Become A Weight Training Lion By Rob Carbo with Gina Ostarly
This may be the hardest article I've ever had to write, it is the first time I have admitted, that I may be getting older.
ROB! Yes, we are getting older but, don't forget the rest of the sentence...AND BETTER!-Gina Ostarly www.ginaostarly.com
We all remember Mufasa! The strong, brave, protective, heroic lion from the Lion King. Make no doubt about it Mufasa was The King!! That's right just like Elvis (showing my age). Now Mufasa died fighting heroically to protect his pride. I'm not saying it was age that was his undoing. BUT who knows, if he had changed his training strategy over the last few years-trained a little smarter......maybe he wouldn't have left his fight in the gym and had more in the tank on game day. Could the outcome have been different???
Ok! back to the real world or at least my version of it. Tammy Renee my Mufasa (boss, best friend, blah blah blah) has approached me more than once about writing an article designed to help the aging athlete. That's right, us brothers and sisters in Iron are athletes. My thoughts were....why would she ask me? What do I know about aging athletes?? I train as I always have.......I'm a world champion! HELLO!! earth to rob..you're 51 years old!! You are an older athlete!!!! WOW!! Then it dawned on me ..the things I used to do all night now take me all night to do...BUT that's a different story. We can save that for a different article.
GINA - Aging athletes? Oh my....Can't we come up with a more politically correct phrase? lol Rob, haven't you heard 40 is the new 30, 50 is the new 40?
I injured my shoulder winning the W.A.B.D.L. Masters Bench Press World Championship in 2005. I competed in Bodybuilding in 2006 coming in 4th place in the W.B.F.A Team USA vs the World competition. I thought that if I really got my conditioning down to a science and came in shredded I could do some damage in 07. Then I thought...am I really a bodybuilder? Is that where my passion is? My friend, occasional training partner and incredible powerlifter Phil Davi was in the gym working out. He talked me into seeing what I had on the bench that day. Now I hadn't benched heavy in a long time. To say my efforts were sloppy would be an understatement. However I did max out somewhere in the 455lb range. For those of you at home and especially us Mufasa types....PLEASE don't go for a max out of the clear blue and wonder why you get injured. Some of us are just slow learners. Phil checked out the current world records in the alphabet soup of powerlifting organizations and found with some training, I would be right there and possibly able to break a world record or 2 in the bench press for my age group and weight class.
I asked my good friend, fellow writer, fitness model, fitness competitor, figure competitor, gym owner, personal trainer of the year, one of the hottest Moms and hottest women on the planet........drum roll.......... Gina Ostarly what she thought and this was her response:
"I am 99.9 % sure you ALREADY 'know" the answer...so this is just a 2nd thumbs up...I think.....I always go with my passion....whats in my heart...sounds like yours is in power lifting....always has been...As long as your 2005 injury is healed and will not hinder you...go for the record! The only reason I have not made it back to fitness .....is because my body won't allow it...I keep getting hurt...hell getting old...haha...but, I have not given up....in the mean time I will be the BEST figure competitor I can be....
Coming from a source like Gina how could I not listen. OK...now that I realize, I am getting older let's implement some of our new found knowledge, in my quest to set the 50 to 54 age class 220 lb weight class bench press world record.
My recuperative abilities are not what they once were. I already have had to make this concession to age. So over-training is a big issue with us babyboomers. I have been especially guilty of this, In my over zealousness to win championships, break records, play football or what have you I want to just go get it and throw caution to the wind. Well, after a torn hamstring, torn bicep, ligament damage in both ankles, sore knees and over all everyday aches and pains.
Training: OK hear we go. People ask me all the time if I live in the gym or how many hours a day do I workout?? There was a time when I would train with weights 6 days a week and do cardio 6 or 7 days a week. that was a few years ago. Especially the cardio part, that was more for sports than for appearances. once I took up powerlifting I think my only cardio was running from the couch to the refrigerator. (Gina) Rob, people ask me the same question or make the assumption, "You must train all day long, everyday." Well, my secret is CONSISTENCY, over time. Its not about how much you do "this week" or "this month" Getting and staying in shape is a life long commitment. Its doesn't mean killing yourself for hours in the gym, it about creating balance and living realistically. Training 2-3 days a week CONSISTENTLY will yield a better result in a year than someone who works out everyday for a week skips 3, works how hard straight for 3 weeks.....drops off the face of the earth for 2 months....etc....You get my point.
My training had remained basically the same for many years.
Pulls on Tues & Fri - ie.. back, bi's and obliques
Legs & lower back on Wed & Sat - Wed would be more squat oriented . Sat would be more deadlift oriented
Depending on what I was training for my weights would vary but for the most part the scheme was the same. As I said cardio was as needed. If I was trying to do something where I actually needed to move. I would run or play basketball. If I was training for something where movement wasn't an issue...trust me I wouldn't move. The heaviest I've ever weighed was 277 in 2003. Breathing was a problem, my ex said at night I snored like a rhino in heat. When breathing becomes a problem it may be time to go back to the drawing board. That is while you are still able to draw.....My blood pressure I'm sure was sky high....never had it checked. I was the epitome of the ostrich approach. Keep my head in the sand and what I don't know won't hurt me.
Training Mufasa: Ok! For us older lions...what can be done?
Get a physical: That's right! First thing go to your Doctor get a complete check up and make sure that finely tuned or at least soon to be finely tuned machine is ready to go.
Shed a few pounds: For most of us this is probably the first course of action. Make it easier on those muscles and joints (not to mention your mate) and drop a few. If you are still fighting trim you get a gold star here but I want a note from your significant other, just in case you're full of it.
Do cardio: I've dropped from an average weight of approx. 265 to now more in the 225lb range. My heart, my joints, my blood pressure and my dog Hank (the rhino in heat sounds musta taken there toll) are all thankful. Although I drastically changed my diet to get down to 215 for the BB contest. I have since been eating a lot more but daily cardio sessions have kept my weight down. Not to mention again the main muscle, my heart (yes I have one) is appreciative. So for us Mufasa's cardio is a must.
Listen to your body: Train with your head, not over it. No, you can still do over head presses. Just use common sense in your workouts. Go by feel if it's there and you feel like lifting a little heavier go for it. If not. listen to your body. Back off the heavier weights for a workout or 2. Don't force it! Take shorter rest periods and go a little lighter. There are way's of keeping your workout intensity without setting world or even personal records. Go for QUALITY not QUANTITY, and yes Rob, always listen to your body! Great advice. There are so many variations of what you can do when exercising. Never feel like you have to "push thru it." Taking on the big headed attitude could have you pushing for the LAST TIME!
Don't overtrain: As I stated earlier. I was and at times still am, a habitual overtrainer. This correlates directly with the above. Listen to your body. Over training at this stage of the game, is more detrimental than when we are younger. As a youngster we can get away with a little more. Now all we're gonna get is a severe limp and some catabolism to boot. Seriously, this is not a joke. DO NOT OVERTRAIN. For most of us, three resistance training sessions a week should fill the bill. Use the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) in your workouts. Work each muscle group once per week.
Nutrition: Nutrition is up to 80% of the battle. Breakfast is either the most or second most important meal of the day. Your post workout meal is it's competition.
Make sure to eat protein with each meal. Start your day a good hearty breakfast. This gets the machine which is you in motion. Look at your body as a furnace, you need to fuel it to keep it burning properly. Get it started first thing in the morning (breakfast) and then keep fueling it every 3 hours. Look at a fire, you don't throw all the logs on at once. Throw a log in at even intervals and it will burn efficiently. Throw them all in at once (dinner time) and it will smother and fail.
Avoid the All-American meal plan. You know the coffee and a doughnut for breakfast, more coffee and a Hostess cake off the roach coach for break time. Deli sandwich, coke and a bag of chips for lunch. Then devour what ever the heck you can get your hands on for dinner and of course our 2 Vermont buddies Ben and Jerry or Krispy Kreme (right Gina??) before bed.
Post workout drink: This along with breakfast is of utmost importance. Your post workout drink should consist of a quality protein drink with some simple carbs (dextrose). You want to take advantage of the window of opportunity here 30 to 45 min. after your workout. You body is in an emergency state here and is ready to utilize these crucial nutrients.
Glucosamine and chondroitin: This have been a miracle cure for me. Remember they take up to 30 day's to get into your system and don't stop taking them once you start to feel better......or back to painsville!!!
As you can see a little modification here and there and some common sense is all that is needed!! As Gina so aptly put it " we are getting older but don't forget the rest of the sentence..... AND BETTER"
Conceive, believe, achieve!!!! Yours in power!!! - Rob Carbo