What is a Healthy Body Fat Percentage?

Measuring your body fat content is recommended as one of the most important indicators of health and fitness. You can learn many things about your fitness and changes in your fitness if you measure and monitor your body fat and weight on a regular basis. It’s easy to do.

Body-Fit-Free-Trial
Dozens of Workout Plans to Help You Lose Fat!

There is a truism: “Winners Keep Score”. If you want to “win” at managing your body fat % you will need to “keep score” by measuring it regularly.

The chart below will help answer the question, What is a Healthy Body Fat Percentage? After that I’ll explain what to do with that knowledge to help improve you health and fitness AND how to easily measure your body fat.

Measuring Bodyfat

Body Fat Percentages for Men

Ranges and Rating

Rating                                                     20 – 39 yrs                                                        40 – 59 yrs                                               60 – 79 yrs

LOW                                                            <8%                                                                       <11%                                                         <13%

HEALTHY                                               8 – 20%                                                                 11 – 22%                                                  13 – 25%

OVERWEIGHT                                  20 – 25%                                                                22 – 28%                                                  25 – 30%

OBESE                                                       >25%.                                                                      >28%                                                        >30%

You can’t tell by weighing yourself and comparing that to a height-weight chart, to know what your % of body fat is. And so, you can’t tell if you have too much or too little fat, or, just right. The charts don’t consider muscle development. The only way to know the amount of fat you have is to measure it

Before-and-After-Fat-Loss
Look Better, Feel Better, Be Better

In addition to knowing the amount of body fat you have, there are other significant benefits to measuring % of body fat and weight.

Probably the most important knowledge you get from monitoring % body fat is knowing the changes in your muscle tissue over time.

Once you know % of body fat you will also be able to determine the % of muscle, bone and organs.

For example: If you weigh 200 pounds and are 25% body fat, then 50 pounds of you are fat. Everything else is referred to as “lean mass”, which comprises 80% of your weight, or, 150 pounds.

Of the lean mass, the component that can change the most is muscle. So, if you monitor changes in your weight and % of body fat they can also determine their changes in muscle tissue.

Muscle tissue can increase or decrease depending on your diet, activities, exercise and lifestyle.

Sadly, most Americans don’t get enough exercise coupled with a healthy diet. What happens for most men over 60 is they gradually lose muscle tissue as the get older.

You can actually weigh the same at 60 as you did at 20 but have more fat and less muscle.

Farmers, tradesmen and laborers who get a lot of exercise in their work may not gain as much fat or loser as much muscle. This is especially true if they eat a healthy diet.

The rate of change can be modified with changes in lifestyle. Those who exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet can maintain, and, even gain muscle and lose fat.

Changes in body composition happens for most, starting at age 20. By age 25, if someone does not have a lifestyle that includes exercise and a healthy diet, they will have more fat and less muscle than they did at age 20. They might weigh the same when they step on the scale.

If you monitor your % of body fat regularly you will be able to detect small changes and take corrective measures while they are slight and easy to correct.

 

Body Fat % and Body Composition

A beneficial use for % body fat measurements is important for many aging adults. The person who has the correct weight according to a height-weight chart or even underweight according to the charts. They may look fairly fit and may think they are quite healthy. And yet, they may have too much fat. Their underdeveloped muscles are why their weight aligns with the charts.

Another situation is with a strong, muscular person. Their weight may be well above what a height-weight chart would say they should be at. This person may think they need to go on a calorie-restrictive diet to lose weight to conform with the charts. If they did this, they would be losing muscle mass.

Measuring body fat % would reveal the truth, that that person does NOT need to lose weight. Neither a chart nor a scale will reveal this. Only body fat measurements will show it.

Another common situation is when someone starts a resistance training program. When they step on the scale, their weight may not be going down. This can happen even after months. Without knowing what body fat PERCENTAGE and muscle tissue PERCENTAGE they won’t know if the reality is they are losing fat and gaining muscle.

over-60-weight-training
You can gain muscle and lose fat in your 60’s and beyond

 

If someone becomes discouraged after a few months of working out because they haven’t lost weight, they could quit without knowing they have been gaining muscle and losing fat. Measuring body fat % reveals the truth about the gains from the workout regimen.

Almost everyone can benefit by measuring and monitoring their body fat %.

How to Measure Body Fat

There are several tools designed for measuring body fat. I’ll review them so you can make your own decision. I’ll also make a recommendation and tell you why.

Bod Pod

The Bod Pod is something you stand in for a few minutes. It measures your body fat by air displacement plethysmography (ADP). It is very accurate. There are some doctors, physical therapists and health clubs that have these. You can find one near you by just doing an online search. The machines cost around $50,000. To go for a testing will cost you between $100 and $200 per visit.

Bod-Pod
Bod Pod

Underwater weight (hydrodensitometry) test

The underwater weight test is considered as accurate as the Bod Pod. Again, you can do an online search to find a doctor or facility that has the equipment. Prices vary so you may wish to call more than one.

Handheld devices

These are devices you hold in front of you. They are inexpensive and easy to use but not considered nearly as accurate.

Skinfold Calipers

These are devices that are inexpensive and easy to use. They are not as accurate as Bod Pods or underwater weight tests, but they are not far off. If you are some type of fitness professional, it may be worth it to get your body fat measured regularly via Bod Pod or underwater test. Having said that, there are many fitness professionals that use calipers.

If you’re like me and want to measure body fat as one of several ways to monitor my fitness trends, and you want to keep costs low, skinfold calipers are for you.

To use them, you pinch the fat on certain parts of your body and use the device to measure the fat as you pinch it. It’s quite simple. If you purchase one, detailed instructions will be included.

Skin-Fold-Caliper-Body-Fat-Percentage-Testing
                                                                                                                            Using Skin Fold Calipers

How to Know if You are Gaining Muscle and Losing Fat

It is quite simple to tell if you are gaining, losing or remaining the same with both muscle and with fat. If you are doing some type of resistance training designed to gain strength and burn calories, armed with your skin calipers and a scale, regularly measure your weight and your % of body fat.

You are gaining muscle and losing fat if:

  • Your weight remains the same but your body % is decreasing
  • Your weight is increasing but your body fat % is decreasing
  • Your body fat % is decreasing at a greater rate than your weight is decreasing.
    • For example: Your starting weight is 200 pounds and body fat is 25%. If you lose 10 pounds of weight, you’ve lost 5%. If your body fat % measures at 18%, you’ve lost 7% of body fat. You will have gained close to 2 % of muscle.
    • Another way you can tell if you are losing fat and gaining muscle is:
      • You lose weight, but you are able to train with more weight in your exercises. For example: if you lose ten pounds of body weight and you increase your bench press, squat and dead lift exercises by 10 pounds each, you know you’ve gained muscle.

Conclusion

I hope that now you are confident in answering the question for yourself, “What is healthy body fat percentage?”.

It is easy and inexpensive to measure your body fat % using skinfold calipers. If you do, you will be better equipped to monitor your progress in achieving your fitness goals. And, one terrific goal to have is to aim for “Healthy” body fat % for your age as listed in the chart above.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions in the comment section below.

Wishing you great fitness and health!

Glenn-at-the-gym
 Glenn at the gym

BodyFit App – Review

Would you like to find the best fitness programs to meet your specific needs, wants and goals? Look no further than the BodyFit App from www.bodybuilding.com. It is by far the most heralded and used fitness app in the world.

With over 18 million subscribers, and more joining every day, the BodyFit App offers everything and more that you need to help you meet and exceed your fitness goals. It offers step-by-step home workout programs as well as programs for the gym.

Since 1999, www.bodybuilding.com has helped hundreds of millions of people burn fat, build muscle, and better themselves through fitness. . They’ve also introduced experts and influencers who have become guiding lights in the industry, and who have helped people train, eat, and supplement more wisely and effectively. And now: the BodyFit App.  Click on the icon below to preview the app:

BodyFit-App

 

BodyFit: Your Digital Personal Trainer

BodyFit has two levels. One level is called BodyFit Plus. It offers more than 2,500 workout articles and videos. BodyFit Plus also includes access to a fantastic exercise database with over 3,500 exercises.

Those range from standard exercises like the squat and bench press to hundreds of more specialized moves.

This database of exercises has been recently updated with new instructions, videos, and features to help you find the right exercise for your goals and perform it as effectively as possible.

The Workout Programs And Tracker App

The other level is BodyFit Elite. It includes everything that comes with BodyFit Plus, in addition to more than 90 plans and program.

Elite is where you’ll find full transformation guides, meal plans, daily video workouts, and a mobile app with fantastic features such as workout tracking. It’s like having a personal trainer in your pocket.

I LOVE this and use it 6 days a week. It’s fun to use and very motivating!  And, BodyFit simply offers the best fitness programs available.  FOR EXAMPLE:  See the video below for an overview of the “Ultimate 30-Day Beginner’s Guide to Fitness”. A GREAT start for guys over 60!!!

Each day it tells me exactly what I am supposed to do. It tracks my progress. It tells me how much time I should rest between sets. I can see my progress, week-to-week. And, it tells me how much total weight I moved each day.

How-to videos for each exercise can be accessed in seconds.

BodyFit

BodyFit: Bodybuilding.Com’s Single Fitness Solution

BodyFit Elite

  • 90+ plans and programs
  • Full transformation guides
  • Meal plans
  • Daily video workouts
  • Fitness app with workout tracking and other features
  • 2,500+ curated workout articles and videos
  • 3,500+ exercises in one easy-to-use database
  • And more!

BodyFit Plus

  • 2,500+ curated workout articles and videos
  • 3,500+ exercises in one easy-to-use database
  • And more!

BodyFit tailors specific health and fitness solutions to your needs, and helps connect you with those solutions. The app designed to function as a digital personal trainer that’s only one click away on your phone or other device.

They constantly add new content, new workout plans, and new features to each level. Sign up today to enjoy the benefits throughout 2020 and beyond!

Choosing a Workout Plan That is Perfect for You

To achieve your fitness goals, you need a workout plan that fits who you are. Only then can that plan help you become who you want to be: the new you.

Older man doing push ups
YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

You can check out the details for each plan regarding duration, fitness level, goal, workouts per week, and equipment needed. With all the information provided you’ll be able to select a plan that is just right for you.

Too many times, people start an ambitious plan that is right for someone else, but totally unfeasible for them. They start out hopeful, but end up discouraged. Their mistake was choosing the wrong plan!

Once you’ve narrowed your selection to a final few plans, watch their promo videos, read the sample workouts, and check out the plan’s main page. This is where the intangibles kick in.

Does the program’s coach seem like he or she is talking directly to you? Does it feel like the plan is something you’re willing to commit to—even when it gets tough to keep going?

The best workout plan for you is the one you will successfully complete!Old-Guy-Cartoon-Overhead-Press

There are plans to address 5 types of goals:

  • BodyFit:  Muscle-Building Plans
  • BodyFit:  Weight Loss Plans
  • BodyFit:  Plans for Getting Fit
  • BodyFit:  Plans For Gaining Strength
  • BodyFit:  Performance Plans

At the tine of this writing there are 41 plans designed specifically for MUSCLE BUILDING.

If you want to burn fat and get in your best shape ever, there are 21 plans for WEIGHT LOSS.

For those whose aim is to build STRENGTH AND SIZE, there are 21 plans tailored specifically for that.

If your goals are to become the most FIT and reshape your body, there are 23 plans to choose from.

If you wish to boost both how you look and your PERFORMANCE, there are 8 plans from which you can select.

There are 32 different plans for BEGINNERS. You’ll be able to pick a plan to help YOU get started on YOUR goals with one of the progressive plans.

There are 49 plans for people at an INTERMEDIATE level. You can pick the one that will help you step up the volume, intensity, effort and gains.

from-fat-to-fitAnd, there are 24 plans for people at an ADVANCED level of fitness. These are the toughest workouts for achieving your best results.

Articles

There are tons of articles to help educate and motivate you. I love reading articles when I have time. They help educate and inspire me. The end result is I gain and maintain greater fitness.

  • TRAINING
    • Exercise Guides
    • Build Muscle
    • Weight Loss
    • Programs
    • Cardio
    • Crossfit
    • Powerlifting
    • Stretching
    • Sports
    • 1 Rep Max Calculator
  • WORKOUTS
    • Chest Workouts
    • Shoulder Workouts
    • Ab Workouts
    • Back Workouts
    • Bicep Workouts
    • Tricep Workouts
    • Leg Workouts
    • Full-Body Workouts
    • Women’s Workouts
    • Exercise Guides
      Body-Fit
  • NUTRITION
    • Recipes
    • Nutrition Tips
    • Diet Plans
    • Meal Planning
    • Supplementation
    • Macro Calculator
    • Body Type Quiz
    • BMR Calculator
    • All Calculators & Tools
  • HEALTH & LIFESTYLE
    • Motivation
    • Transformation
    • Contests
    • TRANSFORMATIONS 
  • FOR WOMEN
    • Lifestyle
    • Motivation
    • Muscle Building
    • Weight Loss
    • Transformations
    • Workouts
  • OTHER TOPICS
    • Keto Diet
    • Running
    • Swimming
    • Squat
    • Hypertrophy
    • Beginners

Community

With over 18 million subscribers, there is a robust community that offers all kinds of support.

  • There is a category called BODY SPACE
    • Photo Gallery
    • FitBoard:  You can create your own fitness dashboard to chart your activities and progress
    • Member Search
    • Training Apps
  • A FORUM for discussions and information about relevant topics
    • Supplements
    • Workout Programs
    • Exercises
    • Nutrition
    • Lose Fat
  • BODYSPACE PROGRAMS to help you find just the right program for you, or, to design the right program
    • Find A Program
    • Find A Workout
    • Build A Program
    • Build A Workout
    • Track A Workout
  • Social Media Groups called GET SOCIAL
    • Instagram
    • Facebook
    • YouTube
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest

The Online Store

There is an online store with countless supplements, clothing and equipment. The selection of top name brands is vast. The prices are guaranteed to be the lowest. There are many special discounts and discounts for BodyFit members.

Product Categories include:

  • Protein
  • Energy & Endurance
  • Workout Support
  • Vitamins & General Health
  • Muscle Building Supplements
  • Supplement Stacks
  • Weight Loss Supplements
  • Workout Clothes
  • Workout Accessories
  • Workout Equipment

Conclusion

I have been a subscriber to BodyFit for a few years. I have not found anything that compares to the value it provides for those of us who wish to pursue and enjoy a lifestyle of fitness.

I use the BodyFit app almost every day. It is so easy and, actually, fun to use. The results I enjoy in overall fitness makes it more than worthwhile to spend $89 annually to be a subscriber.

I would much rather invest some money and time in being healthy and fit. It saves me lots of money and time I don’t have to waste from dealing with various kinds of sickness.

If you would like to have 24/7 access to the best fitness programs available, you should give BodyFit a try.

See my review of “Back to Fit”, a 90 plan for beginners, especially with people in their 40’s and above: Bill-Phillips-Back-to-Fit

Remember, the 7-day FREE Trial. There is nothing to lose, but, potentially years of health and fitness to gain. Give BodyFit a try!

What is Heart Health?

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in men in the U.S. It has been every year since 1918.

A vital part of pursuing fitness, is developing a healthy heart. (If you do, you will feel better, look better and probably live longer.) So, What is Heart Health?

A healthy heart rate wil range between 60 to 100 beats per minute. Many doctors prefer their patients to be in the 50 to 70-beat range. If you are living a lifestyle for fitness and you exercise regularly, your heart rate may be as low as 40 beats per minute. That usually indicates excellent physical condition supported by a healthy heart.

According to the American Heart Association:

    • An estimated 85.6 million American adults (>1 in 3) have cardiovascular disease (CVD)
    • Of these, 43.7 million are estimated to be ≥60 years of age.

Diet for Heart Health

If you are committed to maintain a diet that supports a healthy heart, it needs to be a consistent pattern, or, a “lifestyle”

“Healthy eating” will require that your diet is low in saturated and trans fats, salt and sugar.

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits helps to support a healthy heart and lower the risk of heart disease.

You’ll want to give up processed, white breads, cereals and pasta. Instead, choose whole grain foods that have been minimally processed.

Whole grain foods have more healthy nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber and healthy fats.

Contrary to commonly held misconceptions, dietary fats are good for you and necessary for a healthy heart. Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are where we get Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, necessary for health and fitness.

Some fish oils are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. The three most important Omega 3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA and ALA. And, it’s important to get them in the right dosages for you to get the great benefits Omega 3’s can deliver.

Omega JYM fish oil capsules delivers both EPA and DHA fatty acids in 1500 mg, just the right dosages as research has shown.  Click on the image below to purchase Omega JYM at the lowest price.  For more information on choosing the right quality of omega supplements see my article by clicking on:  Quick Fat Loss

Omega-JYM-Fish-Oil
   Omega JYM Fish Oil

 

Salt can contribute to high blood pressure which is a cause of heart disease. It’s healthier to substitute herbs and spices for salt.

[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!]

Exercise for Heart Health

DON’T SKIP THIS PART!

Even if you hate the idea of exercising, have never wanted to exercise and still don’t want to exercise, please read this section.

According to a study published in the U.S. National Public Library of Medicine, “In men, riding in a car and combined time spent in these two sedentary behaviors were significant CVD mortality predictors.

Additionally, high levels of physical activity were related to notably lower rates of CVD death even in the presence of high levels of sedentary behavior. Health promotion efforts targeting physically inactive men should emphasize both reducing sedentary activity and increasing regular physical activity for optimal cardiovascular health.”  To learn more click on the following link:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2857522/

You can put reduce most of the normal problems of aging, including weakness, sore joints, bad balance, and eliminate at least half of serious illness and injury through regular, vigorous exercise.

Thanks to today’s knowledge of the science of aging, you can functionally become younger, over time, through healthy diet and regular vigorous exercise. Yes! Functionally younger!

I read about a man who was close to retiring at age 65. I’ll call him Bob. He saw his doctor for a physical. He was a hundred pounds overweight. He had high cholesterol, blood pressure and low energy. He battled anxiety and was depressed.

Bob’s doctor talked to him about exercise but he just blew it off. His doctor told him if he didn’t do something that chances were good he would die soon. That was a wake-up call for him.

He decided that he would go for a walk every day, 6 days a week. The first day he went a few blocks and he felt pretty good. But the next morning when he woke up he felt horrible… aches and pains everywhere.

To his credit, (and ultimate benefit), he got out of bed, took some ibuprofen and went out to do his walk. He barely went a block this time. The next day he did the same thing, and the next day and several more days after that.

After a few months, he was walking a mile or more and feeling a lot better. He had more energy, better mood and even became motivated to improve his diet.

He started to experience the amazing benefits that everyone who starts a dedicated exercise program does!

A year later Bob was walking at least 5 miles a day, 6 days a week. He lost 60 pounds. He looked much younger and he felt great.

3 Important points to help you start and continue an exercise plan that will improve your heart health and your life:

  1. Have a plan.
    1. It can be as simple as, “Go for a walk each day, 6 days a week.”
    2. Or, it can be a more challenging plan. There are many great plans to choose from on BODYBUILDING.COM.
    3. RECOMMENDED:  30-Day FREE Trial for BodyFit.  There are many workout plans for ALL levels of fitness. There are 32 different plans just for beginners!  You can download them onto your phone and easily track your progress.  I use it every day and I love it.  After the 30-Day FREE Trial, if you want to continue, it is only $12.99 per month.  Just click on the picture here:

      Body-Fit
       

2. “Show up” every day. Regardless of how you feel, show up and do the best you can.

3. Moderation – Start and progress with moderation. Don’t go out and try to run 5 miles or bench press what you did in college.

I recommend having a 6-day exercise plan that includes cardio exercise and resistance training (such as weights or machine weights). See my articles…

Whether doing vigorous cardio training or resistance training, you actually damage your cells. This is good, healthy damage though. Exercise and recovery is a “break-down-build-up” process. It results in greater health and strength. It gradually enables you to do more.

Exercise is a catalyst that kicks off chemical processes which produce repair, renewal and growth. The chemicals that are released affect you in positive ways emotionally and physically. If you are 50 or older, functionally, you become younger.

If you are new to exercise or haven’t exercised for years, I recommend that you do 4 days per week of cardio exercise and 2 days a week of resistance training. With your cardio exercises you should get to the point where you can do so vigorously for 45 – 60 minutes daily.

You should get a heart monitor. You only need an inexpensive one that simply measures your heart beats per minute.

Calculating Your Target Heart Rate

– Subtract your age from 220. (I’m 68, so for me, 220 – 68 = 152)old-guy-cartoon-with-dumbbells

– Multiply by 60%. (For me, 152 X 60% = 91)

– Multiply by 70%. (For me, 152 X 70% = 106)

– Multiply by 80%. (For me, 152 X 80% = 122)

– Multiply by 90%. (For me, 152 X 90% = 137)

There are 3 paces you can use to monitor your cardio exercise and progress:

  1. 60 – 65% of max = Long and slow pace
  2. 70 – 85% of max = High endurance pace
  3. 85% – 100% = Anaerobic pace

Memorize the numbers for those 3 paces.

As you get in better shape, your actual target heart rate will improve.

There are many kinds of cardio exercise. If you can pick one that you enjoy, you will likely more successful. Following are just some to pick from:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Bicycling
  • Rowing (either in a boat or an exercise machine)
  • Treadmill
  • Eliptical machine
  • Jump rope
  • Kyaking

How Important is Heart Health to You?

We have choices in life.

1. We can choose to include regular, vigorous exercise AND healthy diet. If we do, we look great, feel great and likely live longer, able to rough house with our grand kids for many years.

2. Another choice is to be a couch potato, eating all the junk that tastes so good but is so bad for you, AND binge on sports and Netflix. Over time, I look older and sickly. The onset of inflammation, arthritis and disease reduce the quality of life. Depression AND aches and pains just become part of life.Question=Marks

3. A third choice is something that is a hybrid of #1 and #2. My observations are that the overall quality of life is more like choice #3, but not totally as bad.

I’m the kind of person who prefers choice #1. Once you get accustomed to a lifestyle of healthy diet and daily, vigorous exercise, you feel so good you want to continue. Once the lifestyle choices become habit, they become so much easier to maintain. You find strategies to get your daily exercise rather than excuses why you can’t.

I’ve found that, in life, most of the best things we want require consistent choices to do the harder thing on a steady basis. The hardest part is starting new habits that, done consistently, will lead to the best outcomes over time.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Controllable Risk Factors That Lead to Heart Disease

If we want to maximize our heart health, we need to know what leads to heart disease so we can avoid those. Following is a list of some more common avoidable risks. The list is not in any particular order:

  • Lack of physical activityExercising-Heart
  • Lack of sleep (The National Sleep Foundation Recommends older adults get at least 7-8 hours of sleep nightly)
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • A diet high in saturated fats, sugar, salt, foods made with white flour
  • Not knowing your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels (following is what is recommended. Deviation from these numbers should be cause to consult your doctor):
      • Blood pressure of 120/80 mm Hg or lower
      • Fasting blood glucose (blood sugar) of 100 mg/dL or lower
      • Total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or lower
      • LDL (bad) cholesterol of 100 mg/dL or lower
      • HDL (good) cholesterol of 40 mg/dL or higher for men
      • Triglycerides of 150 mg/dL or lower

For more information on heart disease click on: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_disease

Conclusion

My aim in this article was to help you to understand the answer to the question, What is heart health? With that understanding and with the knowledge that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the U.S., that you will be motivated to improve your own heart health.

Then, if you are motivated, I have given you information regarding diet, exercise and risk factors to help you effectively improve the health of your heart.

Once again, I recommend you give the BodyFit FREE 30-Day Trial a go.  You will be able to find a fitness plan to fit your individual needs:

Body-Fit

3G CardioElite Recumbent Bike – Review

I have been researching the best recumbent bikes for seniors.

If you are looking for some type of home cardio equipment, there are many options to consider. Stationary bikes, elliptical machines, treadmills and rowing machines are amongst the most popular.

Each of these various kinds of equipment offers different approaches, advantages and disadvantages. Personal preferences and space limitations are major factors in deciding what’s best for you.

Any of the above-mentioned types of machines can offer wonderful fitness benefits.

Some people prefer exercising in an upright position. Others, prefer a seated position.

As we age, many people prefer a seated position for exercise. If you are one of those people, a recumbent bike will be worth your consideration.

What is a Recumbent Bike?

3G-Cardio-Elite-Recumbent-Bike
3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike

A Recumbent bike is one which the rider is seated in a reclined position with legs straight out to reach the pedals.

By being seated in this fashion, the focus of your exercise is on your lower body. You can relax your upper body or do other things with it.

In addition to enjoying the comfort of being seated, your lower back is also well-supported and mostly disengaged from the exercise. This can add to the comfort for those of us who are aging.

For example, if you enjoy reading while exercising, this is easily accomplished on a Recumbent bike. Staying engaged by reading or watching television may help you exercise for longer.

You want to maintain an appropriate level of focus on the exercise part. If you are  reading and your legs are just sort of ‘going through the motions, you’ll be defeating the benefits you could, and should be deriving from the exercise.

[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!]

If you are interested in learning more about stationary exercise bikes click here.

Differences Between Upright and Recumbent Bikes

Traditional Stationary Bikes come in an upright position. Recumbent bikes come in a reclined position. Both provide “low impact” cardiovascular exercise. This differs from treadmills used for jogging or running.

Recumbent Bikes

  • Reclined body position
  • Pedals positioned in front of the body
  • Larger seat
  • Full back support
  • Comfortable sitting position
  • Reduced upper body tension and muscle fatigue
  • Focused lower body and cardiovascular exercise
  • Low and high impact cardio options

Traditional Upright Bikes

Stationary-Upright-Bike
Stationary Upright Bike
  • Upright body position like a traditional bike you ride outdoors
  • Pedals positioned under the body
  • Smaller seat
  • Limited upper body support
  • Upright seated position may cause upper body fatigue/tension
  • More consistent workout similar to outdoor riding
  • Whole body and cardiovascular exercise
  • Low and high impact cardio options

3G Cardio Elite RM Recumbent Bike Features

The 3G Cardio company produces many pieces of cardio equipment. With the 3G Cardio Elite RM Recumbent Bike, they make the “bold claim” that, “The 3G Cardio Elite RB is the most comfortable recumbent bike you will ever use!”  

As you read this section, you will see why I think the 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike is one of the best recumbent bikes for seniors.

The comfort of this bike along with the abundant features make this piece of cardio equipment worth considering for any of us as we age.

The many features are impressive and make this bike well worth your consideration:

  • Preset Calorie, Time, Watt And Distance Goals
  • 12 Built In Pre-Programmed Workouts
  • 3 Heart Rate Interactive Workouts
  • Simple Dial Control And User Interface
  • 16 Levels Of Magnetic Resistance
  • 4 User ID Settings To Generate More Accurate Workout StatisticsElite RB Recumbent Bike Console Specifications
  • Adjustable Seat Back
      • Infinite Airflow Mesh Flex adjustable back rest reclining feature
      • Easily adjust this seat back to a comfortable position during your workout
  • Seat Frame Slide Adjustment
      • Seat frame slide adjustment making it possible to accommodate user heights between 5’ and 6’4”
  • Seat Frame Tilt Adjustment
      • Seat frame tilt adjustment to allow users to customize their body angle and position
  • Advanced Ergonomic Seat Technology
    • 3G Cardio uses an over sized seat cushion and an Airflow Mesh Flex™ adjustable back rest to help the seat conform to your body shape and size guaranteeing comfort to your backside throughout your entire workout.
  • “Perceived Exertion”
    • This refers to how intense you feel your body is working. If you are uncomfortable on your bike, you will feel like you are working harder than you really are. If your exercise bike is comfortable, your “perceived exertion” will be lower, and you will enjoy your workout more.
    • In addition to the amazing comfort of the seat and back rest, the 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike also uses an advanced 3-method seat frame adjustment system.

MORE FEATURES

  • Small and compact! 49” Length / 27” Width
  • Low height electronics display so you can easily view over and around the console
  • Low height step thru center frame for easy access
  • Narrow Q Factor distance between pedals making for an extremely ergonomically correct ride
  • Easy lift rear handle / front transport wheels for easy movement of the bike
  • Hand held heart rate contact sensors and included wireless Heart Rate strap
  • Remote handle electronic buttons for easy programming
  • Easily reach your water bottle during workouts
  • Digital large format electronics display for easy viewing
  • Simple dial control to easily set your desired programs
  • Residential warranty: lifetime frame, 7 years parts, 1 year in-home labor
  • Commercial warranty: 3 yrs parts, 1 year labor

Reasons why 3G Cardio Elite is Good for Aging men who Persue Fitness

The comfort of the 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike is exceptional. If you can avoid some discomfort that may come with other types of cardio equipment, you are more likely to exercise. I doubt you would find equipment for the home that would be more comfortable.

If you are someone who finds yourself making excuses as to why you can’t make it to your health club, exercising at home might be just the thing to help you overcome those excuses.

If you are someone that will be more likely to do cardio and more likely to exercise for longer if you can ride your stationary bike and watch television, the 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike might be just the right choice for you.

It is easy to move, so if you want to move the bike from the garage to the family room so you can be with family, the bike is very easy to move and you can do that.

Or, if you want to move the bike from the family room to the garage so you can watch your favorite team while the family watches something else, you can do that because the bike is so easy to move.

These options help make it more likely that you will overcome excuses and get in your cardio exercise.

If you would like to learn more, click on my article titled, “What is Fitness and Why Should You Want it?”

EliteRB-Comparison-Chart-2
EliteRB-Comparison-Chart-2
EliteRB-Comparison-Chart-1
EliteRB Comparison Chart 1

Conclusion

At the time of this writing, the 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike is available for $1,599, $300 off the normal price of $1,899. Still, even at $1,599 it may be more than some are prepared to pay for a home cardio machine.  You can purchase one here.

Having said that, it offers more features and a more comfortable seat that other bikes in its class as the charts above illustrate. And, at $1,599 it is at least $400 less expensive than most of its rivals.

Even if you like to work out at your local health club, if you can afford the addition of having a cardio machine at home, it gives you more options and you’ll be more likely to never miss a workout.

Hopefully I have helped you see why my research has brought me to the conclusion that the 3G Cardio Elite Recumbent Bike is one of the best recumbent bikes for seniors.

How to Increase Testosterone in Men

Starting at about 30 years old, mens’ bodies experience a decline in testosterone by about 1% per year. By the time we’re in our 60s we’ve lost a substantial amount.

Low testosterone levels contribute to many problems we normally associate with aging into the 60s and beyond. Low libido, erectile dysfunction and osteoporosis are problems related to low “T”, just to name a few.

Considering Increasing T
Consider Increasing T

Low energy, memory loss, irritability, depression, and brittle bones are common in men with low testosterone levels.

As you are probably aware there are many supplements on the market today promising to restore mens’ T levels to improve sexual performance, strength, energy, fat reduction and more. Many of those supplements are met with mixed reviews. Some men may experience benefits and others clearly do not.

The good news is there are a variety of ways testosterone levels can be restored and problems overcome. After you read this article, whether the information benefits you or someone you care about, you’ll have a very good understanding of how to increase testosterone in men.

Benefits of Healthy Testosterone Levels

We can restore T levels in men, even men in their 60s and beyond, quality of life can improve substantiallyOlder man doing push ups

Healthy levels of testosterone have some great benefits. I can tell you from my own experience, when I first had my T levels restored from low to healthy levels I had a noticeably improved sense of well-being.

Good ‘T’ levels help to result in more muscle mass and less fat and can contribute to improved bone density, especially when coupled with regular resistance training.

Studies have shown that men who have had their testosterone levels restored were significantly less likely to have heart attack or stroke.  research.va.gov

Research has shown that improved T levels result in better verbal memory and faster processing speeds.

One of the benefits I experience is I have all the energy I need to workout hard, full of energy when I’m at the gym. If I stop taking the testosterone, I “run out of gas” about half-way through my workoutDecline-in-T-Levels

How Much Testosterone is Best?

First, it’s important to know what a “healthy” level of testosterone is. There are normal, healthy ranges. But, a precise level can be different from one man to another. I strongly recommend consulting a doctor.

Normal ranges change as men age. For men in their 60s normal ranges in healthy men are 196 ng/dL – 859 ng/dL. For men in their 70s the ranges are 156 ng/dL – 819 ng/dL.Avg-T-levels-by-age-in-men

(For those inquiring minds that want to know, “What the heck is ‘ng/dL’? It is abbreviation for “nanograms per deciliter”. Aren’t you glad you asked?)

Because there are many potential problems when levels are too high, it’s best to have your doctor advise you. When increasing T levels, getting to the top of the range could be right for one man and disastrous for another.

There are home tests to measure your T levels. The better and most accurate way is to have your doctor prescribe a simple blood test. You go to a lab. They take some blood. Then, after you engage in whatever methodology you decide upon, your doctor will have you do another blood test to measure the changes.

Actions to Increase Testosterone

There are 3 primary ways to increase testosterone levels:

  1. Actions
  2. Foods and Supplements
  3. Prescriptions

Let’s start with ‘actions’, things you can do to increase testosterone:

  • Resistance training such as weight training has been proven to increase T
    • hat can be even more effective if taking creatine and caffeine before training
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Bill-Phillips-Back-to-Fit

  • A healthy diet of whole foods with a proper balance of “Macros”: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats
  • A healthy sex life
  • Adequate sleep

Supplements to Increase Testosterone

The aim of this section is not to review or suggest manufactured and marketed supplement formulations. Rather, I am going to show individual supplements that have been proven effective in increasing T in men.

  • 3000 IU of Vitamin D3, especially if your vitamin D3 is low
  • Tribulus Terrestris is a herb that has been proven to increase testosterone in men with low T.
  • Fenugreek is another herb. In addition to increasing testosterone, studies have shown significant increase in libido, sexual performance, energy and sense of well-being.
  • 100 mg daily Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone in the body. It helps in the production of testosterone.

    T-Supplements
    T Boosting Supplements
  • Zinc has been closely associated with stimulating production of testosterone for men who have low
  • Ashwagandha is a herb that has mainly been used as an adaptogen, which means it has been used to help the body handle stress and anxiety. 5 grams a day has proven to increase testosterone production as much as 22%.  (For further information about adaptogens please just click on the word:  ADAPTOGEN
  • 3 grams daily of D-Aspartic Acid is an amino acid that has been shown to increase testosterone for those with low T

Prescriptions to Increase Testosterone

There are a number of options for testosterone replacement therapy. It’s really up to the doctor and patient to decide which is preferable.

  • Gels come in packets or pumps of testosterone gel. You apply the gel once a day and the testosterone is absorbed directly through the skin. There is one brand of gel that gets applied inside the nose.
    • I’ve tried gel. It worked OK but not my favorite.T-gel
  • Injections are where testosterone is injected directly into the muscle.
    • This is my preferred method. I give myself an injection into my quadriceps once weekly. I like it better than the gel for two reasons (that may be particular to just me):
      • It is more convenient. It would take a while to rub the gel until it was all absorbed into the skin.
      • I get better results from the injectionsT-Injections
  • Pellets implanted in soft tissues. Your body slowly absorbs the testosterone into the bloodstream.
  • Skin Patch worn on the upper arm or upper body, applied once daily.
  • Mouth Patch is actually a tablet that sticks to your gum above your incisor. That’s the tooth that is either on the right side or left side of your front teeth. It gets applied twice a day. It slowly releases testosterone into the bloodstream through the tissues in the mouth.
  • Oral capsule is available but there is a concern it may do damage to the liver. The other therapies go directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the liver.

There are risks associated with testosterone therapy. Most of them are with preexisting conditions that worsen. I will give you a list so that if you decide to see your doctor for testosterone therapy you can review with him or her to identify any potential concerns.

My doctor monitors me with regular blood tests. I’m sure your doctor would too, especially in the first months of the therapy.T-Blood-Test

I have benefited from many of the benefits listed in the “Benefits” section above. And I haven’t experienced any of the risks in the list below:

  • Rash, itching, irritation
  • Increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) – enlarging prostate
  • Prostate cancer
  • Sleep apnea
  • Blood clots
  • Congestive heart failure

The list above is not intended to scare you, just to inform. I’ve been taking testosterone therapy for a few years and it has improved the quality of my life in several ways.

Conclusion

If you think, or, you know that you suffer from low testosterone, my aim has been to provide you with options so you can understand how to increase testosterone in men, and thereby, improve the quality of your life.

You can apply one or many of the treatments above

  • Actions/Activities
  • Supplements
  • Prescriptions

Please remember that before you take steps to increase your testosterone it would be wise to check with your doctor.

This 3 1/2 minute presentation provides a good summary:

I welcome your comments and questions in the section below.

Glenn-at-the-gym
Glenn at the gym

Quick Fat Loss – A 2-Step Plan

No matter if you are 5 pounds more than you want to be, or, 50 pounds, you want that fat gone ASAP.  So many people are searching the internet for a quick fat loss solution.

I’m going to explain several supplements which work together to help accelerate weight loss. They can be purchased in formulas together. (You don’t have to buy all these things separately.)

Then I’m going to explain an exercise plan that takes 25 minutes a day, 6 days per week. It is designed to be safe and effective for aging people in their 40s and beyond.

The 2-step plan is simple and effective.

Fish Oil

Some fish oils are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. The three most important Omega 3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA and ALA. And, it’s important to get them in the right dosages for you to get the great benefits Omega 3’s can deliverFish-Oil-Capsules

Fortunately ALA is abundant in many food sources. The two most critical Omega 3’s to get in the right doses from fish oil are EPA and DHA. Omega-3 fats may help reduce your risk of heart disease. They also support healthy brain and joint function, and, reduce inflammation.

Research has shown that for people who do regular resistance training Omega 3’s may help stimulate muscle growth and support fat loss.

They also contribute to feeling more full. One study found that the group that was taking fish oil supplements felt full for 2 hours longer than the group that was not.

This can help with weight loss as well. Research indicates Omega 3’s may also contribute to weight loss by boosting metabolism.

What’s critical is that the proper doses of DHA and EPA are taken daily. The research indicates that those doses should be 1500 mg daily for each.

When I learned this from reading research papers I went to my local sports nutrition store to find a fish oil supplement that delivered DHA and EPA in those doses.

I couldn’t tell from the Supplement Facts on the labels what and how much was in those products. The labels just referred to “Omega 3’s”, or, “Proprietary Formula”

My search ended when I went online to find that JYM Supplements offered a fish oil named

Omega-JYM-Fish-Oil
Omega JYM Fish Oil

OMEGA  JYM. And, on the label, it says 750 mgs of DHA and EPA. Proper dosage is 2 capsules daily.

JYM Supplements can be purchased on BODYBUILDING.COM. They have a Price Match policy so they will never be undersold.  (1500 g DHA and 1500 g EPA)

[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!]

L-Carnitine

The body breaks down fat into fatty acids. L-Carnitine moves the fatty acids into the cells to be converted to energy. Thus, L-Carnitine plays an important role in the body’s functions for burning fat.

It also may reduce muscle soreness after working out, increase oxygen supply to the muscles, and improve recovery after workout sessions.

There have been some animal studies indicating that L-Carnitine can contribute to anti-aging in brain function. That might be helpful for some of us guys as we continue to get older.

L-Carnitine is found in the JYM POST-WORKOUT  formula.

Post-JYM-Powder
POST JYM Powder 30      Servings

(1.5-2.0 g, 4 times daily)

Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine is an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Beta-Alanine is used by athletes to improve performance and benefit health in general.

The body uses it to produce Carnosine and Carnosine is used to do some really cool stuff.

Carnosine reduces the acid that builds up in muscles during high intensity exercise. By doing that, it enables to muscles to outperform what they would have done without the buffering work of the Carnosine.

More calories are burned, contributing to more fat burned.

working-out-over-60

Because Carnosine reduces muscle fatigue, extending the time until exhaustion, with proper nutrition and recovery, the muscles may grow more. More muscle size and strength causes metabolism to increase.

Greater metabolic performance, in turn, burns more fat, even when the body is at rest.

So, supplementing Beta-Alanine will help someone who is doing regular resistance exercise to gain more lean muscle and reduce fat.

Studies indicate that Carnosine has antioxidant qualities, may strengthen the immune system and has anti-aging properties.

Additionally, Carnosine may improve muscle health and function in seniors. Studies indicate it also improves the production of Nitric Oxide which helps battle the aging process and contributes to heart health.

Beta-Alanine is in both PRE JYM, pre workout formula and the POST JYM after work out formula.

(1.5-3 g before and after workout)

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is rich in something called catechins, and it contains a fair amount of caffeine. It appears that this combination of ingredients is responsible for its weight loss properties.

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition, found that consuming a beverage containing green tea catechins (625mg/d) may enhance exercise-induced loss of abdominal fat and improve triglyceride levels.

Triglycerides are a type of fat, stored in fat cells in the body. They’re stored when the body doesn’t need more energy. They are used when the body needs more energy. Lower levels of triglycerides equates to less body fat. We like that!

Green tea extract is in the SHREAD JYM formulation.

JYM-SHRED-Fat-Burner
JYM SHREAD Fat Burner

Green tea extract is believed to increase the activity of norepinephrine, a hormone that helps you burn fat. Many studies have shown that green tea extract can increase fat burning and cause fat loss especially in the belly area.

(500-1000 mg 2X daily, once in early morning and once in late morning)

Caffeine

Caffeine can contribute to fat loss in several ways and there has been an abundance of research to back it up.  It too, is part of the SHREAD JYM formula.

It speeds metabolism somewhat. This is a minor contribution from caffeine for weight loss.

A study found in the National Library of Medicine had subjects do 60 minutes of cycling. People who got caffeine beforehand enjoyed the exercise more and felt like it was less difficult than people who got a placebo.

Studies have shown that caffeine can boost metabolism by 3-11%, and increase fat burning by up to 29%.

(200 mg once in early morning, once in late morning and once before workout)

Betaine

Betaine has been shown, when ingested as part of a pre workout formula, can increase strength and endurance during the workout. Studies have shown it accelerates muscle growth. It slows muscle fatigue allowing training lasting longer and more intensely. Therefore more calories are burned. (1.5-2 g once before workout and once after).

And so, Betaine is provided in proper dosage in both PRE JYM and POST JYM

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs are effective in increasing muscle growth, decreasing muscle soreness and reducing fatigue in the muscles during exercise. These things work synergistically to contribute to higher output and burning more calories.

(5 g before and after workout) The correct dose of BCAAs are in both PRE JYM and POST JYM

Protein Powder

Many studies have shown that while eating a high protein, low carbohydrate diet the protein contributes to loss of fat, particularly belly fat.

You can see the findings from this study:  “A high-protein diet for reducing body fat”

The protein keeps you from getting hungry for longer than carbohydrates. Protein is also the main building block of muscle. When you have more muscle, your metabolism burns energy at a faster rate, which aids in weight loss.

Pro JYM PROTEIN POWDER is made up of 4 proteins, each fueling the muscles at different times.  Whey protein isolate digests and is absorbed most rapidly, fueling the muscles quickly.  This is especially important right after a workout and first thing in the morning.

As Jim Stoppani explains, “Research now shows that when you add medium-digesting and slow-digesting proteins to fast-digesting whey, muscle protein synthesis remains elevated for longer than when using whey alone.

And muscle protein retention is higher, as well. That means that more protein is being built in the muscle, which is what leads to long term gains in muscle size and strength.”

JYM-PRO-PROTEIN-BLEND
JYM PRO PROTEIN BLEND

(Total daily protein intake with meals and protein powder should be at least 1 g per pound of body weight. You will probably get better results with 1.5 g daily protein per pound of body weight.)

High Intensity Intervile Training (HIIT) Plan

The 12-week plan I am about to start requires 25 minutes of exercise, 6 days per week. 4 days are weight training and 2 days are cardio training. The plan is designed for aging people, in their forties and beyond.

It is Bill Phillip’s “Back to Fit” plan. You can read my review here:  Bill Phillip’s “Back to Fit” Review. Bill-Phillips-Back-to-Fit

The HIIT component with weight training works like this: There is a circuit of 5 exercises. You go from one exercise to the next without stopping to rest. Each exercise is 10 repetitions.

After completing all 5 exercises you rest for 2 minutes. You do the circuit 5 times. That’s all.

You can hear Bill Phillips introduction comments in the 30 second video below:

The HIIT component with the cardio exercises works like this: You do whatever kind of cardio you wish. You can use a treadmill, or other cardio machine. You can walk, jump rope or anything else.

There are 3 levels of intensity. The first 2 levels last for 2 minutes. The third level lasts for 1 minute. If an intensity of 10, were all out, your first 2 minutes would be like walking, a level of 3 for 2 minutes.

The next 2 minutes are a level 5, maybe a jog. The third set for only 1 minute would be at a level 8, maybe a run. Then you go back to level 3. You do the set of 3 levels, 5 times for a total of 25 minutes.

Putting it All Together

 

Following is exactly how I will be doing my Post Quarantine Quick Fat Loss plan to grow muscle and lose fat. I’ll be using the “SHORTCUT TO SHRED” supplement stack by JYM Supplements. These supplements are the best I’ve been able to find.

They are science based, designed by Jim Stoppani, PhD. You can learn about him and why his supplements are so incredibly effective in my recent article: https://fitness-for-men-over-60.com/jym-supplements-post-jym-review/

I listed the JYM supplements below in the bold lettering. If you wish to buy individual supplements from other manufacturers, I listed the ingredients and doses for you.

If you purchase the JYM SHORTCUT TO SHRED Supplement System you will have ALL the supplements I’ve explained here.

MORNING

  • PRO JYM PROTEIN POWDER: 1 scoop
  • OMEGA JYM FISH OIL: 2-3 g
  • SHRED JYM: 1 dose
    JYM-SHORTCUT-TO-SHRED Supplement System
    SHORTCUT TO SHRED Supplement System
    • Includes
      • CAFFEINE 200 mg
      • GREEN TEA EXTRACT: 500-1000 mg
      • ACETYL L-CARNITINE: 1.5-2 g

LATE MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON

  • SHRED JYM: 1dose
    • CAFFEINE: 200-300 mg
    • GREEN TEA EXTRACT: 500-1000 mg
    • ACETYL L-CARNITINE: 1.5-2 g

30-45 MINUTES PRE-WORKOUT

  • PRE JYM: 1 dose
    • CAFFEINE: 200-300 mg
    • GREEN TEA EXTRACT: 500-1000 mg
    • ACETYL L-CARNITINE: 1.5-2 g
    • BCAAs: 5 g
    • CREATINE: 1 serving
    • BETA-ALANINE: 1.5-3 g
    • BETAINE: 1.5-2 g

IMMEDIATELY PRE-WORKOUT

  • PRO JYM PROTEIN POWDER: 1 scoop

IMMEDIATELY POST-WORKOUT

  • PRO JYM PROTEIN POWDER: 2 scoops
  • POST JYM: 1 dose
    • BCAAs: 5 g
    • CREATINE: 1 serving
    • BETA-ALANINE: 1.5-3 g
    • BETAINE: 1.5-2 g
    • GLUTAMINE: 3-5 g

WITH DINNER

  • OMEGA JYM FISH OIL: 2-3 g

BEFORE BED

  • PRO JYM PROTEIN POWDER: 1 scoop

Summing it up

To simplify:

  1. You complete a simple-to-follow workout plan, 25 minutes daily, 6 days a week.
  2. You purchase the supplement “stack” and take the supplements as I listed above.

If you are willing to follow those steps for 12 weeks you can experience quick fat loss.

If you work the plan, the plan will work.

I hope this information has been a help for you. I would love to receive any comments or questions you have below.

Glenn-in-the-Gym
Glenn

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

 

A Start to Fitness

You may be an aging guy who has reached a point in life where you want to dedicate yourself to becoming fit.  Or, you may be a guy who wants to get fit but utterly hates the idea of exercise.  Perhaps you are someone who has started a journey toward fitness but you didn’t have success.  Maybe you are one of those guys who has joined a gym on January 2nd and by February 2nd, you are done.  But, now you’d like to give it another go.

It’s absolutely vital to start a fitness program well.  If you start poorly, it will be miserable, you’ll see little to no progress, and you’ll quit.

My aim in this article is to provide guidance to help; you get set up for a successful start in your journey to fitness.old-man-jumping-rope

 

Workout Plans for Beginners

There is no lack of workout plans available on the internet.  I Googled “workout plans for beginners” and 150,000,000 results popped up.  So, if you do the same, you should be able to find a workout plan that suits you and your goals.  It’s super important that you start with specific fitness goals and a specific plan or you’ll flame out just like so many other guys of all ages, especially older dudes like us.

I’m going to offer some tips to help set you up for success.

  • Check with your doctor.  See if he has any suggestions or precautions.
  • Find a plan that is going to be do-able for you.  Make sure the plan includes recording your progress every day.  That can be done on printed copy or online.  (I prefer online.  I can do it on my phone after each set.)
    • A basic recommendation I make is, do weight training 3 days a week and cardio 3 days a week.  It doesn’t have to be massive amounts of time.  Weight training could be done in 45 to 60 minutes and HIIT cardio for 20 minutes.
  • Set specific goals and put them in writing (see my post on fitness goals and motivation at: from-fat-to-fit
    • https://fitness-for-men-over-60.com/what-is-fitness-and-why-should-you-want-it/
  • Enlist the help of someone for motivation and accountability.  This could be a workout partner, a personal coach or someone you know, respect and trust.
    • At the time of this writing we are still in COVID-19 lock down.  A friend of mine and I are about to start an 8-week training program using resistance bands.  We’re going to meet each day on Zoom.  When we can, we’ll do the workout at the same time.  When we can’t do that, we will at least touch base for encouragement and accountability.
  • Use a workout program that has your exercises planned and in writing so you can record your actual results on either hard copy or electronically.  This includes your cardio sessions.
  • Watch videos on the correct way to perform various exercises.  (There are many, many available on YouTube)
  • Remember, proper nutrition is even more important to fitness than exercise.  You can see my previous posts for more information:
    • https://fitness-for-men-over-60.com/nutrition-for-fitness/
    • https://fitness-for-men-over-60.com/protein-supplements-for-men/
  • Balance:  I Google “balance exercises for older men” and there were 87,000,000 results.  If you’re older than 60 you probably have noticed that your balance isn’t what it used to be.  In fact, if you are one of those unfortunate guys that has begun to fall down, there is good news.  You can regain our balance.  Over the decades we spend so much time sitting on our butts and so little time doing things that require balance, it just slowly begins to deteriorate.  Like so many other things with our bodies, it’s a “use-it-or-lose-it” proposition.  You can do some balance exercises almost anytime.  Do them while you’re watching TV.balance-exercise
  • Flexibility:  Just like balance, flexibility is a “use-it-or-lose-it” proposition.  154,000,000 results from Googling “stretching exercises for older men”.  Good stretching exercises done regularly can help you become more flexible than you’ve been for many years.  TV time is also a good time for stretching.
  • Last but not least, use Moderation.  Don’t try to regain your youthful fitness in one session.  In the first few weeks, especially, it is better to err on the side of being too moderate than overdoing it.  Your body will not respond well to overdoing exercise.  You risk getting sick or injured.  Either of those will set you back on your fitness journey.

Weight Training Routines for Seniors

Google offers up 63,000,000 results for “weight training routines for seniors”.  Depending on your current level of fitness, you may wish to select a workout routine designed specifically for old folks like us.  I’ve been working out regularly over recent years so I prefer a workout that is more challenging and produce greater results.  If you are more of a beginner, remember hat you would rather err on the side of being more moderate.  You can always go for routines that are more challenging later when yo are physically and mentally ready for it.

 

Cardio Workout Routines

As with resistance training, what kind of cardio workouts you choose should be the ones that will best support your fitness goals.  Is your goal primarily about fat loss or overall cardiovascular health?

If fat loss is your goal, you’ll be able to best measure your progress by measuring your percentage of body fat.  You can get this done at most health clubs.  Or, you can buy skinfold calipers.  They are inexpensive.  Remember, if you are gaining lean muscle mass while losing fat your overall weight might not be going down much.  Your goals should be tied to percentages of lean muscle and fat rather than weight.

For measuring heart health, the best indicator is your heart rate at rest.  For most adults that is somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute.  You should ask your doctor for what is best for you.  I know guys my age who have heart rates well above 100.  If they didn’t know from their doctors they were OK, they might freak out to see much higher beats per minute.

Whether you prefer doing cardio on a machine at home or in the gym, or, if you prefer running, bicycling, hiking or some other outdoor form of cardio, any of them can help you achieve your fitness goals.

 

Home Workout Plansold-guy-on-rings

If you are someone who prefers to workout at home, there are innumerable plans out there.  You can perform routines that require no equipment.  Most of the resistance exercises are using body weight.  Or, you can buy inexpensive equipment to provide resistance.  You can purchase a set of resistance bands that provide up to 150 pounds of resistance for $25 to $45 for the set.  There are sets with more and less resistance.  For most guys over 60 150 pounds is probably good for most exercises.  A combination of body weight resistance and resistance bands can give you all the versatility you need to work every muscle group.

There are several brands of adjustable dumbbells that are amazingly versatile.  Depending on how much total weight you would like, you can spend between $150 and several hundred dollars for a set.

Weight benches start as low as $70.  Pull up bars that you can mount in a doorway start as low as $30.

And, of course, for those who desire and can afford it, you can build a home gym with as much equipment as you desire.

 

Gym Workout Plans

over-60-weight-trainingMany gyms/health clubs these days offer their own workout plans.  They can be accessed through their mobile app providing lots of information and support.  One of the things I like about the ones I’ve used is they even calculate the rest time between sets.  Those plans are also tailored to the equipment they have so all the exercises are able to be performed just as intended.

Of course deciding between working out at home or in a gym or a combination of both is personal.  I am much more motivated to work out when at a gym than I am at home, but, I have enough equipment at home to get a good workout when necessary.

 

Summary

If you are going to be successful in your fitness journey, you have to have a good START:

  • Check with your doctor
  • Find a workout plan good for YOU
  • Set specific, written goals
  • Someone for motivation and accountability
  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Moderation
  • Proper Nutrition
  • Routine for Seniors right for you?
  • Cardio routine
  • Home and/or Gym workout plan
  • Reward yourself for achieving milestones

Bodybuilding.com has over 2,500 workout plans designed by experts.  They have over 3,500 exercise videos, and much more.  I’ve used bodybuilding.com for years.  The workouts are so easy to use.  You have everything you need on your phone.  You choose a workout and your phone becomes your guide and keeps record of your progress.  If you’d like to take a look, you can click on this link:  https://www.bodybuilding.com/workout-plans/

Disclosure:  If you click on the link and make any purchases from my website I get a commission at no added expense to you.

I hope you’ve found this helpful for getting a good START.  I welcome your comments or questions below.

– GlennGlenn-at-home

Building Muscle After 60

Your immediate reaction to the idea of building muscle after 60 may be to totally reject the idea. You might think you can’t build muscle this late in the game. (Wrong!). You might hate the idea of doing any form of resistance training required. Perhaps you loath the idea of resistance training of any kind. Maybe you are so repulsed by the idea you feel like it would suck your will to live! Even if all that is true, you’ve read this far and I hope you will continue to read about some powerful reasons for WHY old dudes like us should endeavor to build some muscle.

Why Build Muscle After 60?

To start with, LIVE LONGER AND BETTER. Various research studies have shown that strength training helps older people live longer and with a better quality of life. For example, a study published in “Preventative Medicine” researched people, over a 15-year period, who died after age 65. They used data collected by The National Health Interview Survey then used the death certificate data. Only 9% of the people reported they did some type of strength training regularly, at least two times per week. Those people had a 46 percent less risk of early death than those who didn’t do strength training. They were also 41 percent less likely to have a cardiac-related death and 19 percent less likely to die from cancer. The results held true even if those who did strength training engaged in smoking or alcohol use. Research has also shown that lifting heavy weights over time not only helps maintain bone density but causes new bone growth. And it helps strengthen the integrity of joints and helps maintain and improve overall balance which tends to deteriorate as we age due to lack of activity.old-man-weighted-lunges

The average 30-year-old will lose about a quarter of his muscle strength by age 70 and half of it by age 90. Dr. Robert Shreiber, an instructor at Harvard Medical School says, “Unless you are doing strength training, you will become weaker and less functional.”

So, if living a longer life with a significantly improved, overall quality of life sounds good, read on. There is more!

More Benefits to Building Muscle

When you build muscle you use more calories and burn more fat. You see, muscles burn energy. Fat stores energy. As your muscles grow your metabolic rate increases. So, even when you’re sitting on the couch binging your latest Netflix series, if you’ve built muscle, you are burning more calories. Nice, huh?

Your balance will improve, big time! If you’re past 60 and have not been strength training or balance training, you are probably experienced a loss of the ability to balance that you never even had to think about in your younger years. Maybe you’ve even fallen because you lost your balance. My mother-in-law who is in her late ’80’s has fallen many times. I’ve had to pick her up a bunch of times. She’s even fallen, literally, flat on her face. Each time that’s happened she winds up with 2 black eyes and, a totally bruised face. She’s never done any kind of exercise for balance or anything else. My 94 year old dad walks with a walker, but he’s become all hunched over because of it. Balance, like so many other things as we age, is a “use it or lose it” deal. I can only imagine how humiliating it would be to fall and break something while heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night. “How did you break your hip?” Would you rather reply, “Awe I broke it playing ultimate Frisbee with my grand kids.”; or, “I fell down going potty in the middle of the night.”

Strength training can help avoid injuries. As your core and your legs strengthen your bones ligaments and tendons strengthen and come back to life.older-man-doing-hammer-curls

Building muscle for men over 60 helps even normal, day-to-day activities get easier. Have you had trouble opening your bottle of martini olives? Or, maybe you have one of those contraptions that opens jars for ladies or for guys who aren’t strong enough anymore. Wouldn’t you like to carry 2 bags of groceries up the stairs without huffin’ and puffin’ or losing your balance?

Research has shown that weight training can reduce your risk of heart disease, by improving cardiovascular function and improving blood chemistry.

Building muscle helps improve coordination. When muscles contract, they stimulate the nervous system, which enables the muscles to fire. Resistance training increases these nerves’ firing rate, which allows you to better coordinate movements. Would you like to be able to shoot some hoops with your grandson and not miss the hoop and the backboard? How about kick the soccer ball around with your grand kids? That’s when your grand kids can’t wait for you to come visit so they can play with you! Guys, that reason alone is a motivator for me.

 

“I don’t want to get all bulked up.”

Oh my gosh! I have actually heard guys say that. I hope YOU haven’t said that. If you did I’m about to offend you. That is SO lame! That’s an excuse, not a reason. You would have to be incredibly dedicated and intentional, consistently over time to develop anything that could be considered bulk.older-man-doing-pushups

More likely, you think, if you’ve never done much strength training in the past, at this stage of life, it’s too late to build muscle and acquire strength. That, I’m happy to say is NOT the case. If you’re in your sixties or beyond, you can build muscle. Anyone who tells you it’s not possible is proven wrong by many scientific studies. Zig Ziglar would have said to that person, (in his thick Southern drawl), “That’s stinkin’ thinkin’ and you need a check-up from the neck-up!”

 

“What kinds of resistance training are there?”

  • Free weights – These are barbells and dumbbells.
    • A barbell is usually between 5 and 6 feet long and weighs 45 pounds before putting any other weighs on it.
    • A dumbbell is like a short barbell. They are usually 4 to 5 inches long and most commonly held by one hand for various exercises.
  • Machines – There are countless types and styles of weighted machines for a multitude of various exercises. In many cases machines can facilitate safer weight training because of the assistance they provide. Often times older men prefer machines to free weights. I recently watched a documentary with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now in his 70s prefers machines to free weights for many exercises.
  • Resistance Bands – These are kind of like huge rubber bands. A little different from free weights, bands maintain resistance for the entire movement of each exercise. There are some advantages to this in both efficacy and safety. I just ordered a set of bands and am going to go through a 6-week routine with them.
  • Your own body weight – Common exercises are push-ups, pull-ups and lunges
  • Medicine Balls – There are various kinds of exercises with medicine balls that are effective in developing power. Power is the combination of strength and speed.

Final Thoughts

If I have been successful in persuading any of my readers that building muscle for men over 60, or for any other age, has huge payoffs for a longer life with a higher quality of life, the next step will be either:

  • How to get started, or
  • How to begin to move to the next level.

I’ll address those two topics in my next post. Thanks so much for reading! – Glenn