It’s been a long time since I wrote for this site. I have more or less been able to maintain my level of fitness despite life’s changes and challenges, although not nearly as much as I’d like.
So my challenges are probably a lot like a lot of people’s: the job is more sedentary, more time sitting at desks, more meetings, more conference calls, more traffic, more sitting absolutely still. Fitness slips away quickly.
Getting back in shape over 50
Over the summer I did adapt the six-week workout routine to adjust for a couple of factors:
Less muscle mass
Longer recovery times
My need to be energetic the day after a workout.
Also, I was considering entering a six-week challenge Vince DelMonte often runs. I am on his email list still, and learned he was going to do another one.
I have been active, but not exercising hard for results. I knew I would have to take it easy or I wouldn’t be able to move the next day.
Or the day after, or the day after that.
Also, I had hurt my shoulder with a repetitive stress injury a year ago. I burn wood (gotta love saving money and making it through the new North Eastern multi-day power outage cycles) and rented a splitter… I took on too much, split about 8 cords in a day (it was a REALLY long day) and my shoulder hasn’t been the same since… Ortho visits, physical therapy, the whole deal. I probably need arthroscopic surgery for a small tear, but until I can get my supraspinatus muscle to stop going into spasms and throwing my shoulder out of alignment, I think it will be premature.
So what did I do?
I did the six-week cycle and exercise routine Vince DelMonte published on his site, which I re-posted, but I focused on much lower weights, and I focused on speed through the workout.
In other words, I used even lighter weights than I thought would be effective, and pushed myself to rest ONLY 30 seconds or less between exercises of the superset, and ONLY 90 seconds max between supersets. Doing this made my workouts 40 minutes or less. And, I was able to function at work and home the next day, and work out two days later.
The amazing thing is that I still got great results. In retrospect, I didn’t get the mass gains I did the last time I really pushed it, which are the other results pics on this site. But I had more time then, and could endure feeling super tired the next day. That’s not the case now.
The other thing is that I kept it to six weeks. The other photos on earlier blog posts were from 10 weeks of progress. I hesitated submitting myself for the DelMonte six-week challenge, and missed the entry window. Oh well. I don’t know if I would have won, but for my new age group, I probably have good odds.
The thing that helped me most was a realistic mindset. I knew I had to start the process of getting back in shape with more patience so I didn’t sabotage my efforts. I didn’t start posting “before” and “progress” pictures anywhere on the site to put more pressure on myself that was necessary. In my case, I also knew I had to be really careful about my shoulder.
I have to say I know what worked for me. I am fairly certain these are universal lessons on getting back in shape, but get your doctor to approve of your starting exercise if you have been out of commission for a long time.
Here are “before” and “after” pics, for what it’s worth: