How Bands Make 50 the New 30
Can 50 really be the new 30? I really think so. Yes, you always need to have a little luck but as an old football coach once told me, “luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” -Coach Datka
So yes, I do think it’s possible if you are willing to create a new mind-set when it comes to how you workout, train and prepare yourself for the opportunity to enjoy 50. This means having the willingness to consider flat resistance bands as a training “necessity” versus a training “alternative.”
This is a very difficult mind shift for many individuals when everything you read and see is based on weights, muscle building and appearance—while very little is written about keeping the body feeling and moving well.
Please Don’t Misunderstand Me
How you look is important and is probably the #1 characteristic that people associate with youth. However, to achieve a young appearance it’s going to require having a body that feels and moves well so you can do what is required in your exercise program to achieve that youthful look.
Achieving a young appearance is going to require having a body that feels and moves well.
To do this it will require conserving muscle mass, staying age strong, keeping mobility an exercise focus, following an age-respected recovery plan and most importantly — not following “Traditional Media Driven Strength Training Philosophies.”
Here are 5 Keys to Making 50 the New 30
Key #1: Continually exercise using different patterns
I have stressed this point numerous times over the years on RBTLive but yet I rarely see it being done. All muscles and joints have the ability to move in 3 planes of motion, yet most exercise programs only use straight forward and back movement patterns. All joints and muscles can move sideways, left and right, straight ahead or backwards and they can rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Unfortunately, traditional training that emphasizes machines and gravity dependent free weights can’t accomplish multi-plane training; therefore, over time we wear out joints and create muscle imbalances that lead to overuse injury by not changing patterns of movement. Band Training allows individuals to move anyway they wish to move while challenging muscles and joints with a variable ascending resistance that is adaptable to any strength level. As a result, the muscles and joints do not get overused in one pattern.
Change up Directions with Band Pulling
Key #2: Be willing to change up speeds
A body that moves at the same slow speed eventually loses the ability to move at faster speeds. This is why you see very few 40 and older individuals able to move quickly or run fast.
Being able to move at different speeds improves balance and creates faster muscle reaction time which are both keys to avoiding falls or being injured when awkward movements come our way. Traditional constant free weight resistance is done essentially at one speed no matter how much you try to go faster. Band Training allows you to actually change up speeds safely which, in turn, allows you to train muscles to respond faster when driven to do so.
Training With Speed Safely
Key #3: Think movements, not just muscles
Traditional training constantly emphasizes muscles versus movements. Just open up a fitness magazine and you will see workouts for a better chest, arms and legs but rarely do you see a workout for better pushing, pulling or squatting.
The fact is as your body ages, being able to push, pull or lunge in multiple directions is going to be far more important to you than building your chest, back and legs. I promise if you can lunge multiple ways, you will have great looking legs. Obviously you have seen that resistance band training allows YOU to push, pull and lunge in all directions.
Pushing in Multiple Directions
Key #4: Be willing to take weight off
How much weight do you need to lift to be considered strong for your age?? I can’t answer that but if you can continue to squat, lunge, do a push up, press weight overhead and pull yourself off the floor for multiple reps, you are better than 90% of the people who are between the ages of 30 and 50.
Seriously…less than 18% of the population is involved in an exercise program and of that 18%, I suspect at least 8% can’t perform a good push up, squat or incline pull up.
So if weight is not as important, then band resistance—which allows you to strength train any movement—is going to keep your body strong while training movements to handle life. It’s not important what the weight is on the bar but rather, does it allow you to safely do activities at 50 that you could do at 30.
Key #5: Commit to mobility & stability training
Your body is going to start to lose flexibility and mobility as you age. Get over it, realize it and start doing something about it every day. The #1 key to 50 being the new 30 is going to be how flexible your body is and how mobile (stability with flexibility) it is. Strength is great but strength without flexibility and stability is a body that can’t move and is prone to injury.
Based on previous discussions, moving well must be the first priority to keeping a body that’s 50 feeling like 30. Bands stretch and stabilize your body by using elastic resistance that lengthens, strengthens and stabilizes muscles at the their weakest points in the range of motion. As long as you maintain tension on the band system, your muscles will get longer, stronger and joints will become more stable on every rep.
If you understand how the body ages and what physical changes will occur with age, it becomes very apparent that following traditional strength training approaches is not going to help address most of these age driven changes. The good news is that all of these age related changes affect structures like muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints which can be dramatically influenced by incorporating the right type of exercises and workout plan.
Band Training performed correctly, will address and retard these age-related changes while allowing you to function at a much younger age than what the calendar may reflect.