May 15, 2020
In this newsletter . . .
Playing cards while
Some years ago the famous American wrestler, Karl Gotch, introduced a workout to Japanese wrestlers and judoka to get them in shape fast. These were athletes training for competition at the highest level. It worked. And the routine is still in use today, I’m told.
But with easy adaptation, the challenging wrestlers’ workout can be adjusted to fit senior fitness needs, particularly useful while we are sheltered-in-place. First, though, here’s how it works in the basic Karl Gotch/Japanese form.
The athletes would get a deck of cards. They would assign all the black cards to push-ups, and the red cards to bodyweight squats. Face cards had a value of 10 (reps). Aces, 11. Jokers could be 15, 20, 25, or even 30, depending on what they’d decide before beginning.
Someone would shuffle the deck and draw a card from the top. Let’s say it is a red 7. Everyone would do 7 squats. They’d draw the next card, and say it’s a black 9. Everyone would do 9 push-ups. They would keep moving this way until they’d gone through the entire deck. For the young, well-conditioned athletes it would take about 30-minutes.
Adaptation for seniors
First, assign 4 exercises instead of 2. Select exercises that when combined work your entire body. Here’s one example, but use your own favorites. Let’s say all hearts are bodyweight squats. Diamonds are push-ups. Clubs are sit-ups. Spades are mountain-climbers.
Instead of pushing yourself to your limit, ease-up a bit on the pace, stopping to catch your breath. Other senior adaptations might be removing the jokers and/or using only the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s in the deck. In other words, adjust the workout to your present ability.
Now if you’re a younger senior and in top shape, once in a while go
through the entire deck as fast as you can. Challenge yourself.
Find a variety of bodyweight only exercises here.
P.S. For indoor workouts, I have nothing against those handsome, new Peloton bikes, except that they run about $2,400. Meanwhile, a set Bicycle Playing Cards retails for $2.95.
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Legitimate studies conclude that many nutrition supplements do not result in better health or greater longevity, and a few may even contribute to acquiring diseases they are supposed to protect against. Yet the dietary supplement industry is only marginally regulated. What should we believe? My personal view regarding supplements is here.* * *
Are you curious about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)? Is it safe and appropriate for seniors?
Most online HIIT information is probably meant for younger people. Get honest answers for seniors here.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
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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.
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