To: Gray Iron
Thanks for your latest newsletter - I always look forward to it.
Perhaps in a future issue you could consider recovery. I train Monday Wednesday Friday - why? Tradition. Occasionally I train Monday and Thursday having read about the importance of recovery, and some even recommend seven to ten days between training.
Any observations you may have would be interesting.
I see that Ellington Darden also recommends 15-20 reps for older trainers, but why?
LF: Thanks for the kind words.
There are successful coaches and trainers who advocate widely different approaches to training, including intensity and frequency. This probably sounds trite, but you have to experiment a bit to find what works best for you.
Personally, I like a six-days-per-week structure. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I do 30 minutes of weights followed by 15 minutes of Graded Exercise Protocol (GXP) cardio on a stationary bike. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I walk 30 minutes or more in the hills. Since I never train to failure in any workout, and my workouts are brief, the short recovery time works for me. I have a simple rule about this: If I am still tired after having a good night's sleep, I'm probably doing too much. I'm 71 years old.
I think it is Clarence Bass (a senior and champion bodybuilder) who does a couple of days of hard training, and then waits a week before training again (Check his web site to be sure I have it right). On the other hand, Matt Furey, who uses body weight exercises exclusively, trains daily. But I think some days are light and others are intense.
I have to admit that I haven't read any of Ellington Darden's books, but I know he is a respected trainer. I'm not sure what ages he means when he refers to "older" trainees. Fifteen to 20 reps may sound high, but I would imagine he is telling seniors they are better off not making maximum efforts with heavy weights for low reps. If that is his reasoning, I agree. As you know, blood pressure goes sky-high during such all out efforts, which is probably not a good thing for us older folks.
Less is more -- except when it comes to reps.