Tag Archives: longevity
The fountain of eternal youth really does exist.
It just might not be what you think it is though.
Many picture it as some grand structure with overflowing waters that are of the purest quality.
Some see it as something small, humble and little more than a tiny water flow in something akin to a birds drinking fountain.
Both are admirable visions, however here is what it really looks like –
Your Posterior chain 🍑
Yep, all the muscles that cover the back of your body (the ones you can’t see standing head on in the mirror).
A strong posterior chain is responsible for solid structure, stability, strength power and it trained well will often covet this phrase for both ladies & gents:
“Look at that ass” 🤤🤤🤤
If you take a look at anyone in their more senior years you’ll notice that have poor posture, struggle to move quickly and pretty much everything is sagging.
Let’s be honest for a second and admit that no one wants this to happen to themselves.
It’s not shallow to value your physique, your overall health and want to retain a youthful stature well in to your 70’s.
Well maybe you do think it’s shallow however that’s your choice.
Personally I’d rather keep as much muscle (especially in my posterior chain) as I can for as long as possible, not only because of aesthetic reasons, for health and longevity reasons too.
Ask yourself, why does it change from:
“They fell over.” to “They had a fall.”
If you are weak and old then a fall can literally mean death for you, perhaps not from the fall itself, rather from your inability to recover because you’re just too weak.
This is where as strong posterior chain will help.
Think about all the muscles in the back of your body.
Lats, spinal erectors, QL, glutes, hamstrings, calves, triceps, traps, rear delts and just how having them be as strong as possible will mean good things for you.
There are plenty of movements you can use to train the PC.
My top ones for you are as follows:
– Loaded Carries (variations)
– Clean & Presses
– Snatch (variations)
– Rows, Face Pulls, etc
– Pull Ups (variations)
– Deadlifts (variations)
– Squats because they’re awesome
The list could go on, however what you’ll find is that most of the best posterior chain movements also hit many other elements/parts of the body as well.
You’d do well to have a bias towards this in your training.
Think along these lines and you’ll never go far wrong, that is if you have no ultra specific goal that you’re training for; if you do then train for that and just accept there will be a price to pay for it.
Set up your training sessions like this:
1 x anterior chain movement
2-4 x posterior chain movements
Doing 2-3 times the amount of work on your posterior chain will serve you well you might have a session like this:
A1 – Weighted Dip 6×8-10 x10RM
A2 – Rope Climb x 10-20M
B1 – Deadlift 6-4-2-6-4-2-6-4-2
C1 – Farmers Walks 10x20m
C2 – Bodyweight Skull Crusher*
*yes triceps are posterior chain and a BW-SC will force total body tension and engage your lats massively if done well.
There you have it my good people of the world.
Your fountain of youth.
No long monologue today.
Time to get straight in to the good stuff, easy to follow steps to create training worthy of the gods.
Well, maybe not the gods, at least legendary hero though.
The structure of session I will use as an example in each is as follows:
W/U – warm up, potentiation biased
Skill – learning something new, refining technique etc
Main – building strength and lean mass (muscular bits)
Accessory – often within main element (weak points)
Conditioning – can be for CV or addition to main/acc
C/D – cool down, CNS optimisation bias
Step 1 – Movement first.
Simple as it sounds many lack any large amount of movement based exercises in their training, as such you are going to want to make sure you get this down first.
You will have something movement related in every session, it can be for warm up/cool down, skill acquisition, main exercises, conditioning or accessory (weak point) purposes, however it will be there every session.
W/U – Leopard Crawl 100m – 5min
Skill – Loaded carry medley – atlas stones – 15min
Main (strength) – Sandbag clean, carry and load -20min
Accessory (postural) – SA Waiters walk – 10min
Conditioning – Farmers Walk & Suicides – 5min
C/D – Yoga Flow – 5min*
*If you’ve trained in the PM a Yoga flow surrounding internal torque will trigger the para-sympathetic nervous system, if you hit the gym int he AM then you’ll need one focused on external torque.
You get the idea, yo’d have one movement related element in each session, you can of course have a full session of movement like the above as well.
That’s the first step done covered.
Movement is life, quite literally in most cases.
Giving it the attention it deserves in your training will yield results beyond what you ever expected, trust me, it’s totally worth it.
Until next time.
“Just because we’re getting older that doesn’t mean we have to get old.”
A fair quote is has to be said, especially when a lot of people will let their body decay as the decades pass because they feel that they’re past it and for some it’s their time to rest.
While a view that people are welcome to hold, is it the most useful one, that can be up to you to decide.
Typically as we age one or all of these things happen:
– We get immobile
– We get fat
– We get fragile
– We get ill
These are of course preventable (less for severe medical issue), so perhaps instead of letting our health and formative years slide away is it perhaps not a more logical vein of thought to try and maintain as much of our youth as possible via good nutrition choices, exercise and well, continuing to live.
It is not uncommon for people who are approaching the higher numbers to want nothing more than to sit because they’re tired, life hasn’t been easy for them.
While it is understandable, once you start down that path it’s a slippery one, strength begins to fade, energy levels drop through the floor and it starts to look a bit bleak.
So how can we retain some of our past glory?
1 – Solid Nutrition
2 – Strength Training
3 – Becoming a Mover
Here are some starting point for each.
1 – Eat a good amount of meat & veg, have sweet things every now and again, they should be novelty not necessity.
2 – Pick things up off the floor, put things over head, carry things for distance or time.
3 – Crawl, Walk, Run, Lay down and stand up, whatever you do move everyday.
Now there are more specifics to the above however you will find those out in time, for now look at each of the three and find out which you’re not putting enough focus on because it’s better to tackle them today than put them off until tomorrow.
Remember, just because you get older that doesn’t mean you have to get old.
You’ll find these in Enter the Kettlebell & Simple and Sinister.
– Get ups
You can do these on a daily basis, all you’d need to is vary the reps, sets and loading.
All you need is one kettlebell, or a few if you’re like me.
My recommendations are as follows for the average person.
– 25-250 Swings
– 1-15 Get Ups (each arm)
Yep, that’s it.
These two movements will cover the entire posterior and genetic chain, build strength, stability, coordination, power and improve the health of many.
If combined with sensible nutrition (or a calorie deficit) you will find some rather desirable results.
Aim to them every day following the rep guides above.
I reckon that will be the next big thing.
While the aim of being healthy, mobile and abel to live a long and fruitful life has always been a priority to some, it’s not yet mainstream.
This is going to change me thinks.
Training for things such as strength, aesthetics and other common fitness goals isn’t easy, it requires dedication, accountability and above all else consistency.
Longevity on the other hand requires minimal effort, and that my friends is why people will find it appealing.
People will want to shy away from the harder stuff and start championing that they are training for longevity, it also helps that people don’t know what it looks like, thus making it easier for people to sell in the upcoming future.
In a nutshell here is a guide to it:
– Maintaining overall health (regardless of weight)
– Keeping your full ROM (regardless of weight)
– Being strong enough to do daily tasks with ease
– A CV system that allows you to run up stairs, or to the bus
– Keeps you alive past 70
All worthy things, however it’s the fact that it has no bias towards look or a numerical achievement that will entice people.
Very few want to work hard, many in fact just want to not feel shit about themselves, as such they will search out a group to which they can belong without too much effort and no judgement, seem fair enough to me to want that.
We are social creatures, we’d rather belong than not.
Give it time, if you’ve watched the trends of fitness you’ll see where I’m coming from with this.
Watch this space,
– Kettlebell Swings
– Sots Presses
– Front Squats
– Pull Ups
– *Overhand Deadlift to Zecher Carry
*If this is just too uncomfortable then a trap bar DL with carry is also a good alternative, or a Suitcase Barbell deadlift with carry.
Why these 5?
They offer a full complement of power, conditioning, strength, mobility and above all else are not done by many people, as such there will be a lot of room for progressions.
Here is an option on how to program these lifts based on training 3 days per week.
A1 – Kettlebell Swings 10×25
A2 – Sots Presses 10×1-3
B1 – Front Squats 8×2-3
B2 – Pull Ups 8×4-6 (weighted if possible)
C1 – Overhand Deadlift to Zecher Carry 10×1 + 10-20m carry
Add weight when you can complete all reps with solid form, if you want a starting weight use 70% of your max – if you don’t know this then go lighter than you think to allow for longer progression.
Repeat this and watch your body change for the better.
A strong grip is one of the signs of not only a healthy body but also a healthy nervous system.
Performance is also improved by your grip strength too.
Here are some easy methods to use to build your grip strength.
1 – Towel Pull Ups
Chuck a towel over a bar and off you go. Aim for as many eps as possible.
2 – Fat Grip Deadlifts
You can either buy some fat gripz or wrap a towel around the bar to thicken it up and start lifting.
Sets of 3-5 until you lose speed is optimal for this exercise.
3 – Farmers Walks
A classic that has stood the test of time. You can do this with dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, plates, anything you can hold on to.
Simply hold the weight and walk until you can’t go any more, put said object down, rest then walk it back.
Do that 2-3 times a week and watch your grip strength soar.
You can’t stop the hands of time.
Eventually you will become old, withered and grey, or bald.
You can however delay the degradation of your body by lifting weights and making optimal nutrition choices.
Take some time and think.
Do you want to be 75+ and always in constant pain, with little to no ability to move and do things for yourself or do you want to be one of the 75+ that can still get out and about on their own and have the quality of life they did in their 50’s?
Regular training (lifting weights & cv work) will help, this is because if you don’t give your body a reason to stay healthy, it won’t.
It’s the whole ‘use it or lose it’ concept.
Funnily enough it’s quite an important one to keep in mind in regards to your body and ability to live an active life.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with a wide range of clients.
The biggest changes and appreciation of them comes from those in their later years of life 65+.
Simple, it gives them back a little of what they’ve lost.
I wish I could help them get it all back, however the damage was already done from years of neglect, sad yet true.
If your goal is sport, competitions or anything else, great, fill your boots, however give some forethought to the future and your body to come.
Here are five key points to remember that happen to us as we age:
(based on a typical untrained elderly person)
1 – Tonic muscles get shorter and tighter
2 – Phasic muscles get weaker (especially in the *PKC)
3 – Bone density goes down
4 – Resting heart rate elevates
5 – Your hormones are less than optimal
*Posterior Kinetic Chain
You can address these points in the following way (like today, don’t wait)
1 – Have a daily flexibility/mobility routine
2 – Kettlebell swings, loaded carries, Get Ups 2-5x P/W
3 – Lift weights 2-3xP/W, focus on compound movements
4 – Daily cardio can be useful, not HIT, simple LISS (walking)
5 – Nutritious food & some extra supplements daily
Now this is of course a massive topic to delve in to, however if you do the above, with a focus on health, movement and longevity – as opposed to being a gym bro or gym bunny, you’ll set the foundations for long term health.
Just because we get older it doesn’t mean we have to get old.
Been away for a few days.
Did you all miss me?
Of course you didn’t hardly anyone reads these posts anyway 😂
There are a lot of underrated exercises out there.
The reason most people won’t do them is because they’re hard, put simply.
Not to mention everyone is caught up in doing all the standard isolation/mirror muscle work.
3 such movements that will literally change how your feel and perform are:
– Kettlebell Swings (Kettlebell snatch when you know it)
– Turkish Get Ups
– Loaded Carries
Let us take at look at all three, their benefits and how you can apply them in to your training.
Kettlebell Swings –
If you know me you’ll know I love these because they load your posterior chain, teach you how to hinge, improve your grip strength, VO2 max and are great for posture too.
Once you have the adequate skill requirements I would advise moving on to the kettlebell snatch, it offers all the same benefits with the added bonus of anti-rotation and shoulder stability/strength/ROM+Health.
They’re not easy when done properly.
That said, you should have them in your workouts, especially if you work at a desk.
10-20min per day will be enough to literally change your life.
Turkish Get Ups (TGU’s) –
A great way to warm up and start your workouts because they will mobilise and activate pretty much every muscle in your body.
They’re easy enough on paper, however once you start doing them and progressing to a heavier weight you’ll find this soon changes.
Balance, core strength, coordination, mobility, strength and most of all fun, that’s what TGU’s will be to you.
You might think that simply standing up and then reversing that movement is easy, you’re welcome to think that, even if it is incorrect, 😁
On a serious note, 10min of alternating side TGU’s as a warm ups will change how your workouts feel and make your body feel 10times better, or at least 7 times better.
If you want challenge in the 10min block aim to do 3 TGU’s consecutively before swapping arms.
Lastly we have a favoured movement of Strongmen the world over.
Loaded Carries –
Want to strip fat? Loaded Carries.
Want to build some muscle and an impressive back with an iron clad grip and legs that won’t buckle when the going gets tough? Loaded Carries.
Want to build mental resilience? Loaded Carries.
These are literally one of the most under utilised movements and it shows.
In daily life we are always having to pick things up and having to take them from point A to B, yet when people go to the gym the sit or lay down to move things.
Did you know that in an idea world you should be able to carry your own bodyweight at least 100m?
^^ Okay, that’s not an absolute thing, however it’s a good test of your strength.
Picking things up and wandering around with them is primal and one of, if not the most effective movement/exercise you can do, especially if you’re short on time.
You have many various of loaded carries, you can hold something close to you, by your sides, over your head, one by your side one over head, with bars, bags, dumbbells, plates, anything, just pick it up ann move with it.
If you want to make yourself robust and strip fat, try doing 10-20min of carries at the end of your usual workout, trust me, you won’t regret it.
If you don’t do these three things, you should.
They will make you feel healthier and help protect your from injury.
If all you did was Swings (or snatches), TGU’s and a variety of Loaded Carries, you’d be strong, conditioned and look pretty dam awesome too.
Give it some thought.
Well you don’t have to be able to do these, however life will be much easier if you can.
1 – A full ROM overhead squat
2 – A full hinge
3 – A get up without the use of your hands
4 – A full ROM pull up
5 – A handstand – advanced
Why those 4?
In terms of general health you’ll find it’s these qualities people lose over time and as such their quality of life depreciates, however if you keep a good amount of strength in these movements you’ll find you age proof yourself throughout the years.
Let’s look at them all individually.
1 – A full ROM overhead squat.
Now this doesn’t have to be with maximal loads, it’s just a movement that will show your bodies potential limitations in ankles, hips & shoulders which are common because of daily life.
This skill can be linked to getting out of a chair or up from sitting on the floor.
If you’re really strong you can do this on one leg too.
2 – A full hip hinge
This is in reference to a full hip flexion with minimal knee bend while not losing upper thoracic position, it will basically allow you to lift things correctly and minimise injury while firing up your hamstrings, glutes, erectors and musculature of the posterior chain.
It will also cross over in to picking something up and carrying it for a distance or time, a skill we NEED in everyday life.
3 – A get up without the use of your hands
If you’ve ever watched the difference between a elderly persona and a youth when it comes to getting up you will see the difference, however keeping the ability to get up without the use of your hands shows total body connection and strength which if kept in to old age can help keep you out of a retirement home.
The above being said, having the ability to perform a Turkish Get Up is also a great skill to have at any age.
4 – A full ROM pull up
Climbing is something we are meant to do. The ability to pull up your own body weight is an essential skill because it shows health & strength, plus if you’ve gotten in to your golden years and have slipped over and perhaps twisted your ankle the ability to grab something and lift yourself up will be most welcome.
5 – A handstand
Balancing on your hands was an old favourite in the days past and showed not only strength and total body connection along with wrist, elbow and shoulder health.
Inversion is a great skill as it requires concentration, bracing, controlled breathing and calm.
Now these movements are very useful for overall health and longevity, if you wish to specialise in a sport then you will have different needs which may go against the best interests of your health/longevity, this is the sacrifice you make.
Being able to move is also great for your mental health too.
If you want to work on these then you can either take up a movement class or perhaps some form of advanced yoga.
Being able to move is important, don’t lose it, the difference between a young body an old one is the ability to move.