The most important part of your fitness program

written by john c ashworth

The most important part of your fitness program

As a former fitness coach and personal trainer and currently a fit, healthy fitness over 50 cadre member, people ask me from time to time what it is that I do to keep myself in shape.  

My answer is always begins with a little context.  Because my fitness program is not overly impressive.  I’ve just had it going regularly without fail for thirty plus years now.

“I keep going…”  I say.

“I never stop.  I’ve NEVER stopped.”

How long have YOU been working at it?

Keep going…

Don’t stop.

Look for modes of progression and seek expert advice to aid your quest. A little goes a long way. Especially when you can find a real expert.

I admit it. There’s a lot more to it than just your consistency.  Expert personal fitness program design is an art that finds its roots in science. You and your path are unique and need to be treated as such in order for you to achieve your potential.

Consistency, though…

That’s really the key, because without your regular commitment, no fitness program can produce the results you crave.

Ready?

We start here.

Go!

-John

PS My current fitness program includes all of the following: swimming 5-6 days per week (350-500m). Strength training twice per week. Walking 4-6 days per week (1-3 miles). Walking is sometimes curtailed a bit in the winter and in those times, I swim more. When it snows, my snow removal duties also add to the totals. Just as yard work does in the warmer months. And, of course, right at this very moment, my ability to get to the pool has been thwarted by covid-19, so I’m doing my best to adjust and missing that experience terribly 🙁

Here’s a screenshot from January of 2020. I cleared about 6 inches of snow that day in addition to my swim. I love the apple fitness tracking system. In combination with the Apple watch this tracking system actually provides a lot of useful data and constant feedback if you want it about how well you’re doing with your exercise and activity each day. Will get into that more later.

When you click on the swim workout that was recorded wearing the apple watch in the pool, you get even more specific data and information about your swim, including your average heart rate, which is extremely valuable data and information. Again, I plan to get into more about all of this in future posts about the Apple activity tracking system. I really like it.

swim workout on 011720
There are a number of things I really like about having access to this information for each workout, including average heart rate. An extremely valuable metric to track. -john c ashworth

PPS If I had to choose the second most important part of your fitness program it would be the tracking. In order to build a proper plan for safe and effective progression of your fitness program, you need to keep track of where you’ve been.

[video] I use this Move as a bench-mark for my personal fitness over 50 program

new shoes on the ash flash


produced and written by john c ashworth

from the fitness over 50 files…

Today, I put together for you a short history of an exercise move I like to use as a benchmark for my fitness program. I’m currently working on another article and post about the importance of bench-marks in your fitness program, but wanted to get these videos up first.

I find it interesting to note the comparisons. I first recorded this bench-mark in 2013. I definitely look stronger and fitter three years later in 2016, and also today in 2019. I definitely look a little leaner in 2016. Some work to do there 🙂

My body feels differently today for sure, but I appear to have made some nice incremental improvements since 2013. Unnoticeable until taking the opportunity to compare these videos. Pretty cool.

Especially for those of us committed to fitness over fifty, personal bench-marks are important. That article I’m working on, along with all the chores, is in progress and I will post either later today or tomorrow depending on how the day goes. If you want regular updates about the release of articles like this one, you can subscribe to the ash flash. I would love to have you 🙂

Don’t let yourself slip backward from where you are today, and when you do, take immediate action to correct the trend. Focus on that daily action, and not you failure to maintain it 100% of the time. You’re human and life is tough some times. Do what you can and establish fitness bench-marks that you can keep for the long run.

Imagine for a moment how cool it will be if I can still do this when I’m 60, 65, 70+…

I like to use a variety of movements as bench-marks to keep me on track and to help me guide my fitness progress and progression. Those will be revealed in that next article.

First, here’s yesterday’s Box Jump – higher than in 2013 and about even with 2016, I think. Although a little more unforgiving prop so the risk was higher.

John C Ashworth – fitness over 50 expert

Here’s what the box jump looked like back in 2016

And here is what the box jump looked like back in 2013.

john c ashworth
laura ashworth walking with allie
Laura & Allie on a hot summer walk in the neighborhood

from the exercise database: Box Jumps

Fitness over 50 – How to unlock the wisdom of your body at any age

written by john c ashworth

Fitness Over 50 – how to unlock the wisdom of your body at any age

My wife Laura and I have been talking a lot lately about the adjustments necessary in your fitness program as you get older. Neither of us like the idea of having to decrease our intensity and volume of training, but there are certain realities we all face as we get older.

But here’s the point I want you to pay close attention to today. I don’t have a lot of time to elaborate on it so I’m going to get straight to it…

Laura’s body and her life history is unique. As is my own. As is yours.

Each of us have extremely unique and varied needs when it comes to maintaining our health and fitness as we age. Your fitness program is a complex combination of variables that change from one day, one week, one month to the next depending on a wide variety of factors. Some of which you can control and many of which you cannot.

It is vital that you find a personal trainer and coach who can help you navigate this potentially dangerous territory. Otherwise, you are much like Lewis and Clark – venturing into new territory each and every day with no real clear idea of what might come at you next. Unprepared for the realities you face.

There will be a lot more on this topic over time. You can be sure of that. Just promise me you’ll be careful out there. I see a lot of potential pitfalls for you and I. One in particular stands out in my mind and the image keeps replaying in my mind…

A group of woman over forty and fifty, taking part in an exercise class that seemed totally and completely all wrong for them at their current level of fitness and overall conditioning levels. When you jump in too soon, and go too fast, and don’t take the time to individualize your efforts in a way that properly addresses today’s needs for your body, you are setting yourself up for injury, failure, and set-backs that can last for years to come.

Proper progression and expert guidance will provide a talisman you can hold close for support. A talisman that has nothing to do with fetish and everything to do with the wisdom you will unlock in your body along the way when you do this fitness over 50 thing the right way.

Peace.

-John

fetish: any object, activity, etc, to which one is excessively or irrationally devoted. Syn: fixation, obsession, mania.