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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #368. Our fitness guidelines
May 01, 2024

Your fitness
sweet spot

In April of this year, The Wall Street Journal devoted space to “Four Tests To Gauge Fitness Age.” They included a 12-minute run or 1-mile walk; a side plank; getting up from the floor while not using your hands; and, finally, push-ups.

A graph based on age categories (measured in decades) and ratings based on one’s scores: Needs Work, Average, Good, Excellent. However, the graph measured only push-up benchmarks by age group. The last age category listed was “61 and older.”

Of course, I’m in the “and older” group. And I guess that many of my readers fall somewhere in the same category. According to the WSJ graph, if you manage just 3 push-ups, you need work. Eight push-ups are average, and 11 are excellent. That’s for those in the 61 and older group. Okay. But how much older do they mean? Well, let me speak for those of us in our 70s, 80s, or 90s.

I don’t do push-ups anymore. Instead, I do chest presses with resistance bands. At my age (87), I could not do eleven clean push-ups. By clean I mean going all the way down, chest to the floor, and back up again, with arms locked out.

A little boasting: Up till age 70, my wife would place a 45-pound weight on my back and I could do 23 clean push-ups, no cheating.

But gradually, age happens.

What am I getting at here?

I like The Wall Street Journal. Still, like other media, less attention (sometimes none at all) is given to people over a certain age. It is within this vacuum that writing about fitness keeps me going.

I’ve been working out, in some form, since my teens. And when I began writing the newsletter and creating a website, I realized that I was filling an age void. As the Billie Holiday song goes, “Nobody wants you when you’re old and gray . . .”

My website, Senior Exercise Central, says “Fitness After 50.” Yet I imagine the majority of my subscribers are quite a bit past fifty, like me.

Fitness and physical demands do not end in our senior years. I’m not in favor of putting extreme stress on aging bodies. On the other hand, sitting back and doing nothing is surely courting physical disaster.

Instead, find that sweet spot where you consistently keep your body reasonably challenged as the years add up. Being reasonable is key. Not too little. Not too much. And be consistent. That's your sweet spot.

Stay healthy. Stay fit.


Senior Exercise Central

Spread the word. If you like the newsletter, please forward it to a senior friend or acquaintance.

Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. Well, I was a mere 70 years old then. I’m 87 now. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as strong or muscular as I was 17 years ago. —LF

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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 website contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and website 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. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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