Let’s face it…  We all want nice arms and a waistline we don’t mind exposing.

Our definitions may be different. Women have mentioned Michelle Obama or Rachel Mclish and even Kelly Ripa.

Guys do it too.  ARNOLD arms, or going after a measurement (I want 16”).Waistlines may range from being able to see “Marky’s mark” or an 8 pack to Jamie Lee Curtis in “True Lies” (1994).

Why does aging past 35 years mean you can’t have a sexy waistline and strong, “muscley” arms?

Older and wiser does NOT have to mean fatter, weaker or, jigglier.  

In this post you will see a different way to approach your training.  It is less conventional, yet very effective if you are over 50.  Training daily, as a habit to better your body, should be as natural as brushing your teeth.

The rules changed when you aged into your 30’s.  Did you change your approach to match the new rules? In my experience the most frustrating thing for clients is the realization that they are no longer 23 years old.

Aging is not the problem. Your body changed. What worked in your twenties stopped working in your thirties.

Improvidus, apto quod victum

Or, as most U.S. Marines will tell you, “Improvise, adapt, overcome.”

Age-related muscle loss and fat gain are not the way things have to go for YOU.

Most science suggests that as we age we have little to no control over these things.

We adults need to strongly disagree and take action to change our futures.

Many age-related issues can be avoided with strength training and good nutrition. Aging does NOT mean more aches and pains unless YOU allow that.

Yes, the rules did change somewhere along the way. We more mature athletes will need to challenge those “rules”.

First, if you are new to training, go easy, get guidance and be patient.  If you ARE over 30 and or overweight and in chronic pain – visit a trusted medical professional for the “all clear” before taking on any exercise program.

The biggest rule I am going to suggest you violate is training frequency.

As we age, moving more often is really helpful. Training daily helps keep things going, and if done right, leads to less frustration and better results.

Are you ready for a paradigm shift? A training session can be done in 5 minutes.

Read that again.

Five minutes to train?  NO.  5 minutes for A Training Session.

Here’s an example – Set a countdown timer for 5 minutes.

NO… Really.  Stop, grab your phone and set a countdown timer.  Do it now.  I’ll wait.

C’mon… Just do it.

OK. Start the timer.

Perform 21 “air” squats, followed by 8 (painfully) slow straight or bent knee leg lowers.  Repeat this sequence as many times as the timer allows.  That’s A Training Session, done.

IF you did it… Congratulations.

You could have done that session literally ANYWHERE and anytime…

Now do that 3 to 5 times today.  Yes, 3 to 5 times of a five-minute training session.

NO gym required.  NO wasted/lost time.  15 to 25 minutes of focused exercise for an entire day.

“But Steeeeve…  You said ARMS and ABS!?”

Yes, I did.  Fortunately, I am a “responsible” training specialist.

Deep squats DO work your abs, especially your lower belly and pelvic floor.

How’s your Plank?

Can you hold a Straight Arm (Push Up Position) Plank?  For 2 Minutes?

If NO, Start here.  It really is important for your shoulder health and core strength.

Clockwise from top:  Low Plank, Reverse Plank, Prone Back Extension, Side Plank, Front Plank

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Work on holding each of these for 20 seconds each and build up time.  In 2 weeks you should be closing in on a real 2-minute plank.

Clockwise from top:  Low Plank, Reverse Plank, Prone Back Extension, Side Plank, Front Plank

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If you DO hold a plank, try this:

  • Push Up  (pick the version that challenges you for 13 reps)
  • Straight Bridge

Stick to the 5-minute timer.  Alternate back and forth between exercises (8 reps each), resting as needed.

How do your arms feel?

Continue to do this session throughout your day.

ADIT and what it is

You might be able to do 5 or 8 (more) 5-minute training sessions per day. Each session “Hits” your metabolism. This is called All-Day Interval Training (ADIT).  Yes, I just made that up.

Why wouldn’t ADIT be great for your fat reduction efforts??  Rhetorical. It will.

If body fat reduction is a priority – Prioritize 5 minutes of exercise before any meal, snack, or beverage (other than water).

If muscle growth is a priority – Get a solid 10-12 minutes of targeted work 4 times per week.  Your targeted muscles should feel “Pumped Up” after these.

Here’s another secret:

Work your whole body, or most of it, all the time, with every exercise.

Sorry, machines really won’t cut it. Not most of the time. Or at all, in my world.

The first combo I shared worked your core hard.  Upper back and glutes…  so what muscles are left?

More importantly (if you tried it), How Do YOUR Arms FEEL?

We targeted the arms and the back of the arms.

Tomorrow we target something else. Could be legs. But WHY?

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It’s all about the arms and abs, right?

Top secret:  Do one session every day for legs, like the 5 minutes we did above.

Here’s for tomorrow:  grab a moderately heavy Dumbbell for Biceps Curls.  You only need one as you will be doing one arm at a time (more challenge for the core).

Alternate 8 or more

  • Dips (bench, chair, box, bars, etc.) with,

1-Arm Strict Biceps Curls for the same number of reps on each arm.  (c.f. Concentration Curl in the picture)

If it’s a busy day at work…  Every 30 minutes, do one round, more if you can.  Don’t forget 5 minutes for the legs.  You could do “double step stairs”, up and down in the stairwells before lunch.  In the picture, I did Picnic Bench Step Ups.

You may be picking up on my concept of increased training frequency and exercising as a habit.

The most important thing is to successfully turn exercise into habit

  • Train every day. Don’t kill yourself every day.  Target the important areas (Arms & Abs) daily.
  • Accumulate 20 or more minutes of total training per day.
  • Focus on multi-jointed movements that require your core (not a bench) to support you.
  • You don’t need a gym or special clothing to be strong and sexy.
  • Mobility training is still training.  Two 5-minute mobility sessions per day is a great idea.

If it’s important, DO it every day.

In this context, train your arms and core daily. For more examples check, this Instagram account. 

One more secret,

This is an “AB” or core training secret – Do NOT focus on crunching the “6-pack”. Instead, imagine a ball inside the middle of your abdomen.  Crush down on the entire surface of that ball – Squeeze from all sides. Doing a Kegel helps here.

Using calisthenics and bodyweight protocols and progressions, you can thoroughly train for strength, fat loss, mobility, and power in short moments every day.

The key is to Do It Every Day.

This helps to solidify the HABIT of exercise. How many days would you go without brushing your teeth?

It’s not some competitive gym thing. It’s about YOU and YOUR body.

This is real world, common sense physical culture.

To learn more about weaving your “workouts” into your day, leave questions in the comments below.

Improvise – Adapt – Overcome

Trainer Steve

PS.  This was what I did while editing this article:

  • Tactical Pull Ups
  • Ring Rows
  • Close Push Ups
  • Bridge Push Ups
  • Pike Push Ups

Each round was a nice break from the keyboard and took 3-5 minutes.

Bonus Arms:  Halo Arms, Halo Tri-Extensions and Halo Curls

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Bonus:  Whole Body Circuit

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