In my contest preparation, I’m still working out three days a week. But, Trainer Nick has me doing only two routines: chest, back and abs one day, and legs and arms the following workout day (usually M-W-F). This increases the frequency for any muscle group, but I’m still able to recover – not easy, but I’m preparing for a contest and pushing more than I normally would.
Nick pushes me through three exercises per part, three sets per exercise, with 20 to 15 reps per set. So on chest & back day, I’m doing rapid fire sets of 20 regular crunches followed by 20 reps of ball crunches (lying, knees pulled up to elbows), count of 10 rest, two more sets just like that with 10 count rest, then the plank position (bridge on elbows and toes) for 30 seconds, three sets, while he loads my back. And then throw in two sets of lying side leg raises to work the obliques. Then he alternates chest & back: For example, incline dumbell press opposite cable rows, three sets each, 20 rep sets with whatever rest I get going from one apparatus to the next. Then machine flys opposed to lat pulls, three sets each for 20 or so reps, followed by decline bench opposed by T-Bar rows for the same story. Usually he is helping me get the last few reps on any set to take the muscles into deep fatigue.
Leg/arm day is structured similarly except he keeps me on legs for 9 sets (3 exercises – one multi-joint like squats, lunges or leg press, then thigh extension, then hamstring curls – for three sets each, usually 20 reps or as many as I can get. Then goes to arms for three exercise each – triceps opposed to biceps, one then the other (triceps rest while the bi’s are working, again three sets each, 20 to 15 reps. We jam this into 45 minutes, and it is a serious cardiovascular workout – absolutely no need for a treadmill.
I’m eating 5-6 times a day, a pre-workout drink for endurance and strength, followed by post workout drink to jam in the protein and carbs, Taking coconut oil and fish oil by the tablespoon several times a day with a protein drink before bed and I still have a hard time making the scales move up. I have about another month to try to pack on the pounds, and then I have to cut calories down to 2500 and drop the body fat lower. But right now I’m probably as lean as I have been in 40 years. It is a great testimony to the human body that I can still grow significant muscle in a few months at the age of 68, but without the supplements to modify the body’s testosterone levels, this wouldn’t happen. ‘T’ is the magic muscle-growing, fat-burning hormone that you have to elevate to stay lean while building muscle and gaining strength.
One effect of this workout regime is that my sore spots have not been improving in spite of frequent trips to the chiropractor for deep muscle massage, adjustments, laser therapy and ultrasound. Reflecting back on my conviction that all this muscle pain was caused by the long-term use of Lipitor, there seemed to be some noticeable improvement when I stopped its use, but now it seems about the same as before.
I really wonder if it is not just a matter of serious over-use. My Chiropractor says that I’m just a bundle of myofacial adhesions and over-stressed tendons and it is going to take plenty of deep muscle work to undo the damage. Call me stupid for being in denial (wife Jo says something close to that) but at least I am MOTIVATED. The contest on July 19th is coming and I will worry about complete healing after that.
Good Living – Frank
Frank Wilhelmi – Retired/consultant electronic engineer researches and reports practical strategies for optimizing health and fitness into advanced age. “I have a passion for living life to the fullest, and helping others to do the same.” A rapidly growing body of knowledge now enables us to extend our health and fitness decades beyond popular expectations.