August 15, 2021
In this newsletter . . .
(But old pros may find it informative too.)
The Gray Iron Fitness beginners’ exercise routine is absolutely free and accessible right here at the Senior Exercise Central website. It is designed for senior beginners with free weights or can be easily adapted for resistance bands or health club workout machines.
You might ask how the exercises were selected? With just a few tweaks, they’re about the same routine as the beginners’ program at Ed Yarick’s gym, from way back in the 1950s, my first gym membership.
Now don’t let the ancient history scare you off.
Why Yarick’s? Well, superstars like Steve Reeves trained there. And some of the strongest men in the world lifted there. You couldn’t ask for a better trainer/coach, or nicer guy, than Ed Yarick.
Your first workout
at Yarick’s was really an orientation, doing one set of about 12 reps of two exercises per body part. You learned to exhale on the push or pull of a movement; you inhaled on the return. And you controlled the weights in a steady up and down motion. No swinging or cheating them up, as many young beginners will do by using more weight than they can properly handle.
In more than a half-century since Yarick’s, I’ve never discovered a better way to introduce beginners to weight training. Some call it “old school.” That’s just the opposite of “cutting edge,” which can get a little cute and gimmicky.
If the old ways were so darned good, why did I bother to tweak them at all? Well, in the old days, cardio usually wasn’t a part of the training. Sixty-plus years ago, most new gym members were skinny young guys who just wanted to put on muscle. So they pumped iron and ate like a horse.
Times have changed
Sure there are still skinny guys today. But these days far more
beginners have the opposite problem: they’re too fat. The sedentary life has taken its toll. Reasonable cardio, added to pumping iron, helps them trim down.
The trick is to do enough cardio to exercise heart and lungs, but not so much that it becomes catabolic. In other words, you want to build muscle, trim fat, while not neglecting your cardiovascular system.
Another tweak is that in Yarick’s day the vast, vast majority of beginners were young men and a few young women. Because of their youth, they could be pushed faster, harder. At Yarick’s your first workout was one set per exercise. The second workout, it was two sets. Then three sets at the third session. That ended the first week. Starting the second week, the quest began to lift ever-heavier weights and pack on muscle.
Today, many beginners are seniors. Pushing
them like you would a 16-year old is crazy. You’re likely to discourage or even injure them. Allow their progress to be gradual and they’ll be just fine. So you push but push gently. See what I mean here. It’s absolutely free.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
Senior Exercise Central
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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.
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