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Monday, May 16, 2022

Save Time by working out Twice per day podcast!

 I know, working out twice per day sure doesn’t sound like a way to save time…But bear with me.  This scheme has been working wonderfully well for me for months now.

Months ago, I started incorporating Ben Patrick’s ‘Knees Over Toes’ exercises into my routine.  If you haven’t started doing his revolutionary exercises of strengthening throughout the entire range of motion to restore and enhance function, it’s time to start!

I have worked out religiously since about age 20 for my entire life.  I have no back or joint issues, despite working out heavily and having turned 70 recently.  Then, I watched some of Ben’s amazing videos on YouTube, about how he almost destroyed his body playing basketball in his youth.  He could barely hobble around, and after various surgeries he was told he would never play basketball competitively again- not good news for someone in his early 20’s!

But Ben persisted, and with the guidance of mentor Charles Polaquin the strength coach, rebuilt himself from the ground up.  It is inspiring, to say the least to watch what he can do in terms of jumping and flexibility after having rebuilt himself.

I have already made significant progress in lower body flexibility and functional strength.  For me, as I suspect it is for most, it’s not about increasing jumping ability and sprint speeds so much, as it is about dramatically strengthening my knees, ankles and other joints, along with greatly enhanced flexibility.

And in this I am being very successful.

Using tibialis raises, which I actually discovered long ago, I cured my plantar fascitis completely.  I have always stretched, but now, by stretching under load I am greatly strengthening my weak points- I work my hamstrings with ‘reverse squats’, attaching dumbbells to my feet and lifting upwards for high reps, one leg at a time.  

Sled drags, done backwards, are his preeminent overall lower body exercise, as they work the feet and toes, along with the entire lower body and joints, very protectively.  If you do nothing else of his, do backwards walking!  Sled or not, this is the number one way to avoid knee surgery.

Lately, the idea of walking backwards against the resistance of a band was recommended- this works amazingly well!  Just loop a long resistance band around your power rack support, or a post or other strong point of resistance.  Step inside it, and walk backwards with it about your hips, feeling each step and its resistance.  Walk forward, and repeat for a few minutes- you are done!  Make it your daily workout warmup, and your joints and the many tendons of your lower body will thank you for your entire life.

I slowly worked the ATG (ass to grass) split squat- for now with only body weight, but gradually adding resistance.  This is a very protective and productive movement; one which I needed to progress with assistance within a power rack to fully achieve at first, even though I had squatted my whole life!  This ability is probably the single most protective and powerful thing you can do to transform your entire lower body!

Jefferson curls, done from a platform and slowly lowering a weighted bar as low as you can below your toes, coupled with nordic curls; where you curl your upper body up backwards with your legs held down, work your hamstrings and lower back better than anything.  I suggest you watch the ‘Knees over toes guy’ videos repeatedly- subscribe on YouTube, as he is always refining what he does.  Ben Patrick is an excellent coach.

In fact, you can hire him to coach you for a monthly fee.  But frankly: he puts it all on line for free, so you can simply copy what he offers!  

And so- that is how my workouts have changed.  The knees over toes workouts come in the afternoon, and only take 20 or 30 minutes.  (They are that intense). 

Monday, in the morning- first thing in the morning- I do my mainstay workout, which is stretching, along with virtual resistance (resisting within my own body’s musculature as I flex dynamically), and using calisthenics and isometrics as well.  I do this as I watch TV.  I often do rebounding as well.  The whole process is invigorating, and works my body from head to toe.

Then I will do lower body in the afternoon.  All my lower body Knees over Toes work.

Then, (and here is how I save time and central nervous system energy)- I take the next day off!  Well, I usually do the morning workout since I enjoy it and profit so much from it, but I take the afternoon OFF!

Then, the next day, I do the morning workout as always, and do the afternoon UPPER BODY workout for 30 minutes or less.  Nowadays, it is mostly gymnastics rings that dominate the workout, since I believe that gymnastic rings, suspended from the rafters in my basement, afford a far better, more protective workout for the upper body than barbells or dumbbells.

The rings are like Ben’s lower body exercises, in that they strengthen the tendons and ligaments of the upper body throughout their full range of motion, as well as the musculature.  The resistance is also infinitely variable; step forward and a pushup is easier; step back, and even onto an elevation- infinitely more difficult!

And then- I take the next afternoon OFF!

Sometimes, I’ll take two afternoons off.  When you are 70, you need to ‘feel’ your body- your recovery is not as bulletproof as it was in your 20’s!  

But, it’s still all there, pardner.  You just need to pay attention.  As you do your daily “greet the day” workout, stretching on your mat on the floor and flexing on your rebounder; pay attention to your body.  Do you need deep muscle stimulation this afternoon?  Or is your body still recovering?  

Remember, it’s not a race.  This is lifelong improvement. Getting ahead of yourself, or reaching a high state of fitness is just momentary.  Keep it up.  Keep getting better, slowly.  

Victory is in the steady ascent.  Not in momentary greatness, and then slacking…

That is defeat.

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