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.

Bill Phillips “Back to Fit” Review

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

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

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

 I wondered what is a healthy meal plan?

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

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

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

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

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

Body-Fit

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

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

 

The Overview

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

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

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

Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supplementation

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

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

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

First, what he calls the Essential Supplements

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

     

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

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

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

Additional Supplements

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

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

 

Goal Setting

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

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

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

You may have also heard of SMART goals:

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

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

Tools

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Bill-Phillips-Back-to-Fit

How to Get Stronger With…

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

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

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

Periodization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rest-Pause Sets

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

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

 

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

Drop-Down Sets

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

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

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

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

Senior-Bodybuilder
Senior Bodybuilder

 

Time Under Tension

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

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

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

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

Consistency 

Consistency definition – “conformity in the application of something”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

BODYBUILDING.COM

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

Glenn
Glenn

Muscle and Fitness

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

Benefits of Developing Muscle and Fitness

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

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

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

Reasons for Muscle Loss as we Age

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

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

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

Never Too Late

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Strength Training Seniors

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

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

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

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

Fitness Goals

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

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

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

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

Meal Plan and Supplements Made Simple

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

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

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

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

Workout Plans

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

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

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

 

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

Remember:

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

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

Glenn
Glenn

 

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

Why Fitness is Important

Why Fitness is Important

If you are in your 60’s or beyond you may remember 40 or 50 years ago. The commitment to “Fitness” was a small part of our society. Today we have lots of “health clubs”. There are chains such as 24 Fitness, LA Fitness, MUV Fitness and many others. I don’t remember knowing of any health clubs until the ‘70’s, and then they were few and far between.

Today, in the 21st century it’s common to see cadres of runners, bicyclists, especially in the mornings, evenings and weekends. What is “fitness” and why has it become such a big deal?

I Googled it: From sharecare.com: “In a nutshell, fitness is defined as the state of being physically fit and healthy. “Fitness” is a broad term that means something different to each person, but it refers to your own optimal health and overall well-being. Being fit not only means physical health, but emotional and mental health, too.”

The intent of this article is to help you truly understand why fitness is important.

Some Benefits of Fitness

From Healthline, “The Top 10 Benefits of Regular Exercise”

  1. 1. It can make you feel happier
  2. 2. It can help with weight loss
  3. 3. Regular exercise is good for your muscles and bones

    working-out-over-60
    You can do this!
  4. 4. It can increase your energy levels
  5. 5. It can reduce your risk of chronic disease
  6. 6. It can help skin health
  7. 7. It can help your brain health and memory
  8. 8. It can help with relaxation and sleep quality
  9. 9. It can reduce pain
  10. 10. It can promote a better sex life

Imagine you could pay a monthly fee and get all 10 of those benefits without having to exercise. Even if you exercise very little or, not at all, wouldn’t it be great if you could just pay a regular fee like Netflix or YouTube Premium and get all the top ten above?

“Motivation to Exercise Regularly”

There are various ways to get motivated.

Of course, there are many kinds of exercise. If you find one or more forms of exercise that you really enjoy your motivation will be higher. For many years I played racquetball, mostly 6 days a week. Then I fell in love with roller hockey and played on teams for several years. I used to think running was super boring. But when I lived at the beach, somehow, I was motivated to start running. After a few weeks I actually started to love running.

I have a friend who has a stationary bike at his home. He rides it while he watches TV. He can binge watch his favorite Netflix series and get more fit at the same time.

fit-at-60
Fitness Role Model

There was a time when I really wanted to start weight training regularly. But I had a hard time getting motivated to get up at 5:00 am. When the alarm went off, I’d tell myself, “I think getting a little more sleep will contribute more to my health today.” A friend of mine was having the same struggle. We agreed to meet every morning at a given time. And, we agreed to hold each other accountable. That was just what I needed to get out of bed and get to the gym every morning. After 3 or 4 weeks I was starting to feel really good and my motivation increased, big time.

I’ve known many people who have hired a personal trainer at their local gym. After shelling out a few hundred dollars AND having the trainer to hold them accountable, they overcame the hardest part… getting started. After 3 or 4 weeks, most people are feeling the benefits and improved quality of life and they are more motivated.

I was 47 when I decided to hang up my hockey skates. I entered a 90-day challenge. It had the structure I needed. I followed their directions and planned and recorded my workouts, meals and water intake. Also, once I committed to do the challenge, I had to see it through. I did before and after pictures. One of the things that helped stoke my motivation was looking at before and after pictures of former contestants. I wanted to achieve like they did. They showed it was possible and that motivated me.

Following are some specific approaches to inspire the motivation you need.

  • Change the way you “see” exercise. I recently read a great book titled, “Automatic Influence”. The author, Erik Van Alstine, explains that the way we “see” something affects how we “feel” about something, which influences how we “act”.  Also, clearly articulate your “why”.
  • Find a challenge to join. You can easily find these on the internet. There are many 30-day challenges that can help provide the structure and motivation to get past the hardest part – starting.
See Feel Act
More benefit in other options More motivation for other options Avoid regular exercise
The full good of exercising regularly, the full danger of failing to, the full opportunity to following through. Good about exercising, enough good to beat competing options in the moment of choice. Exercise regularly
  • Select specific and written goals. Following are some quotes for inspiration:
  • o Mark Victor Hansen is quoted as saying, “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be.”
  • o “All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.” – Norman Vincent Peale
  • o “I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” – Michael Phelps
  • o “The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” – Seth Godin
  • Find a ‘fitness partner’ or ‘fitness group’; someone(s) who are like-minded so you can provide encouragement and accountability for each other
  • Find the kinds of exercise that you will most likely enjoy. There may be more than one kind of exercise.
  • Be sure to have structure, aka, a plan. If you join a health club and when you go, you don’t have a plan as to what you are going to do, you are destined to fail. The old adage applies: “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” If you attend a class, like spin, aerobics, kick boxing, etc. The structured plan has already been created for you. In future posts, I’ll share a variety of exercise plans that have the basic structure provided for, you just have to plug in your specifics on an app on your phone, If you prefer working with hard copies and a pen, you can choose that option.
  • Exercise the same time each day. The consistency helps aid motivation. If you exercise before or after work, for example, it’s best to do so the same each workday. You may have a different time if you exercise on the weekend.
  • Give yourself some kind of reward. Set milestones on the way toward achieving your goals. For example: Let’s say your goal is to exercise for 45 minutes 4 times per week. A good milestone would be, if you completed 45 minutes, 4 times per week and you did that for 3 consecutive weeks, that would be a milestone worthy of some type of reward. Of course, it needs to be something that
    Fitness-at-66
    Fitness at 66

    you would truly enjoy earning.

  • Join one or more fitness sites on Social Media. I’m part of 3 sites with like-minded people. There are new ideas and lots of encouragement. Questions get answered. Many share pictures, sometimes before-and-after pics. There are many groups that are age related. It’s helpful to be sharing with others who have similar age-related issues.
  • Are you more motivated at a health club, at home or outside? Figuring that out can be very important. I am very motivated to work out hard in a health club. I’m not nearly as motivated at home. Part of that is because I don’t have all the equipment that is available at a gym.

The Role of Nutrition and Supplements

Getting fit involves 3 vital parts that are each important like the 3 legs of a stool. If any one of them is not there, doing its part, the whole thing falls. Those 3 are exercise, diet and rest.

In my next post I will dive more deeply into the topic of nutrition and supplements with specific information to help everyone who reads it.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are someone who is not very fit at all but would like information and help to start getting fit, or, if you have a level of fitness but would like to become more so as you age, I am building this site for you. I’ve learned so much from so many over the years and am excited to share it with you. Thanks so much for visiting. Glenn