Motivated by the SEALS at 70

by Lyle Pirnie
(North Attleboro, MA)

I lifted for years, and very much enjoyed doing so. However, in my late 60's, my elbows, shoulders and knees ached for days after hard training.

I decided to switch to bodyweight exercising for strength maintenance. In looking around the web, I found the SEALS calisthenics training: warm-ups, pulls, pushes, abs and legs. While I can't even pretend to keep up with SEAL candidates, I emulate their routine in the following way:
1. Warm-ups-side straddle hops, windmills and overall stretching.

2. As many pull-ups and chin-ups as possible in 10-15 minutes, using stretch bands when I can't get any more "real" reps. 30 seconds between sets, and squeeze at the top of each.

3. 10-15 minutes of push-ups and dips. Again 30 seconds between sets, and squeeze at the bottom. When I can't do more than 1 rep, I hold at the bottom until failure.

4. 15 minutes of abs-crunches and flutter kicks, reverse crunches, Swiss ball crunches, side bends. Anything to keep going continuously for 15 minutes. The SEALS do 15 minutes without stopping. I try, but can't get there.

5. Legs: 1/4 squats, fast; "Charlie Chaplins"-toe raises with toes pronated in; hamstring stretches and lunges. I try for 15 minutes, but stop after my quads catch on fire!

I do this 2x per week. I do aerobic machines on day 2, and swim at the YMCA on day 3. One day of rest per week.

I may not be Charles Atlas, but this routine kicks my butt!

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