Archive for the ‘Heath and Fitness’ Category

I have made unbelievable gains since joining a gym four months ago. I should say unbelievable for someone in their mid 40s. Not that the mid 40’s is old, but I have made better gains now than I think I every have my entire life.

Over the last 20 years I have worked out mostly in my home-made gym which consists of free weights and bench including a heavy-duty squat rack. I have struggled off and on with injuries in this home gym. Most of these were shoulder injuries, which I believe was due to heavy benching. As you know you use your shoulders for just about every exercise, even squats. So when your shoulder goes your pretty much out of commission all together.

When the opportunity to join a gym came around I thought that this might be a good opportunity to try out some new equipment and take advantage of some expert trainers. I had not belonged to a gym in probably twenty years so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

I believe joining a gym has benefited me in few ways. These are all somewhat related.
1. Created variety in my workout.
2. Eliminated shoulder/joint problems.
3. Confused muscles (if you believe in that kind if thing).

The variety in my workout is not really my choice. I often plan on using specific types of equipment when I go in but because the gym is very crowded, but unfortunately there is just not enough equipment to go around. I am forced to grab whatever equipment is available. I do this instead of waiting. I think this variety has helped me by not overworking my joints which, by doing the same exercise over and over again, may be one reason that has contributed to my ongoing shoulder problem. This idea of changing your routine is nothing new but the idea of changing every time you go in may be somewhat excessive for most people.

I believe one of the biggest contributors to remove my shoulder problem is that I have stopped benching free weights. I frequently use the Smith machine for both flat and incline. When those machines are in use I will go to the Hammer machines. Not sure about the physics or mechanics here but it may have to do with the need to balance the barbell, something not needed when you are on a machine.

“Muscle confusion”? The jury is still out on this one for me. I’m pretty sure that your muscles can’t get “confused”. 🙂 What I do think is that changing your routine prevents you from becoming bored which may cause you from “giving it your all” during your workout. Changing your routine can prevent injuries due to overuse of certain areas of the joints as I mentioned above.

One thing that I did not mention in the list above is my routine. More is not necessarily better like I used to believe back in my younger days. Understandably some people love to spend time in the gym. For me it’s in and out as fast as possible. I don’t socialize, I workout. My goal is to get in and out in 30-35 minutes. That gives me plenty of time to get done what I need to get done, prevents me from overtraining, and gives me a bit of an aerobic exercise as well. For some reason we are told to get out there and workout every day, but I just don’t think that good for most people, especially when you get older. Light exercise is fine but not when lifting or even running. In fact, even if you are young and healthy going into the gym 6 days a week and trying to keep up with the big boys is stupid. Most of us just can’t recover that fast and we burn out. Also, most of us don’t want to do the other 50 percent of what it takes to make the recovery process possible, follow a proper diet.

Currently I workout three days a week alternating legs and shoulders with chest, back and arms. One week I will work legs and shoulders two days a week then chest, back, and arms one day. The next week I will work chest, back, and arms twice a week and then legs and shoulders once. This gives my somewhat older muscles plenty of time to recover. One of the good thing about being older and having some experience is that I know when my body is tired and needs rest, so I know when to take a couple of extra days off. I will even take an entire week off and just recover.

In term of taking advantage of the training professionals, I can’t say they were any help. Not that age has anything to do with it but most are in their early 20’s and have little to no training experience and very little personal experience. To be honest I have probably forgotten more than they know, and trying to talk to them between their text messages has been a bit of a challenge. So for me listening to my own body’s needs, reading books and taking out of them what I know to be true is much more reliable than relying on the so called experts. By the way, notice didn’t say read magazines? Magazines have only one purpose, to sell you things. Period! I don’t trust them.

So the overall experience has been a good one for me. I am making gains like crazy, I am healthy and injury free. What more could I ask for? I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring.


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Just some thoughts I had on diet and exercise that consistently swim around in my head.

* When you are hungry, before you eat, take time to write down all of the feelings you are having along with the kind of hunger you are feeling.
After a week or two look back and see if there is a pattern. Are you always feeling down when you want to eat? Bored?

* You must use your muscles! The more muscles you use the better. Even facial muscles can get a workout.

* The battle of the brain is harder than the battle of the bod.

* It is not the size of the muscle, it is about its use.

* Effort stands second only to consistency.

* Slow and steady wins the day. Look for success long term instead of overnight.

* It is not a diet. It is a change in attitude and outlook on life.

* Sometimes a formal education can be confused with common sense.

* Eat what your body needs, not what it wants.

* Train your brain.

* Don’t feel you need to eat. If you are not hungry, don’t eat.

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