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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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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One arm lat pull-downs…

One of my favorite body parts to train is the back.  I have posted articles on this muscle group.  After legs, it is the strongest part of your body.  It also has the most variety of muscles.

As such, I blast the back with 6-8 different exercises per training session.  I use wide grip and narrow grip.  Lat pull-downs and seated rows.  I also throw in different kinds of set/rep combinations like 4X, 4-1-1 sets, ladder sets, etc.

I look for different ways of adding a twist to a common exercise just to make it different and target the muscle at a different angle.

Recently I saw someone performing lat pull-downs alternating each arm performing the rep.  What I liked about that is that while the left arm was pulling down, the right arm was stretched towards the top.  So the right side was getting a nice lat stretch while the left arm was pulling down further than normal and getting a great contraction.  What a way to have your cake and eat it too! Maximum range of motion.

The only twist I added to this exercise was to perform a normal rep after every alternating one arm rep as shown in the video.

Add this trick to your back workout in order to be…Fit Forlife!

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Vitamin C…

Let’s continue through the alphabet of vitamins.  Next up is Vitamin C.

Vitamin C defined…

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that the human body doesn’t store it. Basically, excess is pissed away.  This also means you have to get it from the food that you eat.  There are some animals out there however, that do have the ability to produce vitamin C within their bodies.

Vitamin C is required in order to produce collagen.  Collagen is a protein that plays an important role in the structure of our bodies. Collagen supports the make up of our skin and bones.  Think of collagen as the glue that holds our body together.  Without it, we would fall apart!

Thus, it is an essential nutrient for the body to function.  Vitamin C is best known as an antioxidant.  Antioxidants are forms of molecules that help keep chemical reactions in our body in check. Antioxidants help prevent excessive activity on the part of free radical molecules.  A lot more detail on this subject can be found in my blog post here.

Health benefits and deficiency…

Deficiency in this vitamin can lead to conditions such as scurvy. Brown spots develop on the body, mostly the legs.  You develop bleeding gums as well as bleeding in mucous membranes.  Teeth eventually start to fall out.  These conditions can worsen and eventually lead to death.  Many sailors when the New World was discovered, suffered and died from this condition due to lack of fruits carried on board the sailing vessels.

Although some people say that vitamin C can help fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease or other chronic ailments, there have not been any valid scientific studies that have proven this.

Studies showing benefits to avoiding or reducing the days one suffers from the common cold has shown some positive results.

Food Sources…

It is best to get your daily dose of vitamin C from foods such as fruits and vegetables rather than through supplementation.

Most people think that citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit have the highest amount of vitamin C as well as mango, papaya and cantaloupe.  While these fruits do contain high levels of C, there are many vegetables that beat that.

Most dark leafy vegetables are very high in C as well as yellow bell peppers, peas and tomatoes.

Most berries in this family are also high in C like strawberries and blue berries.

Toxicity levels…

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 65 to 90 mg per day.  The upper limit is 2,000 mg a day. Too much vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful but mega-doses can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and heartburn.

So make sure you get all your vitamins on a daily basis in order to stay…Fit Forlife!

 

 

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