Yes, it used to be that only the young trained hard and the old just got older. I look forward to a new era where the young learn from the old that freakish strength, vitality, and staying injury free without detriment to your body through tough workouts are precious gems in middle age.
The improvements made with these 5 unconventional tools are lifelong and incredibly rewarding. The unconventional training community is gaining new members by the day and these mad methods are at the forefront in teaching those of us in our golden years that life is better when you are strong!
1 . Injury Free Versatility – Kettlebells
Kettlebells are low cost, portable, easy to store, AND you don’t need to have more than one at first! Once you get good with a certain size kettlebell, you do not need to keep getting heavier and heavier sizes. Become a MASTER at a certain size because there are numerous eccentric ways to increase the intensity with a fixed weight by manipulating your work/ rest times. Think about this: in basketball, the goal has always been set at ten feet high, even though at the college and pro levels, almost everyone can dunk the ball. Do they raise the rim? No, the players just get better and better at what they do. Even though I can snatch, press, and clean and jerk a 106 pound kettlebell, I still use a 35 pound kettlebell for over 80% of my training. Believe me, for all except the most gifted on the planet, mastering a 35 pound kettlebell is quite an achievement for any senior.
2. Injury Free Power – Steel Club, Steel Mace, Powermace, Macebell
These share many unconventional benefits of kettlebells and regular use of them will give you what many call “Old Man Strength.” The tendons of the shoulder are a problem for many seniors and over seven million people got shoulder surgery last year in the United States alone. These implements originated in a part of the world where rotator cuff injuries are almost unheard of.
3. Injury Free Strength – Suspension Training (Gym Rings, Hanging Ropes, etc)
Suspension workouts have a range of benefits including low cost, quiet, safe, a great variety of moves, graduated intensity, and little space is required. You can train alone and there are even group classes forming in many gyms. This is one of the most under rated tools for safe senior training.
4: Injury Free Conditioning – Battle Ropes
Fifty years ago, housewives got exercise shaking out clothes to put them on the clothes- line. Fast forward to today: pro football players shake 1.5-2 inch thick ropes and get winded after 30 seconds! It seems like every week someone comes out with a new and innovative way to exercise with heavy, thick ropes. Proper use of these ropes develops not just cardio improvements, but even substantial muscle strength gains without detrimenting your joints.
5: Injury Free Well Being – Sleds
Don’t dread the sled! Think about it: most senior injuries occur from tripping and falling due to weak walking muscles. You already know the skill of walking; a sled just adds resistance to develop a powerful, confident, pain free stride that is rare among seniors. And don’t think that’s all it does, most sleds can be pushed, pulled, and dragged going forward, backward, and sideways.