Friday, January 21, 2011

Old But Not: A Paradox

Birthday coming soon.
Can't access Medicare yet but close.
Hope I never have to use it.
I know my age but talking to my wife last night said, "I feel like I am 30 years old. I know I feel as good or maybe even better than when I was 30".
Her comment, "I feel 16".
"Stop there", I said. "That is underage in any state".
"No seriously, I feel 16".
These two people are crazy, you might be thinking: instead ask yourself, "Is this all from exercise and a good diet"?
I submit for your consideration that in fact this is the direct result of exercise and well controlled diet.
I recently ran into a friend at the airport who commented on my weight but ended up saying, "Well you may live three years longer but I will have enjoyed the journey more".
I didn't say anything because I don't think he has enjoyed the journey as much I am now enjoying the journey.
I may drop dead tomorrow, I may get hit by a bus, a meteorite might fall on me and leave nothing but smoking ashes but until that instant in time when it stops I will have enjoyed each and every moment so acutely that I can't stop laughing.
A patient recently asked me, "Why are you always laughing"?
"It is a release valve for happiness".
He looked at me and said quite clearly, "you ain't all there".
"If you believe that then you are in trouble".
"Why is that".
"Well, I am your doctor".
That gave him some pause and not the refreshing kind.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Horse Power, Flys and the Gym

The set up:
Incline bench, the Smith Machine, two twenty five pound plates on a 15 pound bar.
The lifter lies on the incline bench with the bar resting on the upper chest, about 4 inches below the clavicle and presses the weight upward.
This is good for building chest muscles, the "pecs".
The routine:
Lifter begins:
1. 10 repetitions followed by 10 push ups.
2. Back on the machine-11 reps followed by 10 push ups
3. now 12 reps followed by 10 push ups
So it goes all the way to 20 reps followed by 10 push ups.
That equals 165 reps and 100 push ups; total amount of weight raised: 10,725 pounds.
If the weight travels 36 inches (the average arm length) the lifter is generating 32,175 foot pounds of work.
One horse power is equal to moving 32,580 pound one foot in one minute.
It took about ten minutes to complete the exercise so theoretically 0.1 horsepower was generated without taking into account the push ups.
Those were thrown in just to add hurt.
After this exercise we weren't offered any hay or oats, no sugar cube but went directly to the bench to finish with dumbbell "flys".
With all the horse power and the flys I felt like I should be in a stable but after that work out, I wasn't.
I was sore.
Then on day two the real soreness started.
I can honestly say even after five days I still feel like I should be put out to pasture.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are you Fit

Picked up a book in the airport.
Men's Health Training Guide.
The definition of fitness: A few examples:
1. Bench Press 1.5 times body weight
2. 100 push-ups
3. more than 40 chin-ups
4. etc, etc, etc.
These ranges were suggested for men aged 20 to 29.
Look up exercise and fitness for the "older adult"; aerobic exercise in 10 minute intervals, moderate weight training 2 times a week; it was condescending to say the least.
So I began grading myself as I will soon be 64.
I can't bench press 1.5 times my weight but I can do 15 reps on the dumbbell bench press with 75 pound weights in each hand. Maybe with a trusted spot I might go for a bench press of 230 pounds when well rested or alternatively get my weight down to 100 pounds.
I need to run 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes to be as fit as a 25 year old. This will have to wait until spring.
I will never be able to touch the rim but hell I couldn't even dribble a ball and was banned from the basketball court for being so bad.
I can do 50-18 inch box jumps and maybe that would get me close to the rim.
I can leg press 2.5 times my body weight and in fact can leg press almost 4.0 times my body weight, does burn the "glutes".
The push ups are not easy but I can do the whole 100 on a good day.
Swimming 700 yards in 12 minutes will have to wait until late summer. I hate cold water.
Can I run 300 yards in less than a minute? We will see this spring.
Yes I can touch my toes. It does hurt in the hamstrings but so what.
I can not do 40 chin ups and was hoping to get to 25.
How much weight can you hoist in under 5 seconds?
I know I hoist 178 pounds every morning I get out of bed and in under 5 seconds but with a lot of groaning.
I am working on hoisting a 35 pound kettle bell over my head 50 times in less than 4 minutes.
There was no mention of the core so I want to add, hold a plank for 4 minutes; I am at 3:30 minutes and still working on it.
I would like to see a revision to the exercise recommendations for the older adult as the older adult in this day and age is still frequently working to take care of his 20 something year old kids and needs encouragement to keep going "hard and strong" to the end.