The two Hollywood action superstars had the benefit of a background in bodybuilding (Arny was Mr. Universe at 20) and a surplus of movie roles that required taking care of their physiques (Sly was Rocky at 30), but what about the normal human being who's well up in years but suddenly decides to take the path to physical fitness?
SPIN Life recently spoke to Aldrich "Spikey" Nicdao, PTRP, Fitness Institute of Australia certified fitness coach and asked him what does it take for older people to stay on the grind and age gracefully.
According to him, one has to consider these factors before getting a late start at working out:
Equally valuable to the journey to wellness are the person about to undergo the process and the people around him/her. A senior needs someone who can do more than spotting, and is fully aware of the program and progress.
Coach says: "It's a prerequisite to consult the personal doctor first, before following a training program. The ideal coach should have a background in physical theraphy or geriatrics. Kasi kapag hindi marunong yung trainer, baka bodybuilding agad and ipagawa, na hindi rin advisable for beginners."
The workload will be based on the intensity of a set and person's age (i.e. more functional exercises for those approaching their twilight years). Also, pain is the simplest way to gauge if the workout is too much work for you.
Coach says: "Start with mostly calisthenics, and exercises that are in range of motion. Yung ginagawa sa PE dati, simple head, shoulder, and lower body routines. Pwede ring mag-resistance bands bago weights. If he/she can manage three sets of the bodyweight workout, maybe it's time to raise the difficulty."
More important to an old person's process than the training routine is the extended recovery. The trainer has to find the perfect balance between keeping the activity level high and not overworking him/her.
Coach says: "While a typical full workout lasts an hour, that's just the usual rest period in between steps for seniors. Mas matanda, mas mahaba yung recovery. Lalo na kapag nagsisimula pa lang, kahit mas bata nabibigla pa rin. I usually prescribe a 30-minute program, then gradually increase it."
Aside from suffering injuries due to brittle bones and pain from arthritis and frozen shoulder, complications may also arise from pre-existing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Coach says: "Monitoring of blood pressure is crucial. Check the BP before, during, and after training. May nangyari, iniwan ng trainer yung client, tapos inatake pagkalipas ng isang oras. Para naman sa mga insulin-dependent, dapat laging may nakahandang medication and source of sugar like juices."
Almost every old fellow would tell you the same reason they got into working out: not for aesthetic purposes, but rather to do the things they could at a younger age. After all, not everyone covets a superhuman physique like Arny or Sly.
Coach says: "Gusto lang niyang makapaglakad nang normal, mahabol yung apo niya, at madalian sa pag-akyat-baba sa hagdan. Sumakay sa eroplano nang hindi sumasakit yung likod, maitaas yung luggage mag-isa. The body is fully functional, nothing hurts, no need to catch his/her breath — in short, that healthy feeling."
Coach Spikey is also a certified sports nutritionist, functional and HIIT coach, and Muay Thai instructor, among his other fitness and rehab credentials. You can follow him on Facebook