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Old 03-17-10, 08:15 PM   #1
JoeMan
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Fitness standards for 50+ men

I work out with a cadre of Vietnam vets. We are all avid bike riders. We are all old enough to collect SSI. I work in a Community Health setting and will retire this year. My proposed fitness standards for any male under 65 that are not impaired physically are:
1. Run a mile in 12 minutes or less
2. 50 push ups
3. 50 sit ups
4. 10 dips
5. 10 pull ups
All to be completed in under 45 minutes. Are these to low or to high?
BTW we can meet these standards.
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Old 03-17-10, 08:35 PM   #2
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Run............what's that?
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Old 03-17-10, 09:00 PM   #3
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I just turned 65. Just a couple of years ago I was running sub-8min/mi on 10-mile+ runs. Arthritis has caught up with me, but I think I could manage 12min/mi without a problem. I've never been able to do more than 25 pushups or situps in one go. I could do 10 dips and pull-ups in high school but probably not now.

It sounds reasonable for those who can do it. Unfortunately, the average performance is dropping fast for us boomers.
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Old 03-17-10, 09:12 PM   #4
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I don't run - MD's orders to not jar back
about 50 pushups
25 dips

Don't do situps - they are not a good exercise for your body and tighten hip flexors - a common problem for bicyclists - try a fitness ball for abs
Pullups just don't work for me. - never have.

How about swimming a mile?

I am 70+
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Old 03-17-10, 09:33 PM   #5
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I'm not sure that those criteria really measure fitness. They certainly measure strength, which is one measure of fitness, but I don't think they give an accurate picture of overall fitness. The running certainly measures cardio fitness.
I guess it all depends on how we define fitness.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMan View Post
I work out with a cadre of Vietnam vets. We are all avid bike riders. We are all old enough to collect SSI. I work in a Community Health setting and will retire this year. My proposed fitness standards for any male under 65 that are not impaired physically are:
1. Run a mile in 12 minutes or less
2. 50 push ups
3. 50 sit ups
4. 10 dips
5. 10 pull ups
All to be completed in under 45 minutes. Are these to low or to high?
BTW we can meet these standards.
Run a mile in 12 minutes or less - I can power walk a 12 minute mile so that time seems way too easy. Since I cycle, I do not run but would say a better gage of running fitness is more like 8 to 10 minute miles.

50 push ups - check

50 situps - Situps are old school and use the hip flexors not the core. Modern trainers do not have their clients doing situps. The new situps are planks, bridges, spiderman, pilates and etc. As for hip flexors, they are used for lifting the leg on the up pedal stroke. I do hip flexor strengthening and one leg pedaling drills. Also, I stretch a lot (more than Merckx) which includes the hip flexors and trunk rotations to keep the hip and back as loose as possible.

10 dips - check

10 pullups - that seems tough and depends on your body weight and arm length. I have long arms so pullups are always tough for me.

45 minutes - seems wimpy to me. After the 12 minute power walk/run, the rest of the exercises each take one minute or less. I think 30 minutes is tops.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:30 AM   #7
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Run............what's that?
It's what you do when an angry person is chasing you. If you can do the rest of that stuff it might not be necessary to run.
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Old 03-18-10, 11:59 AM   #8
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A 12 min mile is a very minimal effort IMO. I almost never run and came off the couch this winter and within a few weeks ran a 7 min mile. But it just depends on what level of fitness these people are starting from. I would think most forum members are in better shape than the general population at an equivalent age.
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Old 03-18-10, 01:12 PM   #9
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Fitness is activity specific. For example; a weight lifter can be very fit to lift large amounts of weight whereas a person who is fit for long distance cycling may not be able to lift much more than the bare bar. Another example: A sprinter can be very fit for that but inadequate for a marathon.

Plus, mental fitness, or toughness, is a key element that is often ignored by the kind of metrics proposed above.

Nope, fitness is not a one size fits all thing.
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Old 03-18-10, 01:39 PM   #10
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Nope, fitness is not a one size fits all thing.
The 12 minute mile is my walking pace but a mile in 8 minutes would be hard for me as a walker as I don't run.

The rest of the exercises you have asked about- I no longer do so no idea if they would be good or not- but I don't think I really care at this time of year. It has been a hard winter and I have not been out much. On top of that no Goals to aim for this year

Except to see If I can do 50 pressups- 50 sit ups and walk a mile in 8 minutes by the time the season arrives.

What I will be doing is see if I can maintain say a n HR of 160 for 1 minute and still carry on riding- See if that 16% hill is climbable this year again (After a bit of training of course) and see if the bacon sarnies at Hastings are still as good as I remember from last year after the 40 mile ride before I cycle home to complete the metric.
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Old 03-18-10, 02:17 PM   #11
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Fitness standards for what? Being a Marine?

I haven't run since I was 20 and have no intention of doing so unless being chased by a swarm of killer bees. I gave up push-ups years ago due to an old elbow injury. Ditto pull-ups. Dips - what are those? They'd probably fall under the same restrictions as the push-ups, though. That leaves sit-ups.

But I can turn a sub-5-hour century on the bike.
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Old 03-18-10, 02:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMan View Post
I work out with a cadre of Vietnam vets. We are all avid bike riders. We are all old enough to collect SSI. I work in a Community Health setting and will retire this year. My proposed fitness standards for any male under 65 that are not impaired physically are:
1. Run a mile in 12 minutes or less
2. 50 push ups
3. 50 sit ups
4. 10 dips
5. 10 pull ups
All to be completed in under 45 minutes. Are these to low or to high?
BTW we can meet these standards.

1. Run a mile in 12 minutes or less pull calf muscle off the bike for a week
2. 50 push ups tear rotator cuffs off the bike for surgery
3. 50 sit ups off the bike for a month due to hernia
4. 10 dips off the bike for 3 days due to shoulder strain and chest cramps
5. 10 pull ups off bike for a month due to bar breaking loose and injuring head
All to be completed in under 45 minutes.
I bet you guys still crush beer cans against your foreheads and whistle at the 40 something gals......
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Old 03-18-10, 02:37 PM   #13
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Funnily enough - the Marines bought back a memory or two.

When we went in we had a fitness test.
Run 2 miles in 10 minutes- that you had to do.
Then see how many pressups- Situps- Pullups you could do. From memory I was around 30 situps- 60 pressups- and pullups they gave up counting after 100.

Then 12 weeks later- it was do the test again. Still 2 miles in 10 minutes- then straight onto the other exercises and when you got to 100 they stopped.

No- one failed out of 34 of us. But I was excused the 2 mile run- The previous day I had won the Corps Cross country 10 miler and they reckoned I would pass that one.

Only thing was I and everyone else was under 21 and fit.

And Just tried situps- haven't done them for years- I see the Osteopath tomorrow.
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Old 03-18-10, 03:03 PM   #14
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stapfamWhen we went in we had a fitness test.
Run 2 miles in 10 minutes- that you had to do.


I think that it may have been 1 & 1/2 miles. Darn few can run 2 miles in 10 minutes.
Back when I could run 10 miles in an hour, I don't think that I could do 2 in 10 minutes.
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Old 03-18-10, 03:14 PM   #15
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I agree with Latitude65. I'm 63 and can run 10 miles at an 8:30 pace, but never in my life have I been able to do more than a few push-ups. And I think that strength and "fitness" are not directly correlated.
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Old 03-18-10, 05:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Run............what's that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
It's what you do when an angry person is chasing you. {snip**
So then running is pedaling faster?

I don't think I can do any of that stuff, but I ride 35 miles/day, 4-5 days/week (arthritis in knees, back, and wrists). Guess I'm substandard, again.
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Old 03-18-10, 07:34 PM   #17
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If someone steals my bike, then I will run after them.....

Being able to do 15-20 honest pushups makes me feel fitter than the average bear. Barely.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:15 PM   #18
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I'm custom, not standard.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:19 PM   #19
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I walk 12-minute miles and, on a forgiving surface, can still run an 8-minute mile -- the ankles and plantar fascia give out before the heart and lungs do.

I have never been able to do 10 pullups or 50 pushups -- I plateaued a bit under half that. Physical coordination and upper body strength are two attributes in which I have always been well below average.

I can probably handle the situps.

What I have is endurance, slow-twitch muscles, and a good cardiovascular sytem. What I lack are power, speed, fast-twitch muscles, raw strength, and coordination.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
...
When we went in we had a fitness test.
Run 2 miles in 10 minutes- that you had to do.
...
The standard in my high school was 2 miles in 12 minutes. My heart and lungs are still up to that, but my ankles and feet can't take the pace anymore.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:41 PM   #21
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I spent over thirty years in the Army / National Guard / Full-time Guard. I was required to take a PT test every six months. Two mile run, sit-ups, and push-ups. My goal was to to do one more than the minimum. Which I did every six months. My goal now is to ride the bike at least seventy or eighty miles a week. Which I do, plus a bit more some weeks.

I'm in better shape now than I ever was in the Army.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:54 PM   #22
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Run? Why would i want to, if God would want us to run he would have given us 4 legs.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:23 PM   #23
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You can do whatever exercise/physical activity you want to maintain/enhance your fitness; the key is your metabolic numbers.

My resting pulse is in the mid-50's; that is the telling stat for me.
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Old 03-18-10, 10:14 PM   #24
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1. Run a mile in 12 minutes or less pull calf muscle off the bike for a week
2. 50 push ups tear rotator cuffs off the bike for surgery
3. 50 sit ups off the bike for a month due to hernia
4. 10 dips off the bike for 3 days due to shoulder strain and chest cramps
5. 10 pull ups off bike for a month due to bar breaking loose and injuring head
All to be completed in under 45 minutes.
I bet you guys still crush beer cans against your foreheads and whistle at the 40 something gals......
I like your sense of humor! When we were in the Army in our mess, on Fridays usually,we had a pull up bar. It was called a "dessert bar" If you wanted a piece of pie you had to do 10 pull ups. It did not matter how much you weighed or how long your arms were-do them or sit down.
No the girls whistle at us brother!
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Old 03-18-10, 10:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourn View Post
1. Run a mile in 12 minutes or less pull calf muscle off the bike for a week
2. 50 push ups tear rotator cuffs off the bike for surgery
3. 50 sit ups off the bike for a month due to hernia
4. 10 dips off the bike for 3 days due to shoulder strain and chest cramps
5. 10 pull ups off bike for a month due to bar breaking loose and injuring head
All to be completed in under 45 minutes.
I bet you guys still crush beer cans against your foreheads and whistle at the 40 something gals......
I like your sense of humor! When we were in the Army in our mess, on Fridays usually,we had a pull up bar. It was called a "dessert bar" If you wanted a piece of pie you had to do 10 pull ups. It did not matter how much you weighed or how long your arms were-do them or sit down.
No the girls whistle at us brother!
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