Author Topic: Looking back on life- Fitness goals  (Read 5794 times)

epower

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Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« on: December 10, 2017, 10:47:05 AM »
Iím 29, male and have noticed myself putting on a bit of weight around my mid section.

Iíve done triathlons and marathons in the past but now with a full time job taking up a lot of my time, our first child on the way and other things to take priority, my waistline is increasing and my once fast metabolism slowing.

Iím getting into weights at home and was doing some long hard thinking. The idea of working out is quite vein all over the internet, lean sculpted muscles are the key to happiness it seems. But is this the case? Will I feel so much better about myself or is it better to train for longevity to allow me to run with my soon to be born kids, wrestle with grandkids when Iím 70 or should I just do it to get the look?

lemanfan

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 11:18:24 AM »
Can you clarify the question a bit?

Freedom2016

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 11:34:11 AM »
Your question is a bit vague but I'll offer this: after years of being active/athletic, work/kids/injury/illness overwhelmed me and I got out of the exercise habit for 4-ish years. Result: chronic back issues and low energy, both of which mean I just can't keep up with my kids or family.

I've now hired a personal trainer to help get me back on the right path because all my individual efforts to get back in shape have re-injured me and thus fizzled out quickly. Who cares about "the look" - keep up your core strength and endurance for the very real *health* benefits. Your family will thank you for it.

MBot

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 05:09:44 PM »
If you train for functionality, how much weight you drop and how good you look will depend on the function you aim for.

Eg a runner will naturally be leaner than a lifter. As a prior marathoner you know this.

Train for looks and the outcomes you want are much more vague.

Personally I find health and function motivate me far more than looks. I would suggest that's transferable to most other people. You also will have MANY more people empathize and support with you over health and fitness goals than over appearances.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 06:16:45 PM »
Lean sculpted muscles won't make you happier, but regular exercise will certainly pay dividends for the future as long as you are careful not to get any chronic overuse/silly injuries trying to get too jacked.

Mr. Green

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 10:02:19 PM »
Being lean and having muscles are two completely separate things that are only tangentially related. Tons of NFL players have ridiculous muscles and they're fat. Building muscle is a result of lifting weights. There is simply nothing else that accomplishes this. You must do physical activity that is work, in the physics sense, moving weight against gravity. A runner gets lean muscle by the process of their feet pushing them away from the earth. A weight lifter gets bigger muscles because he moves more weight.

There is also a difference between functional fitness and body building. You don't have to have bulging muscles to be functionally muscular.

Leanness is a function of diet and nothing else. Having more muscle certainly speeds metabolism and breaking down and building muscle requires more fuel than simply aerobic activity but you can do all the muscle building you want, eat an unclean diet, and still not be able to find your 6-pack abs under a layer of fat.

The research is essentially universally conclusive that weight lifting in some capacity yields huge health benefits, especially as one gets into the later years of life. It's obviously much easier to start young and have your body build muscle memory now rather than to try and pick up weight lifting in your 50s or 60s when you doctor says your bones are weak. Weight lifting builds bone density, which is one of the main reasons it's hugely helpful for older people. You do not have to do tons of weight lifting. If you did nothing but back squats, you would see benefits. The back squat is the most complete one lift movement you can do, if you can only do one thing. You don't have to be trying to lift huge numbers either.

Being strong makes everything in life easier. It also makes you harder to break, because you have a fantastic elastic protective layer on your entire body.

For best performance, being lean to the point of seeing shredded 6 pack abs is actually too lean. Your body doesn't have enough fat to do what it does best, unless you're living to do nothing but lift and eat because it requires that much micro management when your body has that little fat to fuel itself.

As a 34 year old who is trying to get stronger, and dealing with some injuries, aches, and pains that come along with no longer being young, I want a healthy combination of both. I love running and I want to be sure that I preserve my body so that I can still do that when I'm 60. However, I need to get stronger. Strength is important, and it's much easier to be proactive and maintain my strength as I hit my 40s and 50s than it will be for me to try and build strength in my 5th and 6th decade of life. That's half my life my muscles have had a memory of not being strong, as opposed to the muscle memory being one of strength. Strength gains can be slow on purpose. I'm looking for a multi-year process to ensure I don't injure myself anymore. The stronger I get the less likely those injuries will be but I will make it a methodical process. But I still need to get stronger. Not lifting some kind of weight is not an option for me because I'm not strong enough to leave it out.

If you think of your body as a machine and only a machine it's logical that having a certain level of strength for that machines to easily perform daily tasks makes sense. If you are "maxing out" what the machine can do just to complete daily tasks too often the risk of the machine breaking increases drastically. But having the machine be so powerful that it only runs at 5% capacity to do everything yields no better results than a machine strong enough to do everything at 50% capacity. That's where I want to be, not pushing my machine into the redline for most regular tasks including things like your typical hike, running, lifting 30 pounds a dozen times, etc.

epower

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2017, 10:55:18 PM »
Can you clarify the question a bit?

What Iím meaning to say is, should one go to the gym to train to just look better or should they train to function better?

Looking back on your 20s and 30s do you think training to look good was a futile exercise?

life_travel

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 01:07:07 AM »
Being lean and having muscles are two completely separate things that are only tangentially related. Tons of NFL players have ridiculous muscles and they're fat. Building muscle is a result of lifting weights. There is simply nothing else that accomplishes this. You must do physical activity that is work, in the physics sense, moving weight against gravity. A runner gets lean muscle by the process of their feet pushing them away from the earth. A weight lifter gets bigger muscles because he moves more weight.

There is also a difference between functional fitness and body building. You don't have to have bulging muscles to be functionally muscular.

Leanness is a function of diet and nothing else. Having more muscle certainly speeds metabolism and breaking down and building muscle requires more fuel than simply aerobic activity but you can do all the muscle building you want, eat an unclean diet, and still not be able to find your 6-pack abs under a layer of fat.

The research is essentially universally conclusive that weight lifting in some capacity yields huge health benefits, especially as one gets into the later years of life. It's obviously much easier to start young and have your body build muscle memory now rather than to try and pick up weight lifting in your 50s or 60s when you doctor says your bones are weak. Weight lifting builds bone density, which is one of the main reasons it's hugely helpful for older people. You do not have to do tons of weight lifting. If you did nothing but back squats, you would see benefits. The back squat is the most complete one lift movement you can do, if you can only do one thing. You don't have to be trying to lift huge numbers either.

Being strong makes everything in life easier. It also makes you harder to break, because you have a fantastic elastic protective layer on your entire body.

For best performance, being lean to the point of seeing shredded 6 pack abs is actually too lean. Your body doesn't have enough fat to do what it does best, unless you're living to do nothing but lift and eat because it requires that much micro management when your body has that little fat to fuel itself.

As a 34 year old who is trying to get stronger, and dealing with some injuries, aches, and pains that come along with no longer being young, I want a healthy combination of both. I love running and I want to be sure that I preserve my body so that I can still do that when I'm 60. However, I need to get stronger. Strength is important, and it's much easier to be proactive and maintain my strength as I hit my 40s and 50s than it will be for me to try and build strength in my 5th and 6th decade of life. That's half my life my muscles have had a memory of not being strong, as opposed to the muscle memory being one of strength. Strength gains can be slow on purpose. I'm looking for a multi-year process to ensure I don't injure myself anymore. The stronger I get the less likely those injuries will be but I will make it a methodical process. But I still need to get stronger. Not lifting some kind of weight is not an option for me because I'm not strong enough to leave it out.

If you think of your body as a machine and only a machine it's logical that having a certain level of strength for that machines to easily perform daily tasks makes sense. If you are "maxing out" what the machine can do just to complete daily tasks too often the risk of the machine breaking increases drastically. But having the machine be so powerful that it only runs at 5% capacity to do everything yields no better results than a machine strong enough to do everything at 50% capacity. That's where I want to be, not pushing my machine into the redline for most regular tasks including things like your typical hike, running, lifting 30 pounds a dozen times, etc.
Excellent post , Mr. Green
As a female in her early 40s who was previously unfit ( but slim due to genetics) I'm trying to build my strength , stamina and flexibility through yoga and pole fitness ( which is a lot of strength using your own body weight ). It was intimidating at first but I took a slow and steady approach, now 14 months later I can see results :) So exciting!!

Zola.

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 02:49:53 AM »
Get ripped or die tryin'  haha

Just kidding...

Weights are good... I am not nearly discliplined enough, I do BJJ twice a week and that gets you in serious shape very quickly espoecially if you roll (spar) a lot.

big_owl

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2017, 04:45:49 AM »
"nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"

Seriously though, as a bodybuilder there are few things in life as awesome as a solid workout with a good pump and checking out your muscles in the mirror (with maybe a straight arm chest pose thrown in).  So yes I'd say, absent of some underlying psychological issues, being cut with lots of muscles is pretty much awesome. 

Of course what's even worse is getting old and being filled with regret that you threw caution to the wind and damaged your joints and feel crippled in age.  That and steroids. 

So there's a balance, of course.

rockeTree

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 04:56:13 AM »
A friend of mine, a little older than you and the fittest person I knew, worked as a personal trainer, placed in fitness contests of various sorts, could see every muscle and vein he had, just killed himself in October. The body won’t make you happy if you’re unhappy. Do enough cardio to keep your mood up and your immune system chugging, lift some weight so your bones don’t crumble, and focus on your life and family. At least that’s the view from 45.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

honeybbq

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 02:09:32 PM »
Get a used treadmill and run early in the morning before the kids are awake or at night when they are asleep.

I bought mine from a friend for $100 and I've put thousands of miles on that thing while the rest of the house sleeps.

nexus

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 03:08:00 PM »
+1 Mr. Green

However, all that vain cover model stuff sells. It sells supplements, gym memberships, apparel, subscriptions, followers, books, etc. However, unless you have the freedom* to pursue it full time, it isn't attainable for the average Joe, especially as we graduate out of our invincible 20's. That being said, you probably posted this because you don't like the way you look in the mirror, so to a degree it is valid. There's a sense of pride and satisfaction you get when you like the way your body looks. More than 1/3 of US adults are obese, which means every day millions of people probably look in the mirror and hate the way they look. For you, maybe there's a sense of disgust and disappointment (shame) now that you see some fluff around the midsection. It's vain as hell and super subjective, but it is what it is. Will it kill you? Not yet. Does MMM approve? I sure as hell doubt it!

My high school tennis coach ran cross country from the time he was in high school, through college, and then continued running for fun with his students when he coached track, cross country, and tennis. Now in his 60's, his body is wrecked. His feet and knees have arthritis. He can't run or move like he used to. Up until 55 he was the epitome of fitness, outrunning high school kids mile after mile. Did he lift, brah? Nope. Push ups, pull ups, crunches, leg lunges, and running. In my opinion he simply went too hard, too long, too often. Since you mentioned marathons and triathlons, I figured I'd share this with you as if may affect your quality of life in your 50s, 60s, and beyond.**

So, your easiest fix is simply adjusting your diet to combat the slower metabolism. It requires no additional physical effort (lifting), just some self control and better decision making when it comes to what kinds of food you put in your body. If you can make time to lift weights or exercise three times a week for 30-60 minutes, you'll probably like your reflection in about 90 days.

When it comes to training for function or aesthetics, that's all up to you, my man. It depends on your motivation and what drives you as an individual. For me, the gym is a way to give me an edge over (or keep up with) my opponents in tennis. It is also an excuse to stay off the tennis court 'because I need to do cross training' and essentially save my hips/back/knees from getting too beat up too often. It creates balance and moderation, which I'm not wording very well at the moment. If I happen to look good, it is an added bonus, but not necessarily my objective.

*Maybe rush like a madman to reach FI, then really devote yourself to whatever your passions are. That's kind of my plan, while doing the best to maintain my fitness along the way.
**We've got better running shoes now and better technology/knowledge, meaning if you did the same thing it probably wouldn't ruin your feet and knees quite as fast.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 05:23:23 PM by nexus »

mm1970

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 05:19:22 PM »
Whatever floats your boat.

I'm 47 and have had 2 kids.

Sometimes, I set a goal (looking good in a bikini...okay that was a LONG time ago)
Sometimes, I have a fitness goal - 1/2 marathon, triathlon, up-hill 1/2 marathon...
Sometimes, I'll just pick one of the Beachbody workout systems and commit to finishing it so that I can get a t-shirt
Sometimes, it's just to keep moving and stay fit.

After years of dealing with injury, I committed to another 1/2 marathon this year (though without a time goal). Then I moved on to that uphill 1/2 marathon.  Then I thought "I need to maintain this!!"  But man, I realized that I was getting really tired.  I needed a break from the training schedule.

So now I run 1-2x a week.  I walk, I swim, I hike, I do weight training and yoga.  3-6 times a week total.  Just to be fit and keep moving. I may train for the same 2 half marathons next year, but again, at this age - time is not so much of an issue.  That's a recipe for injury.

So, what gets you motivated?  Because it's not the same now as it will be after the kid (sleep, stress).  It won't be the same next year.

And the extra weight?  You can't out exercise a bad diet, esp once you hit a certain age.

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2017, 06:54:03 PM »
I used to be strong and had great endurance. Then I got sick and stopped working out. Then I got fat. While the weight was hard on the ego, it was nothing compared to realizing that I couldn't do the things that I was once able to do.  Suddenly, I wasn't able to chase my nieces around reducing the quality of our time together. I actually injured myself shoveling dirt because my back muscles had weakened and I was too stubborn to accept that I wasn't able to do the task, so I pushed through the pain.

I'm working out again, and much of the flab has gone. I'll be pleased to get my runner's butt back, but I will fight tooth and nail to stay strong and fit enough to do the activities that I value (like sitting - seriously, without decent core strength, my back is always sore).

Do squats and sit-ups with baby. Run if and when you can. Anything else is gravy.

Mr. Green

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2017, 08:13:31 PM »
I'm working out again, and much of the flab has gone. I'll be pleased to get my runner's butt back, but I will fight tooth and nail to stay strong and fit enough to do the activities that I value (like sitting - seriously, without decent core strength, my back is always sore).
This summer I started having back problems. One vertebrae (T12 or L1) became sore to the touch. Sitting for long periods really made it flare up. I thought maybe it was a disc issue, despite not having any symptoms indicating such. I was in a weird spot with insurance so I had to wait two months to see a doctor. I'm now stocking groceries and it's going away. I'm almost sure I had simply become so weak that my core couldn't support extended sitting without putting strain on those ligaments that connect to the vertebrae. I hadn't been working out in almost a year because of injury. I ran but that doesn't build back muscles. A great example of why you need some strength if you want the best chance at a pain free life.

Hotstreak

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 08:20:38 PM »
Training for function is the foundation.  If you want to be chiseled, continue your training but add in a strict diet.  The diet is what makes your 6-pack show.

Sun Hat

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2017, 07:13:22 AM »
[I was in a weird spot with insurance so I had to wait two months to see a doctor. I'm now stocking groceries and it's going away. I'm almost sure I had simply become so weak that my core couldn't support extended sitting without putting strain on those ligaments that connect to the vertebrae. I hadn't been working out in almost a year because of injury. I ran but that doesn't build back muscles. A great example of why you need some strength if you want the best chance at a pain free life.

Stocking shelves sounds like a great functional therapy for building back strength (so long as you don't jump from light things to lifting pallets overnight).

OP - Learn from our mistakes! Being hobbled isn't sexy.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2017, 09:24:03 AM »
Iím 29, male and have noticed myself putting on a bit of weight around my mid section.

Iíve done triathlons and marathons in the past but now with a full time job taking up a lot of my time, our first child on the way and other things to take priority, my waistline is increasing and my once fast metabolism slowing.

Iím getting into weights at home and was doing some long hard thinking. The idea of working out is quite vein all over the internet, lean sculpted muscles are the key to happiness it seems. But is this the case? Will I feel so much better about myself or is it better to train for longevity to allow me to run with my soon to be born kids, wrestle with grandkids when Iím 70 or should I just do it to get the look?

Lean sculpted muscles may be an element toward happiness, but certainly not the "end all".  A healthy, lean body is good for your health and self esteem, all other things being equal.  It might be considered vain if you are doing it only for your appearance...

You seem conflicted over endurance versus weight training.  I think fitness is a cocktail of cardio and weight training, especially as one ages.  You can make adjustments along the way depending on how your body responds (everyone's metabolism is a bit different). 

Here's what I know (I am 59 and super fit):

1.  As most men age, doing lots of cardio without weight training, doesn't yield a "super fit" look (as in Men's Health Mag and the like).  If the super-fit look (very toned and lean, not scrawny/flabby) is important to you, you need to weight train.  I know guys who can distance cycle forever that have flabby or scrawny looking bodies, even though "cardiovascularly" /endurance wise they are extremely powerful.  Part of the problem with extremely long runs and Bike Century rides is you need to chow down tons of carbs which can screw up your fat stores.  You could say it's vain to want to look super fit; you could also say it's healthier to have less body fat.

2.  Diet is critical.  I find mostly eliminating sugar, white flour, and everything NOT whole grain helps a lot.  NOT EATING OUT is freagin HUGE.

3.  It would be extremely helpful if you could bike to work.  I started this about 2 years ago, and it's really helped me lean out and manage my time (baby steps...).  This is pretty much all the cardio I need...I just "add-on" some weight training.

4.  If you do weight train, don't skip the legs.  So many people skip them...big mistake.  Working legs balances out the body.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 09:27:14 AM by frugaliknowit »

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2017, 09:36:28 AM »
Can you clarify the question a bit?

What Iím meaning to say is, should one go to the gym to train to just look better or should they train to function better?

Looking back on your 20s and 30s do you think training to look good was a futile exercise?

I have always trained for a purpose (in my case, competition - taekwondo, boxing, muay thai, judo, brazilian jiu jitsu, wrestling).  For me, that just makes it much easier to push harder and get better.  It helps to keep me on track with a healthy diet . . . because when I eat garbage my performance drops.  Striving to get better has always made me happier - I get sick less often than my co-workers, I sleep better and longer, I do not have pain when I wake up in the morning, I've always got lots of energy.

But the concepts you've raised . . . they're not mutually exclusive.  If you are strong and have good endurance, your body will look pretty good.  Things that people tend to prize physically (muscles, reduced body fat) are things that anyone involved in regular athletics will develop naturally.

Mr. Green

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2017, 09:50:20 AM »
Lifting weights doesn't have to be conventional either. If you want to build core, back, and leg muscles but don't want to go to a gym get yourself some sandbags from Home Depot and move them from one side of your yard to the other 5x a week. The idea doesn't have to be any more complicated than moving weight, however you want to accomplish that. Like stocking groceries! Lol. Maybe something creative like that is more fun for you. If that's too much it's easy to start with simple bodyweight exercises like push-ups. I don't care how fit you are if you do push-ups to failure for a number of sets you're gonna feel it the next day.

Samuel

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2017, 09:52:54 AM »
Know thyself. Some people are really motivated by achieving "the look", others by the increased functionality and physical capabilities, still others by the mental and overall wellness benefits.

I'm a combination of the latter 2 reasons. I exercise mainly for my head (mental health) and to have the energy and ability to do fun stuff.


But yeah, as others have mentioned the extra pounds around the middle are 95% a diet problem.


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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2017, 10:14:10 AM »
Can you clarify the question a bit?

What Iím meaning to say is, should one go to the gym to train to just look better or should they train to function better?

Looking back on your 20s and 30s do you think training to look good was a futile exercise?

I don't think the 70 year old lady I am friends with at the gym would think so. She still benches 115 and is on the cover of Lee Haney's latest book (she's the black lady in the black and pink - https://leehaney.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/fitanyage_cover1.jpg).

But here's the secret - while training will help you look better, it will never make you look like a fitness model. As they say, abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.

I have 10 years on you and I have gotten more and more active over time. I shift my focus around. I did triathlons for awhile. I did a marathon. I've always enjoyed the gym and about 15 months ago, I got into weight lifting. I have built a good amount of strength and have started to shift to some more aesthetic work. But I won't give up the strength aspects because my kids aren't getting any lighter and there's nothing like being able to scoop up your 10 year old when she's hurt and run up a hill, and then stairs, with her.

Now, I'm a woman so I feel the conundrum more strongly than men, I think. We're shown that skinny is beautiful. Actresses that get too buff (Jessica Biel) start losing work. So somehow we're supposed to be strong, but not big, and lose body fat, but not too much. That certainly makes working on progression so much more subjective.

Right now, I'm in a place where I look strong and muscular but even though I'm around 22-24% body fat, I will need to drop it if I want to look less bulky. That's all kitchen work and that's the hardest part for me.

jeninco

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2017, 02:18:50 PM »
Can you clarify the question a bit?

What Iím meaning to say is, should one go to the gym to train to just look better or should they train to function better?

Looking back on your 20s and 30s do you think training to look good was a futile exercise?

I don't think the 70 year old lady I am friends with at the gym would think so. She still benches 115 and is on the cover of Lee Haney's latest book (she's the black lady in the black and pink - https://leehaney.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/fitanyage_cover1.jpg).

But here's the secret - while training will help you look better, it will never make you look like a fitness model. As they say, abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.

I have 10 years on you and I have gotten more and more active over time. I shift my focus around. I did triathlons for awhile. I did a marathon. I've always enjoyed the gym and about 15 months ago, I got into weight lifting. I have built a good amount of strength and have started to shift to some more aesthetic work. But I won't give up the strength aspects because my kids aren't getting any lighter and there's nothing like being able to scoop up your 10 year old when she's hurt and run up a hill, and then stairs, with her.

<snip, although societal views of beauty is interesting, it's a side topic here>

Right now, I'm in a place where I look strong and muscular but even though I'm around 22-24% body fat, I will need to drop it if I want to look less bulky. That's all kitchen work and that's the hardest part for me.

Seconding this from another decade or two out.  (And there's nothing like being able to scoop a reasonable-sized 13-year old boy off the soccer field when the ref is yelling at you to quit delaying the game.) For me, it's all about functionality, and "buff-ness" is secondary (um, but not too far secondary -- I like how I look).  Can you perform the normal and not-so-norma aspects of your life? (We don't backpack that often, but I still want to be able to sling on a 30-40 lb pack and walk uphill for hours!)

 I'm coming down to the following each week:
3-4 days of some kind of cardio (it's still warm enough out to hike uphill hard, then run down)
3 days pullups and pushups (if I were smarter, there'd be flexibility work in here too)
1 day (aiming for 2) of HIIT (currently using 12 minute athlete.com), which is mostly body-weight strength. (today was a lunge-fest with cinderblocks, since ski season is real soon)
at least 1 day/week of core work and flexibility (Pilates mat, usually)

Within that general framework, what I actually do varies over time. Things become interesting, then boring. Great teachers come and go -- I did serious Pilates for about 10 years, but then the teachers I liked left town, so now I'm checking out something else. I played rugby, then ultimate, then ran half-marathons. Now I bike, hike, and run, but all just for fun.

But here's the thing -- if you have a working body, you probably look pretty good! And Nth-ing the kitchen observation -- if you want visible abs, (and, you know, lovely defined bulgy shoulder muscles) quit eating so much. As you get older, try IF, and see if that helps.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2017, 04:37:52 PM »
Eat to survive dont survive to eat..Thats #1

Resistance training 30 minute 3-4 x's a week to keep the bones strong dont have to go heavy and ruin your joints but do higher reps.

Cardio 3-4 times a week 40 minutes getting your hear rate up.

 You do that then the Look is mostly diet....Unless you want to ruin your joints and try to look like Arnold use too then your talking a whole different thing. But based on your opening statement and having kids , like anything do what you will stick too!!

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2017, 11:21:46 AM »
Mr Green, Iím not a doctor, so take this with a grain of salt, but Iíve learned some about back injuries over the years. If you were female and older, Iíd say that your back injury sounded like a vertebral compression fracture. If so, may want to get it checked out, those are most common in slight older women with osteoporosis, so it could indicate other issues. Definitely donít want to take the spine for granted!

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2017, 02:50:02 PM »
I'd recommend the book You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for anyone starting out in fitness. It's a bodyweight/calisthenics program, just as the name implies. You can do the exercises anywhere and don't have to spend a cent on equipment or trainers. It's all scalable so you start wherever you can and work up to more complicated moves. Once you can master pistols, one arm pullups, and planche pushups, then you can move on to other programs :)

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2017, 05:28:51 PM »
Mr Green, Iím not a doctor, so take this with a grain of salt, but Iíve learned some about back injuries over the years. If you were female and older, Iíd say that your back injury sounded like a vertebral compression fracture. If so, may want to get it checked out, those are most common in slight older women with osteoporosis, so it could indicate other issues. Definitely donít want to take the spine for granted!
It was a weird thing. It was only sore on the surface of my back where the vertebrae bump was. No pain on either side or above or below the bump. No typical spine symptoms like nerve numbness. Only that local spot on the surface of my back. It was also in my mid back, which is an unusual place for back problems. T12 is at the bottom of the rib cage. Exercise was unaffected by the spot, it actually helped it feel better. I eventually saw my physician and she was so unconcerned with my symptoms after an examination that she didn't even send me for further tests.

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2017, 09:27:37 PM »
Regardless of looks and its relation to happiness, I think fitness/nutrition is really important for overall long term health.  To me, the key is to trying to develop sustainable habits.  Exercise maybe once a week and try to keep to a schedule.  Then maybe add on more days/exercises as needed.  Also, don't go crazy comparing your results to other people or else you will get discouraged.  Just try to keep improving your own personal bests, and realize that your progress won't always be linear. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2017, 02:15:54 AM »
I just read this article on how men take up exercise or some hobby when they have children, forcing the mother to bear even more of the child raising/minding load. Look after yourself, but donít be that guy.

FLBiker

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2017, 07:28:08 AM »
Wow, this thread was an eyeopener for me.  I'm a 41 year old male, I've always been in OK shape, but I've never really thought about exercising for my looks.  In my 20s, I didn't think about exercise much at all, but as they came to a close I started running, biking (now swimming) and I'm in better shape now than I was then.  My motivation has been health.  And I've got a 2.5 year old, and it's really fun being able to wrestle with her / throw her around.

Perhaps part of the reason why this isn't a familiar thought to me is I feel like I'm one of those people whose body just "is what it is" -- I've had friends who put on weight / lost weight / gained muscle pretty easily.  I feel like when I was drinking all the time, eating crappy, not exercising vs exercising, not drinking, being vegetarian, I don't look so different.

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2017, 07:20:21 PM »
I read this thread a week ago but never got around to commenting, but the topic is interesting and something I also ponder. 

Iím in my early 30s and have worked out and ran for a mixture of vanity, competing in amateur races, and long term health.  I have been obsessive and achieved decent aesthetic results, feels douchey to type sorry.   However when I am training like that once I get to a certain level I sort of start doubting myself.  Like why spend so much effort and discipline for pretty much the sake of looking defined.  I would tell myself that it is for long term health but honestly I donít think I have seen data indicating that ultra low body fat is optimal for long term health.  We know excercise, diet and not being overweight are important but the difference between say lower body fat and like ultra low body fat of fitness models I donít think there much data to distinguish long term health impacts of one or the other.  Because of those doubts I start to talk myself out of spending so much effort on vanity goals, itís not like a model or even single. 

I then get out of shape, get motivated, start training and start seeing results and feeling better achieving a training goal.  So for me the goal oriented training with the ability to see progress definitely enhances my life.  I tend to do better with aesthetic goals, as I have become injury prone when it comes to running.  And a little to cheap to sign up for multiple races.  Anyone know if thereís known benefits to being ďrippedĒ as opposed to ďfitĒ?

chasesfish

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #32 on: December 25, 2017, 07:36:50 PM »
I just read this entire thread.  Mr. Green pretty much nailed it and he's one year younger than me.

I've worked out since I was 17, mainly because I got a flabby midsection and once my grandfather came down with cancer, his life advice to me was "Earn more than you spend, watch what you eat, and exercise and you'll be better off than 90% of the people".

I used to just weight train and do various cardio equipment, never really could run due to various knee pains and slowly gained fat weight from my college years.  Finally got a good running shoe fit (apparently I have extra wide feet, high arch, and pronate) and took up trail running.  Loved it.  I'm 6'2 and have fluctuated anywhere from 175 to 195 depending on mix of running, weight training, and poor diet over the last eight years.  I'll probably never be ripped, accepted that from the flabby tire I developed in my mid teens.  When I'm 175, my mile time is faster and and I'm lean, but feel weak and deal with back and occasional knee pain.  When I get a few months of solid weight training in, I feel strong, back pain is gone, knees feel strong (appetite is ferocious) but my running speed is slows down due to extra weight and the glut/hamstring/calf lifting.

At this point my concerns in this order are:

Cardiovascular Health
Strength, Range of Motion, and Joint Health
Waistline

The waistline can also be resolved with diet, so I really workout for the first two.   Pay particular attention to every muscle group on the rear of the body, upper back, lower back, rear, hamstring, and calfs.  They are easily ignored because they aren't the vanity muscles.

One other word of caution, especially for people in their 30s.  You have to slowly adjust how you workout as you get older.  Two of my coworkers dealt with rhabdomyolysis from CrossFit, then my wife got a life threatening spinal injury from Bodypump.   We had been doing it for 10 years, but she tore the protective layer of her spinal cord while doing an overhead press with a jerking motion.  Damn thing took nine months to get patched and she's still dealing with residual symptoms.


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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2017, 08:42:40 PM »
Omg Chasefish thats terrible about your wife hope sheís better! Iím obsessed with Bodypump and have been doing it for years multiple times a week. I know exactly the move you mean yikes! Iím going to be extra careful from now on.

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2017, 07:21:28 AM »
Omg Chasefish thats terrible about your wife hope sheís better! Iím obsessed with Bodypump and have been doing it for years multiple times a week. I know exactly the move you mean yikes! Iím going to be extra careful from now on.

Thanks for asking - Getting there, she still has residual headaches and some neurological weirdness, but is far better than where she was.   She's done lots of Physical Therapy post procedure and still is a few months out from being cleared to run.

Smooth motions and lower impact exercises are your friend as you age!

mm1970

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2017, 12:13:26 PM »
Omg Chasefish thats terrible about your wife hope sheís better! Iím obsessed with Bodypump and have been doing it for years multiple times a week. I know exactly the move you mean yikes! Iím going to be extra careful from now on.

Thanks for asking - Getting there, she still has residual headaches and some neurological weirdness, but is far better than where she was.   She's done lots of Physical Therapy post procedure and still is a few months out from being cleared to run.

Smooth motions and lower impact exercises are your friend as you age!
This is very important!  I've blown out knees, had achilles problems, back problems, shoulder problems, piriformis and sciatica as I've aged.  It all started at 39.5.

I like a variety of exercises but I know my limits.  I have some people look at me like "wimp" or "gosh I hope that doesn't happen to me!" 
- I run, but I run /walk
- When I trail run, I only run the flats.  I don't run downhill or over rocks.
- I do not do any kind of Zumba or dance anymore.  Twisting is not for me!
- I do not do jumping jacks.
- When I do any kind of workout video - cardio, weights, etc, I modify the speed.  Fast movements are a recipe for disaster for me!
- I swim a lot, but I have to add in different strokes or else I have shoulder issues.

aceyou

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2017, 12:44:42 PM »
Obviously each person has to come up with their own goals, but since you asked, here's what mine have been:

Background: I was a D2 tennis player in college, so I've always had an athletic but thin build. 
Current age: 34
Occupation: math teacher/tennis coach, married for 10 years, have 5 and 2 year old.

Primary fitness goals:
1) Regarding Exercise.  For me this means maintaining my weight around 165-170 (I'm 5'11"), and keeping my heart and lungs in passable condition.  To do this I play tennis occasionally with the kids I train, horseplay with my kids, and riding a bicycle.  I have VERY light weights in the basement that I life just to keep muscles moving (all under 20 pounds). 

2) Regarding looks. The main contributor to how a person looks is diet and your grooming/wardrobe, not exercise.  I weigh what I weigh and look how I look primarily because I eat healthy clean food and don't eat to excess.  And because I wear reasonably priced clothes that are high quality and fit well. If I did NO EXERCISE whatsoever for a year, I wouldn't look much different on the outside.  The main difference would be my heart and lungs and flexibility, which you can't see.  I exercise mostly to improve the parts of me that you cannot see.   

Are my outward looks important to me?  To a point, sure.  My wife married me and it is understood that I'm the only guy she's going to be with, like you know, forever!  My wife married an active fit person because she liked being around an active fit person.  I want to continue being that person for her.

Final thoughts:  If you want to look good for minimal work, then eat healthy portions of healthy food, dress in good quality clothes that fit you well, and wear a smile/upbeat personality.  That will get you 95% of the way there.  At this point, working out is to get you that extra 5% on your looks.  The real reason you'll work out is more likely to make sure your heart, lungs, and flexibility gets you to a healthy, happy old age. 

Good luck!

wenchsenior

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2017, 01:16:58 PM »
Omg Chasefish thats terrible about your wife hope sheís better! Iím obsessed with Bodypump and have been doing it for years multiple times a week. I know exactly the move you mean yikes! Iím going to be extra careful from now on.

Thanks for asking - Getting there, she still has residual headaches and some neurological weirdness, but is far better than where she was.   She's done lots of Physical Therapy post procedure and still is a few months out from being cleared to run.

Smooth motions and lower impact exercises are your friend as you age!
This is very important!  I've blown out knees, had achilles problems, back problems, shoulder problems, piriformis and sciatica as I've aged.  It all started at 39.5.

I like a variety of exercises but I know my limits.  I have some people look at me like "wimp" or "gosh I hope that doesn't happen to me!" 
- I run, but I run /walk
- When I trail run, I only run the flats.  I don't run downhill or over rocks.
- I do not do any kind of Zumba or dance anymore.  Twisting is not for me!
- I do not do jumping jacks.
- When I do any kind of workout video - cardio, weights, etc, I modify the speed.  Fast movements are a recipe for disaster for me!
- I swim a lot, but I have to add in different strokes or else I have shoulder issues.

Wow, we sound so similar. Most of my structural/mechanical problems started at 40.

Re swimmer's shoulder....I just started regular swimming 3-4 times per week after 20 years of only very occasional swimming.  I used to swim hardcore laps in college, but always had shoulder tendon problems.  They started up again after about a month of recent swimming renewal.

Turns out I was taught a sub-optimal freestyle technique as a kid, one that is now known to lead to shoulder injuries.  I looked up a bunch of instructional vids on how to do the 'new' freestyle, and spent about a month 'retraining' my stroke (it is quite different from the old stroke).  And like magic, my traditional shoulder pain vanished!  I've been swimming hard for more than 6 months since, with no problems at all.

Check the following to see if you are doing these shoulder-killers:

Keeping your torso relatively flat in the water.  Unless you are specifically using a shoulder-driven power sprinting technique, you should be rotating notably back and forth with each stoke, evenly, rather like you are skewered on a spit.  I was watching one swim practice where the coach had the kids swim with tall 'shark fins' attached to them, so he could be sure they were rolling enough with each stroke.

Overreaching toward the mid-line as your hand enters the water.  Hands should instead enter water straight ahead of yourshoulder, or no more an inch or so inside that width.

Hand entering the water thumb down/palm out.  Hand should instead enter at shoulder width, palm down, fingers first, with a relaxed hand.  If doing proper roll in a hip-driven (distance) freestyle, you should then have few seconds of 'reach' where you are rolled onto your side, with your newly entered hand gliding forward and slightly down in the water, feeling for the 'catch' prior to the pull part of the stroke.

S-shaped underwater pull.  I'm not sure why this was ever taught, but it is how I learned.  Man does it mess up your shoulders! Too much side to side pressure on the shoulder joints and inefficient as well.  Pull should instead be much straighter down the length of the body, with a high elbow position (I imagine holding a small barrel under my arm), and palm should face the back wall of the pool all the way through until a split second prior to water exit and recovery.

It took a while for me to relearn a lifetime of painful technique. I had to concentrate SO HARD for about a month!  But I found a lot of the problems corrected themselves once I got the proper 'body roll' automated, and by focusing hard on keeping my hand entry palm-down at shoulder width. 

It is a huge relief to not have shoulder pain when I swim!

neo von retorch

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2017, 01:32:07 PM »
Reference: "Your Brain At Work", David Rock

S.C.A.R.F. stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. Fitness/health can be related to status and relatedness. But what is SCARF?

It's an acronym to remember five things our brains treat in the same way that we might treat a real danger - that is, when they are threatened, we go into Fight or Flight mode. That's why, when your boss threatens your job (your status, and potentially your autonomy, not to mention your certainty) you see red and can't think straight.

So in that respect, if lifting weights and getting healthy improves your social status, it could do you some good. And if you do it with friends, you relate to them on a new level. Cool!

But does improving your appearance via lifting weights really affect your social status? Sort of - but on the terms of the people you attract, that is those that focus on those factors.



I apologize if the above doesn't come across well. I'm not organizing my thoughts well. Sounds like your married and working on kids? You have priorities in your life. I'm not sure where "body building" for appearance fits into those. You'll have to decide that for yourself. As so many others have said, the health benefits of certain exercises are real - full-body movement lifts like the (barbell) back squat do really great things for you, without a huge time commitment. Most of that is increased strength and other health factors, more so than appearance. Of course, we cannot deny how our bodies react to other well-shaped, fit bodies. Is this something that's important to your partner? Is it something you both value highly and want to dedicate time and other resources to?

I'm married now. Before I started dating my wife, I lifted and watched my food intake somewhat carefully. (Translation: I ate A LOT of fat and protein! And carbs! And everything I could get my hands on to hit my macro-nutrient targets!) Was it good for my social life? Sure! I made friends in fitness circles. I dated girls that found me attractive. But I didn't find my wife that way. (Though I don't think being in good shape hurt...) Do I keep up with it now? Not nearly so much. Does my wife appreciate it when I do? Sure! But it's not what we value the most in our lives.

clarkai

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2017, 01:48:56 PM »
For me, exercising for longevity, health, and vanity basically all align- that it, it's not a trade off. Maybe that just means I have low standards, but I don't need to look shredded to be physically appealing to my own eyes, and I actually prefer a less-than-shredded appearance.

I'm 29 now, and started working out with an aim towards longevity in my early twenties, because I didn't want to follow my parents' example. There are a few keys to maintaining functionality as we get older, if I remember correctly. Obviously some amount of strength and cardiovascular fitness, but also flexibility, and balance. I found a hobby that incorporated all of these, have have been going steadily at it now for about 5 years. Knowing myself, I wouldn't have kept up with just running, or just lifting weights, but I'll do these things to increase by ability and performance in my hobby.

mm1970

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #40 on: December 27, 2017, 12:43:03 PM »
Quote
Check the following to see if you are doing these shoulder-killers:

Keeping your torso relatively flat in the water.  Unless you are specifically using a shoulder-driven power sprinting technique, you should be rotating notably back and forth with each stoke, evenly, rather like you are skewered on a spit.  I was watching one swim practice where the coach had the kids swim with tall 'shark fins' attached to them, so he could be sure they were rolling enough with each stroke.

Overreaching toward the mid-line as your hand enters the water.  Hands should instead enter water straight ahead of yourshoulder, or no more an inch or so inside that width.

Hand entering the water thumb down/palm out.  Hand should instead enter at shoulder width, palm down, fingers first, with a relaxed hand.  If doing proper roll in a hip-driven (distance) freestyle, you should then have few seconds of 'reach' where you are rolled onto your side, with your newly entered hand gliding forward and slightly down in the water, feeling for the 'catch' prior to the pull part of the stroke.

S-shaped underwater pull.  I'm not sure why this was ever taught, but it is how I learned.  Man does it mess up your shoulders! Too much side to side pressure on the shoulder joints and inefficient as well.  Pull should instead be much straighter down the length of the body, with a high elbow position (I imagine holding a small barrel under my arm), and palm should face the back wall of the pool all the way through until a split second prior to water exit and recovery.

It took a while for me to relearn a lifetime of painful technique. I had to concentrate SO HARD for about a month!  But I found a lot of the problems corrected themselves once I got the proper 'body roll' automated, and by focusing hard on keeping my hand entry palm-down at shoulder width. 

It is a huge relief to not have shoulder pain when I swim!

This is hugely helpful.  Some of these I do right, some of these I don't.  I'll have to concentrate. 

Occasionally there will be other women in the pool with me in the morning (mostly dudes).  There are some real swimmers (as in, people who swam in HS/ college/ etc).  Whenever they pass me in the next lane, I'm concentrating on watching their form.  The roll is something I need to work on, for sure.

wenchsenior

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Re: Looking back on life- Fitness goals
« Reply #41 on: December 27, 2017, 05:29:25 PM »
Quote
Check the following to see if you are doing these shoulder-killers:

Keeping your torso relatively flat in the water.  Unless you are specifically using a shoulder-driven power sprinting technique, you should be rotating notably back and forth with each stoke, evenly, rather like you are skewered on a spit.  I was watching one swim practice where the coach had the kids swim with tall 'shark fins' attached to them, so he could be sure they were rolling enough with each stroke.

Overreaching toward the mid-line as your hand enters the water.  Hands should instead enter water straight ahead of yourshoulder, or no more an inch or so inside that width.

Hand entering the water thumb down/palm out.  Hand should instead enter at shoulder width, palm down, fingers first, with a relaxed hand.  If doing proper roll in a hip-driven (distance) freestyle, you should then have few seconds of 'reach' where you are rolled onto your side, with your newly entered hand gliding forward and slightly down in the water, feeling for the 'catch' prior to the pull part of the stroke.

S-shaped underwater pull.  I'm not sure why this was ever taught, but it is how I learned.  Man does it mess up your shoulders! Too much side to side pressure on the shoulder joints and inefficient as well.  Pull should instead be much straighter down the length of the body, with a high elbow position (I imagine holding a small barrel under my arm), and palm should face the back wall of the pool all the way through until a split second prior to water exit and recovery.

It took a while for me to relearn a lifetime of painful technique. I had to concentrate SO HARD for about a month!  But I found a lot of the problems corrected themselves once I got the proper 'body roll' automated, and by focusing hard on keeping my hand entry palm-down at shoulder width. 

It is a huge relief to not have shoulder pain when I swim!

This is hugely helpful.  Some of these I do right, some of these I don't.  I'll have to concentrate. 

Occasionally there will be other women in the pool with me in the morning (mostly dudes).  There are some real swimmers (as in, people who swam in HS/ college/ etc).  Whenever they pass me in the next lane, I'm concentrating on watching their form.  The roll is something I need to work on, for sure.

I find it amazing how variable peoples' strokes are.  Keep in mind this advice is for hip driven freestyle, which is the standard lap-swim style.  Some individuals seem to use the shoulder driven stroke (usually used for sprinting) all the time, however.  That IS harder on the shoulder, because the stroke has fast turnover, the hand entry 'punches down' into the water closer to the body and the pull begins immediately with no glide, and there is much less body roll because the hips have to act to 'counterbalance' the stronger shoulder motion, as opposed to working with it in the style I described.

Make sure you don't start imitating a shoulder driven stroke! I do practice that one too, occasionally, but not too much because my shoulders can't stand up to it for long (I'm a twig).  ETA: Here's a really basic video on the difference between the two main stroke styles...covers the basics.   https://youtu.be/b746O3Ltz44   Keep in mind, this doesn't cover some of the more specific things like e.g., Michael Phelps and other elite free-stylers who use 'hybrid freestyle' (I always think of it as The Gallop) or body-driven sprinting, which looks like a windmill.  This is just the two standard variations.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 05:38:58 PM by wenchsenior »