Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bodybuilding or Fat Loss for Seniors

The most viewed article for 2016 bears repeating...


First of all, let’s define “bodybuilding”. Bodybuilding does not mean you have to be a professional or a competitive bodybuilder. If you are trying to change the composition of your body (less fat and more muscle) you are a bodybuilder!
If you only want to lose fat, the best way by far, is to add muscle mass.
In case you missed it, see what Johns Hopkins has to say about fat loss.

So if you are trying to accomplish almost any type of fitness other than power lifting, you are a bodybuilder. 

Secondly, let’s define “seniors”. It depends on who you ask.
I’ve seen it defined as anyone over 40. If someone calls you a senior when you’re 41 you have my permission to kick them in the teeth.

But usually it’s defined as 50 and above.(you should still kick them in the shins, at least) There is such a wide range that I suppose doctors and fitness professionals have to be careful what they prescribe as fitness programs without a personal assessment and evaluation. I understand that.

But if you run a search for “fitness for seniors” or something similar the results you get are so far off they are laughable. Unfortunately, those articles are doing a huge disservice to the readers so they really aren’t funny.

You’ll get advice on using bands, five and ten pound dumbbells or body weight exercises. Advice to only do two sets of ten reps, working out only two or three days a week. Many seem to be assuming you already have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. Those writers are no doubt in their 20’s and think anyone over 30 belongs in a nursing home.

Don’t believe that junk!

I can show you people in their late 70’s that can dead lift over two and a half times their body weight, people in their 60’s that could compete as swimsuit contestants (men and women) or competitive body builders and people in their 80’s that run multiple marathons each year and/or iron man competitions.

Are these people genetically gifted? Sometimes, but usually not. Have they been working out all their life? Many started their fitness programs in their 50’s and 60’s.

So far I’ve describing other people. Let’s get a little more personal:

·         I am 66 years old.
·         I have Medial Plantar Nerve Entrapment in my right foot.
·         I’ve had a broken right ankle which locks up on occasion.
·         I’ve had knee surgery 3 times. One was so bad that I’m told it’s in a medical text book somewhere. My left knee still has the lateral stability somewhat less than Jell-o!
·         I’ve had 2 serious rotator cuff tears.
·         I have Polycystic Kidney Disease. Because of this I’ve had high blood pressure since my mid-thirties.
·         I’m a cancer survivor ( 6+ years now)
·         and I have emvazeyma.
·         I have scoliosis of the lower thoracic spine. Mostly caused from favoring my left knee all these years.

You should note:
  • That NONE of the injuries were the direct result of resistance training!
  • As a matter of fact, training has caused a marked improvement in each and every one of them! 
  • AND if I had been stronger at the time of the injury I might not have been injured in the first place!

And in each case of injury the doctors had me in resistance training within days or weeks of the injury!

My current dead lift is over 1.5x my body weight and improving every week.
My current raw barbell squat is almost 1.5 x my body weight.

I was still a member of the 1000 Pound Club at age 53 at 1275 pounds. (The total weight in 3 lifts-bench press, dead lift and squat). At age 66 I’m a little below 1000 pounds for the time being but I’m working on it.

The whole point is: don’t let some mamby-pamby article talk you out of doing what you are fully capable of doing. Get a proper assessment and evaluation, of course.
But the body can do much more than you think it can at any age. It’s the mind you have to learn to control.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right…. Henry Ford

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      I'm not sure what you mean by "the other side"??

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