In today's September 1, 2009 newsletter . . .

  • Muscle Stories

  • Down the Rack

Muscle Stories

Muscle stories are fun to read, often rewarding and generally uplifting. And sometimes you discover a good fitness and training idea that may not have occurred to you.

Recently, I added a feature whereby trainees may write and share their own stories. I have mixed some of them in with interviews and articles that I’ve written. A couple of people have included pictures and descriptions of their home gyms. (Good pictures truly are worth a thousand words.) Two people, both seniors, who come to mind are George Boedecker and Terry Overstreet. George, a personal trainer, has been working out for many years. While Terry, relatively new to the fitness lifestyle, has made amazing progress.

I have some weights and resistance bands at home and, along with bodyweight exercises, I can always get in a good workout. However, my wife and I have for years belonged to a commercial gym where we take most of our workouts. Nevertheless, we know that eventually we will switch to doing most of our training at home. Seeing the training arrangements that George and Terry have created sure makes home gyms look enticing.

Visit my Muscle Stories page, click on any name and begin reading. I think you will enjoy it. And if you have your own story to tell, I hope you’ll consider telling it. I promise that people will be interested. You may very well inspire others to get up off the couch and begin living a vibrant health and fitness lifestyle.

"BodyLastics exercise bands are a product I personally own and use. Patty and I took ours along on a road trip recently and they are perfect for traveling. They're compact, lightweight and provide a good, well rounded workout. Check them out." --Logan Franklin

come see the workout system that!

Down The Rack

Trainees (especially those training in a bodybuilding mode) who are interested in focusing on a lagging body part or region may want to try a high-intensity workout that was sometimes practiced by the late, great Steve Reeves.

Generally, I don’t practice what most people call “high intensity training,” or HIT. At the same time, I believe in mixing things up, trying different workout programs and styles. We all have somewhat different preferences. Try this one and judge for yourself. Believe me, you'll feel it! Reeves was certainly no slouch.


Let’s say you want to focus on your shoulders, and you are able to complete, in good form, a maximum effort of pressing overhead two 60-pound dumbbells for between 8 and 12 reps (Congratulations, by the way, if you can).

So you begin by pressing the 60-pounders and finish the set when you cannot do another rep in good style. In other words, you would have to cheat the weights up by push-pressing them, using leg drive.

Rest 30 seconds and drop the weight 10 pounds to the 50s and do as many reps as you can in good form.

Rest 30 seconds and drop the weight again by 10 pounds.

Repeat until you have completed 6 sets with 30 seconds rest between each set. By the final set you’ll be using 10-pound dumbbells, if you began with 60’s. And your shoulders will be screaming!

(If you find it easy to do 12 reps on any set, use the same weight on the following set.)

Rest up to 5 minutes before moving on to your next body part.

Younger trainees who are in good shape may want to pick one exercise for each body region, following the same 6 set, down the rack pattern. However, this is high intensity work, and older trainees may want to use a more conventional and less intense routine to round out the rest of their workout.

For exercises where much heavier weights are normally used, such as squats and bench pressing, make 15- or 20-pound reductions for each set.

Muscle up!

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to our subscribers. Our purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

Always consult with your physician before making dietary changes or starting an exercise program.

Your comments or questions are always appreciated.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter