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  1. #1
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Old Man Lifing; Well, trying to anyway ...

    I started lifting about 14 months ago. It was during the aftermath of COVID. The neighborhood gym opened before the neighborhood bar so I joined. Should have joined one sooner, much sooner as I could no longer get up off the floor without assistance. I was going up the stairs one step at a time while clutching tightly to the handrail. I could no longer drink a beer with my right arm (I think that's what really caught my attention!)

    Now, a year later, my blood pressure has dropped thirty points (from "high" to "normal") and my resting heart rate has dropped ten. I can trot up and down the stairs now and even roll around on the floor with my grandson's puppy dog. My weight remains the same ("chubby" according to the body mass index) but the spare tire around my belly is gone and ... I can drink beer with my right arm again. (OK, the 22 oz. pours are still a bit problematic but the 12 and 16 oz. pours are just fine.)

    The Forums here were helpful; the information, the questions and answers, even asking a question or two. But even more helpful was the social aspect; the dialogue and the conversations. At my age "social interaction" consists of talking about doctors' appointments, medications, aches & pains, medical procedures or who was in the obituaries this week. If I said something like, "I'm going to the gym" I'd get a, "What, are you nuts?"

    So, really, the Forums are a nice change of pace.
    joe Henry
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  2. #2
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    That's great!

    Your posts have been refreshing to read the whole time. Great that you're feeling better all-around.
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Same here JW, the forums really help motivate.


    Sharing workouts and videos def has me training harder and longer. Glad u are still bangin weights!
    Last edited by coachcalande; 11-23-2021 at 07:50 AM.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  4. #4
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone.

    As part of my "recovery" I said, "No free weights". IMO "Free Weights" *are* superior to weight machines. In fact I used to lift 40, 45 years ago until an accident and resultant injuries took me out. I tried a couple of "come backs" over the years but always had to drop out due to injuries. With free weights there's always a chance of a "mistake". Usually a mistake results in a failed lift or something minor. But, if you have underlying damage, a mistake can easily result in a reinjury.

    I decided to work on legs first. Simply moving them. A stationary bike seemed to fit the bill. Level 1, 5 minutes. It didn't hurt so I kept at it. I moved up levels but I tapped out at 10 minutes. Boredom. Going nowhere on a stationary bike just wasn't going to be my thing. I could see forcing myself to go 30 minutes would result in me dropping out of the gym. (There's an old saying, does exercise make you live longer or ... does it just seem longer?)

    So I looked to the Seated Leg Curl and the Seated Leg Extension machines. High reps (20 plus) to make sure things were working OK.

    Couple things I picked up.
    * Do the "pull" (curl) first. It seemed to warm up the knee for the "push".
    * Point my toes up (towards my shins). It seemed to take some of the stress off of my knees.

    I found I didn't like sitting around ("rest") between sets so I started "super setting" between machines. Then I started adding weights and reducing rep counts to something more normal (e.g., 5 to 10-ish). Overtime I added Seated Leg Press and Calf "somethings".

    One thing I don't like about weight machines is the numbers don't really relate to real weights. For example I can do 400 lbs on one leg press but only 250 lbs on the other leg press machine and I'm damn sure I can't squat anywhere near near those numbers.

    But it's a small knit. The bigger point is it's been over a year now and I haven't got hurt ... yet :-)
    joe Henry
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  5. #5
    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    I'm glad you had so much success. I don't get bored, so stationary cycle is great for me. I wish I had joined a year sooner too. No one was in the gym because of covid, so I doubt I would have caught it there.

    I agree about the safety of machines. They fail to build some supporting muscle groups, but if you get injured, it won't be on the machines. My trainers don't like machines, but my second trainer injured me with free weights. Trainers like to do things their way or the highway, and got me wondering what benefit I can get out of my remaining 7 sessions. I wonder if they can do swim lessons.

    You probably heard this already, but you might improve more if you drink less. I cut the last bit of alcohol out of my life after I realized it was giving me oxygen issues. Well, my doctor suspected it, and I then tested and confirmed my body could no longer handle any. I was only an occasional drinker before. No alcohol, caffein, or anything else for me since. 2020 was a turning point for me as far as the minor abuse my body could no longer tolerate.




    I joined for sort of similar reasons. I was 10 pounds heavier than I had ever been in my life, much higher resting heart rate, almost fainting spells, blood pressure 10 points higher than before, getting out of breath hiking up the side of hills, doing fewer push-ups than ever. Knees hurt when I squated. Everything suddently got bad around January, 2020, after a nasty respiratory infection.
    Last edited by Darkius; 11-23-2021 at 04:45 PM.
    Novice lifter who sticks to the basics 3x per week but likes to theorize about improvements while recovering.
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    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    I don't like sitting between sets either, but when I got up to superset, some old guy took my other machine. Was that you? He only stayed for one set. So after I did a similar chest machine and returned to back, I got my old machine as my 3rd set. I now wonder if I like the second chest machine better now. Although, I plan to give the fly machine a try next time.
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  7. #7
    Registered User bernipes's Avatar
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    Wow, man, that's cool! I'm really glad that you found support in the forum and that you are now reaping the fruits of your dedication.
    Keep up the physical activity and you will see even more improvement. People like you inspire me!
    It's never too late to start or restart. In case you want extra motivation, here is a video of bodybuilders over 70: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAUH...sEntertainment
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    Keep up the good work bro! There is so much good info here, and lots of people who don’t mind sharing it. I love hearing stories like yours as I am an old man myself, really provides motivation to keep doing better no matter my age.
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  9. #9
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bernipes View Post
    It's never too late to start or restart. In case you want extra motivation, here is a video of bodybuilders over 70: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAUH...sEntertainment
    I watched the video. You're right, inspiring. The one guy, #79(?) was a standout. He could easily compete with the 50 year old class.
    joe Henry
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  10. #10
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    I don't like sitting between sets either, but when I got up to superset, some old guy took my other machine. Was that you? He only stayed for one set. So after I did a similar chest machine and returned to back, I got my old machine as my 3rd set. I now wonder if I like the second chest machine better now. Although, I plan to give the fly machine a try next time.
    Thank you for your gracious replies. Super setting at gyms is kind of an art. I have backup stations for most of my preferred stations. If someone jumps in in the middle of my super sets I can usually flip over to one of my backups. Or I'll make a quick change to the order of my routine.

    Sometimes those random adjustments give me the variety that I needed. I think of "Coach Calande" and consider those random modifications as a subset of his "auto regulated" training :=)
    Last edited by joewattie; 11-25-2021 at 04:50 AM.
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  11. #11
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Legs. Check. Now it's time to do something with arms. My right arm (my dominate arm) is injured. Surgery is not an option. Physical therapy has restored some lateral movement but I can't raise my arm high enough to even brush my teeth.

    So I'm looking at some of the weight machines like the seated arm press; two handles, one for each arm, both connected to a single weight stack. I see a guy lifting with one arm. Bingo!

    So I take my turn, pressing up with my left arm. Then I get an idea. I take my left hand and use it to place my right hand on a handle. I then lift with my left arm ... the right arm going along for the free ride. It's uncomfortable but not bad. It gets better over the coming days.

    I then start trying to push with my right arm. Don't know how effective it is but I can feel it a little.

    I start looking at the other seated shoulder press. It has a stack of weights for each handle. I put some weight on the left and "nothing" on the right. I lift. It looks silly but it works. Overtime I add weight to both sides. Something like 45 on one side and 15 on the other. Oh well, progress is progress even if it's silly progress. At least I can brush my teeth.
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    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    OK, with arms and legs (my "rehab" areas) out of the way I started looking through the forums for workout programs. Wow! Mind boggling.

    Because of age, injuries and arthritis I quickly ruled out "free weights". Since there's a limited selection of weight machines the options suddenly became manageable.

    I toyed with split routines for a bit and ruled them out. I know me, five days just ain't gonna happen. I talked with a couple of guys doing three day splits.

    One was in his late forties, was working with a trainer, and was getting results.

    The other was almost as old as me. Now something is always better than nothing but he wasn't getting any palpable results.

    I came up with a theory, when you're old you just can't bang anything hard enough that justifies a one week rest.

    So I settled on a Full Body workout three times a week. I figured the short rest should be more than enough recovery time for my wimpy old man workouts.

    I chose a dozen weight machines that covered the primary muscles, set them up in a "big muscle" to "little muscle" order, organized them into "PULL/push" pairs ("pull" first, it seems to warm up the frail old joints for the "push") and then ran super sets between the agonistic pairs.

    It's a year later now. I'm reinjury free and happy with the results.
    joe Henry
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  13. #13
    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by joewattie View Post
    Legs. Check. Now it's time to do something with arms. My right arm (my dominate arm) is injured. Surgery is not an option. Physical therapy has restored some lateral movement but I can't raise my arm high enough to even brush my teeth.

    So I'm looking at some of the weight machines like the seated arm press; two handles, one for each arm, both connected to a single weight stack. I see a guy lifting with one arm. Bingo!

    So I take my turn, pressing up with my left arm. Then I get an idea. I take my left hand and use it to place my right hand on a handle. I then lift with my left arm ... the right arm going along for the free ride. It's uncomfortable but not bad. It gets better over the coming days.

    I then start trying to push with my right arm. Don't know how effective it is but I can feel it a little.

    I start looking at the other seated shoulder press. It has a stack of weights for each handle. I put some weight on the left and "nothing" on the right. I lift. It looks silly but it works. Overtime I add weight to both sides. Something like 45 on one side and 15 on the other. Oh well, progress is progress even if it's silly progress. At least I can brush my teeth.
    Sounds like you need a toothbrush extention handle.

    And fantastic progression from nothing to 15. Great way to spend your time.
    Novice lifter who sticks to the basics 3x per week but likes to theorize about improvements while recovering.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by joewattie View Post
    OK, with arms and legs (my "rehab" areas) out of the way I started looking through the forums for workout programs. Wow! Mind boggling.

    Because of age, injuries and arthritis I quickly ruled out "free weights". Since there's a limited selection of weight machines the options suddenly became manageable.

    I toyed with split routines for a bit and ruled them out. I know me, five days just ain't gonna happen. I talked with a couple of guys doing three day splits.

    One was in his late forties, was working with a trainer, and was getting results.

    The other was almost as old as me. Now something is always better than nothing but he wasn't getting any palpable results.

    I came up with a theory, when you're old you just can't bang anything hard enough that justifies a one week rest.

    So I settled on a Full Body workout three times a week. I figured the short rest should be more than enough recovery time for my wimpy old man workouts.

    I chose a dozen weight machines that covered the primary muscles, set them up in a "big muscle" to "little muscle" order, organized them into "PULL/push" pairs ("pull" first, it seems to warm up the frail old joints for the "push") and then ran super sets between the agonistic pairs.

    It's a year later now. I'm reinjury free and happy with the results.
    Great success! I'm glad to hear that is possible.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to apply force without hurting my wrists. Your taking a year makes sense. This is a long game.

    Maybe you'll be lifting some heavy weights in another year, but listen to your joints and don't rush into it.
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    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    Maybe you'll be lifting some heavy weights in another year, but listen to your joints and don't rush into it.
    Because I'm old with injuries and arthritis I made myself a rule, "No free weights". This morning I broke my rule.

    I hadn't done any seated leg presses for a couple of weeks. Today my knees felt good but the leg press machines were busy. At the end of my workout I checked out the leg press machines, still busy.

    I walked by a young lady (I'm 75, they're all young) using the "hex bar". I've seen hex bars before but have never used one. And I've seen this lady before, she's usually does deadlifts or squats with a regular Olympic bar, so, when she took a break, I asked her how the hex bar compared. She said she was liking it, it was easier on her back.

    She finished her set and offered the bar to me. I hesitated then stripped it down to 135 lbs and did a set of 15. It felt pretty good so I added some weight and did a set of ten. It felt good so I added some more and did a set of five. A couple guys stopped and complimented me. I smiled and said, "Thanks".

    But I'm thinking, 235 lbs. ain't bad for a little old man but it ain't really all that noteworthy either. I looked at the bar and suddenly realized I was counting the four 35s as 25s and that I was really lifting 275 lbs.

    I was giddy. It was almost 2X body weight! Just a few more lbs. Do it. No, don't. I did. 2X body weight three reps.

    Now I was euphoric. Just a few more lbs. and I'm pulling 300. Do it. No, don't! I did. It went up. Just one rep but it went up. I did a few more sets of one just to make sure it wasn't a fluke. I was giddy. I felt young again. Well, maybe not. I'll see how I feel in the morning <lol>
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    Originally Posted by joewattie View Post
    Because I'm old with injuries and arthritis I made myself a rule, "No free weights". This morning I broke my rule.

    I hadn't done any seated leg presses for a couple of weeks. Today my knees felt good but the leg press machines were busy. At the end of my workout I checked out the leg press machines, still busy.

    I walked by a young lady (I'm 75, they're all young) using the "hex bar". I've seen hex bars before but have never used one. And I've seen this lady before, she's usually does deadlifts or squats with a regular Olympic bar, so, when she took a break, I asked her how the hex bar compared. She said she was liking it, it was easier on her back.

    She finished her set and offered the bar to me. I hesitated then stripped it down to 135 lbs and did a set of 15. It felt pretty good so I added some weight and did a set of ten. It felt good so I added some more and did a set of five. A couple guys stopped and complimented me. I smiled and said, "Thanks".

    But I'm thinking, 235 lbs. ain't bad for a little old man but it ain't really all that noteworthy either. I looked at the bar and suddenly realized I was counting the four 35s as 25s and that I was really lifting 275 lbs.

    I was giddy. It was almost 2X body weight! Just a few more lbs. Do it. No, don't. I did. 2X body weight three reps.

    Now I was euphoric. Just a few more lbs. and I'm pulling 300. Do it. No, don't! I did. It went up. Just one rep but it went up. I did a few more sets of one just to make sure it wasn't a fluke. I was giddy. I felt young again. Well, maybe not. I'll see how I feel in the morning <lol>

    Love it!
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

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