Yes, the same workouts I use with every age group.
A workout doesn’t need to be changed based on the age of the person. It needs to be changed based on the individual needs of the person.
For example, I’ve trained some folks who at 51 were fitter than 75% of people I knew under 25. On the other hand, I’ve trained 19 year old guys who had more body fat and health problems than the average 45 year old man.
And check out Kerry, getting abs at age 51!
So there really isn’t any difference in what I recommend to people age 50 plus. Of course, the Turbulence Training workouts are flexible, and can be easily modified for every strength and fitness level. Heck, we’ve had folks from 18-81 use Turbulence Training. The same exact programs.
After all, I developed the Turbulence Training system while working hands on during thousands of training hours with everyone from 18 year old “stud” rugby players up to 77 year old cardiac rehabilitation patients.
I’ve also trained 18 year old high school girls and 65 year old women who had never exercised a day in their life. On the internet, one woman used Turbulence Training at 81 years young!
Let’s take a look at the Turbulence Training workouts to see why they can be used at every age group. First, bodyweight exercises are important for everyone. You need to be able to control your bodyweight getting in and out of bed, up and down from the floor, and on one leg at a time.
So in the beginner Turbulence Training program, we start everyone down on the ground and I shock them with how hard a “lying down” workout can be. It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 50, if you are overweight you are going to be challenged by the planks, 1-leg hip extensions, side planks, ball leg curls, and kneeling push-ups.
Here’s just one of the Introductory workouts from Turbulence Training. What would you possibly make different for someone who overweight at 50 vs. someone is overweight at 35?
1A) Lying Hip Extension (8 reps)
1B) Plank (15 seconds)
2A) Bodyweight Squat (10 reps)
2B) Bird Dog (5 reps)
3A) Kneeling Pushup (8 reps)
3B) Side Plank (5 seconds)
4A) Stick-ups (10 reps)
4B) Ab Curl-up (6 reps)
Beginner Interval Workout A
But what about the injuries we get as we get older, you might ask? Well, anyone can be injured. You can have knee problems at 13 or 35, and so we adjust the program and work together as a team with physical therapists and chiropractors to make sure you get the best personal care to overcome your injuries.
It’s not age related. It’s individual specific.
I also believe that strength training is the most important aspect of any structured workout program. And I also believe, and this is controversial but I don’t care, that strength is more important for long-term quality of life than cardiovascular endurance.
I think over the years too much emphasis has been placed on cardiovascular endurance as a being a predictor of long term health.
As a result, not enough focus has been on getting men and women (but particularly women) strong. And when you are old and weak, you fall down and break your bones. And for most folks, that is a path they never recover from.
Of course, both are important, but you don’t need to be able to run a marathon to live a long life. (Of course, you don’t need to be able to squat 400 pounds to live a long life either, but in general, strength training needs more emphasis in fitness programs).
Okay, back to fat loss programs for folks over 50.
Hopefully you are getting that by now.
After that, folks over 50 need to focus on strength and burning a few more calories. A total body resistance training program, just like that for any other age group, will work best. If individual modifications are necessary, then we’ll make them, but the population of 50+ folks is so diverse, I can’t say that certain exercises are specific to that age group.
On the flexibility and mobility front, that might be a different story, but again, I’d still be telling you to use the same exercises I give someone at age 25 (stick-ups, etc.).
Frankly, the only “real” difference, in general, between a fat loss workout for someone under 30 and someone over 50 would be the music they listen to while training.
Agree or disagree? Let me know below!
And did I mention, diet is the most important aspect in a successful fat loss program?
Train hard but safe,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS