March 1, 2022
In this newsletter . . .
Reading other newsletters and fitness websites is fun. I remember one a few years ago from Brooks Kubic, who is a lawyer, author, and strongman. He was then in his 50s. He told about being a high school wrestler and the long, grueling workouts he went through, and how strong and fit he was for wrestling competition. He was still training, of course. But he readily admitted that the kind of training he did as a young man — which was very productive at the time — would wear him down today.
Another newsletter and website favorite of mine is Richard Winett’s Master Trainer, which is training advice for senior athletes. When is it time to scale down a little? He shares with readers 50 years of workout experience. I always learn something after reading his material.
A few years ago, I pulled into a parking space at a park and saw a woman stuffing several medicine balls into an SUV. I asked her what they were for and she
said she ran an outdoor boot camp that meets in the park. We each had a dog with us and they got to know each other while we talked for a few minutes.
She was a mature woman, I’d guess in her mid-to-late-50s. We talked about fitness, of course, and she said she preferred outdoor workouts to gyms. I told her that I led cardio-kickboxing classes into my late 60s. I admitted that at my age now I couldn’t possibly handle the intensity of those workouts. She agreed that we must adjust our training as we grow older. Even so, the key to good health is to keep moving and never stop.
For years, I kept training logs. Sometimes I look back and see what I was doing five, 10, or 15 years ago. In days gone by, I would lead kickboxing workouts one night, lift weights the next night, and then hike on the weekends. Today I still follow a mix of resistance training and cardio. But these days I use resistance bands, instead of weights. And my cardio walks with my dog are far from intense. Knowing what I could do in the old days could be pretty discouraging if I let it. So I try not to dwell on yesterday.
Of course I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I could do the things I did 10 or 20 years ago. But that’s life. What the outdoors boot camp lady said is true: you must keep moving, but keep it age-appropriate. And don’t drive yourself crazy thinking too much about what used to be.
As we get older, higher repetitions with moderate resistance usually makes more sense than trying to lift a lot of heavy iron. All-out, one-rep-maximum efforts that send one’s blood pressure through the roof are not age-appropriate for older seniors. Take a little more time warming up, too, and always taper off to cool down.
Practice some gentle stretching.
And in the words of Satchel Paige: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.”
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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