We took some time to discuss his health and fitness journey.
TFS: How did you start your health/fitness journey?
MA: I would have to give credit to my dad to helping me start on my fitness journey. As a child I was not terribly active; I enjoyed reading and academics and games. My dad made a point of giving me physical challenges like push-ups and sit ups, 3-5 mile runs, etc. to boost my mental toughness and physical ability. As a reward, I would play badminton with my sister and my dad. Gradually I started to really enjoy the challenge and sense of accomplishment and now need very little encouragement. I am usually at the gym a little too often!
TFS: What does your normal fitness routine consist of?
MA: I have 4-5 weight workouts scheduled throughout the week with 3 quick ab workouts as well. I plan for cardio 2-3 times a week and, as time permits, attend a Chen Tai Chi class on Sundays for about an hour and a half.
TFS: Do you have a favorite exercise or activity?
MA: I can’t say that I have a favorite exercise; I like each part of my workout plan for different reasons. That being said, I do enjoy lifting weights and tai chi perhaps the most. I generally dread going for a run because cardiovascular activity has never been my favorite activity. That being said, it is good for me and builds character. And it is rewarding to finish a run and feel great afterwards.
TFS: What do you typically eat? Do you have a specific diet or nutrition plan?
MA: I tend to eat protein rich meals with a moderate amount of carbohydrates and fats. Generally, my meals are larger at breakfast and lunch, and taper down in size as the day wears on. I eat 5 times per day. For supplements, I use a whey protein powder, a greens powder as I find it a challenge at times to eat enough greens, a CLA supplement and Korean Red Ginseng.
TFS: What advice do you have for other singers?
MA: Keep studying and reflecting to understand your voice. Incorporate activity into your life to help keep stress at bay and keep the body healthy and fit.
TFS: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years from now?
MA: An interesting question. Currently I am starting to perform again and also work in the hospitality industry. I enjoy both for different reasons. I would be happy to still be doing both within 5 to 10 years with a great amount of performing as a part of my days. Perhaps also teaching voice?
TFS: What have you found to be your most physically demanding performance?
MA: My most demanding performance was during a staging rehearsal at the University of Manitoba’s Contemporary Opera Lab; I was singing Zizi’s Lament and had to do it while doing a series of cartwheels. How or why I was asked to do this escapes me at the moment but the memory of trying to support the voice while my body was supporting itself and spinning upside down to right side up and back again was a ridiculous challenge!
TFS: Thanks so much Michael! It's been a pleasure to talk to you and, of course, work with you again.