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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    What body conditioning adjustments have you made with age?

    Last summer, for the first time, I started to experience neck fatigue and pain at the base of my neck. This resulted in tension leading to pain between my shoulder blades. I had my fit checked and it's fine. What is not fine is my core strength and arm, shoulder, neck strength. I do a regular weight resistance routine. So, I was perplexed. A good friend who is also a physical therapist said quite simply, "Do more than you're doing." She was right. I've increased the number of repetitions, started increasing the resistance ever so slightly, and started adding an additional set of each series. Working on the core strength is pretty straight forward as well. I've just increased the number of sets I do. In just three weeks, I've already started to notice a positive difference. If I'm not careful, however, it plays havoc with the osteoarthritis in my hands, and the shoulder bursitis flares up a bit. So, it ends up being a bit of a balancing act.

    I knew I would have to stay vigilant and keep working, but mistakenly thought I could reach a point and just "maintain" it. Live and learn.

    So, what adjustments have you had to make with conditioning as you continue to age? Is what I've experienced just a freak abnormality?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  2. #2
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    It's not a freak abnormality, your body adapts to the stress you impose on it. Unless you're at or near the limits of your body's capability you need to progress to ward off stagnation.

  3. #3
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    For me it's always been about mixing-it-up, which is also known as cross-training. I've always enjoyed trying different types exercise and make changes regularly because of interest, life circumstances, season, boredom, and fashion. Additionally, I believe fitness has three pillars:

    • endurance
    • strength
    • flexibility


    Those who do not have some degree of all three, I would not consider truly fit. Based on this I try to be involved activities and exercise that together cover all three. My current mix which is subject to change at any moment:

    • endurance - cycling & running
    • strength - body weight & dumbbells
    • flexibility - yoga

  4. #4
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    My biggest problem is ramping up too fast. I decide to add some new exercises and jump into it big time --followed by over use injuries that I have to recover from. I've learned to ramp up much more slowly as I age.

    And I think I could benefit from stretchy type exercise like Yoga or Tai Chi.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I've always lifted, rode, and skied as hard as I could. Mostly I do the same stuff but need longer to recover between hard workouts. After 60 I started having to stretch a few times a week, which I never needed to do before. This year I've added Core Advantage to my workouts, which was a good idea.

  6. #6
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I gave up the higher impact stuff like taekwondo and have gone from powerlifting to a more general balance of strength and endurance training. I'm trying to get some more cross training interests going but between the job and winter, it's been tough lately. The local gym is good but I'm really more the outdoor type. I'd do more running but my knees aren't a fan.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  7. #7
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    Stopped lifting last year due to joint issues stemming from a visit by Mr. Arthur Rightis. He came to visit and never left. Still doing yoga, walking, riding and yard work. Not happy with the results, but it is all the motivation I have at this time.

  8. #8
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    I do some work with dumbells for the upper body and lots of core exercises. Originally core exercises were to help with a bad back but now these help with cycling. I do daily stretching to remain as limber and agile as possible. I have one knee that can be troublesome so I do an exercise to maintain good muscle development and strength in connective tissue there.

    It is now generally recognized that exercise, especially with weights, maintains strong bones and by extension, probably connective tissue. Some years ago I saw an article, somewhere, showing an image the bone structure of a baseball pitchers throwing and non-throwing arms. The non throwing are bone looked normal but the throwing arm showed tremendous bone development. The bones in that arm were clearly much bigger and stronger and so must the connective tissue have been stronger. That image has stayed with me as clear evidence that exercise is good for the body. The only fly in the ointment is that as we age maintaining the same level and intensity of effort is not possible because recovery is slower. The trick then is to find a level of activity that feels good and is sustainable.

  9. #9
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    I experience the same issues. I handle it by getting depressed and moping a lot.

    I also go to PT. I think it would help if I actually did the prescribed exercises.

  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    I do some work with dumbells for the upper body and lots of core exercises. Originally core exercises were to help with a bad back but now these help with cycling. I do daily stretching to remain as limber and agile as possible. I have one knee that can be troublesome so I do an exercise to maintain good muscle development and strength in connective tissue there.

    It is now generally recognized that exercise, especially with weights, maintains strong bones and by extension, probably connective tissue. Some years ago I saw an article, somewhere, showing an image the bone structure of a baseball pitchers throwing and non-throwing arms. The non throwing are bone looked normal but the throwing arm showed tremendous bone development. The bones in that arm were clearly much bigger and stronger and so must the connective tissue have been stronger. That image has stayed with me as clear evidence that exercise is good for the body. The only fly in the ointment is that as we age maintaining the same level and intensity of effort is not possible because recovery is slower. The trick then is to find a level of activity that feels good and is sustainable.
    An English warship that went down in the Thames with longbowmen aboard showed similar evidence of development in the skeletons of the bowmen.

  11. #11
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I still prefer heavy weight training (5 rep sets) with the 3 powerlifting moves due to my experiences with competing in national level events. However, the past 3yrs I have taken up cycling with the same intensity. I miss bench press and squats. Maybe next winter I'll grab a 3mo and see where it goes. Cycling is and has always been a passion, though.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    I try to do more for fun and quantify it less so I stay interested.

    Marc
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    "I can still do everything I used to, but now I'm mature enough to take a nap without being told." - Me

    "You don't deteriorate from age,you age from deterioration" --Joe Weider

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    I experience the same issues. I handle it by getting depressed and moping a lot.

    I also go to PT. I think it would help if I actually did the prescribed exercises.
    A lot of moping this winter for me. I didn't do squat or squats for 3 months. I took my first ride of the year last weekend. I may have done 10 miles(probably 8), that was a struggle.

    I have a physical job also. Give me pain, I thrive on it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    I do a simple group of 5 core exercises one set to failure twice a week (per Body by Science) coupled with cycling for endurance and aerobics. I add in planks and balance exercises. This coupled with dropping sugar and I am in my best shape since college v
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  15. #15
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    And one thing I've noticed (something that bodes well for retirement, I'm thinking), is that sitting behind a desk (or any straight chair) is increasingly harder on my back. I have to frequently get up and move around. I return from active vacations (skiing, biking, golfing, etc) and feel great. My back aches seem to come only when I'm seated behind a desk a lot.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  16. #16
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Im 75 now, and I have made virtually no adjustments. I ride pretty much as I did 25 years ago, in fact I ride more now that I am retired. I intend to maintain just as long as I can.

    I might add that since going to bents in 2005, I ride further and faster than I did on my touring and mountain bikes.

  17. #17
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    And one thing I've noticed (something that bodes well for retirement, I'm thinking), is that sitting behind a desk (or any straight chair) is increasingly harder on my back. I have to frequently get up and move around. I return from active vacations (skiing, biking, golfing, etc) and feel great. My back aches seem to come only when I'm seated behind a desk a lot.
    Yep. I saw a statement on the intertubes (so it must be accurate) that one of the most dangerous things we can do is sit around all the time.

    I'm on my feet for about half my work hours. I'm very picky about my ergonomics, to the point that I've been accused of being an old fart (not entirely without reason) because I'd like to remain active in my field until it doesn't make sense to do so. As a result of that and cycling, my lower extremities are in pretty decent shape.

    My core and upper body just sucks. What makes it worse is that when I try to increase my activity, I get the same issues @NOS88 describes. Which is why I have a PT appointment at 5 today *sigh*

  18. #18
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    This is an interesting question since I came to where I am from being fat and out of shape for so long. All the adaptations I have made so far have been upward, though I seem to be approaching an asymptote. The limit looks like it will be lower than I would like, but that sure ain't gonna drive me back to couch potato status.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  19. #19
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Last year, I returned to my first cycling coach who is from Belarus and used to coach the Belarus National Team. At my first meeting with Dmitriy, he said that I must begin jumping and he wanted a couple of hundred jumps every other day. I told him I have a bad back and have not had both feet intentionally off the ground since 1981 when my back started to act up.

    I made an appointment with my ortho doc who is a physical medicine and rehabilitation doc not a surgeon. His goal is that his patients do what they want to do and have a great quality of life.

    He said, "I think jumping would be good for your back". The only restriction he put on me was no slam dunk contests. He said that the jump will strengthen my back and glutes. His only concern was that I land softly. He likes box jumping because the landing is softer. So he wanted me to jump up and step off a box.

    I walked out of his office totally empowered. Not only did I want to jump, but he said it would make my back better.

    I started in November of last year and this video was taken about 3 weeks ago. The plyo bench is 24 inches high. Before the video, I had done 150 jumps at various levels. I could jump on a 30 inch stool but one has to be careful not to miss. If one misses, the shins take a beating and it can rip up the skin.





    I have now incorporated plyometrics in all of my strength training at the gym. So I lift and then do a corresponding plyometric move to work the muscle in an explosive manner.
    Last edited by Hermes; 03-19-14 at 09:27 PM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I'm glad you put up that video Hermes. Like you I have avoided activities producing impact due to a bad back. I did not even think about plyometrics for some reason, even though maintaining leg strength is a primary concern. I will be add something along the same line to my routine.

  21. #21
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Jumping. Maybe that's why I always feel great after a week of skiing. It's sort of like constantly jumping back and forth down the hill while landing in soft-ish snow. I have also avoided any "jumping" exercise routines fearing recurrence of my chronic back problems. I think I'll try this out.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  22. #22
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Jumping 2 inches off the floor was hard and my legs felt like jello after 2 sets of 10 and I had to work up to a couple of hundred. I started in November of last year and this video was taken about 3 weeks ago. The plyo bench is 24 inches high and by calculation, it takes about 1000 watts to jump 2 feet into the air. Before the video, I had done 150 jumps at various levels. I could jump on a 30 inch stool but one has to be careful not to miss. If one misses, the shins take a beating and it can rip up the skin.





    I have now incorporated plyometrics in all of my strength training at the gym. So I lift and then do a corresponding plyometric move to work the muscle in an explosive manner.
    I'm going to give that a try. I have a block wall in my front yard so have no problems with stability. Building it was a workout in itself, but the available reps are limited.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  23. #23
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    For those who want to try jumping, first try some one leg squats with no weight. I use the TRX cables for stability and keep my back straight and do not allow my knee to go forward as I squat on one leg. This will work the glutes and improve the neuromuscular back / glute connection. My doc had me on a year of PT and he knew that my strength was very good. Jumping is a logical extension to increase strength and explosive power.

    If you are already doing back squats with weight and or dead lifts then you have enough strength.

    Here is an excellent video on box jumping. I suggest not jumping off the box as he does but step off.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Other than the form of exercise needed to complete my goals, nothing.

    Can't run, bad knees, so I began walking to complete marathons. Didn't swim so I joined the county pool to teach myself swimming so I could complete triathlons even though right shoulder needs complete replacement, left shoulder is beginning to deteriorate and left wrist needs fusion or replacement surgery.

    Even though each sport specific motion needed to complete the sport causes pain, I continue on. Three weeks until 2014 Kona Ironman World Championship lottery drawing results.

    KUDOS to you all keeping super active with your rigorous exercise routines.

  25. #25
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    regularly repairing and remodeling an old house ....keeps all the muscle groups toned :-)

    At 67, the most noticeable decline for me is in hand strength.

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