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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #251 Fitness odds and ends.
May 15, 2019

May 15, 2019

In this newsletter . . .

A few fitness
odds and ends

Testosterone: Sometimes I get questions from senior men about low-testosterone levels. I’m not a doctor and have never had any medical training. I always suggest asking a medical doctor if you think you have below normal testosterone.

Generally speaking, resistance training or high intensity (HIIT) exercise does tend to raise testosterone levels. But my knowledge on the subject doesn’t go much beyond that.

The low-testosterone issue came to mind recently when I ran across a fitness article in the New York Times. Anyone with general questions about testosterone levels may want to check it out at: For specific questions, talk to your doctor.

. . .

Burpees: Athletes may dread and say they hate them, but secretly it is love and admiration. Well, at least admiration. I’m not so sure about the love part. The question is: Are burpees okay — meaning safe — for seniors?

Burpees are highly regarded as a full-body exercise that can leave you huffing and puffing like a steam engine. And that’s fine if you’re in top-notch condition. But going all out may not be very smart if you are way out-of-shape or suffer from certain medical conditions.

At the burpee beginner level, however, they can be good low-intensity, full-body movements for even senior beginners. Speeded up to the intermediate or advanced level can be a real challenge, even for those already fit.

Here is a short video and burpee explanations at all levels: Take a look.

. . .

Planking: The plank requires keeping tight abs and a straight spine to be effective. But there’s a temptation to strain and hold your breath if you hold a plank too long. Don’t do it. Stay tight — but breathe normally. Holding your breath and straining elevates blood pressure. Breathe.

So, to plank or not to plank? A few people may experience a little core area soreness afterward. Remember, though, mild muscle soreness is normal after starting any new exercise. Try a modified plank if you’re not ready yet for the standard form. That is, support your lower body on your knees instead of toes, just as you would when doing a modified pushup. Planking is great core exercise.

. . .

Rectus Abdominis: With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson, spring is the time when a man’s (or woman’s) fancy turns to rectus abdominis. Yes, that’s right. The gut. Tight, taut abs. Maybe even a six-pack. Summer is on the way and nobody wants a belly drooping over a belt-line.

You don’t need an actual six-pack to be fit and look good. But you do need to trim off excess fat and be firm. For those who insist, six-packs are an option too, if they choose to go all out. Either way, the path to a firm, trim midsection is right here.

Caution: Crazy promises to eradicate belly-fat are all over the internet; and even some personal trainers — who should know better — pitch things like “spot reducing.” It doesn’t exist. Here’s honest information about what’s real and what is not. And it’s free.

To your good health and fitness,


Senior Exercise Central

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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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