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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #260 Senior Fitnes Wisdom
October 01, 2019
October 1, 2019
In this newsletter . . .
Senior Fitness WisdomReading other newsletters and fitness websites is fun. You learn a lot about what is appropriate and also what is not. I remember a letter a few years back 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 still trains but emphasizes short workouts consisting of basic lifts. He readily admitted the kind of training he did as a young man — which was very productive at the time — would wear him down today.
One day 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 outdoors 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 said 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 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 a kickboxing group one night, lift heavy weights the next evening, and hike on the weekends. Today I still follow a formula of resistance training and cardio. But any weights lifted now are minuscule compared to years ago and any cardio is far less intense. If I allowed it, knowing what I did in the old days, it could be pretty discouraging. So I try not to dwell on yesterday.
Of course I’d be outright lying if I said I didn’t wish I could do all the things I did 10 or 20 years ago. Who wouldn't? But that’s life. My point is that what Brooks Kubic wrote, and what the outdoors boot camp lady said, is this: 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 weights usually makes more sense than heavy iron. And all-out one rep maximum efforts will send your blood pressure through the roof. That’s not smart or at all age appropriate for older seniors. Also be sure to take a little more time warming-up, and always taper off to cool down. Practice some gentle stretching too.
In the wise words of Satchel Paige: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.”
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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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