Bill Phillips “Back to Fit” Review

In 1999 Bill Phillips published a book that sold over 6 million copies. The title was, “Body for Life”. I was one of the millions of people who accepted Phillips’ “12-Week Challenge”.  Below are my Before and After pictures.

Glenn-After-Pic-1999
Glenn’s After Pic 1999
Glenn-Before-Pic-1999
Glenn’s Before Pic 1999

I was 47 years old at the time.  I was looking for an exercise workout plan.

 I wondered what is a healthy meal plan?

I found what I sought in the Body for Life plan.

21 years later, Phillips has taken the many advances in exercise science and supplementation.  This new program should be even better than the last.

He has designed it with aging adults in mind. He is passionate about getting people in their 40s and beyond “Back to Fit”.

To access the plan and all other things fitness on BODYBUILDING.COM, you’ll need to get the “BodyFit” app.  

You can take advantage of the FREE TRIAL.  If you like it, you can get it for as little as $3.99 per month.  Just click on the picture below:

Body-Fit

[Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase anything through one of the links. However, this will not affect what you pay!]

So, if you are looking for an exercise workout plan.  If you wonder what is a healthy meal plan?  You owe it to yourself to take a look at Bill Phillips “Back to Fit” 12-Week Trainer. BODYBUILDING.COM/BILLPHILLIPS

 

The Overview

The plan starts with a series of overview videos, explaining each component of the plan and WHY they are designed to enable anyone succeed with this plan. The videos are very well done and compelling. The components includeBill-Phillips-Back-to-Fit

  • Strength and cardio training
  • Easy to follow nutrition plan and recepes
  • Supplements
  • Goal setting
  • Tools to help simplify and empower

One of the reasons the Body for Life plan of the early 2000s worked for millions was because it was effective while being easy to follow and taking so little time.

Training

The training is designed to take 25 minutes, 6 days a week. 4 days are for strength training and 2 days are for cardio. It employees principles of High Intensity Intervil Training, (HIIT). That is one of the reasons training sessions can be effective in only 25 minutes.

I remember the days when it was universally believed that if you were going to develop strength and muscle, you needed to train 60 – 90 minutes.

Spending only 25 minutes per day should attract many more people who would like to get fit but don’t want to spend 6 – 10 hours per week training.

There are training videos for each of the exercises. Each are about 30 seconds in length. You can easily follow the training plan and keep track of your progress on your phone.

All the workouts have been designed to help people reshape their body.  This could very well be the exercise workout plan that’s right for you.

Back-to-Fit-Lower-Body-workout
Lower Body Workout

Nutrition

Phillips teaches, what he calls, “The Right Facts” about nutrition and designed, not a diet, but an eating plan for life. The plan provides a “Fit Food List” that is downloadable.

There is a Sample Meal Plan with 6 meals. And, there is a downloadable form to help with meal planning.

The meal plan is not a starvation diet. He explains, “You don’t have to do it perfectly but you’re going to relearn how to shop, how to prepare healthy food and how to eat the right amounts.”

Phillips goes on to say, “If you want to look good, feel good, lose fat, build muscle and live longer, you have to. love food for the taste, nutrition and results it brings.”

The plan is designed so if you can eat healthy for 6 days you can eat what you want on the seventh day. That’s part of what can make it do-able for a lot of people.

There are 12 tantalizing recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to help “feed your goals”.  So, if you are like I was and have wondered, what is a healthy meal plan?  “Back to Fit” has some great answers for you.

Supplementation

The scientific advances in supplements in the last 20 years are game changing. Combined with an effective training plan, supplements can significantly improve your results, keep you healthier and live longer.

If you are reading this review you very well may be looking for a fitness plan. Whether you choose this one or another, you should know about these supplements.

Phillips provides a list of supplements which he lists in order of importance for improving results.

First, what he calls the Essential Supplements

  • Protein Blend fuels recovery and growth of muscles. Pro JYM’s three types are absorbed in the body at varying rates – whey extremely fast, casein very slowly, and egg at a “medium” pace. This is exactly how you want your protein to act to ensure that the muscles get an immediate supply of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) as well as a steady trickle of them in the hours following.*
    JYM-PRO-PROTEIN-BLEND
    JYM PRO PROTEIN BLEND

     

  • Creatine is the most researched body building supplement. It helps with endurance in
    Highly-rated-Creatine
    Highly Rated Creatine

    workouts, recovery, development of strength and causes muscles to look more “swoll”.

  • Multivitamin helps the whole body in hundreds of ways and is a must.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to muscle growth and fat loss along with many other benefits

Additional Supplements

  • L-Glutamine is stored in the muscles. After intense training, the muscles can be depleted causing muscle loss. Taking a supplement helps support muscle recovery and growth
  • Vitamin D3 is deficient in 42% of the US population. It is SO important for many functions of our bodies. It’s important for healthy bones, heart, nerves, hormones, especially testosterone, and thyroid.
  • Antioxidants which gobble up free radicals which contribute to cancer and other disease.
  • Probiotics are the “good” bacteria in your stomach that aid digestion.

For readers of this article who are aging men, I wrote an article on supplements specifically for you. It differs in a couple of important ways. You can take a look at by clicking on this link: Best Supplements for Men Over 50.

 

Goal Setting

This is the only section that I feel is not as good as it could be. Bill offers a downloadable form that has 5 question:

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to be?
  • Why am I doing this?
  • When will I start?
  • How do I do it?

I think those 5 questions are a very effective starting point. But there are no measurable targets to shoot for. You may have heard the truism, “Winners Keep Score”.

You may have also heard of SMART goals:

  • Specifictarget-with-bullseye
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound

There will be different goals for different people but if they meet the 5 criteria of SMART goals most people will achieve more.

Tools

With the Overview videos, the Training videos, the Information, and the Lists, there is a lot. But there are more tools. Everything you need to help you every step of the way including telling you exactly what training to do with videos to show you how to do it.

Conclusion

If you have been looking for an exercise work plan that is effective, safe and doesn’t take near as much time as traditionally expected “Back to Fit” may be the way to go for you.

And, if you like a comprehensive plan that provides the nutritional guidance, supplement advice and answers the question, what is a healthy meal plan?  Bill Phillips’ “Back to Fit” should be just right.

And if you’re aging like me, (I’m 68 at the time of this writing), this plan will be excellent.  Just click on the picture below to learn more:

Bill-Phillips-Back-to-Fit

How to Get Stronger With…

5 TIPS. I am going to share with you 5 tips that can dramatically improve your results without having to spend anymore time working out. Let’s say that you workout 45 – 60 minutes 3 times weekly. That may be at a gym or it may be at home. You may be using resistance bands, body-weight or TRX to do your at home workouts. Or, you may be using free weights or machines at the gym, Regardless, if you will follow through and execute what you learn from this article,  How to get stronger with these 5 tips can help catapult your results to higher levels without spending any more time working out than you do now.

If you don’t workout at all, then my statement above doesn’t apply. However, if you have worked out in the past and were disappointed with your results, then I hope you’ll apply these techniques and see a dramatic improvement.

Same-Age-Different-Choices
Same Age – Different Choices

Periodization

Periodization means regularly changing aspects of your workout. So, you’ll do exercises one way for a ‘period’. Then change.

When I first started working out with weights someone taught me some exercises and reps. So I did them and started getting results rather quickly. So, I kept doing them and doing them. I kind of thought, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

Well after a while I learned that my “don’t fix it” idea was “stinkin’ thinkin'”. I needed to give myself a “check-up from the neck-up”. As your body gets accustom to the exercises, the amount of weight and the amount of reps your progress slows. It slows before you even realize it. However, if you keep going that way, you’ll plateau.

Periodization overcomes the slowing of progress by keeping the body surprised. Let’s say you do your exercises one week with relatively light weights and high repetitions, in the 12 – 15 rep area.

The next week you add some weight and reduce the reps, say to, 8 – 12 reps. The third week you go with yet a little more weight, 5 – 8 reps. And, if you really want to build some strength, you’ll go with a bit higher weight in week 4 which you max at 5 – 8 reps.

After 4 weeks, you change the exercises you are doing to work the same muscle groups.

That periodization shocks the body such that it goes with maximum urgency to repair the breakdown which happens from resistance training.  If you build Periodization into your workout plan after 4 weeks you’ll already feel and see the difference.  After 8 and 12 weeks, you may be amazed.  How to Get Stronger with 5 TIPS.  Work all 5 and they will work synergistically to compound your results!

Rest-Pause Sets

Rest-Pause Sets work like this: At the end of your set when you have reached technical failure and cannot get even 1 more repetition, you put the weight down, pause for 15 – 30 seconds, then one last time you do as many more reps as you can. I pause for 15 seconds and can usually only get another 4 reps after the pause.

Old-Guy-Cartoon-Overhead-Press
Old Guy Doing Single Dumbbell         Overhead Press

 

This one thing, done on the last set of each exercise will do amazing things to increase your results in gains for muscle and strength. It only adds about 30 – 45 seconds of additional workout time per exercise.

Drop-Down Sets

Sometimes called simply, “Drop Sets”, they challenge the muscles in a similar yet different way as Rest-Pause Sets. Drop sets are performed when you’ve reached the very last rep you could do, then drop down to a lower weight and crank out as many repetitions as you can until failure.

There are many, many ways to do drop sets. I will recommend you do it like this: Suppose you were doing dumbbell curls with 30 pound dumbbell in each hand. When you reached failure, you’d set down the 30 pounders and pick up 17.5 pounders. Man you will feel the burn!

I recommend for most of my readers that you only do this on the final set of your exercise.

PERIODIZATION WITH REST-PAUSE AND DROP-DOWN SETS – Week 1, use Rest-Pause Sets at the final set of each exercise. Week 2, use Drop-Down Sets. Continue to alternate those for maximum results.

Senior-Bodybuilder
Senior Bodybuilder

 

Time Under Tension

Have you been to a gym and see a guy doing bench press, allowing the bar to come down where he bounces off his chest? Or, maybe you’ve sen someone doing dumbbell curls and they are swinging with their entire body to get those dumbbells through the entire curl. While, there is a place for doing those kinds of sets, for us old guys… no. It’s less safe because you’re using heavier weight than you can lift with proper form. That increases your risk for injury. For maximizing growth in muscle and strength keeping the muscles under tension 100% of the set in HUGELY more effective if you want to grow.

When you are doing an exercise with weights, you want to keep tension on the muscles being worked 100% of the time of the set. For example: However, if you are doing barbell curls you start the movement with your arms extended downwards. There should be tension on the muscles from the very start. Stand straight. Do not move your body to create momentum. Make the arms do it all. Keep your abs flexed which will give you the rigidity so you won’t use other parts of your body. Keep the muscles tense and challenged the entire way. Pause for a one count at the top, squeezing your bicep as hard as you can. As you move the weight back down maintain a controlled pace, don’t let it drop down and bounce it back up.

training-with-resistance-bands-2
Maximizing Time Under Tension

However, if you have been working out with weights and didn’t know to maximize the muscle’s time under tension you’ve been using heavier weight than you should. For example, if you were curling a barbel of 60 pounds you might find the best weight for you to maintain time under tension to be 30 or 40 pounds. However, if you want more growth and better gains forget about the ego charge of lifting heavier poundage. At our age that should be pretty easy?

Consistency 

Consistency definition – “conformity in the application of something”

I can’t overstate the importance of this. Suppose someone decides on a workout plan that is designed for 3 times per week, 45 minutes per session for 90 days. If they execute the plan 100% they will get 100% of the possible results But miss 10% of the workout sessions through the course of the 90 days they will get less than 90% of the results they could have gotten. Let’s say they miss 4 days, about 12% of the sessions. They will likely get somewhere around 75% of the results they would have achieved. The drop off in results is disproportionate to the lack of consistency.

If you are new to fitness and resistance training you can learn about the types of equipment that are especially well suited to older guys like us, check out my article to find the equipment that is safe AND effective:  Exercise Equipment for Seniors

Old-Man-84-deadlifts-405
Consistency Yields Results – Old Man 84 deadlifts 405

What ever your workout plan is going to be for 60 or 90 days. Do everything you can to show up 100% of the time. When you don’t feel like it, show up anyway. However, if you will be traveling, either bring resistance bands or TRX to work out or find a hotel or health club you can work out at.

However, if you have chosen an effective workout plan, then, work that plan 100% and the plan will work.  If you’d like some more guidance for choosing a workout plan as an aging guy, click on the link for a terrific article on bodybuilding.com titled: What’s the best Workout for Seniors?

It bears repeating: Consistency definition – “conformity in the application of something”

However, if you go to bodybuilding.com by clicking on the following link, you’ll be able to see many, many plans. You should be able to find one that fits your unique needs: BODYBUILDING.COM

[Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase anything through one of the links. However, this will not affect what you pay!]

Final Thoughts

Remember this:  If you want to gain strength, work these tips into your workout plan.  If you commit to 60 days in your workout plan, you will become a living testimony so others can learn How to Get Stronger With THE 5 Tips above work synergistically to achieve dramatically better results. However, if you do any type of resistance training now, incorporate the 5 Tips for 60 days, measure your improvements and prepare to be surprised. However, if you are going to start working out with any type of resistance training, be sure to put the 5 Tips into action and you will exceed your expectations.

BodyFit Fitness App:  I’ve been using this app for quite some time.  In my opinion it is the #1 fitness app to support, educate and inspire you in your fitness journey.

I pick whatever plan I want:  Workout Plan and accompanying Meal Plan.  When I’m at the gym I click on the app and it takes me to my workout plan.  It guides me every step of the way.  It makes it SO easy!  If you’d like to try the FREE TRIAL, just click the following link:

BODYBUILDING.COM

However, if you have any questions, I will be happy to help in any way I can. I welcome your questions and comments in the section below.

Glenn
Glenn

Muscle and Fitness

Gaining Muscle is a vital part of a fitness program for men as we age. A program of muscle and fitness is even more important as we grow older than it was when we were young bucks. There are MANY BENEFITS OF GAINING MUSCLE as we age. If you wish to pursue fitness you must include resistance training for muscle growth and strength.

Benefits of Developing Muscle and Fitness

  • Feel better
  • Improves bone density
  • Increased metabolic rate (you burn more calories even when at rest)

    Strong and Fit
  • Better cardiovascular health (less likely to suffer from heart disease)
  • Improves tendons and ligaments
  • Improves sense of well being, confidence and mood
  • Improves flexibility and balance
  • Enables activities that other aging men can’t do because they lack the strength and flexibility
  • Improves brain function
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Reduces likelihood of diseases associated with aging such as obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s
  • Better quality of life

So, imagine someone offers to magically endow you with the list of benefits above in your 60s and beyond. Are there any of those benefits to which you would say, “Nah. I don’t want that. I’m good.”?

Reasons for Muscle Loss as we Age

It is estimated that for each decade after 30 years old, we lose 3 – 5% of muscle. There are things that can contribute to and even accelerate that loss:

  • Aging – As I mentioned above 3 – 5% muscle loss every 10 year

    old-man-jumping-rope
    Need resistance training or we start losing muscle as we age
  • Sarcopenia – It is a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength with a risk of adverse outcomes such as physical disability, poor quality of life and death. The onset of the syndrome is primarily among the elderly, older than 65 years of age.
  • Inflammation – It is what happens in the body in response to injury, infections or toxins. When those things occur in the body, the immune system triggers a response to heal the malady. As the healing takes place the inflammation diminishes.
    • Chronic inflammation increases as we age. It may be caused by obesity, unhealthy diet, smoking, excessive alcohol, excessive stress or other types of toxins. It causes aches and pains in joints and other parts of the body. Additionally, chronic inflammation can lead to the onset of various diseases such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and asthma.
  • Couch Potato Lifestyle – If one wishes to gain, rather than lose muscle they will have to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. It requires activity and resistance training.
  • Inadequate nutrition due to poor diet
  • Extreme Stress

Never Too Late

The March 13, 2020, publication of Men’s Health includes an article titled, “You can Still Build New Muscle in Your 60s and 70s, Says Science.”

The article sights a study published in “Frontiers in Physiology”. The study compared the muscle building ability in two groups of men in their 70s and 80s.

One group was referred to as “master athletes”. They were life-long exercisers. The other group was made up of men who had never exercised seriously.

The scientists thought the “master athletes” would have a greater capacity for building new muscle. They were wrong.

The study proved that the men who had never exercised with any seriousness “had an equal capacity to make gains, proving that it really is never too late to feel great. You just need to train smart.”

Old-Man-84-deadlifts-405
Old Man 84 deadlifts 405

 

Strength Training Seniors

OK. Have you decided to begin, or further, a journey into fitness which will include resistance training? Whether you have resolved to become part of a growing number of strength training seniors, or whether you are still in the “thinking about it” stage, I’ll share some important steps to take to help your journey be successful in every way. Don’t just go down to your local health club and start using some various exercise equipment. You’ll likely fail two ways: quickly and permanently.

There are 3 key pillars, if you will, to getting the most progress toward becoming wonderfully fit, feeling and looking great.

old-man-doling-lat-pull-downs
Old Man doing lat pulldowns
  1. Fitness Goals
  2. Meal plans & Supplements
  3. Workout Plan

If you don’t have these 3 you won’t come close to achieving what you’re capable of. For every hour of time you invest, you will get a much greater return on your investment. I’ll show you and provide the guidance to make getting the 3 pillars in place, much easier than you might think.

Fitness Goals

What is it you want to aim for? You will achieve WAY more if you have some measurable goals. Following are some examples:

  • Your body’s percentage of muscle
  • Your body’s percentage of fat
  • Goals for lifting specific amounts of weight
    Set-Goals-and-Plan
    Set Goals and Plan
    • # of pounds for bench press
    • # of pounds for dead lift
    • # of pounds for leg press
    • Etc.
  • Pounds of total body weight
    • (Be careful with this one. Muscle weighs more than fat. So, when you weigh yourself on the scale, you may not think you’re losing the weight you were hoping to. If you’ve lost fat and gained muscle your total body weight may not reflect your advances in fitness.)
  • Waist size
  • Able to fit into certain clothes you can’t wear anymore

Goals must be written down and charted regularly. There are apps today you can download on your phone that make this super easy, even fun.  I use “BodyFit” from bodybuilding. com.  You can click the following link if you’d like to check it out and take advantage of a free trial:        BODYBUILDING.COM 

This effort is rewarding and it is a necessary part of a successful fitness program.

Meal Plan and Supplements Made Simple

There are several ways to go with this, determined by your personal needs and preferences.

What’s important to know, that being truly successful in reaching your fitness goals is you need a structured plan. Do you know the saying, “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”? That’s how it is with the 3 key pillars of a fitness plan.

What I do to make this as simple as I can for myself is, go to the website that is the internet’s go-to resource for all things fitness. They have countless meal plans, meticulously developed to help you reach your fitness goals. Find the plan that’s best for you and follow it. They even provide shopping lists and anything else to help make it as simple and do-able as possible. I pay $3.99 per month for upgraded access to most things on the site. I get the very best of everything I need to help me reach my fitness goals. All the major brand supplements with a guaranteed price match. The site is bodybuilding.com. If you click on the following link it will take you to the correct page:  BODYBUILDING.COM 

Affiliate disclosure:  Any/all of the links on www.fitness-for-men-over-60.com are affiliate links of which I receive a small compensation from sales of certain items which means that I may earn a commission if you click on the link or make a purchase using the link.  Prices are exactly the same for you if your purchase is through an affiliate link or a non-affiliate link. You will not pay more by clicking through to the link.

Workout Plans

  BODYBUILDING.COM is also where I get workout plans. There are countless plans, categorized to help you meet your fitness goals. The following link will take you to the right page to find out more:

In a recent post I explained the kinds of workout equipment that would be both effective and safe for seniors. You can see that by clicking on this link: Exercise Equipment for Seniors. Some equipment can be used at home. It takes up very little room, is portable, safe and effective. The other equipment will be found in your local gym or health club.

training-with-resistance-bands-2
Training with Resistance Bands

 

Final Thoughts

The topic for this article has been the incorporation of resistance training. Muscle and Fitness go together like peanut butter and jelly.  If you have one without the other, it’s good but not nearly as good as having them together.

In a future post, I’ll address the importance of cardio. To look at workout plans on bodybuilding.com just click on this icon below:

I recommend you look for a plan that has one of the following approaches:

  1. Weights 3 days per week/Cardio 3 days per week
  2. Weights 4 days per week/Cardio 2 days per week

Remember:

  1. Set goal(s)
  2. Have a plan for meals and supplements
  3. Have a structured workout plan that can work with your weekly schedule.

Please share any comments or questions in the Comments section below.  If you have questions I’ll do my best to get back to you within 24 hours..

Glenn
Glenn

 

Exercise Equipment for Seniors

The first step in selecting a workout plan that will help you reach your goals is to determine what type of equipment and what location will be best for you.  In this article, I’ll discuss 4 types of the best exercise equipment for seniors, other than free weights.  Two will be for gym workout plans.  The other 2 can be done for at home workouts, or at gym workouts.

Questions that are important to address:

  • Is that type of equipment effective for building strength and improving overall fitness?
  • Is it especially safe for people over 60 years of age?
  • Can it be used at the location of my choice; at a gym, at home, or, anywhere?

 

What is a Weight Machine?

If you are new to strength training, you might be wondering, what is a weight machine?  Weight machines are designed to hold weights in place while the person exercising is moving the weights as designed to work various muscle groups.  There are two types of machines for weight training.  One type is with weight plates stacked within the machine.  A pin is used to select the desired weight.  The other type is designed so normal olympic weight plates can be mounted on the machines.

weight-machines-in-a-gym
Weight Machines in a Gym

For guys over 60, weight machines are both effective for building muscle and strength, AND, they are safe compared to working with free weights.  You are able to move as much weight as you care to without concern of losing balance.

With weight machines that use a pin to make changes to the weight, you can set them up to make partial movements if that is more comfortable.  For example, suppose you wanted to do chest press but did not want the movement as deep as normal because you have discomfort in your shoulders if you do that.  It is very easy and quick to put the machine         settings to limit the movement to what is most comfortable for you.

weight-machine-with-a-pin
Weight Machine with a Pin

Yet another benefit of using weight machines that use a pin, is, you can potentially complete your workouts more quickly.  You don’t have to be picking up and putting back plates.

By using weight machines that use olympic plates you can still limit the extent of the movements, but not have as much limiting ability as weight machines that use a pin.  For example, if you were using one of these types of machines to do chest press you could not adjust the point

Chest Press Machine Using Plates

at which the movement begins and ends.  However, you still have the safety aspect of not having to balance the weights.  Also, just as with machines that use a pin, if you suddently let go of the handles you would not be hurt.  The machine would just return to its starting position.

Some advantages of weight machines:

  • Available in most health clubs
  • Because you don’t have to balance the weight as you do with many free weight exercises, you are less likely to be injured.
  • Also, not having to balance the weight, more weight can often be used becuase small, supporting muscles are not employed.  If you are using more weight, the larger muscles can exceed growth of free weights.

 

What is a TRX Suspension Trainer?

Several years ago I was talking with a personal trainer at my local health club.  He told me about this equipment I could train with and take it with me when I travel.  I had never heard of them.  I asked, “What is a TRX Suspension Trainer?  TRX uses specially designed bands that are attatched to an ‘anchor’.  An anchor can be a door, a pole, a tree or anything else that is strong enough to bear your weight.  The many training movements employ the bands and your body weight.  I have encorporated TRX bands in my workouts and they have added advantages I don’t get from other types of resistance training.

trx-suspension-training-system
TRX Suspension Training System

 

Suspension Training by TRX makes gravity your resistance, so adjusting the level of difficulty is as easy as moving your hands or feet, and progression is limitless.  They have workout plans for all kinds of fitness goals.  For example, they have workouts designed specifically to improve your golf game, or tennis, or joint health, strength, flexibility and much more.

Widely used,TRX is available in over 40,000 health clubs.  It is used in all branches of the military.  It’s used by many professional sports teams, MMA fighters, Olympic athletes and more.

There are videos and apps and tons of support and training for all levels.  It is extremely safe.  They have training videos you can watch on your computer, tablet or phone.  TRX can be used anywhere, in the gym, at home, in a hotel room, outside, and more.tux-with-buffed-older-guy

There are an abundance of workout plans to fit your individual workout goals.  TRX is effective in building muscle, improving flexability, balance and cardiovascular health.  It’s also relatively inexpensive.

Some advantages of TRX Suspension Training Systems:

  • Safe.  Because I use my body weight it’s easy to adjust to movements that are as light as I need them to be.
  • Lightweight and can be kept in the compact bag.  So, I can workout at home, while traveling or at the gym.
  • There is an abundance of training videos and support

Click on the link to learn more:  TRX SUSPENSION TRAINING SYSTEMS

What is a Resistance Band?

Until recently I couldn’t answer the question, “What is a Resistance Band?”  Resistance Bands are elastic.  The thickness of the bands determine the amount of resistance each band provides, usually measured in pounds.  The set of bands that I use can be “stacked” to provide as much as 150 pounds of resistance.  They come in different colors, each color to represent the different amount of resistance.  They are light weight come with handles, and fit in a small bag for carrying or storage.

resistance-bands
Resistance Bands

I have only discovered how fantastic resistance bands are since the Covid-19 shutdown.  And, I’m not the only one!  Many of the various manufacturers of resistance bands were sold out in recent months as so many gyms and health clubs closed and people had to figure out how to work out at home.

I was skeptical about the efficacy of bands before I used them.  They didn’t look like they would be able to provide the kind of resistance I was used to.  That skepticism vanished as soon as I started to do some exercises with them.  I quickly learned I could do the same exercises I would do at the gym and the resistance was as great as the weights or machines I was used to.

training-with-resistance-bands-2
Training with Resistance Bands

I found there were advantages with bands over the weights and weight machines I was accustom to:

  • I can get a great workout, working all the muscle groups and the bands fit in a compact nylon bag.
  • The set I use was inexpensive at $70.
  • I can use them when and where I want to.  They are lightweight and easy to take with.
  • I don’t experience some of the joint discomfort that I do with some exercises using weights.
  • There is a consistent resistance where there is not in some types of weight training.

I recommend the resistance bands by Fitness Insanity.  At the time of this writing the best price is at Amazon.  With over 5,100 reviews, these bands have a 5-star rating!  You can see and learn more by clicking on this link:     

 Fitness Insanity Resistance Bands

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Smith Machine

More commonly known as a “Smith Rack”, these machines are found primarily in health clubs.  There are versions designed for home use but I have found them to perform well below the standards of professional quality Smith Racks found in health clubs.

smith-machine
Smith Machine

 

An Olympic size barbell is built into the machine.  It glides smoothly up and down.  That is the only option for movement.  Smith machines are commonly used for exercises such as bench press, incline press and overhead press.  They also used for squats and single leg squats.

Because the barbell glides so smoothly and there is no need to balance it as there is with the free weight version, it is usually possible to have more weight on the bar.  This can be advantageous for challenging the larger muscle groups with more weight, hence more growth.

Final Thoughts

Doing your resistance training doesn’t have to be confined to any one type of equipmement.  You could use all three of the types of equipment described above AND free weights too.  I hope you’ve found this article helpful as you seek the best exercise equipment for seniors to further you overall fitness.  I welcome your comments or questions below.-

Glenn
Glenn