically followed by fighters in training.  Karl also seems to shun dairy products in order to maximize the quality of his voice - another practice that I've heard singers in particular choose to follow.  Karl calls his approach "keeping a clean diet."

    What can we learn from the Rocky play book? 

     

    Most of us would probably define a clean diet somewhat differently, but with certain common core principles.  Aiming for more fruits and vegetables, heathy fats and plant-based proteins like nuts and seeds, also beans and legumes, dairy products like high-protein Greek yogurt, whole grains, and lean proteins like skinless chicken, veal, and less prominently, lean red meats.  Oily fishes and tofu would be additional clean sources of protein.  This diet outline can support health and weight loss.


  • Of course, having a goal that really inspires you to stay committed to an exercise program is also crucial to a healthy lifestyle.  Certainly an investment in even one or two training sessions with a professional can set you on your way.  Follow-up training sessions at specific intervals can help you to stay challenged. Learn new exercises or incorporate newer equipment, like kettle bells and the TRX, into your routines. 

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    You can also try playing the Rocky theme as you exercise - gets me energized every time, as I imagine running up those steps in Philadelphia and jumping at the top like a true champion!!

     

    Amy Hendel is a Physician Assistant and Health Coach with over 20 years of experience.  Noted author, journalist and lifestyle expert, she brings extensive expertise to her monthly shareposts.  Her most recent book, The 4 Habits of Healthy Families is available for purchase online, and you can watch her in action on her shows Food Rescue and What's for Lunch? Sign up for her daily health tweets or catch her daily news report at www.healthgal.com. - See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/diet-exercise/c/59238/169736/healthy-grocer#sthash.CBlqcNmN.dpuf
    Amy Hendel is a Physician Assistant and Health Coach with over 20 years of experience.  Noted author, journalist and lifestyle expert, she brings extensive expertise to her monthly shareposts.  Her most recent book, The 4 Habits of Healthy Families is available for purchase online, and you can watch her in action on her shows Food Rescue and What's for Lunch? Sign up for her daily health tweets or catch her daily news report at www.healthgal.com. - See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/diet-exercise/c/59238/169736/healthy-grocer#sthash.CBlqcNmN.dpuf

    Amy Hendel is a Physician Assistant and Health Coach with over 20 years of experience.  Noted author, journalist and lifestyle expert, she brings extensive expertise to her monthly shareposts.  Her most recent book, The 4 Habits of Healthy Families is available for purchase online, and you can watch her in action on her shows Food Rescue and What's for Lunch? Sign up for her daily health tweets or catch her daily news report at www.healthgal.com.

     

Published On: July 01, 2014