Hail to the Dinosaurs!
As most readers know, I wrestled
in high school. That meant long
practices, and many, many hours
on the wrestling mat. We wrestled
five or six days per week, for up
to three hours. And sometimes we
did extra running and extra weight
training on top of the wrestling
workouts. It was a tough program.
Amazingly, we thrived on it. We
grew stronger, faster, more
explosive, more skilled and
much, much better conditioned.
By the end of the season, our
practices consisted of non-stop
wrestling for 90 minutes to two
hours for the varsity guys. The
coach started us off varsity
against varsity. You wrestled
the guy one weight class up. When
you had mashed each other into a
pulp, the coach moved you to
different mats and rotated other
wrestlers against you so you
were always facing a fresh
opponent. And you did that
for up to two hours.
It was pretty amazing -- but it
worked. We got to the point where
we could wrestle pretty much anyone
into the ground. And in dual meets
and tournaments, we never got tired.
Not even in the toughest of matches
against the toughest of opponents.
So there was a time in my life when
long, high volume, daily workouts
But that was a long time ago. Forty
years ago. I can't train that way
today. At age 56, I need a much more
My workouts generally last under an
hour, and some last only 45 minutes.
I go hard and heavy some days, and
other days I take it easy.
I plan my workouts very carefully,
and I include some easy weeks to help
recover from the heavier sessions.
I limit the number of exercises in
any one workout, and I keep the total
volume fairly low in any one workout.
I focus on the most important exercises,
and I pretty much ignore the ones that
aren't as important.
It's a different approach than the one
I followed 40 years ago, back in those
high school wrestling days, but it's
an effective one.
It's also a manageable approach. Works
well if you work for a living.
And I'm not the only one. There are
thousands of older trainees around the
world who have found that the key to
successful training as you grow older
is to take things a bit easier. Train
hard, train heavy and train serious --
but train smart. Focus on recovery and
recuperation. Do things that your body
can handle. Train your muscles -- don't
just go out and destroy them.
It's a different approach -- but for
older trainees, it's the only approach
As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make
it a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. Gray Hair and Black Iron is the bible
of strength training and muscle building
for anyone over the age of 35:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses --
and DVD's, t-shirts, sweat shirts and
hoodies -- are right here:
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Train with
your brain, not your ego." -- Brooks Kubik