Spirit. Steel. Strength.

Stated simply, the goal of
this exclusive eColumn is to
focus on getting stronger
through very simple
principles:

Spirit—what you are on the
inside is infinitely more
important than what you are
on the outside.
Steel—every Seasoned
Senior™ should include a
fitness system of weights
and resistance training.
Strength—getting stronger
should always include a
balance of aerobics,
stretching and a strength-
maximizing diet.
I love lists. Here is a list of the top 12 reasons people exercise:

  1. Reduce non-muscle weight - slim down - appearance
  2. Build muscle - tone up - also appearance
  3. Increase strength - practical - every day
  4. Increase energy
  5. Rehabilitate an injury
  6. Increase cardio respiratory level - heart conditions -                                                    
    doctor's recommendation
  7. Improve health - overweight, high blood pressure, low                                                 
    energy - doc's orders
  8. Add quality to life with age - healthy cardio-respiratory                                                      
    and muscular function - bone density
  9. Longevity - add healthy years
  10. Overcome stress and its debilitation
  11. Improve sport performance - muscular and cardio-                                                 
    respiratory
  12. Recreation - social diversion, fun

Some are of more importance than others. There are many you could add.

All are virtuous. All require work and commitment. All build us in the course of their achievement in
ways we do not expect or can yet imagine or understand.

    The fruits of exercise and its significant
    partner, nutrition, are abundant and delicious;
    they embrace each other yet they do require
    tender loving care. Ironically, this presents a
    problem.

    We differ, we have various limitations, some greater
    than others. We have potentials of varying
    proportions. Yet, through exercise and good eating
    we can effect and improve our lives. All of us. Why
    do we find this such a difficult undertaking? The very
    things we need to extend and improve our lives - our
    being, our presence here on Earth - most of us
    ignore or procrastinate.

I'm 6 feel tall. No, I cannot be 6 feet one inch. Impossible. But I can, through work and
commitment, apply myself to any one of "The Top 12 List" or to all of the 12 and make
slow but sure progress. It's not only possible, it's inevitable. You can control this. In
addition you will discover improvements in areas of your life that are nearly untapped.
Patience, discipline, perseverance, organization, order. Priceless charms to adorn your
new and vital body.

Something else worth noting, without exercise and good eating,
in each single item listed we will diminish from this day forward.
We deteriorate. Deny this now, and in several years you'll know
what we speak of here. Some of you know this. Don't be
amongst the sad-eyed who say "I should have" or "if only."

Do this instead (
Small note: If you're six weeks from an NPC
National Pro Qualifier or currently squatting and benching 450
for reps, you might want to forego this program. Save it for
another time, or print it out and pass it on to your "sad-eyed"
spouse, parent or roommate. Get them hooked. Don't be stingy.):

  • If home is your gym, step outside and walk a block and                                                  
    run a block for 15 minutes or 15 blocks. Upon returning,                                              
    do a set of crunches for a maximum number - 35 to 50                                                
    reps - followed immediately by leg raises 12-15 reps.                                                        
    Sit up - rest 60 seconds and repeat.

  • At this point you're warmed up, stretched out and have a head of steam. Do a set of
    maximum pushups, full straight body if you're able or half bodied till you are able. Stand,
    15 seconds to gain your breath, and while holding on to a stable object (bed post or table
    top) for balance, do full or partials lunges for maximum reps (8-12-20?) - repeat this
    combination after 60-90 seconds 2 times, depending on your condition. This combination of
    exercises works the chest, shoulder and triceps muscles followed by the thigh and glute
    areas. Also, high heart rate and deep breathing is maintained. Very athletic.

  • Now we're rolling, pumped, sweating and the heart's pounding.
    Let's devise a pull-up bar - something overhead is best
    eventually. Until constructed (sturdy, stabilized steel pipe or bar
    over beams in the garage or a simple commercial doorway
    chinning attachment), lay a bar across the backs of sturdy back-
    to-back kitchen chairs. Lie below the bar, reach up and grasp at a
    point some 6 inches wider than each shoulder. With a rigid
    body, pull yourself up to your chest and lower slowly for as
    many repetitions as possible. This all takes practice, a little
    improvising, some trial and error, mostly courage and will.

  • Follow this pull-up by standing deep breathing knee bends
    (free body squatting) for maximum reps. Here we have recruited
    biceps and back muscles, torso strength followed by full
    quadriceps activity. Again, continued high athletic heart and lung
    involvement will further conditioning.

    You're done.

    Do this every other day, 3 times a week and prepare to
    increase intensity, improve exercise form and efficiency of
    performance.

This will work. Get over the awkwardness you may feel at first by practice and familiarity. Three
weeks you'll turn a corner and it'll all feel fluid and comfortable and productive. You'll see.

Trust me.

Slay the dragon!
The "Terminator" and "Blond
Bomber" pumping serious iron
during the 1970s
One of many Dave Draper
magazine cover shots
during his career
Dave Draper today...still  
inspiring people around the
globe with the life-changing
virtues of strength-building!
Add a ripped physique to the
reasons for exercise!
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MyBestYears.com NOTE: Strength-building and physical fitness can make your life better in so many ways.
It's never too late to make the decision to become more active. However, it is always advisable to check with
your physician/health practitioner before making lifestyle changes.