How To Train At 50 And Dare To Bare Your Arms & Abs

Let’s face it…  We all want nice arms and a waistline we can show off to the world. Better yet, we all want to be fit no matter our age. Women want Michelle Obama’s arms, Kelly Ripa’s abs, and Rachel Mclish full package. Men want Arnold Schwarzenegger”s arms, Daniel Craig’s eight pack, and Sylvester Stallone’s physique. And they want to have these at any age.

But why does aging past 50 years mean you can’t have a sexy waistline and strong arms?

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

In this post, I will teach you a different way to approach your body training.  It is less conventional, yet very effective if you are over the age of 50.  Because training daily, as a habit to better your body, should be as natural as brushing your teeth. The “rules” changed when you entered your 50’s. Do you change your approach to match the new rules? In my experience, the most frustrating thing for my older clients is the realization that they are no longer 23 years old. But age is not the problem. It’s your body that changes. What worked in your thirties no longer works in your fifties.

So how can you train now that you are in your 50’s?

Improvidus, apto quod victum

As most U.S. Marines will tell you, “Improvise, adapt, overcome.” Age-related muscle loss and fat gain are not for YOU. Most science suggests that as we age we have little to no control over these things.

We need to take action to overcome our own bodies.

Many age-related issues can be avoided with strength training and good nutrition. Aging does NOT mean more aches and pains, unless YOU allow them. Yes, the “rules” did change somewhere along the way. But it is up to us, athletes, to challenge those “rules.” [VERY IMPORTANT] If you are new to training, go easy, get guidance and be patient. If you ARE over 30, overweight and in chronic pain – visit your trusted medical professional before taking on any exercise program.

The biggest rule I suggest you break is your 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 WAY. Yes way.

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 straight bridges or wall walks.  Repeat this sequence as many times as the timer allows.  That’s One Training Session, done. If you did it… Congratulations!

You could have done that session literally ANYWHERE and anytime.

Now do that 4 more times today.  Whenever you can. NO gym required.  NO wasted/lost time.  Just 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.  The straight bridge hit the back of your arms, didn’t it? There’s your arms.

Now, 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

The basics of the plank must be practiced and developed.

plank positionHere’s your core training if the 2 minute plank eludes you:

Work on holding each of these for 20 seconds a few to several times per day.  Increase your time to build up toward 60 seconds each. Test your plank in 3 weeks and let me know where you’re at. Clockwise from top:  Low Plank, Reverse Plank, Prone Back Extension, Side Plank, Front Plank

push up, bridge

If your plank is solid, 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 – What does it mean

You might be able to do 5, 8, or more 5-minute training sessions per day.  Each session “Hits” your metabolism pretty hard. Each session makes a barely noticeable dent in your time. I call this, All-Day Interval Training (ADIT). Yes, I just made that up and I claim dibs for infinity! Why wouldn’t ADIT be great for your fat reduction efforts??  Rhetorical. It will. If body fat reduction is a priority – Prioritize 5 minutes (One “mini-session”) 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. I’m gonna share with you another 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? calisthenics training over 50 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.  (Concentration Curl shown) 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. Hopefully by now you’ve picked 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 everyday.  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. Train your arms and core daily.  You can find more training sessions on my Instagram.

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/progressions can thoroughly train you for strength, fat loss, mobility, and power in for short sessions 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 different techniques of weaving your “workouts” into your day, leave questions in the comments below.

Are you ready to Overcome your 50’s?

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. Trainer Steve P.S. – Below are a list of trainings I did while writing this article:

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

Each session provided a nice break from the keyboard and took me about 3-5 minutes. Bonus Arms:  Halo Arms, Halo Tri-Extensions and Halo Curls Halo Arms, Halo Tri-Extensions and Halo Curls Bonus:  Whole Body Circuit whole body circuit calisthenics assessment

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

Be The Movement: How Federico’s Passion For Movement Became His Mission

by Alexandra

Over on The Movement Athlete Facebook Group, we hosted a 30 Day Hand Balancing Challenge with Sam McFarlane a few months ago. We were highly impressed by so many of the participants that we felt the need to get to know them a little bit better and learn about their journey with movement. We hope that by sharing athletes’ journeys with movement we can inspire athletes all over the world to explore movement and play.

Meet Federico Lopez Sanz

Let us introduce to you Federico Lopez Sanz, the co-founder of Alma Comunidad and a movement teacher. We were drawn to him from his skills, creativity, and inspirational commitment to the movement culture. When we recently interviewed him, here is what we learned about his journey with movement.

Federico, a movement athlete in his late twenties, from Santiago de Chile, knew from a young age that he would build a career around fitness. As a kid, he enjoyed playing sports at a competitive level. He played rugby for most of his younger years and competed in skateboarding and rollerblading. He love all sorts of physical activities.

“Humility is key to open your heart and really learn.”

Once he started travelling the world, he was first exposed to different body movement disciplines. He learned about aerial silks, acrobatics, dance, and different circus disciplines. He then bumped into yoga and loved it so much that he became a Certified Instructor. Yoga is still a crucial discipline in his daily movement routine.

A few years later, he dedicated himself to Crossfit, reaching Level 1 Certified Coach. It matched his energy levels and was a huge stress reliever.

“If I could get great rewards from my training, so could everybody else.”

At a crossroad in his life and eager to define his role in the movement culture, he decided to commit his practice to teaching others. Having been inspired by so many in their respective disciplines, he now wanted to inspire as many people as possible with movement. It’s what excites him most and fulfills his soul. He wanted to give back and share the conscience of movement.

“We must have conscience of what our bodies can and can’t do.”

His Movement Practice

Movement is a key component in Federico’s training. He incorporates it into his workout routine to build strength, improve flexibility and become aware of his body. His main goal is to dominate his bodyweight to reach freedom. He believes that freedom allows you understand any method, discipline or sport.

“Someone able to dominate his bodyweight in every direction, and use their body as a tool (more than a load) is really free.”

“Bodyweight mastery is infinite, simple and complex at the same time. Hard and easy; everything depends on your patience and practice. If you do it treating your body with love and respect you reach impressive longevity.”

Federico’s Advice to Beginners In Movement Training

“What others do, you can do too. If you listen and understand your body.”

“Observe and enjoy what you’re doing. It will be a path full of adventures. You don’t need anything but your body.”

The Challenge

Federico had been wanting to be part of a challenge for a while. When his wife introduced him to our Facebook challenge, something ran deep in his soul that he knew immediately he wanted to input his grain of sand.

“You reflect what our hearts want: promote movement culture big scale.”

What he found most challenging was having patience. The patience to build something as beautiful as an arm balance. Yet, the reward of finding play with movement, capturing the moment and sharing it with a community outweighed the challenge.

The challenge got him out of his typical training spot and outdoors. Anything that spices up his routine, the more he likes to incorporate it. Especially since he felt really creative and inspired.

“I can make space to share something different and change my original plan in order to let something more elevated take over: creativity, community and play.”

His Passion Project: Alma Comunidad

“I’m in the path to materialize a dream that’s been in my heart for years.”

Federico had been wanting to be part of a challenge for a while. When his wife introduced him to our Facebook challenge, something ran deep in his soul that he knew immediately he wanted to input his grain of sand.

Federico’s desire to inspire and share his knowledge brought him to building his passion project with a friend. Together, they build a space available for anyone who wants to share or teach something different or unconventional. Alma Comunidad is a community bringing people to connect more from movement and less from ego. Their main principle is that:

“Awareness of our bodies comes before technique.”

Alma Comunidad’s Instagram

Federico’s journey with movement is no short of inspiring. He lives and breathe movement daily. He embodies everything, we at Calisthenics Academy stand for and want to build. He’s an inspiration for us to continue building and sharing our discipline and community with you and the world.
Feeling inspired too? Join The Academy today and stay tuned for our next Facebook challenge.

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

How Calisthenics Shifted Taha’s Mindset to Building Skills

with Taha Hachana

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes -people just like you that are working with their own body weight to gain strength, lose fat, build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives.

Taha’s Calisthenics Story

Taha discovered calisthenics while researching on the Internet about parkour. He had never heard about bodyweight training or calisthenics before. It was all new to him, and he was intrigued to learn more. He learned about the benefits of building strength with bodyweight that would help with his parkour practice. He wanted to get back into shape after experiencing a few injuries doing martial arts. Yet, what appealed to him most about Calisthenics Academy was that he would learn the exercises and techniques properly thanks to how the program is set up and from there master them.

“The primary reason I joined Calisthenics Academy was to build the strength necessary to practice parkour moves.”

Taha, now in his early thirties, lives in Tunisia working in the tech industry. He practiced tournament oriented martial arts until he suffered several injuries. Looking to avoid more injuries and improve his flexibility, he started practicing calisthenics.

For Taha, Calisthenics Academy is the most authoritative online resource available on calisthenics. Since joining, he’s gained extensive information on correct exercise formation and guidance on how to progress. He praises the assessment system because it aligns with goals and skills to guide progress at the right pace.

In addition, you don’t have to spend time thinking about programming reps, counts or exercises. It sets it for you based on your assessments.

One thing Taha has taken away from joining Calisthenics Academy is that he’s learned to focus on building skills and not just working out for aesthetics reasons.

“I like to learn things properly. You could rely on someone to pick a few exercises for you to do and call it a day, but I want to go further.”

The 3 Main Benefits Taha Gained Since Joining Calisthenics Academy

Improved His Posture

“My posture has improved. I feel myself becoming taller.”

The first thing Taha noticed was an improvement in his posture. He’s more aware of maintaining good posture throughout trainings and daily activities. He feels taller and carries it proudly.

Gained Strength

“I feel that my legs are stronger.”

Despite the fact that he’s still below 10% in the majority of the skills, he’s already noticed his body changed physically. He’s made incredible strength gains already and he’s not even halfway through his progression.

Focused On Skill Building

“Now I have movement skills as my main objective.”

Since starting calisthenics, Taha’s focus has shifted to skill based goals. He’s learned to focus on building his skills instead of working out for the sake of looking good. He wants to progress daily with the moves and prefers spending his time becoming able to do a one arm push-up instead of watching videos on the Internet.

Taha’s Advice To Anyone Curious About Calisthenics

“Calisthenics training gives you flexible muscles, strong joints, and brings lots of fun and challenges to the sport that you’re into.”

Taha’s biggest struggle used to be injury prevention. Now, he no longer has to worry about getting injured. He’s learned so much about himself and his capabilities since starting calisthenics. He’s so thankful because now he has a better posture, he’s gained strength and is focused on what is really important – building skills.

He recommends to anyone starting off with Calisthenics Academy to “focus on becoming better and remember to take rest days.”  He also advocates to “give up on activities that are less beneficial and you’ll find the time to train.”

Now go on, shift your mindset like Taha and we guarantee you’ll PROGRESS with Calisthenics Academy.

SPECIAL LAST CHANCE OFFER! CLOSING November 30th 2017!

GET A LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE CURRENT & NEW CALISTHENICS ACADEMY 2.0

THE WORLD’S FIRST SKILL BASED TRAINING PROGRAM

COMING OUT BEFORE THE END OF 2017

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

How A Not A Gym Fan Finds Freedom With Calisthenics

with Martin Hartmann

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to gain strength, lose fat, build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives.

Martin’s Calisthenics Story

Martin, better known as Hardy, is a 51 year old bartender from Freiburg, Germany. Bartending is surprisingly physically demanding, since he has to carry beer barrels every day. On the side, he also coaches young professional football clubs. Back in his early twenties, he was to become a professional football player until he suffered a major injury that caused him dream to play professionally. Despite this very difficult experience, he stayed focus on staying in shape and taking care of his body, but this time for the sake of his well-being and not for the sport.

“If you want to live a good life in your older years, start training now.”

Martin has never really liked gyms. Yet he loves nature, and thus, prefers to workout outside either doing some running, jumping, lifting heavy rocks and climbing. He doesn’t like following a plan, so he decided to train with Crossfit. However, recent bad knee aches have forced him to reconsider his training program.

After he looked into Calisthenics Academy, he decided to enroll. His goal was to better his skills and get stronger without the knee aches. Since he doesn’t like to follow a strict workout plan, Calisthenics Academy was a great fit for him.

“I decided not to think about that too much. But try to come back in a good shape.”

Here are the three main benefits Martin has gained since joining Calisthenics Academy:

Easy non-rigid training program, anywhere at anytime

“With Calisthenics Academy, it’s easy to train any time of day. Just take two chairs and do some dips.”

Calisthenics Academy makes it easier for Martin to train whenever he has time throughout his day and wherever he wants. Since Martin does not like a rigid training plan, he finds freedom with calisthenics. If one exercise was too hard for him, he doesn’t have to do two more. It’s all up to him to decide how he wants to progress with his skills and strength.

With Calisthenics, Martin gets to enjoy the outdoors during his training time. He works out in nature frequently and is not limited to strictly working out at the gym.

Muscle focused to build strength

“I focus much more and try to feel the muscles involved.”

When Martin used to attend a gym, he ran quickly through each exercise, doing quick reps and immediately switching to the next exercise, without focusing on the exercise itself. Now with Calisthenics Academy program, he’s more focused on the muscles he’s working with each individual exercise during his workout regime. By pacing himself, he’s building significant muscle strength and progressing more and more each day.

A tailor fit program for every athlete

“Good program based on your skills that tracks your progress.”

Calisthenics Academy is not the kind of program that demands you to be this physically fit to be able to perform. Instead, it caters to your own strengths and capabilities and keeps track of your progress.

That is why Martin believes that Calisthenics Academy is the best program for him. He can track his own progress from the app while he trains outdoors. This feature helps him be organized even if he doesn’t have a specific training schedule planned out. Martin attributes being able to do handstand push-ups with feet on the wall to calisthenics. He’s working on those muscle-ups which he say a muscle-up is not so easy.”

“If you have no desire to train, do the first exercise. And if you still don’t then, stop. But most of the time you keep going.

Martin’s advice to anyone curious about calisthenics

“If you want to live a good life in your older years, start training now.”

Martin decided to try a new program at age 51. He invested in his health to live a good life no matter his age and the knee pains. It doesn’t matter what age you are or what capabilities you have. The important thing is that you do something RIGHT NOW and EVERYDAY. If you want to live a long healthy life, you should take Martin’s advice.
Invest your time NOW, to reap the benefits IN THE FUTURE. Find your FREEDOM.

You can connect with Martin on Instagram @endboss4 to follow his calisthenics progress. If you’ve been inspired by Martin’s journey with Calisthenics Academy then join him and us. It’s never too late to start training.

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

Cali Academy Special Section

SPECIAL LAST CHANCE OFFER! CLOSING November 30th 2017!

GET A LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE CURRENT & NEW CALISTHENICS ACADEMY 2.0

COMING OUT LATER THIS YEAR

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!