In today's March 15, 2011 newsletter . . .

  • About Resistance Bands

  • The Steve Reeves Power Drink

  • Two Low-Tech Training Monitors

About Resistance Bands

Got an email from a subscriber, Bob, asking what resistance bands I recommend? Right now, Bob mixes free weights with bodyweight calisthenics and he wants to add resistance bands to the mix. That happens to be the same equipment combination I use.

I referred him to my page on resistance bands and said that I use the bands from Bodylastics. (Full disclosure: the company has been one of my advertisers, though they are not as I am writing this today.) I have used their bands for more than a year now and I’m very pleased with them. I’ve seen other brands in sporting goods stores but none appear to me to be as substantial as mine, although I imagine there are other brands that also serve people well.

Here are a couple of notes regarding resistance bands. The first is that the sort of bands I’m talking about are not the flimsy little strips often seen stashed in the corners of health club aerobics rooms. In certain aerobics workout formats they may be useful. But for people looking to get or stay strong at home, those won’t help much.

High quality sets are made well and have bands of varying degrees of resistance, so they can be used in the same progressive manner as free weights.

The Bodylastics people also have something called the "Strength Band University." And it’s a kick. Every day they have new online video workouts to follow. Some of the workouts are for bodybuilders; others are aerobics based; and some focus on strength and conditioning for sports such as martial arts, football, and baseball.

If you think I may be a little biased because the company has advertised here, I understand. However, I wouldn’t sing their praises if I didn’t actually use their product myself, and like it. I do not accept payment or get freebies for endorsing any company’s products or services. I pay for them with my own money just like everyone else.

I like resistance bands.

Women's Kettlebells

The Steve Reeves Power Drink

Not surprisingly, my Steve Reeves page gets lots of visitors. He was one of the most popular bodybuilders of all time, and also an international movie star. Recently, my wife and I rented one of his old (1950s) sword and sandal movies, and it was so bad we couldn’t watch it all the way through. Nonetheless, Reeves was quite a guy and a huge box-office star. What many people don’t realize, though, is that movie makers in those days insisted he trim down for his roles. He still looked fit, but was a mere shadow of what he was when getting ready for contests. That wouldn’t happen today.

When he was in training, Reeves used to start the day with a homemade protein drink. I told people what was in the drink but did not say how much of each ingredient went into the potion. Since then, there have been enough inquiries that I should explain it here.

Anybody thinking about trying the drink should keep in mind that he would have it during periods when he was taking long, intense workouts, leading up to contests like Mr. America and Mr. Universe. I didn’t add up the calories, but as you will see it wasn’t exactly a low calorie diet drink.

From his book, Building the Classic Physique the Natural Way, here is the recipe for The Steve Reeves Power Drink.

First, he made his own protein powder by combining . . .

  • 1/2 lb. of powdered egg whites
  • 1/2 lb. of powdered skim milk
  • 1/4 lb. of powdered soy protein

His Steve Reeves Power Drink was prepared in a blender . . .

  • 14 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of Knox gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 banana
  • 2-4 raw eggs (today, pasteurized eggs might be safer)
  • 2 tablespoons of his protein powder

He would drink this one hour before going to the gym for his workout.

Read more about Steve Reeves here.

You've probably heard about the tremendous benefits of weight training and how you can retain -- or even reclaim -- the attributes of youth . . . Discover the way with . . .

Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women

Two Low-Tech Training Moniters

If you like techie stuff like fat percentage scales, calipers, and BMI formulas, fine. But a simple cloth measuring tape can be just as reliable. Wrap it around your waist. Is your waist size greater than when you were younger and in top shape? If so, you are carrying too much fat. But if your waist is about the same size as it was in your fitness days, you’re probably doing fine. As Jack LaLanne said: "Your waistline is your lifeline." Make friends with a cloth tape measure.

We all know that obesity and overweight are serious problems. Too many people eat too much and do too little, physically. But believe it or not, there are some people who actually workout too much and/or too hard. They do too much of a good thing. If you are doing the right thing and exercising regularly, good; but how do you know if you might be pushing yourself too much? Here’s one pretty reliable measure. When you get out of bed in the morning following a workout day, do you still feel tired to the bone. If that's you, maybe you ought to consider that you are doing too much or pushing too hard.

Of course anyone can wake up not fully rested once in a while. That's life. But if you have to drag yourself out of bed regularly, it may be time to rethink the intensity, frequency, and/or duration of your training sessions. Your body may be begging you to moderate. Listen up!

Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines and television, this newsletter and my web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you. Your comments and questions are always appreciated.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter