Beginning Exercise Plan for Guys over 50


About this time last year (2012), I was in the worst shape of my life. I had not exercised in months. This was due to an injury to my neck which pinched a nerve down my left arm (see my blog on medical tests). If you combine the lack of exercise with the inactive winter months and the holiday meals, you can understand why I was in such terrible shape. After my neck injury was cured, I vowed to get back in shape. I’ve never really been in bad shape my whole life.

Every journey starts with where you are at and where you want to go. Following that, planning how you’re going to get there, right?

Where I was at:
165 pounds, 35 inch waist, out of shape

Where I wanted to go:
150 pounds, 30 inch waist, six pack abs, 15 inch arms, 40 inch check, 50 inch shoulders, injury/pain-free

Research diet/exercise for men over 50 that is safe and effective, not over do it, disciplined plan, rest and recovery

Most of the exercise programs I saw were more geared toward someone younger. I wanted something that I could do at home, with minimal equipment and where the risk of injury was close to none. I also figured I would have no trouble with the diet, except for getting my bodyfat down below 10%. That is tough for someone in their twenties and even tougher when you’re over 50.

My research led me to Mark Sisson at Mark’s Daily Apple LINK

His exercise plan was short, minimal body-weight exercises performed only 2-3 times per week. The exercises are pushups, pullups, body-weight squats, planks, and one day of sprint intervals. Non-exercise days are spent walking.

Mark’s diet plan was centered on Primal eating; lots of meat and veggies…stuff a caveman would have eaten. You cut out all of the bad stuff like sugar, white flour, fried foods, but you also cut out a lot of things you wouldn’t normally think of as bad; like oatmeal, spaghetti, wheat bread…I had heard of “low carb” diets before, but had never tried them. I will cover my diet in a separate blog post.

Here is my exercise plan. All of this information is available freely on Mark’s sight, as well as in his books.

Day One (Sunday) Easy Workout 10 minutes (do each of the following one time)
– Max # of Pushups
– Max # of Pullups (if you can’t do one, step on a stool or chair with one leg and cheat until you can)
– Max # of Body-weight Squats
– Plank hold for max length of time

Day Two (Monday) 20 minute walk outside

Day Three (Tuesday) 20 minute walk outside

Day Four (Wednesday) Harder Workout 30 minutes (do same as Day One but repeat twice for total of three sets)

Day Five (Thursday) 20 minute walk outside

Day Six (Friday) Six to Eight Sprints Up Hill at park (each sprint was about 100 yds) Run about 15 sec and walk back down about 45 sec. Alternate – if weather was bad I would use my exercise bike and go fast for about 1 minute and then slow for 2 minutes

Day Seven (Saturday) 60+minute walk. I would walk about five miles early in the morning.

After six weeks I had dropped from 165 to 149 and brought my waist from 35 inches down to 31 inches. I have since refined my workout further to get my body fat down below 10% and I’m close to an actual six pack. I will write on that when I complete. I hover between 10.5% and 11% body fat right now. The above workout is all you need to do to get yourself in decent shape (along with a healthy diet). I will be honest and tell you that exercise was only about 20% of the solution for me. The other 80% coming from diet. I don’t use any supplements except a whey protein shake, multi-vitamin, vitamin D and a fish oil (omega 3). The last three being recommended by my doctor.

Please above all else, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise/diet program. You don’t want to start off your program with a heart attack.

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