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Workout Systems for the Old Guys and Wounded Guys

KingLeonidas

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Oct 3, 2012
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#1
Greetings. I'm going to start a thread that's aimed at the older men and women in the security business. As the body ages, or as we accumulate injuries from the line of work - it becomes more of a challenge to keep a good level of fitness. Therefore, I invite older professionals and wounded warriors to share some of their training secrets. I will throw in some of mine.

Before getting started - a note of respect. I was not the person who invented this system. The credit for that goes to my personal trainer Willie. This is a guy with over 30 years in the martial arts and the training business - somebody with some unique and rare insights. Very definitely I could say that there's no way that I could possibly be as active today, or as strong, without his wisdom. That's what it takes to keep professionals in the game - wisdom acquired over many, many years. And I am personally grateful that he's stuck with me. Because he could have easily dumped me and moved on to training younger guys. But he trains a wide variety of people - so I respect that.

OK ... Let's get on with it.

VERTICAL HANGS

One of the important systems in your body that is often TOTALLY overlooked during physical training is your connective system. I am talking about all the tissues in your body that connect your muscles to your bones. That includes the tendons, ligaments, and also the inner workings of the joints. Most training systems totally ignore this connective tissue and focus on muscles. But that's a great mistake - because often when guys get injured it's because they tore out a tendon or ruptured a joint. In addition, as you grow older your connective tissues do not age gracefully. They lose some of their elasticity, and they can weaken. As a result, it's very easy for older professionals to tear an Achilles tendon while running or jumping, tear a ligament in a shoulder (maybe during a boxing workout), OR the most hated enemy of all ... put their back out.

There is a solution. There are sets of exercises that are specifically designed to strengthen and maintain your connective tissues. Certain cultures have known about this for a long time - it just doesn't get widely publicized. The "fitness industry" prefers to get guys psyched up into building muscle mass ... that way they can be sold a "training system" and a bunch of chemical products to build muscle. It can be a racket.

Let's look at one key exercise - this one helps a lot of connective tissues in your upper body.
It's also VITAL if you've had a back injury.
And yes ... my trainer Willie was the one who put me onto this.
I had two or three bad back injuries, including one time when I literally could not get off the floor for two days. I am active and agile today because this system works.

Very simply - find a horizontal bar (mounted high) and hang from it. Keep your arms straight. No pull-ups ... just hang. The idea is to progressively build up your endurance - by increasing the time of the hang.

What this exercise will immediately do - is to align your spine using gravity and your own weight.
You may feel tension in your lower back muscles and spine. If you've had an injury there - you may not be able to do this hang for very long. Always use your level of pain as a guide - don't make things worse. But if you can possibly hang - do it. If you find this exercise impossible ... don't worry. There are other things you can do to build up, before you do these hangs. Your career is not over, and you are NOT out of the game!

You will discover that this hanging exercise pinpoints weaknesses. Iinitally when I started it - I had to let go eventually because of hand strength. So part of my own improvement was to slowly build up grip strength and hand strength - just by doing these vertical hangs. But some guys have problems with their shoulders or arms. And some guys have problems with their back or spine. If you are recovering from an injury ... take it very slowly and very steady. The aim is long-term improvement. Stay motivated! I do these hangs every morning.

There are variations on this exercise.
Quite often I will drape a thick piece of rope over the horizontal bar.
I then grip the rope (both sides) instead of the bar itself and hang from that.
At the same time, I open my legs into a V-stretch, with my feet on the ground.
This allows me to stretch the groin muscles, while also doing the vertical hang.
Some weight is on the hands, and some is now on the feet.
So in this variation - you get to improve strength and leg flexibility at the same time.
And you can go lower on the rope as your groin becomes more flexible.

Just some thoughts for the day.
And by the way ... this exercise is just the STARTING point.
It's the first in a whole series of movements that go to increasing strength and more dynamic exercises.
This street does not have a dead end ... it goes a long way :)

Hahaha! Cheers and good luck to the Old Guys and Old Gals!
Experience wins :)

KingLeonidas
 
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pops

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Jul 10, 2008
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#2
Up until 2 yrs ago I used to bounce around a gym 5 or 6 evenings a week. Training was broken into 3 parts, chest and triceps, back and biceps and then legs and shoulders. Integrated with this was a fairly regimented eating routine ( The Abs Diet from Mens Health )......at the time it was do-able as I worked in one place for 3 or 4 yrs yet not really possible now as working here, there and everywhere!!....anyway, back to the point....

Exercise weights were geared towards high reps rather than becoming "Mr Muscles"....ended up with a 44" chest and 32" waist and was fitter than the average flea.....body fat was about 9 to 10%....all this sounds a natural result from exercising and eating correctly however, there is one important fact.....when I left that job I was 57 yet had the body of someone 30 yrs younger!!

My point is, age isn't a huge relevance.....Don't get me wrong, we're not as flexible as we were in our younger days but hard graft and ignoring the ensuing pain still pays dividends and gives great results.
 

KingLeonidas

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#3
Pops - thanks. It's always good to have a positive story to motivate the Old Guys.
Hahahahaha!!!

Here's an extra training exercise for the guys who have hurt their backs.
This one hurts ... but it makes you feel a lot better afterwards.

Thanks to Hilly on this forum who reminded me about this stuff (with one of his comments).
Also, just want to say that these exercises are for guys with tissue damage - like strained back muscles.
If you've got real damage to the disks - please discuss it with your doctor.

#1 Body curls on a large inflatable exercise ball.
Get one of those large inflatable balls - often used by women in the gym.
Curl your body over the ball, and do it in both directions.
In other words ... bellybutton up, and also down.
This causes the spine to go through curvature in forward and reverse directions.
Quite helpful.

#2 Alright ... here comes the painful one.
I used to really hate this exercise. But it's especially important on the days and weeks right after your back injury. Get a medicine ball that's about the size of a basketball, or just a bit larger. This particular medicine ball needs to be rock hard. You should not be able to push in the surface of the ball with your fingers.

Lie on the ground, bellybutton up towards the ceiling. Then raise your body up so your arms are extended straight, and your knees are bent.
You are now resting on your hands and knees, your body should be horizintal. Get someone to roll the hard medicine ball underneath your lower back.
Position it so the top part of the ball is slightly to the left or right of your spine. Gradually lower your body down onto the ball - give it as much weight as you can handle. Then start moving sideways, and forwards-backwards, on the ball. You are essentially using the ball as a form of hard tissue massage.
My trainer used to tell me ... "OK do that for one minute". And after about 30 secs I'd say "Bu**er, I've got to stop. This really hurts!" And then he'd say ... "Alright. Give it a quick rest - then next time I want a whole minute". And on and on - like that.
I hated those sessions. But I felt MUCH better afterwards.

Good luck!
If you've had a problem with tissue damage, or muscle damage, in your back - then these various exercises should get you back to a fully functional state. It's important to do them religiously, though.

KingLeonidas
 
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MC222

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Aug 30, 2010
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#4
I found a useful exercise, used in conjunction with the chinup bar hangs, was to lie on floor prone (that's facing down:~) with your arms relaxed at your sides. Raise your heels off the floor and your shoulders at the same time.

The two exercises together both stretch the area, whilst working the lower back muscles, without having to contort your body round some kind of gym equipment, like a Roman chair or similar.
 
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