July 1, 2018
In this newsletter . . .
As younger seniors, Patty and I led cardio kickboxing classes at a local health club. It was great fun, and of course getting paid while exercising is always better than paying dues. We did it for three years or so and I was pushing age 70 when our series ended. Today those workouts (which were known around the gym as “butt kickers”) would do me in, for sure.
After that, we worked out together at another health club for a few years. We were steady trainees but tapering off the high intensity that we were used to while leading the kickboxing classes. It’s what I like to call being age appropriate as the years pass.
Nowadays, Patty goes to Zumba classes for her cardio workouts. She loves it and tells me she’s the oldest one in class. My own cardio consists of daily 40-minute walks with the family dog, B.B. King. B.B. is 13 years old so he’s very much a senior, just
like me. Amazingly, for his age he’s still got a lot of pep and also loves to play fetch. However, I limit those games because he goes at it full bore and then stiffens up afterward. Just like me, B.B. needs the exercise, but it’s best to keep his workouts age appropriate too.
(If you’re curious, you can check out our cardio route at “Conquering Mt. McInnis.”)
I’ve always liked to change things up with my workouts, and now, in addition to my walks with B.B., I do three days a week of what I call a senior adaptation of Tabata. I’ve found the Tabata format fun and well rounded, providing both cardio and resistance work combined; though my version doesn’t have as much all-out intensity as Tabata for younger people, and especially for young
One day soon, I’m going to make a short video of my senior adaptation. However, young seniors in good shape can really go all out with full-on Tabata, or similar HITT workouts, assuming they have no underlying physical limitations. It’s just that as we get up in years, we should be smart about it and adjust the duration and/or intensity a bit. My cardinal rule is that if after workouts I’m still tired following a good night’s rest, I know something is wrong. And that usually means overtraining in some way(s), and adjustments should be made.
Here’s my typical, current senior Tabata routine. Twenty intense seconds of each exercise, followed by 10 seconds rest; then on to the next exercise, 20/10, et cetera.
- Run in place (high knees)
- Shoulder Press (I use resistance bands)
- Squats (bodyweight only or resistance
- Rowing (with resistance bands)
- Row (with resistance bands)
- Run in place (high knees)
Once completed, that counts as one Tabata. It takes only four minutes to run through it once. Have fun but ease into it. Don’t go all out the first time you do it. But if you’ve put in a serious effort, you’ll be huffin’ & puffin’. Don’t feel that one Tabata is enough? After a short breather, do another one, or two.
Important Notes: 1) Please first read my page on Interval Training. Then at the bottom of the page, access the free online Tabata timer to assist you in your session. 2) Tabata is not for beginners. Senior beginners should start off with a starter program, before doing Tabata of other HIIT workouts.
Summer is now in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere. Have a wonderful time.
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.
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