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Friday, April 17. 2015
I posted about it earlier. Well, it's a "boot camp" deal, 15-30 seconds rest between strenuous exercises - some whole-body, some targeted - for an hour or more, 3 days/week. The aerobics is just built into the non-stop exertion.
He made me clarify my goals, and he tracks everything. I said I wanted to avoid muscle atrophy, to increase endurance, overall fitness, agility, and physical vigor. Going from 36" to 35 belt would be fine too. So he made a plan to destroy me.
A trainer will whip you along like you would never do yourself unless you are far more self-disciplined than I am. It is quite intense because there is no recovery time - and that's the point. When he senses that I need a two- or 3-minute break, he puts me on the elliptical or the bike instead of real rest to keep the heart rate up.
Battle ropes and medicine balls? Sheesh.
Guy says that if I don't hurt all over then he has not done his job. Says that if you are not sore after exercise, you've done no good and wasted your time. Even walking with intention for 30 minutes, he says, should leave you exhausted and sweaty. Says his goal is to get me barely stumbling out to my car, covered with sweat and gasping for air, in the dark around 6:15 am. For the final 5 minutes, he stretches me out and it hurts like hell and he laughs. So far, that has been working.
He caught me checking my watch 40 minutes in this morning, and laughed. Cruel SOB.
He says that, for now, to rapidly convert fat to muscle, he wants me mainly on protein, 4 small doses of food per day. Like one hard-boiled egg for breakfast, a small bowl of plain yoghurt or a little cheese around noon, a slice of meat mid-afternoon, a few slices of meat or fish for supper. No bread or mashed taters, no beans, no pasta, no bread, no fruit except perhaps half an apple with peanut butter on the slices in the afternoon. Non-carb vegetables if I want anytime, but, like me, he thinks they are nutritionally irrelevant for anything other than pleasure or filling a stomach. Says I can take a multivit for the placebo effect. Mind you, I have no weight issue but since I pay him, I might as well follow his dietary advice for a while. Stupid not to. I am determined to be a good and gratifying customer and the notion of converting soft weight to hard weight is appealing. I'll believe it when I see it.
Next week he'll tell me what routine he will require me to do on days between and after sessions. Oh boy - can't wait. Says he just wants to keep waking up my body for a few weeks first. Sheesh. For now, he just wants me pushing the elliptical on off days to stay loose and to keep the muscles awake. The guy is a sadist. Don't most of us prefer comfortable "exercise" most of the time? He says ordinary walking is worthless unless it's just for fun - unless you are over 75.`
Man, I knew my endurance was slacking but I did not realize how badly until there was a guy with a whip (altho a gal with a whip might be more interesting). Ladies, if your hubbie is going a little soft (I mean in general, not you know) and you don't really like it, give him the present of a couple of months of boot camp so I don't feel so alone...
These guys will negotiate fees for a package deal especially during their slow hours. I go at 5 am instead of milking the cows. Some American ladies I've seen in Walmart could use this too but, around here in Yankeeland, many or most ladies do hard things to stay trim, youthful, and desirable. Admittedly, it is social class-related to some extent. However, as Murray says, social class (not $) is correlated with self-discipline and goal-orientation.
"Letting yourself go" gets just so easy, like letting a garden fill with weeds. I do not want that for myself.
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But is it sustainable? If you weren't paying for the pleasure of being tortured would still do it?
When I started reading about your trainer having you aim for multiple goals - fat loss, muscle building, endurance - at the same time, I suspected he was....to be polite...not very knowledgeable. When I saw "elliptical", my suspicions were confirmed.
You're how old? That's what I thought. If you're fat, losing fat should be your first goal. PS - You cannot turn fat into muscle PERIOD. Plus hypertrophy is very difficult for people over 50 (hell, it's really hard for people over 40). That's not saying you can't get stronger - you can.
So, assuming you're not obese (you said you don't have a weight issues), your goals at your age should be (1) gain or maintain strength - so you have enough reserve to get up off the crapper even on bad days, and (2) gain or maintain mobility (which is a bit different than flexibility). Unless, of course, you're planning on joining the SEALs or having a second career in the NFL.
PPS - If you're doing workouts on your "off" days, you're never going to add muscle mass (PERIOD).
Look up some of Dan John's materials (he's got a web site - FREE) if you want to hear what a knowledgable trainer thinks. Sorry for the rant, but dumb trainers are one of my pet peeves. And congratulations for actually seeking to improve your level of fitness and health (those are different things also).
Read it more carefully. It's not for weight loss.
And it's not for big muscle mass.
You build new habits by doing something new. Sometimes they stick, sometimes they don't. Having the habit of exercise is generally considered desirable and the only way to try make it a habit is to start doing it.
I would agree with him that you are not going to get anywhere in terms of fitness in just walking. Your metabolism doesn't get to high enough a level to change anything, even though you might be tired afterwards.
Good for you, birddog. If all that pain is making you happier, more power to you. I think walking is wonderful, by the way. but you have to really focus on walking briskly to get benefits from it.
You may want to reconsider your reasoning:
Most of the people your age whom I know who have "let themselves go" do so for reasons OTHER than indolence and sloth (which should be avoided). But I'm thinking of laborers and ex-soldiers, ex-cops,ex-firemen whose bodies took a beating serving others. They didn't earn a living sitting at a computer or meeting with clients in relative comfort.
I'm also thinking of mothers of large families who don't have time away from their brood, caring for spouse, elderly parents and church work to spend hours being trained by some boot camp instructor.
Personally, as someone who used to run over 100 miles a week for fun, plus hike, bicycle, lift weights, swim a mile a day, I can say that I totally "let myself go" after having a family. My family would rather have a less Marathon ready mom who now cooks them delicious meals, often from home grown stuff (your trainer is wrong about vegetables, but I'm sure he figured out what you wanted to hear) and a mom available to listen, comfort and give care than the kind of frenetic person I used to be racing off to the gym.
IMHO, God put us on this earth to take care of others, not to idolize the body. While I believe that the Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and that we owe it to our Good Maker to be good tenants, I try NOT to snark now (as I used to when young) at out of shape people. The saintly nuns I used to work with were too busy caring for the poor, abused kids, etc to work out--most were in bad physical shape. And yet almost all lived to a great age: the power of faith and living in a loving community and dedicating oneself to others.
Also, some of us who damaged ourselves with years of endurance and aerobic sports are envious of your program, but literally cannot do likewise (osteo arthritis is the marathoner's prize). There is still great value in slightly less rigorous exercise--it's not all or nothing. Even a piddly hour and a half a day of walking keeps my "elderly" cholesterol at 158 without meds, BP at 90/70 despite looking like a cuddly granny kids want to hug. Not all women of a certain age want to do the mutton dressed as lamb thing. One doesn't want to get fat but being skinny makes one look wrinkly and old. I see so many ghastly anorexic 50-60 year old former trophy brides where I live. They have brittle bones from years of dieting.
We joke in my family "strong like ox" as I toss 50 lb bags of soil amendments or other crud for the garden over a shoulder. I try to do something useful for my exercise.
Don't get me wrong, I applaud you for your efforts. Especially when one has a sedentary job, one HAS to work at staying fit. Also, I'm sure everyone in your family is sleeker and better looking than in ours, Birddog elves to our hobbit stock....
More real information debunking the meat fad:
I thought I was reading Maggies Farm, but it sounds more like Salon. If you need a personal trainer, then you should also consider giving up all the food listed on this web site, most is
very bad for you. If you feel that you need help staying fit,
the government can help you. Get a grip, you age, enjoy it
with exercise you enjoy!
So you get pleasure from pain. Much cheaper visiting some BDSM parties and letting yourself get whipped. Lot of people there will do it to you for free.
And painting a one size fits all picture like you do is not just counter productive, but dangerous.
That "trainer" (he's really a sadist) would cause me permanent disability in a heart beat, thanks but no thanks.
Man, so much negativity towards your editor.
I just desire to stay fit and vigorous after a few years of letting myself go, more or less.
Is that so terrible?
And yes I do sort-of like the pain of physical effort. It's mental pain that I find difficult.
Physical fitness is fine, but I strongly advise my patients to avoid guys like your trainer. I've seen these guys too often leave people injured or feeling like failures and consequently much worse off than when they started. Most folks are probably better served by something much less vigorous and more sustainable. It doesn't take a genius of a physical trainer to find ways to leave you hurting and exhausted, my old man could do that to me with one arm tied behind his back. The trick is to make a gradual, lasting, positive effect. Those kind of changes tend to generalize in productive ways to other areas of your life too.
The idea of extreme physical metamorphosis is often simply a manifestation of existential death anxiety and denial. The physical punishment can temporarily distract the mind from having to come to terms with the reality of eventual decline and death.
In middle age we lose parents and friends and see children growing up and leaving. We look in the mirror and see an older, less physically fit self and think it's wrong and has to stop. It's just denial and there's always someone around ready to sell you a little snake oil or some other quick fix to solve your problems. Nothing wrong with that if you have the time and money to spend.
Meaning mainly non-root "vegetables"
Greens, tomatoes, broccolis, asparagus, string beans, etc etc
Just don't want to see you hurting yourself. The combo of physical stress and poor nutrition is concerning.
At the risk of inflaming a deep cultural divide - for the science actually goes against the old model the ostensible but partisan red state fly-overs so dearly champion so as to put a weak thumb in the liberal urbanista eye* - tiny paleo meat diets with a hint of veg and no fruit will kill ya.
There isn't a major medical killer in the West that's not either tied to or heavily influenced by our diet, quite unsurprisingly. You just have to go find the data and resist the temptation to double-down on tabloid science that says butter is actually kinda sorta fine and all. If the West leads the earth in these mortalities, it has to owe to something and no, it's not genetics because every other people who have adopted our diet suffer virtually instantaneously from the same diseases, rates, and mortalities.
So take care of yourself.
*a thumb they have spent the last half century earning. Just not here.
Agree with this. Exhaustion leads to mistakes, leads to injuries. Recovery time also increases with age. The amount of punishment an eighteen year old can recover from in a day is a good deal more than what someone up near 70 can manage. Even the difference between 65 and 70 can be significant.
But since BD didn't tell us what exercises he is doing, nor his age (I'm guessing 60-65), it is hard to judge.
The problem is these excercise guru's simply do not know what they do not know. Their experience is typically the first 30 years of life and so far so good. They have not yet experienced torn rotator cuff, plantar fasciitis, and a lot more. What they are experiencing is what every teen and 20 something experiences and it truely does not relate to someone over 40 who has never excercised or someone over 50-60 who hasn't excercised in decades. If you could talk to most of these trainers in their late 60's they would tell a different story.
As for diet, they have been sucked into one of the dozen or so fad diets out there and they cannot see past their biases. For most people (unless you are diabetic or have other diet related diseases) food is just food. It doesn't matter where you get your carbs or proteins from as long as you get your MDRs. Everything else is pure BS. The problem is that these fad diets and the misinformation built up around them sounds so seductive. Eat the paleo diet and watch the pounds just fall off you. Eat whole foods and organic and you will live to be 100. But it is simply not true. Your weight, for the most part, is determined by your genes and the same is true for your life expectancy and all the many genetic diseases that kill us before age 70 or so. You can indeed mitigate some of these factors but in most cases no significantly.
I am all for dieting to lose weight and honestly if the Paleo diet does it for you than mre power too you. But you do not need the paleo diet you simply need to cut total calories consistently while at the same time making sure you are getting all your MDRs. You can eat fast food everyday just not as much as you would like. You can eat bread and grain foods, fats and sugars, just eat less calories and get your MDRs.
I'm in agreement that his trainer is wrong, but not for the reason you suggest. I have no issue with the intensity of his training. Rather, it's the lack of recovery that I see as the problem.
I understand how you feel. I decided to lose the weight when a size 38 started feeling tight. And I'm not a tall person. Down to a 36 now.
Here's a good exercise method. Use the heaviest weight you can, then do as many reps as you can till you can't. Then go down 5-10 pounds, and do as many as you can. Then down another 5-10 pounds, and as many as you can. I've been doing this for a few weeks, and getting a great burn. Good way to build mass and tone.
Search Andrew Skurka on the internet. He is a hiker who burns upto18,000 calories a day while hiking. Walking "can" be a very good excercise. It all depends on what you put into it.