My Own Medicine: Progress Update on OlderBeast Push-up Challenge

I hope some of you accepted the 90-Day Push-up Challenge published here recently. Here’s an update from my side, two weeks in.

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I hope some of you accepted the 90-Day Push-up Challenge published here recently.

QUICK UPDATE ON MY SIDE, 2.5 WEEKS IN

For the first two weeks, I took this approach (more details on these things in the original post, via the link above):

  • “Grease the groove” two days/week. That is, a manageable # of push-ups, many times throughout the day, to add up to a substantial total (200-300 range).
  • More traditional “handful of sets to point of muscle failure” approach on another day.
  • Other workouts that worked chest, shoulder, core muscles used for push-ups (swims + “metabolic resistance training,” a variation on HITT — more detail here)

That added up to 600-700 push-ups a week, plus other stresses and strains. While I’m glad for a strong start, this was borderline overdoing (shoulders especially kind of sore). So I’m backing off a little this week — never a bad thing if you’ve been going hard. Then I’ll add back more intensity for week 4, and see how I’m doing 1/3 of the way into the challenge.

Today, something new: “dead stop” push-up’s. You come to a complete, motionless stop at the bottom of each push-up, to focus on form and make each one a lot harder. I did ten sets of ten, every minute on the minute. The last few sets were hard to reach ten — surprisingly so. I’ll blend in this approach during the rest of the challenge.

TAKE ACTION

If you’re reading this as a fellow push-up doer — COOL. If you’re willing to share, please let me know how it’s going.

If not…I don’t want to sound whiny, man, but are you really going to make me do all these push-ups alone? C’mon, you can do this. We may be older than we once were, but we’re not OLD.

 

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Four Types of Guys Benefit From Yoga — You One of Them? (Yoga Challenge, Week 8)

It’s a privilege for OlderBeast to publish this guest post by Dean Pohlman, CEO & Founder of Man Flow Yoga. MFY is a great online resource for guys new to, or advancing in, yoga for fitness. I’ve been using it as part of my routine and I really like it. Thanks for your perspectives here, Dean! -Mark T.

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In my experience, there are four types of guys who benefit tremendously from trying yoga. Are you one of them?

Unfortunately, some guys who would benefit from yoga can’t get past the popular misconceptions that it’s for girls, too spiritual, or isn’t hard enough. But if you’re secure enough in your masculinity to give yoga a chance (yes, I’m calling you insecure if your excuse for not doing yoga is “no way, yoga is for women!”), then invest a few minutes to see if one of these “yoga types” described below sounds like you.

Whatever type you may be, the bottom line is that doing yoga at least twice a week will help you move better, feel better, and even look better. Read on to learn how!

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Six Signs of Unmet Fitness Needs at 45+ (Reasons For Yoga — Yoga Challenge Week 6)

I confess. I’m not always as proactive and purposeful as OlderBeast articles make me sound. When it comes to 45+ men’s fitness, I’ve often just learned from injury-driven needs that motivated experimentation, or by simply lucking into things.

When I started yoga at age 46, it wasn’t because I’d thoughtfully concluded “hey, I have some ‘need yoga’ signs.” I started just because yoga’s a weekly part of the P90X home fitness program. Luck. (Online yoga classes are actually a great place to start – more on that at the conclusion of this article).

I see in retrospect that, as my 40s progressed, my fitness needs were changing. I had many of the “Need Yoga” signs, but I didn’t recognize them. Now, with regular yoga as part of my fitness routine, I’ve turned a lot of these “Need” categories into fitness and wellness positives.

My goal with this list is to help you do a self-assessment, and possibly reach a yoga conclusion sooner than I did (or if not, then at least “better late than never.”)

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I Experimentally Reduced Cardio in My Fitness Mix – Here’s What Happened

There are good reasons for cardio-intensive guys to move to a better mix of endurance/strength/flexibility in the fitness mix.

Overtraining on cardio – especially without super-disciplined rest and nutrition regimes – can wear down your body, contribute to muscle loss, and allow development of imbalances that make you more prone to injury.

Also, in our time-challenged lives, too much cardio usually implies too little strength and flexibility training. And maintaining muscle tone and staying limber are huge parts of looking and feeling our best, and maximizing longevity, as we move through life’s second half.

And one big concern about reducing cardio – gaining weight/fat – may be misplaced. Evidence is emerging that strength training (with at least a somewhat-intense cadence) burns fat as well as, or better than, cardio.

With these things in mind (but still needing to overcome a “cardio reduction paranoia” mental hurdle), here’s what I changed and what I learned.

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You’re Weak, Man (Where, and What to Do About It?)

My friendly challenge here: no matter how fit you think you are, you probably have one or more less-developed areas. Or if you’re just starting or re-starting on fitness, then please take this as a challenge to start off in a comprehensive way from the beginning.

Here are some common chinks in our armor. Let’s start addressing them and thus raise our Expected Thriving Factor for the future!

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