In today's Sept. 1, 2011 newsletter . . .

Wisdom & Wit: "Old age at least gives me an excuse for not being very good at things that I was not very good at when I was young." -Thomas Sowell

  • May I Ask a Favor?

  • Finding the Perfect Wokout

  • Good Conversations

May I Ask a Favor?

The Senior Exercise Central website gets visitors daily from all over the U.S., and internationally. There is a small "Like" button at the top and another at the bottom of each website page. Few visitors click on it, though I know they like the information because so many write to say so.

The Favor

If you visit any of the website pages, and you appreciate the information, please click on the "Like" button. It helps optimize the website with the internet search engines.

Gray Iron Fitness
Senior Exercise Central

Finding the Perfect Workout

Don T. (age 59) opened his e-mail the other day and discovered five different offers, each claiming to provide him with the "perfect workout." One promoted kettlebells. Power lifting with barbells is the way to go, said another. Bodyweight calisthenics are all that's needed, a third one chimed in. Even Chuck Norris invited Don to take a Total Gym for a trial run. Wow! And who can resist Christie Brinkley?

Don T. lives in the Midwestern U.S. He says he is a little overweight but is in reasonably decent shape. He does a little jogging and has at various times worked out in commercial gyms. He doesn't see himself as a novice. But he wants to get more serious about his fitness, and he wants to workout at home. He e-mailed me to ask which device(s) or method(s) I thought would provide perfect workouts.

To start with, the method or equipment that is most likely to hold his interest over time, not just for a month or two, is his best bet. That much is certain. But it is Don's expectations and preferences that are the key.

If competitive power lifting or the Olympic lifts are his reason for working out, he must have an Olympic bar and plates. Nothing else will suffice. He'll need some coaching, too, from a competent trainer. But for all around fitness training, practically any one of the offered equipment and methods will serve him well - if he enjoys it.

But let's not overlook that Don's age must also be taken into account. At 59, certain kinds of training may begin to put too much stress on his senior tendons and ligaments. Resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, or devices like the Total Gym can be easier on aging joints. If he decides to stay with standard barbells and dumbbells, he probably ought to apply abbreviated workouts. Heck, even most young people who workout probably over-train.

And this is critical: All the talk and promises in the world from sellers of specific products won't mean a thing unless he gets pleasure out of his workouts. Training should be challenging, but at the same time there has to be a workout likability factor. Without it, even the latest and greatest training apparatus he can find will end up stored in a dusty corner of the garage.

My advice: If possible, he should buy weights, bands, or other devices that he has actually tried out. Or if he's had no experience with the equipment, he should make sure the company he buys from offers a return policy. And last, no matter what equipment or method of training, his comprehensive program should have three components: 1) Resistance training; 2) cardiovascular exercise; and 3) some flexibility movements.

There are several ways, such as circuit workouts, to combine all three components in a single format. Or many people prefer keeping them separate, such as working with weights one day, cardio the next, and staying limber by stretching a bit after each session.

Now is a good time to mention my book, too: Living the Fitness Lifestyle. It provides enough workout formats to keep him interested for a very long time.

I'll be interested in learning how Don T. forms his home gym. And I'll keep you posted.

The Kettlebell Boomer How to Defy Aging and Be a Human Dynamo Throughout Your Senior Years—Thanks to Kettlebells

Good Conversations

If you haven't read it yet, please go to Franco's Still Lovin' My Workouts for a conversation between Franco and Bob White, as two seniors with plenty of experience share what works for them. Check it out. It's worthwhile reading.

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.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter