This man (pictured here at this link toward the bottom) used to spend 12 hours a week in the gym. By age 24 he'd already had two rotator cuff operations. Because of his rotator cuff injuries he couldn't lift a 100 pound barbell over his head without aggravating his shoulders. He began training with us on our MedX rehabilitative exercise equipment. With the MedX overhead press he did not aggravate his rotator cuff and his strength improved; he eventually was able to lift 316 pounds smoothly and safely using the MedX overhead press. He reported that he was stronger than he'd ever been.
John Kelly's blog
Years ago I had a woman come in who had been given the green light to exercise after suffering from cancer. I told her we would start slowly and that eventually the workouts would be hard. She told me, “John, I survived cancer. I can do your workout.” Boy was she right. She got dramatically stronger in no time. A client such as her, who starts from a weakened state, will have more upside potential for improvement.
At age 43 she was first diagnosed with oesteopenia. At age 69 she has no osteopenia and and no further bone loss. She now lives pain-free and has restored years to her career and quality-of-life.
I got on the subject of exercise with a man who was in less-than-peak physical condition. I asked him when was last time he had gone all-out physically. He was 65 years old. He said to me, "John, it's been decades".
Your body adapts positively to the stress of exercise. If you do not stress the body the body's capacity to handle the stress of exercise diminishes over time.
Your fitness, your health, and your ability to ward off sickness and injury diminish. Your body down-regulates its ability to handle sugar, your metabolism declines, and the loss of flexibility and strength increase the likelihood of injury. With that injury – a bad back, frozen shoulder, fragile knees, you name it – comes even more inactivity and a still lower level of fitness and health.
This is going to be the year you get in the best shape of your life. You sign for a year, and the automatic bank draft begins. You go each week for two or three weeks or maybe even the first couple of months. You miss a couple of weeks and then you miss a couple of months. Eventually you return with the intention of really buckling down. For most that never happens.
You admit defeat so you attempt to cancel. There is an expensive cancelation processing fee. There are just a few months left, and you rationalize that it is not worth the hassle of trying to terminate the contract so you do nothing. You cringe when you look at your monthly credit card bill and see the card charged for the service you did not use.
Quite a few years back I got a call from Laurence, one of my clients.
He informed me that he had just got out of Lake Pontchartrain after his weekly swim. I didn't even know you're allowed to swim in Lake Pontchartrain, but that's another story. He told me that his times had been trending lower, and that he had just swum his best time in years.
We had another client named Marcus who was 72 years old when he had his knee replaced. After that for the next few years he could play nine holes of golf. The next day was too washed out from the heat to play again. He was nearing the end of his golf playing days or so he thought. At age 75 he started strength training. After a year of strength training he could play 18 holes of golf, and the very next day he would play eighteen more holes. The strength training improved his fitness, so did the 27 extra holes golf he regularly played.
From this article The best exercise for controlling belly fat, this quote:
"Men who did regular weight-training had less gain in their waistline (-0.67 cm) over the 12-year period, compared with those who participated in moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise (-0.33 cm), or physical labor from daily life such as yard work or stair climbing (-0.16 cm)."
Losing muscle is part of the aging process. As adults we lose about 5 pounds of muscle a decade, and with that comes a lower metabolism. If you don’t cut back on the calories you will replace that muscle with fat.
If you attempt to lose weight with a severe caloric restriction your body received the message that it's not receiving enough calories to survive. The body will catabolize lean body mass to lower the body’s metabolism to compensate for the decreased caloric intake.
If you diet and also strength training the body, instead of losing muscle mass, you will maintain and even add to the muscle mass and thereby increase metabolism.
I read the other day that President Obama has a personal trainer. I tried to find out which President was the first to have a personal trainer. Ike golfed, Abe and Reagan chopped wood, Nixon bowled, Hoover tossed a medicine ball, Bush cleared brush, Clinton and Carter ran, Kennedy sailed, but who was the first President to have an actual personal trainer putting him through the paces? Google was not very helpful in this regard. I have read biographies of about half the Presidents. I am guessing it was probably Teddy Roosevelt - my attribution the TR biography, Mornings On Horseback about TR’s early years.
Teddy was asthmatic and a bit weak as a child. His parents hired a personal trainer to train him on the fourth story of their Harlem brownstone. He was also home schooled and had a dance instructor.
After reaching middle age, most people will likely see a decline in their physical abilities over an eight year span. That is not unavoidable. At Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Fitness trainers we present our clients with challenges they hopefully can achieve. If you give someone a goal that is not achievable why bother attempting it? If you have a goal that is not really challenging there will be little in the way of improvement. A good trainer will know where to set the bar.
Timothy is a one of our trainers, and Leif is one of his clients. One of the challenges Timothy gave Leif was a static hold on the chin-up. Timothy had Leif hold himself with his chin above the chin-up bar with his knees bent and held as high as possible for as long as possible. This requires tremendous effort and toward the end it requires every fiber of your being just to maintain that position. This exercise works the upper-back, chest, arms, and abdominal muscles.
Several years ago I was discussing with a cancer survivor the possibility of her starting an exercise program. I told her it might be difficult. She replied, “John, I survived cancer; I can do your workout.” Boy was she right. She responded very well to exercise. All the cancer patients we worked with have responded positively to exercise - everyone, but some cancer survivors were often discouraged from exercising. A quote from this New York Times article,Balancing Painful Swelling With a Desire to Exercise:
“FOR almost 20 years, the prevailing wisdom among most doctors has been that breast cancer survivors at risk of contracting lymphedema — a debilitating, irreversible swelling of one or both arms — should avoid most upper-body exercise or lifting anything heavier than five pounds. For many women, the stern warnings meant they could not shop for groceries or even carry their children. Running and walking were safe, but anything that taxed the arms was considered dangerous. ”