In today's June 1, 2011 newsletter . . .

  • Aging Weight Trainees
    Must Learn to Adjust

  • Batting Cleanup

Aging Weight Trainees Must Learn to Adjust

Newsletter subscriber Franco submitted a fine success story that included some good workout advice for seniors. I think it is worth your time to read it, and here’s why:

As those of us who have exercised most of our lives grow older, we eventually find that we cannot train as we did in years past. Unfortunately, some refuse to adjust and end up doing themselves more harm than good. What do I mean by that? Aging tendons and ligaments rebel and aches and pains become more frequent.

Most unfortunate of all are the guys – sorry, but it’s usually males – whose egos will not allow them to admit they can’t do as much as they used to, so they just quit working out. “If I can’t be the stud I was two decades ago, what’s the use of training at all?” they think.

They are the most unfortunate of all because they throw in the towel at the time in life when regular exercise is more important than ever. Instead of adjusting by doing age appropriate workouts, they drop out. And what happens to them? Their muscle loss accelerates while fat accumulates.

Moral: If you have been pushing heavy iron and now you are entering your senior years with some achy body parts, don’t stop training. Adjust.

Switching from heavy, all-out efforts to lifting lighter free weights and doing higher repetitions may make a world of difference. Or try using resistance bands rather than free weights. Many professional athletes use bands and love them. Or how about trying devices like the Total Gym? Experiment and discover what works best for you, personally.

In my own case, I adjusted my cardio exercise by gradually replacing running with hiking. Years ago, when I ran long distances (I was really just a plodder), I did have fun. However, I noticed a good number of aging runners ran with aching knees and backs. I don’t experience any of that from hiking, and I still get to enjoy beautiful outdoor scenery while exercising my heart and lungs.

Of course if you happen to be a senior or baby boomer with no chronic aches and pains, your heart is in good shape, and you still enjoy heavy workouts, why change anything? If you fully recover from lifting heavy after a good night’s sleep . . . well, as the saying goes, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." On the other hand, never ignore unpleasant messages that Mother Nature and your body are sending. Keep training, but adjust.

Either way, I hope you’ll read Franco’s story. He’s 62 and I think he’s doing all the right things. He’s found what works for him and he is training smart.

Read Franco’s story here.

The Kettlebell Boomer How to Defy Aging and Be a Human Dynamo Throughout Your Senior Years—Thanks to Kettlebells

Batting Cleanup

“A Schwarzenegger Legacy” was an item title in the May 15 newsletter. As things turned out, the title was about a week too early. Some of Arnold’s troubles were mentioned (e.g. marriage "difficulties"). Boy, was that an understatement. But the newsletter item was really about an exercise I like that he originated, the Arnold Press & Dumbbell Curl Combo. Well, it appears the Austrian Oak has fallen. But I still like the exercise.
. . . .

If I’ve ignored anyone who has written recently, it hasn’t been on purpose. Our home was burglarized, computers and files stolen. I’ve been reconstructing lists and records as fast as I can. If you sent me something and asked for a response and I didn’t send one, that’s the reason. Please resend it.

P.S. We've all been told to backup files because, eventually, computers crash. We had some things backed up in an external hard-drive. The thieves took that, too. The sheriff’s investigators said if you put things in a home safe be sure it is bolted down. Sometimes thieves will steal the safe and open it later. Fortunately, Senior Exercise Central material is stored with the good people at Site Build It.
. . . .
Here’s a great read: Fred Fornicola has compiled the training habits of more than 40 veteran fitness buffs, bodybuilders and strongmen. It’s called Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime: How We Train Now. This is really good material for anyone who works out and is at midlife or older. Discovering how successful, mature athletes refine their training as they grow older is both fun and informative.

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

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