Old Fart Training Blog

Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy my nutrition, training and just random thoughts posts.  With over 40 years of fitness and nutrition experience I can give you tips that will benefit the beginner to most experienced fitness enthusiast.

While I give nutrition advice, I am not a certified nutritionist nor medical doctor.  What I provide is my opinion based on research and trialing everything that I blog about.

Enjoy and comment please!

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Shoulder Presses

Here is another most recent exercise I came up with using this unique bar at the gym.  This bar is used mostly for pulling exercises like shrugs and bent over rows and sometimes for pushing like squats where you squat down to the floor and push up.

I decided to see if it could also be used for pushing to workout the shoulders.  Yes it can!  The hardest part is finding a squat rack that can hold the bar while you position yourself within it in order to get started.  The rack I am using is spaced far enough apart that it allows me to put weight on it as well.

The bar is already pretty heavy so it doesn’t take many plates before it becomes hard to do.

As  you can see, when lowering the bar it allows the hands to be much lower than if I was using a regular bar where the movement stops right at the clavicles.  With this bar you can go deeper giving you a longer range of motion.  It simulates that of using a set of dumbbells but better in my opinion.

Give it a try and never be afraid to experiment in the gym with equipment that is meant for one body part but can be substituted to work out another body part.

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Upper Pec and Front Delt Exercise

I always love coming up with new ways to hit the muscles outside of the ordinary exercises that are commonly used.

I came up with a new way of hitting front delts and upper pecs at the same time. The idea came to me as I was watching someone doing upward front flyes while at the same time, someone was doing incline benches on a Hammer Smith machine nearby.

It does not take much weight to hit these muscles and you can control the pace to maximize the amount of time the muscles are under tension.

There are two key elements to make this exercise effective. First is foot/body position.  Make sure you are standing up and away from the bench so your body is leverage in a way that when you start the exercise you aren’t pushed back.

Secondly, place your hands with palms facing upward.

Concentrate on range of motion as you move your arms from the side of your body and motion them upward towards the ceiling.

Try it, I think you will get a good burn and a great way to add it to a superset of either incline bench presses or front shoulder presses.

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It’s that time of year again, A Repost…

The original post was back in December of 2014, but some things never change so here is a good time to repost it again.

A lot of people will be doing new year resolutions and one of them is always trying to be healthier.  So I hope this post will help some to stay on track in 2017.

As we enter 2017…

Here we are, the year is almost over and most people start reflecting what they accomplished and if they are honest enough to themselves, where they have failed and most importantly, what can they do to improve for the new year.

When it comes to training and staying on an exercise and nutrition program, the vast majority of people fail.  You can always see what someone’s New Year resolution is towards the end of December and beginning of January. This is when gyms across the country start to enroll new members.  This is always a great thing to see but sadly, by the time March rolls around, over 90% of the new members stop going and by mid year another 50% of the 10% stop as well.  This isn’t a fact that I have measured but rather an observation from 43 years of working out in gyms.

How to succeed…

There are several things that you can do in order to succeed this time around.  Here are just some:

  1. Be realistic – examine your personal and work life and set up a plan that is realistic and will fit into your circumstances. A lot of people are too gung ho and will plan for either too many training sessions in a week or duration of each training session, or both.  This is not a race, being fit is a lifetime process.  There is no need to try to ‘catch up’ for lost time, it will not accomplish anything but disappointment.
  2. When – once you have set up frequency and duration based on lifestyle, you then need to set up at what time you will train. While there are benefits for performing cardio versus resistance training during certain times of the day, your first goal is to just get a routine going. So pick a time that is most convenient to you.
  3. Where – again, in order to be successful, you need to keep it simple.  Where are you going to train, at home, your community fitness center or a local gym.  Do you want to train near the house or near work?  What fits best into your schedule. For example, if you are training at lunch time, pick a gym as close to possible to work, reduce drive time. Don’t get lured into the ‘big box’ gyms like LA Fitness, Bally’s, etc.  There are many small local gyms that are just as nice, the crowd is usually friendlier, and some of the amenities may be better, i.e. workout and shower towels provided.
  4. What – so now you have frequency, duration, time and place, so what do you do? It depends on what satisfies you the most and/or what’s readily available at the place you are training.  The key is to get into a routine. The best way to accomplish this is by making it fun.  For example, if the place provides a spin class while you are there, how about 30 minutes of resistance training followed by joining the spin class towards the end?  Or vice versa? Don’t think you have to take one of the gyms classes for the entire duration. If you are pressed for time, do what you can fit in.
  5. Training partner? – This one is tough.  On the one hand, a partner can be an inspiration when you are feeling down and vice-versa.  On the other hand, they can also be a deterrent by convincing you to skip a workout or showing up late.  I only have used training partners when I competed where I needed someone for a spot or to coach me.  Other than that, I prefer to train alone.  If you are going to take on a training partner I would suggest your spouse or significant other. This way you can motivate each other.
  6. Prepare to fail – yes, it is ok to fail.  Changing your life with exercise and nutrition is not easy.  There will be bumps in the road, setbacks, etc. As long as you mentally prepare for that, and know that it is ok to fail as long as you analyze why, you can always get back on track.  For example, you may have been too ambitious on the amount of days you can train per week.  Don’t worry about missing workouts and throwing your routine off schedule, just adjust the number of times you can train and start over again.
  7. Ctrl-Alt-Del – what does that mean?  It means that even if you totally quit from your New Year’s resolution at some point during the year, it does not mean that you wait till next year to try it again.  You life is like a PC, you can CTRL-ALT-DEL at any time and start all over again.  I always tell people, every Monday is your chance to start all over again, how cool is that!!!!

So, start planning and get ready, make 2017 the year you make it happen and you too can be …Fit Forlife!

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Side and Read Delt Exercise

Simple exercise to incorporate in your shoulder work.  Placing pulley about eye level and using a short EZ-Curl bar, keep your elbows slightly out, arms parallel to the floor and pull the bar back, in an arc, over your head.

Great burn, can be super-setted with other shoulder exercise.

Always try something different to in order to stay…Fit Forlife!

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Shoulder Presses with a twist!

When working out shoulders there are three components that you must hit in order to train them properly.  They are front, side and rear delts (deltoids).  Each side has a variety of exercises that you can perform to target that area.

One exercise I see guys perform to nail the front delts (and a little bit of triceps) is kneeling or standing T-Bar presses as shown below…

Standing T Bar Presses

Standing T Bar Presses

Kneeling T Bar Presses

Kneeling T Bar Presses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While this is one way to hit the front delts, doing them kneeling down takes a toll on the knees.  Performing them standing up can become difficult when lifting it off the floor in order to get started.

So I look at machines around the gym that allows me to perform this motion taking those two deficiencies out of the equation.  Fortunately I have such a machine in the gym and you may too.

The video below depicts performing the same motion but on a machine that allows me to move the handles inward or outward.  Performing them this way takes away from straining the knees and preserves the back since you do not have to lift the T-Bar off the floor.  You also have greater control in the motion as well as the weight used.

Another way to perform this exercise if you do not have a machine that allows the handles to move as shown above, is to use a Smith machine and hold the bar with a close grip and perform the exercise that way.  The only thing I dont like about this method is that the palms facing forward tends to hit the triceps too much.  I have found that placing the palms facing you is better.

Below is an example of this method with the hands spaced further apart but they can be done with a closer grip as mentioned.

So give this shoulder workout twist a try in order to be…Fit Forlife!

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