Time is an obstacle even if you love to exercise. When every minute counts this can reduce the number of exercises you need to do. If on the other hand you’ve got all the time in the world to exercise and you’re not seeing results (first reduce your exercise time by making the exercise more challenging!), surprising your muscles with a new challenge can be just the thing to see and feel a difference.
Creating change in muscle is about several factors. These principles of fitness need to exist, even for maintenance. The body isn’t after all, going to maintain if it’s exposed to the same stimulus over and over. It adapts, then plateaus, and then begins to slide backward.
Overload is applying a calculated stress to your body keeps change happening in a safe structured way. Intensity is what we’re talking about. If you’re doing resistance training that is sometimes more sets, more repetitions, or even smarter in this second half of life is increasing weight or increasing power, or time under tension.
Slowing down so you have more time under tension can change a light weight’s effect on you.
Here’s how this works. Take the example of the squat in the workout card (you can click on the image and download one to take with you). All you need to safely try this is you (body weight) and a ball.
- Start at the top with the ball in your lower back. Heels should be far enough away from the wall so when you lower to a down position you’re knees are at a 90 degree angle over your heels. There shouldn’t be pressure at your knees.
- Lower to your personal low (no lower than hips even with knees).
- Instead of rising to the top to begin again, rise half way up.
- Return to the bottom of the squat.
- Press through the heels to return to the starting position.
Compare 15 of those to 15 “normal” squats down and up. You may find you fatigue at 10 or 12. You most likely will feel the work emphasizing your glutes and hips as there is more time under tension at the point where the muscles are working the hardest.
This is a good mental call to attention as well as a physical one. You can’t let your mind drift too far or you’ll forget where you are in your repetition. Sometimes that’s what’s needed to bump you off a plateau.
This system works with any exercise. It works well both with body weight and with strength training machines, cable exercises, and free weights.
- traveling when you have just body weight and need a little more overload.
- you’re cautious about increasing weights but want more challenge.
- you know you race through your workout and need to slow down for better results
Join me on the Flipping 50 TV Facebook page where I jump in and do live video demos you can do with me to learn new moves and answer your Q about fitness after 50.