Saturday, September 24, 2011

Great Advice for Senior Bodybuilders

I have been spending much of my training time since early July in the gym doing strength training workouts.  Two of the best websites that I have found that provide excellent information about strength training and bodybuilding are Logan Franklin's Gray Iron Fitness, and Ageless Athletes by Richard Winett.    Both of these websites are oriented to senior athletes, and both provide indepth training tips, that help us make gains in strength and muscle preservation, while avoiding injury.  Logan Franklin is in his early 70's (1st picture) and Richard Winett is in his mid-60's (2nd picture). Dr. Winett's picture was taken a few years ago, but he still looks great and has maintained excellent health and fitness well past 60.

On his Ageless Athletes site, Richard Winett's recently posted a summary of his lessons learned based upon many years of bodybuilding experience.  I have found this advice valuable in my own training.  You can find Dr. Winett's post here.

I have been following Winett's strength training program for several weeks and have found it to be very beneficial.  My muscle strength, definition and size have steadily increased, especially in the upper body.  In summary, Dr. Winett advises:

  • Work out with moderate, not heavy resistance.  What is most important in effective weight training is using moderate resistance and do each repetition of the exercise slowly.
  • Use controlled repetitions, good form, good range of motion and controlled transitions.
  • Perform reasonable volume and intensity.  He advises several exercises per body part, one set per exercise and do an upper body/lower body 2 way split routine. 
  • Each exercise should focus on a specific muscle group.  That muscle group should be worked with optimal focus and effort.
  • Workouts should be oriented toward a specific purpose, the age of the trainer, and with an emphasis on preserving good function and range of motion.  
  • He advises against hard or long cardiovascular exercise during periods when the trainer wants to make maximum progress on strength and building muscles.  He builds in cardiovascular exercise, but the workouts are less intense than some advise.  He favors lots of moderate exercise to sessions which are too long and hard, and which might detract from recovery.
  • He also advises that it is not necessary to vary your routine that much, once you have found a program that works.
  • Nevertheless, we should strive for constant improvement in focus, form, and reasonable decreases in the amount of time between exercise.
Both Logan Franklin and Richard Winett publish periodic newsletters, which can be subscribed to on their websites.

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