Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cable Training

A great alternative to the barbells and dumbells are to be found in almost any gym. Cables.
An example of using these is to substitute for bench presses, which are very hard on the shoulders.
Use a reasonable weight that you can do 10 reps with. Set the cables at chest height or a little above, and pull in to the center of your chest while crossing your hands when they meet.

This is a fine pectoral builder.

You can do overhead presses, curls, rowing, shoulder raises, and more with cables.

Try this to get out of any rut you might be in with your workout.

Change is good.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Do it Right

I am amazed at how many people I see at the gym who simply have it wrong. They are banging away on exercise equipment without the clue for how to use to correctly.
For example, doing leg raise on parallel bar type equipment. Slamming their legs up and down fast.
Really you should be raising knees to chest or doing an "L" slowly then dropping the legs back slowly afterwards.

This is just one example where you will minimize the benefits you get and make yourself frustrated.

Go for slow, smooth movements that maximize the muscle use and engage it fully.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fixing sore muscles

If you work out hard enough sooner or later you will be sore. A little soreness in the muscles is good as it tells you that you have done your job well.
To build muscle you must tear it down a bit first, then in the rebuilding process it becomes stringer and possible larger as well.

To treat sore areas, people have applied heat or ice. Rested, raised the affected area..and so on.

It is advisable however to get moving again, get the blood flowing back into that area and help the body heal though it's own process.

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation  does work but is slow and can be avoided by...well read this article and see.
Inflammation which causes the soreness, is a natural event that has healing closely behind it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Maybe you have never done this

If you have never strength trained and wan to start. Great.
This is a good move for anyone.

You can begin by using your body weight to strengthen the muscles.
An example- Curl your arms up pretending that you are raising a weight. Feel the tension in the arm muscles, don't strain.

Just apply tension and relax, then do it again. After 10 or so repetitions you should start to feel the muscle swell up and maybe tighten a bit.

Do the opposite move, push down be bending from the elbow to tighten the tricep in the back of your arm..

Next push up your arms as if lifting a weight overhead. You should feel this in your shoulders.

These moves will start your training. Later you can replace them with lifting actual weights. Body tension exercises work!
 See information on Charles Atlas. This was from his Dynamic tension routine.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

To Supplement or not to Supplement

If you work out and want to grow more muscle you need to eat protein, but often  that is not enough.
Supplement with Protein Powder. Choose a natural unsweetened or minimally sweetened product , preferably one that is also low carb. You want the protein and not the sugars.

Whey protein is good unless you restrict dairy. There are brown rice protein, hemp protein, soy protein and many more that will give your muscles the ability to grow and stay firm.

Mix the powder with purified water, whole milk, coconut water, coconut milk,  or almond milk. Any liquid that you prefer the taste of.
Ok just not beer. Not that I am against a little beer, but not right after a workout which is when you should drink your protein shake.

Other supplements that are helpful :
Magnesium- most of us are deficient in this and it can help prevent cramping especially those painful calf cramps. Take this after dinner.

Vitamin D3- Ultra important as we never get enough form sun exposure.

Vitamin C- 100 MGS daily is anti-aging and anti-cancer. Support for bones and blood.

Other supplements can be helpful, depending on your body's needs.

The main thing is to eat clean and healthy, Limited or no grains.

More on this later.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What to do when not lifting

There should be days, sometimes even a few in a row where you don't strength train.

Your body needs rest and the regeneration that comes with it.

So what can you do on these off days?

A walk is great. Easy on the body and helps keep the blood flowing to those muscles that need repair to grow. Walk at least 45 minutes at a steady pace, but pause to enjoy the scenery. Drink water to stay hydrated, especially if the temperatures are high.

Stretch.  A good stretch is relaxing and helps to maintain your body tone. Start with basic YOGA stretches to warm up the back and abs.  Go slow and enjoy the sensation.
If you cam get into a yoga class on your off days that would be helpful.

Do light body weight exercise. A few push ups or some ab work can be good, but not if you just did that with weights the day before. The muscles need rest.

Enjoy you rest and make good use of the time. This is very helpful and will bring you back to the weights ready for more.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

70 Year Old looks 20 years younger

Here is a 70 year old man - at the time this video was made...who looks awesome. He proves that heavy weights work for you. He looks 40.

be Inspired and train harder!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Where to begin?

Maybe you have always wanted to lift some weights and gain muscle and strength. But you were busy working and it simply never happened. Or maybe you did some of this training back in your teens or 20's and would like to start up again.

Here are some tips to get you off to a good start.

1. Don't be too aggressive. Lifting heavier weights can hurt you and possibly damage your body. You don't need to rush into anything. Start light and maybe even without weight. Use a book in each hand or a brick, or whatever you have to get moving and acclimate your joints and muscles to this work. Remember Charles Atlas and his dynamic tension?  This was done without any weights, you go through the exercises by adding your own tension to the muscles involved, pretending that you are lifting or moving weight. This may not make large gains but it is a place to start.

2. Set a goal to just DO THE WORK. If you can get through a 20 minute or 30 minute routine 3 or 4 times a week you are on the path to success.

3. Check your progress, by keeping notes of where you are at the start and updating after every workout/ Once you see some progress you will be gratified and motivated.

4. Keep it up. even if you are feeling sluggish and tired, a bit of training will actually revive you. Get through it and see.

Enjoy what you do! Use the mirror and see the results. Just be patient and look towards the goal.

Get healthy. Stick to a lower carb diet by eliminating sugar and most if not all grains. Balance proteins with good fats and lots of vegetables and some fruit. This works.

See   for more diet tips.

Check out this article on the benefits of training for older people.

Monday, July 7, 2014

More weight than I thought

I checked the unloaded weight of the squat machine I have been using. It says 52lbs.

I now know that my squats have been 1 set each of 5 reps X 142, 232, 282.   Not bad for a 140 lb guy.

Also bench press with olympic bar is 1 x 135, 155, 175

The low rep method is working well for me...

I sometimes add a set of Pullups - 10 reps, and assorted other things like dumbbell shrugs with 45 each, or tricep presses after the bench press routine. Keeps it interesting.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cracking the 200lb level

If you have been reading this blog you know I am doing a low rep 3 set of each power workout.
The goal is to maximize strength and use the large muscles to do all the work.
It s ok to add a few sets of other movements you enjoy or feel a need for but stick to the basics and see your progress.

I weigh 140. Not a big guy at all. After 4 or 5 weeks on this power program I broke 200 lbs in the squat.
For me that was an arbitrary goal I had set. I record all my lifts after the workout on my cell phone.

I started with squats-  55lbs.x 3 reps, 75lbs, 95 lbs. Progressed up a bit each time it felt right. No stressing no over exertion, no damage.

Now I am doing 95, 145, 205.

Making progress.

In the deadlift I  am moving a bit slower as the lower back for me is a problem area I need to be careful about.  I am now doing 3 sets--  reps--85, 105, 125.

Still progress without pain. At 65 its time to say "less pain = more gain".

Keep on lifting.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Two weeks of the simple method

I did my 6th work out today:  the 3 sets 5 reps plan.

 My squats are now 125, 175, 195lbs then the
Deadlift ( I am being careful as back problems have plagued me for 30 years) with 85, 105, 125

I have progressed nicely in just two weeks. I will be squatting over 200 next time around. At 142 lbs bodyweight that is pretty decent.

It is tempting to change the plan, and add more stuff to the workout. But I am holding onto the original idea, and only adding some Pull-ups, ab work and stretches at the end.

The whole thing is over in 20 to 30 minutes which is great.

Keep it Simple!  I will post additional results as they become available.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

One week in

Did 3 workouts with the new/old syle method. Started light...50 lbs on olympic bar for squats the first day, then added 25, then 25 again so I ended up at 100.
Same for the bench presses. Also deadlifts. Taking it easy the first day.. NO injury is worth getting.

Leave the heavy stuff to the 30 year old dudes.

Second workout day I did Squats, deadlift , barbell curls, overhead press.

Third workout day I did squats, now 50,100, 150 3x5. Deadlift 50,100, 125.  Benches were 125 for 3 sets of 5.

I added a set of pull ups just to do them at the end. Did 10

If this progress continues I should hit some decent weights in a few weeks.

Feeling good too...

65 and counting!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Back to the basics!!

I feel a bit like I am in a rut. After my 65th birthday I need a change in the workout routine. Working out 5 times a week though only 30 minutes per session, it still can get old.

So its back to basics for me,,,for awhile. Here is my new ....old...plan.

3 set of 5 reps each  alternating days with a rest day between.

Squats, Deadlift, Bench presses.  
The squats were a problem because of a rotator cuff  issues I could not hole the barbell across my shoulders.
So I opted for the standing squat machine. This has pads over your shoulders, so no arms needed to hold it.

Started light..85 lbs, then 105lbs, then 125lbs for each exercise

Next day will be squats, rowing, barbell curls, overhead presses.

Hope for some added interest in this and some r-e-s-u-l-t-s!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Going Lighter

If you are like me you have aches and pains that just seem to come with the aging process. I found that lifting heavy all the time was really hard on my body. Especially bench presses and squats, tow of the more important lifts in my routine.

So I bit the bullet and went light!  I dropped the bench press altogether. I went to dumbell flyes, using a weight I could get 15 reps out of. I use the cable rowing machine as a back exercise with pretty light level there too. Also the leg press with only 175-200 lbs on it.

The point of doing the 15 reps is to go slow and still get a good pump out of it. It has been shown that exercising to failure with light weights does as much for muscle as the heavy weights lower reps does.

SO why hurt yourself?  If you are having joint and lower back pain, try this lighter routine and see what it can do for you.
  Oh and don't skip the stretches before and after....a few minutes makes a world of difference.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Resistant Starch is good for you

There is a lot of buzz about RS or resistant starch. These are foods that are digested by the bacteria in your gut and tough for your body to breakdown with regular digestive juices. These starches support the microbes in your gut which help you lower your blood sugar naturally, and increase your energy level.
This is good news. You can eat some higher carb foods and still keep our blood sugar inline.

These foods include- beans, rice- especially cooled rice, potatoes and one of the best forms of RS potato starch. Navy beans are a good form of RS as well as green bananas, lentils, and more.

You can buy potato starch at many food stores. Add a tablespoon or two to your daily diet. It will improve your digestion, though you may get gassy for a little while. Then you get used to it and your regularity will improve.

I do it this way--

Take a cup of plain full fat yogurt. Add two tbs potato starch, a tbs or two of plain cocoa, and some sweetener. I use Stevia.

Mix this well and eat.

Our ancestors ate resistant starch in the form of roots and tubers. Mostly uncooked.

Try to get some into your diet.