More gains in less time with this single-move whole-body workout
I've been training now for 20+ years, since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at 50.
I take it seriously.
Diabetes doesn't just kill you; it does it cruelly - slowly destroying your circulation. Amputations, kidney failure, blindness and dementia result from your capillaries slowly clagging up with excess sugar.
That's why I take exercise seriously as a means of managing my diabetes.
Not just the rote exercise advice from the doctors about "trying to stay active" and walking 20 minutes a day. That's just enough to keep you dying fractionally less slowly. I mean seriously!
What would happen if tweeted "With exercise, you get out what you put in"? Here's what would happen:
Yes, we know that already, most would think.
And yet, nobody puts in the intensity - not in the over 50s. At least not among the many hundreds of people over 50 I've observed over 20+ years at my big brand gym.
This sometimes frustrates me
Don't get me wrong; I love that they turn up. But it's frustrating that they fritter away their opportunity to live longer better. The research is clear that building greater exercise capacity adds to your chances of living longer.
How I train, is the biggest difference
Sometimes one will ask me what could they do to get as fit as me.
If I have kettlebells to hand, I say something like this. (To be honest I first take a breath, as I want to educate and motivate them not turn them off.)
I don't say "from what I've seen you doing at gym, and, for example today over the last 40 minutes, you could get more benefit from briskly washing the dishes".
I don't even say, "compared to what you've been doing here for the last 40 minutes you could get massively more benefit from this one move that I can show you - something I do".
I say something like this:
I've noticed how you've been exercising. The biggest difference between the gains you are making and the gains I make are in how I exercise. I do exercises that train my whole body and my mind at one time.
Let me show you one exercise that would give you more gains than everything that I've see you doing here today combined.
I show them the kettlebell snatch.
See this article: How To Do A Kettlebell Snatch and this video
The snatch is a beautiful, explosive asymmetric movement that gets the posterior chain firing and core engaged, and builds your shoulder stabilisation. It increases your heart rate, engages the whole body, and trains your balance.
It is a pulling movement, and we don't get enough of those generally, and it can be done for power or cardiovascular conditioning.
The muscles trained by a kettlebell snatch include the:
Do it, after you've been instructed properly
This, as I explain to them, is why it does more for you than what you've doing sitting on your butt on one gym machine after the other.
I listen to their response.
It's often an excuse as to why they should not do it. I agree with them.
That's quite right - you should not do it. It is an advanced exercise, and you could easily injure yourself.
But I strongly recommend that you get a qualified trainer to help you understand the benefits of functional exercise, such as kettlebells, or TRX, or even just bodyweight exercises, and add those into your routine.
Here's my tip: learn how to do the snatch, then do this - warm-up, do ten pushups, ten goblet squats, ten single kettlebell swings each arm, then 3X six snatches each arm. Warm down by rowing 1.5km, and go home with massive benefits.
The less you use the machines, the more you'll get the benefits that I get - which is what you asked.
I recommend the same to you dear reader, especially if you are over 50.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Disclaimer.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter