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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #126, What's your exercise prime objective?
November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013

In this newsletter . . .

Exercise prime objective

Deconstructing the Burpee

Exercise prime objective

The prime objective of senior exercise programs should be to stay as fit as possible for as long as possible. It’s as simple as that. But think about it for a moment, and ask yourself if your training reflects that value.

Here’s what I mean:

In Living the Fitness Lifestyle there is a section called “A Question of Priorities.” It’s a short quiz. I ask the reader to be completely honest and in the order of their importance, rate the following:

  • How much you can bench press
  • Your blood pressure
  • The size of you biceps
  • Your cholesterol breakdown

I’m willing to bet that, on average, the younger the trainee, the greater will be the importance given to bench press poundage and biceps measurement. If you are a young senior, say in your 50’s, and you honestly give your blood pressure and cholesterol readings higher priority, congratulations. In the popular parlance of today, “You’ve got your head screwed on straight.”

If, on the other hand, you haven’t got a clue as to what those readings are, please schedule an appointment with your doctor and find out. Ignoring them is no laughing matter.

I hope no one reading this gets the impression that I’m opposed to working out for the purpose of building more muscle. They’d be very wrong. I’ve been there, and it’s rewarding and fun. It is the quest that gets us into the weight room in the first place. However, as the years add up most of us adjust our priorities. Or at least we should.

As we gradually move through the young-senior stage and approach the upper end of our senior years, our concerns and focus should shift more to strength and health maintenance, rather than trying to build the biggest biceps nature allows.

Eventually, such issues as balance and concerns about losing one’s independence come to the forefront. As that time approaches, the regularity and structure of an exercise program is still as important to our well-being as ever, maybe even more so. At the same time, all out efforts to lift as much weight as possible, or taking extraordinary measures (using steroids, for example) to build more muscle mass may be tempting, but a serious mistake.

It is at this time that the preservation of lean muscle mass and strength should be at the forefront for our regular trips to the weight room. If you haven’t read Weight Training Builds Senior Muscle, it’s a short summary of why resistance training is so important. And the reason for its importance isn’t the comparatively superficial desire for bulging biceps and bench press personal records.

There is a right time and place for everything. And referring back the first paragraph, the prime objective of senior exercise programs should be to stay as fit as possible for as long as possible. Intelligent, balanced amounts of resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility movements are the formula for success.

For mature adults, Bob Hoffman’s admonishment to “Train don’t strain” becomes more valid than ever.

The Kettlebell Boomer How to Defy Aging and Be a Human Dynamo Throughout Your Senior Years—Thanks to Kettlebells With Master RKC, Andrea Du Cane

Deconstructing the Burpee

Are Burpees (aka squat thrusts) okay for seniors? It’s a frequently asked question.

Seniors often ask this because they know Burpees are a highly regarded bodyweight-only, full-body exercise. They also know they can be can leave you huffing and puffing like a steam engine. And that’s fine if you are in top-notch condition. It's not smart, however, if you are way out-of-shape or suffer from certain medical conditions.

I have a short video and Burpee explanation. Please take a look. At the beginner level, Burpees can be good overall, low-intensity, full-body movements. Most seniors, at any level, can do them at the beginner level. Speed them up at the intermediate or advanced level and you can really challenge and develop overall fitness.

So are they okay (meaning safe) for seniors? It all depends on how you approach them, based on your age and fitness level. Use sound judgment. If you are an out-of-shape beginner, ease into them gradually and with low intensity. Watch the video 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

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. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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