We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As I mentioned previously, my fitness goal is not body-building per se, just overall fitness for life. No real weight-loss goals. Strength-building is necessarily part of it, but balance, posture, and endurance for stressful activity is more important to me for things like steep hill hiking, 2 hrs of singles tennis, hunting in deep snow with weighty boots, rock-hopping in trout streams, lugging heavy stuff, kayaking, chain-saw juggling, and churning out morning links on Maggie's.
I am now into my 5th month. In middle-age, it takes a while to adapt to intense new demands, to ramp up - and I was in worse shape than I realized. I am developing muscles where I had never had them in my life (eg triceps, lats). I do barbell squats, bench presses, dead lifts, barbell work, and all of it. I have aches and pains where I never had them, too, so my guy has to find ways to accommodate that (damn Piriformis Syndrome, damn old shoulder injuries). My grey Brooks suit is getting tight in the shoulders. As I have reported, it's still 3 days/wk with sadistic trainer, and 3/days/wk doing whatever cardio etc he asks me to do. Since I pay him, I try to do whatever he says.
Mrs. BD is doing a similar program with the same fine fellow, but I head out at quarter to 5 am and she goes at 7. She is supplementing her program with some sort of impossible yoga which she loves (I term Yogurt) 3/wk, in the evening. It's isometric and I could never do it. Holding a headstand for 3 minutes? Two minutes of Down Dogs (is that s sexual pose)? Holding a squat for minutes?
Trainer has advised me to up my carbs a bit due to my workouts, no more wt. loss, but I'd like to eliminate another 4-5# of disgusting mid-body Daddy-lard if possible. Vanity. I am about 12# down in pudge and maybe 4# up in muscle.
My favorite day is Fridays, my day for Total Body Break-down for one hour, combo cardio and resistance, no rest except a few seconds for water. Crossfit-style. Destroy Bird Dog to the point that he can not walk or lift a Dunkin coffee cup without shaking. When you catch your breath 2 or 4 hours later, you feel pretty mellow but are ready for a nap in the sunshine.
Bonus fitness tips:
Core strength and fitness. Do it right with tight butt-cheeks and tight belly, pulling belly-button into your spine. 47 fun plank variations:
Planks are the MacGyver of bodyweight movements: They're super tough and great for almost any situation. The versatile move is best known for working your core, but planks also engage more than 20 muscles, including your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and glutes. Even better, planks allow you to work your core without the risks of back injury and overstressed hip flexors that come with traditional sit-ups.
True, sit-ups, crunches, and crunch machines can hurt your back and hip flexors. Planks can't. Take it from one who knows - me. I will never do those again. Just plank varieties.
To you exercise-doubters: I am with you, sort-of. Fitness does not extend life, is sort-of narcissistic, and all that. All that I can say is that it's a cool and highly-demanding adventure for somebody like me who is trapped in his head and lacks enough outlets or time for productive, difficult physical labor. First World issues. You feel stronger and good to be in fighting shape.
The purpose of strength training for those over 50 is not narcissistic and it's not intended to extend life.
The purpose of strength training is to postpone the inevitable decline as long as is possible. So that a long decline in health is avoided, compressing the decline into a short window at the end of one's days - falling off a cliff as it were.
Additionally, the more physically fit one is, the better able that person is to withstand those medical issues that do come up.
I am certainly not an excercise doubter. I have worked out all my life and continue to this day at age 72. I think one of the best benefits to good lifelong excercise is a healthy heart and circulation. Where I think excercise gets a bad rap is when people decide one day to start a program and than either over do it and injure themselves or through just bad luck and circumstance injure themselves. The simple truth is if you have never injured yourself through excercise you are either very lucky or just haven't been excercising very long.
I'm enjoying your fitness posts immensely! My DH and I (age 65) started working out at the Gym last December for the same reasons. I want to be in as good shape as possible 'till the Lord calls me Home, enjoying every minute.
I used to bring Library books to the homebound, and I saw many old (I mean REALLY old) people over the years in both good health and in bad. The Trainer at the gym asked me what my goals were, and I said, "I don't ever want to fall and I can't get up."