I was once in my 20s. In fact I was once in my 30s and now in my late 40s I can look back and have a really good laugh at myself. I think It’s good to laugh at oneself, at all the stuff we used to value which in hindsight was a total time suck. This is especially the case in respect of the time I spent on meaningless gym time. Back in the late 90s Friday was always arm day. An hour or even 90 minutes pumping the armacondas from all directions and angles to get them huge for an evening of posing in bars with my redbull and whisky! [enter facepalm emoji here]
Monday was always chest day cause that’s what the Flex magazine told us to do back then and for me, Wednesday was leg day so I was recovered for Fridays evening of dancing the hours away. Did you know that I got offered a position as a cage dancer at one point. Ah, the good ol times. I sure can’t see me getting many offers to dance in a cage at this age, but I do keep my hopes up.
Apart from the fun weekends, I really can’t say I profited physically, from a health perspective, from all that gym time. I can attribute quite a few injuries to overdoing the weekend prep though. Elbow tendonitis, muscle tears, T-shirt tears, hangovers – oh wait, that was the other stuff too!
Yeah there was a learning curve, mostly through trial and error or curiosity, but back in the 90’s there really wasn’t much emphasis on exercise for longevity. What came next just wasn’t part of many educational programs back then. You either trained in group training aerobics or circuits classes or you trained like a bodybuilder. This sadly hasn’t changed much in mainstream commercial gym settings apart from a growth in yoga and pilates but thankfully, many more businesses are gathering a following of longevity trainees. Sorry I can’t think of a better description – maybe you can suggest one?
By longevity I really am referring to training that will give us better traction going into our later years. I want to thrive in my 60s, 70s, 80s and sorry darling wife, maybe even into my 90s.
This wont be achieved by luck alone, winning the lotto or by relying on flexibility, spirituality or watching the sun rise and set. Those things are grand and fine, but they won’t add life to your years.
Read that again. Not years to your life, but life to your years.
To add this life to your years you’ll need, some practical skills like flexibility, mobility, practical strengths, aerobic fitness and of course good nutrition, sleep and stress management.
I’ll not be going into detail in this post but I’ll draw particular attention to the things I can influence in the gym, like the practical life strengths, mobility and flexibility. No one, I guarantee, will be interested in what you could bench press or how fast you could run 5km when you’re 80. Your immediate family and peers will be more concerned and impressed by your ability to function. Can you get off your chair, toilet, into the shower, get dressed, drive the car, carry in your shopping, pressing linen into the top shelf of the linen cupboards and all the other domestic stuff life will include. “Oh how interesting” says no one, I get it. This doesn’t exactly describe an interesting gym training session haha.
However, a good description of a typical gym session for my current over 50 gym members looks like this:
- Dynamic warm up – much like this video
- Squatting movements
- Pressing movements
- Pulling movements
- Rotations stability movements
- Balance enhancing movements
- Getting down to the floor and back up with ‘style’ movements
- Picking up and carrying ‘stuff’ movements
- Simple flexibility exercises
There really isn’t anything fancy. We use simple equipment when needed and make the routines simple to follow. But essentially each day we practice a very simple recipe.
Each day we practice the skills of:
- Picking things up
- Pushing and pulling things
- Carrying things
Whilst the ingredients may vary, the recipe is always the same. Simple
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Heading into Spring towards Christmas we’ll be sharing our successful over 50s program with a greater audience with the release of more daily times for small group training. If you or someone you care for, like you mum, dad, granny or grand dad would be interested, just send them my way or fill in the Expression of Interest form below.