Do Some Damn Hard Work

It is my considered opinion that a training session should be a gut-busting, heart-pounding, central nervous system-debilitating experience. When I train with Donnie Thompson, he beats my ass so badly that he says I'm glassy-eyed. I don't know what my eyes look like, but I know I have difficulty putting one foot in front of the other. He tests me in every way I can be tested... and I look forward to it. I try, to the extent that I can, to test myself in my training. I am continually looking for new forms of torture. Now, I do not necessarily advocate this sadistic form of training for guys my age, but I do advocate that they do some hard work.

I have trained at YMCAs, at college, at Nautilus facilities, at home, at commercial gyms, and at Donnie Thompson's. I do not claim to be smart in the area of weight training—there are entire libraries filled with things that I don't know, and I don't have a degree or certification in any area of sports science or physical education. However, I have played quite a few sports at a fairly high level, and I have participated in weight training for over 55 years. I guess I have made every mistake that can be made, and I certainly try not to make them more than once.

I see seniors come to the gym, and it's good that they come—something is better than nothing. By and large, however, they don't do any hard work. They walk on a treadmill for a while, push or pull on some machines with little or no weight, or occasionally pick up a dumbbell. Most have little or no knowledge of what to do or how to do it. The women seem to be better than the men. I guess they have had some instruction while the men already "know everything" and need no instruction. Even those who come with written workouts prepared by a trainer have little or no form and technique. (Although, this often means that no one uses the free weights, so they are always available to me).

What's the answer? If we all used the principles of powerlifting and did compound exercises with free weights (no matter how light in the beginning), we would all be better for it. I know I'm preaching to the choir. Most readers of elitefts™ know how to train. BUT... if you don't know, ASK. I believe that every gym has an obligation to its clients to offer free instruction to all of its members on how to use all of the facilities of the gym. So, if you have a question... ASK! Make the gym employees answer any and all questions you have. It might not lead to formal instruction, but at least you will get your questions answered. And even if you already know… ASK. It will confirm that you know for sure. Also, don't be afraid to ask the guy at the gym who appears to know what he is doing. He will be glad to help, often offering advice. Read, learn, and know what you're doing. THEN go out and do some damn hard work.

Advantages of Weight Training for Seniors

A senior who trains regularly with weights and eats with a little common sense will reap the following advantages:

  • Feel Better
  • Look Better
  • Have more energy to do the things you like
  • Get out of the house for a while
  • Have your own time
  • Be smarter
  • Have better mental health
  • Have better heart health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Control or ward off Type 2 Diabetes
  • Better prostate health
  • Not as likely to get dementia or Alzheimer's
  • Have soaring self-esteem
  • Have more patience
  • Better bone and joint health
  • Better muscle tone
  • Be stronger (able to get up if you fall down)
  • Buy cool gear from elitefts™
  • Be the envy of your peers
  • Feel better about yourself
  • Lose or gain weight
  • Sleep better
  • Better overall health

If you do all of that, you could be like one of my friends. He's a senior who trains regularly with a trainer. He's trained for over a year and feels great, and he thinks he looks good, too. One day, in the middle of his workout, a beautiful young woman walked into the gym. Everyone stopped training to admire her beauty. He thought she was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen, so he turned to his trainer and asked, "What machine can I get on to impress her the most?" The trainer answered, "The ATM machine out in the lobby."