Can an old man get a six pack?

  • I've been following this forum for a while now and it's really inspired me to add more intensity to my workouts.

    Basically I used to do quite a bit of running and squash, but screwed my lower back a few years ago and had to cut out high impact exercise (and anything that involves weights with a bent back). I was going through the motions in the gym, and it was not really having much effect - but have really upped the work rate since!

    Over the last 6 months I've lost quite a few kgs and got down to my "fighting weight" of 80kg. I'm just over 6 ft tall so I haven't got a lot of fat, but there is a bit of blubber over the old guts that so far refuses to shift.

    Given I'm in my mid-forties I realise it's harder to shift, but my next goal, for motivation and a bit of a laugh is to see if an old boy like me can get a six pack.

    Currently I alternate between:
    interval training on bikes (anyone else used Trixter bikes? they're addictive) for 1 hour
    pull ups, push ups, dips, swiss ball, kettlebells (but not the swings) 45 mins

    I'm looking at doing more boxing and swimming - basically want to get fitter/stronger but not put on mass.

    Any tips on new exercises always welcome- I'll keep you posted as to whether I start seeing any muscle showing behind my wine belly.

  • I think the exercises are fine but its more your diet that will bring out that dormant 6 pack. Unfortunately that means cutting out or cutting down on alot of the fun things in life (alcohol, cake, ice cream, chips, biscuits etc). Opportunity cost really: 6 pack in the gut or 6 pack on the gut.

  • Your're probably right dammit. I don't tend to snack and I haven't got a sweet tooth. Problem is I think this gives me a free pass to tuck into roasts, curries, pies, fish and chips etc. I don't eat them regularly (eg I'll have a fry-up once every weekend) but probably still too often.

    Can I forego them? No. Perhaps i can cut down on them a bit though

  • portion size cookie. I went from a 120 kilo ex prop to an 80 kilo bodybuilder, with a 6 pack, and just clicked over to 41 this last January. So keep eating what's nice, just reduced portions, and make wise choices. If there's a low fat / low cal version of anything, use that instead of the full noise one.

    There's an adage one of out lod trainers used, "you can't out-train your diet". Meaning at the end of the day it's what goes in the gob, not what goes into the workout. 80% diet, 20% workout I reckon.

    And abs, don't waste time doing them 3 times a week, once a week is ample, your abs get worked out doing pretty much everything exercise wise. We probably do abs in every 2nd 4 week block of training. But they're still there, and not getting BIGGER, whcih gives you a bigger waist, which no one wants!!

    so just watch your diet a little, and it'll all come good in no time at all.

    OH, and in answer to your question, can an old man get a six pack - YES!!

  • my lower 'abs' are the ones that are the best at hiding, I can see the top ones are keen to show themselves....

  • they are always the last ones to come out and play!!

  • [COLOR=#333333]"you can't out-train your diet" love it. In a nutshell, is exactly what I've been trying to do.

    Yesterday - 1 hr on bike at lunch time, pool of sweat on floor, then went home ate toast, butter, pate followed by double espresso and a donut. It's not a typical lunch for me, but I think I can see where the problem might be...

    Today is pull-ups, kettle bells etc

    Tomorrow going for my first boxing session (god help me)

    So plan of action - really cut down on the crap food in Feb, and hope to see at least the upper abs coming out to say hello. Then push on for the pesky lower abs in March.

    Bart - ever thought of being a personal trainer for the rich and famous?

  • Thats the problem with intensive cardio. You're so ravenous afterwards that you could eat everything in sight. Pretty much negates the effect of that training. Best to have something right after training to take that edge off your hunger. Protein shakes or bars are good for this.

  • Right - back from gym, mainly pull-ups and kettle bells today with a bit of Swiss ball work for the old back.

    Guy there in his 60s or 70s was doing yoga in what can only be described as some frighteningly revealing shorts - thought his prunes were pop out at any moment. Upside: didn't eat much for lunch.

    Home made turkey curry with brown rice tonight - pretty healthy. Back on the bike tomorrow, Rancid I'll try the snack bar approach, see if that keeps the beast at bay.

  • try a no carb approach with dinner. So eat veg and meat, but you cut out the pasta, potato, kumara, rice etc. Takes a while to get used to, but works a treat.

  • as an additional exercise, check out my old thread;

    b[/URL]asically, do a pull up, then while holding your torso still at the top, run/walk 20-40 times
    you can also do variations like up +10 runs, half down+10 runs, repeat.....

    and you can do other things with your legs, and change the angle. basic point is to hold torso still.

    good luck

  • Morning session on the Trixter bike - burned off over 1,000 calories in 1hr 15 mins if you believe the machine (I don't). Rest day tomorrow.

    Saturday treat - fry-up brunch. Then pick up son from footy, grab some beer and off to mate's to watch Six Nations. Ain't life sweet!

    Kea - you are a lunatic, those exercises look haaaard. I'm gonna give them a go but I think I'll be a world of pain.

    Bart - on the no carbs approach, what's your view on stuff like lentils, cous cous, chick peas etc - they're kinda carby and proteiny at the same time.

    Right - Six nations time!

  • I can attest to the diet being the main factor, I am not on a diet, but have just cut down massively on breads, eating loads more fruit and better in general (still have treats) at least 3l of water a day, I have lost 6.8kg since 01/01

  • nearly 7kg is huge!

    OK you've all convinced me about improving diet. Since Monday I have started a healthier approach and I'm going to post up what I have eaten the day before.
    It will be a good incentive to keep it healthy as possible and I can see what I've consumed over a week or so. I'm not going on a monastic diet but will try to cut out a lot of fat and some carbs, while still having treats. Feel free to chip in with suggestions!

    Day one Monday 6th Feb
    B. Granola, zero fat greek yoghurt, stewed apple
    L. 2 slices wholemeal toast, 2 Ryvita things, CupaSoup. 1 biscuit
    D. 2 quarter pound chilli burgers home made from lean mince, curly cale, cous cous

    No snacks, no pud! Have about 4 double espressos with milk a day, no sugar.

    Gym - half hour on bike (pushed for time)

  • more carb than protein though on those 'hippy' foods. but we do have them in our eating plan at times. I even like them now!

    that eating looks pretty good to me thus far!!

  • my day usually consists of a coffee, bowl of cereal, then about 10am, have at least 2 peices of fruit, a cereal bar, by now I would have had maybe 1.5l of water, for lunch, having VitaWheat crackers (3 or 4) with Tuna, Tomato and cheese, another peice of fruit, then about 3pm I have another peice of fruit and a yoghurt, by the time I head home, at least 3l of water.

    Dinners vary alot, this is my lazy meal...but have made sure I have veg at dinner, try to reduce carbs as well, then my guitly pleasure of a glass of OJ with a cube of frozen lemon juice.

    total of 7.2kg lost this morning, plus another cm off the tum!

  • Day Two Tuesday 7th
    B. Oatbran with milk, apple, cinamon. Tasted crap - the apple doesn't work! Surprisingly small amount keeps you full though so will try with banana next
    L. Toast, Cupa soup, bit of cheese. Coffee, home made biscuit
    D. Shop bought Chicken Tikka Massala (I know...) rice, homemade spinach bhaji

    Woke up at 3.00 am feeling really hungry, but the shame of having to post it, prevented me from doing the fridge some serious damage.

    Gym - pull-ups, press ups, dips, kettle bells and 10 mins on the punch bags (that hurt the most).

    TR - You've lost nearly another half kilo in a matter of days - it's flying off. I was just thinking about what to eat for lunch instead of bread/toast - crackers look good to me! Any other suggestions welcome.

    Bart - I've grown to love the hippy foods. If you add a good stock or spices to them while cooking they really absorb the flavour! I'm a bit of a chilli freak, heard it speeds up the metabolism - but it's probably BS.

  • it is funny though, I didnt lose much last week, but this week it is falling off me...

  • Day Three Wed 8th

    b. Granola, yogurt, apple
    L. Tuna/cheese melt on toast. Crackers with cheese
    D. Homemade Moroccan style Chicken, wild rice. Bottle of wine - oops

    Gym - 45 min boxing class. Never been to a class before, I thought it would be a bit poncy - wrong! The class started with punch bags, then on to 5 rounds of light sparring (body shots only). Supposed to be low power shots only, but once the adrenaline kicks in boys will be boys. Sparring was great as it forces you to keep going, otherwise you get pummelled. Going to a more sedate non-sparring class on Saturday - need to get my boxing fitness up so I can dish it out next Weds!

    After class, arms and back aching, forearms sore from a few stray elbows. This morning though all good, no probs with my back, so will definitely be going again. Great all over body work-out

  • Bloody clients have distracted me from my fitness programme. Idiots!

    Right - Day Four Thurs 9th
    B. [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Granola, yogurt, apple[/font][/color]
    [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]L. Out so grabbed a Salt Beef Sandwich[/font][/color]
    [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]D. Hot ham, peas, sweetcorn, potatoes and a beer.[/font][/color]

    [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Tied up in meetings, so ate much later than usual in evening. This meant I had a load of cheese and biscuits late afternoon (should have had some snack bars on me dammit!)[/font][/color]

    [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Gym: I just about had time to squeeze in a session on the legs/abs as arms a bit sore from boxing the day before. Did a load of lunges, one legged squats, balance exercises on one leg etc. Despite all the previous cycling, my legs are absolutely killing me today. Hope they're better for boxing on Saturday. Will start a new training plan next to week to work more around the boxing.[/font][/color]

  • Day 5 - Friday 10th
    b. oat bran, milk, cinamon, banana - much better!
    l. tuna sandwich, granola bar, coffee
    d. Pizza (some kind of sausage, italian broccoli and chilli flakes) a beer

    Gym - press-ups, dips pull-ups, lots of kettlebell inc. pullovers, rowing etc to help with the boxing. Felt really pumped at the end.

    Day 6 Sat 11th.

    Just back from boxing class no sparring today. lots of bag work and planks etc. Felt the arms from yesterday!

    Think just maybe the beginnings of something showing in the abdominal area - way too early to call it a six pack though! Healthy eating may well go on hold tonight with a few beers, see how it goes

  • Day 6 sat 11th -

    b. oat bran, banana, milk, cinnamon, topped with maple syrup - it's a winner!
    l. sausage baguette
    d, lamb stew, cous cous

    Watched the rugby at a mates - led to a few beers, red wine, vodka. Part of this was fuelled by knowing I had a rest day today. Might have to ban them in future!

    Gym - as mentioned 45 mins boxing - hitting the bags, planks, sit-ups etc

  • Sunday - rest day and feeling a bit hung over. Food intake doesn't make good reading:

    b. fry-up
    l. fridge raid - cold pizza, sausages, cheese, all manner of crap
    d. fishcakes, spinach, green beans (back on track!)

    Monday 13th
    b. granola etc
    l. ham sandwich
    d. stir fry: prawns, noodles, veg

    Gym: Cycle 30 mins, then Pull-ups, kettlebell crush curls, hammer curls, lat pull downs, core work on Swiss ball.

    Hopefully by focusing on "pulling" exercises I will feel fresh for boxing on Tuesday.

  • looking at those meals - you're needing something in between - 6 smaller meals a day etc. Got to keep feeding the body if you want to lose weight and fat!

  • Cheers Bart I find it hard enough to prepare 3 meals a day let alone six! What are your thoughts on making my 3 main meals slightly smaller and then introducing low fat snack bars/bananas etc in between?

    I don't really want to go down the protein shakes route - want to try and keep it as "natural" as poss. I've always been a 3 square meals a day man, thought a balanced diet with no snacking should crack it - so this all new to me!

    Still trying to get my head around more eating more frequently to lose fat...

  • Right yesterday's session
    Tues 14th
    b. granola etc
    l. toast, cheese, salmon, soup
    d. beef pie, potatoes (few) veg (lots)

    Gym: boxing 45 mins (session as laid out in TR's thread) not affected by cycling and "pulling" exercises yesterday, so all good.
    Followed by "pushing" exercises - dips, more press ups, KB overhead press, tricep pull downs, KB pull overs. All done in fairly rapid succession - triceps were screaming at the end of that!

    Thinking about Barts earlier post, since I've upped the intensity am starting to feel very hungry again by the time I hit sack at night, but have so far resisted mid-night fridge raids. hmmm.

  • Just edited the dates!

    Weds 15th
    b. oat bran, banana etc
    l. Tuna sandwich, granola bar
    d. Chicken Balti, Rice
    later - Beer, cheese, biscuits (too hungry!)

    gym 45 mins: lucky legs eleven today - warm-up on cross trainer, then lunges, single leg squats with Swiss ball, forward/backward lunges with KB, step-ups with KB, Swiss ball hammies and core.

    If all goes to plan and time/work allows it will be Thurs - weights, Fri - cardio, Sat - boxing.

  • bake - here's a protein muffin - makes 6, so that's your morning snack for a week sorted, I have a muffin and a banana at 10.

    1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not whole grain), 9 egg whites, 250g cottage cheese, 1 mashed banana, vanilla essence, and some artifical sweetner stuff, can never remember the name of it!! Also throw in some mixed berries, or not if you like. Bake at 150 degres for however long it takes - my oven about 40 minutes.

    I then glad wrap all six, throw in the fridge, and sorted for the week, or in our case, 3 days with both me and Ness having them!

    oh, teaspoon of baking powder will help too!!!!

  • Hey Bart - sounds good I'll dig out the apron! Has anyone got any recipes for the left over egg yolks - or are they a complete no-no if you want to lose any weight?

  • THursday 16th
    b. old schooll marmalade on toast, cuppa tea
    l. sardines on toast
    snack bar
    d. lamb rogan, rice

    boxing routine followed by KBs, pull-ups, dips etc

    starting to see signs of life around the upper abs/ribs and I think the boxing is helping

  • yolks are the fat bit - whites the protein. So probably not that great for you!

  • ...Damn - the yolks are the tastiest bit!

    The best laid plans etc. A late booking ski trip for next week, has meant a manic week of work.
    Only 3 gym sessions - focus on legs, core and balance for the ole skiing - squats, lunges, lots of hopping about on one leg looking like an idiot.

    It was an interesting exercise writing down all meals for a couple of weeks. I'd recommend it. Key points for me are:
    More fruit and veg
    Eat slightly less and have a few healthy snacks in between
    Go for more low fat options (I noticed I eat more pies/curries etc than I thought!)

    Weight has stayed at 80kg and the upper abs are beginning to say hello. A lot more to go though...

    Last trip to the gym for cycling/legs today. Then it's on the plane on Sat for a week of skiing. Sweet!
    Will probably eat and drink the house down - but legs and core will get a thorough examination over the next 7 days! I have crap technique so over-compensate with a lot exertion.

  • Still around 80kg and still in one piece after skiing. Work build up means changing routine slightly

    Basically resistance training sessions arms/legs 2x week, then try to slot in running, swimming, boxing, cycling around that when I can.

    Because I don't want to build muscle - want to get fitter/stronger without adding mass - I'm going to try incorporating as many different forms of exercise as I can.

    A general question around resting in between sets if anyone has a view. Instead of say resting between 4 sets of pullups what are pros/cons of interspersing them with eg leg exercises or dips - so that you are continually exercising?

  • For buiding absolute strength heaps of rest between sets is advisable I reckon. If I'm doing heavy Deads/bench/weighted chins or whatever I'll have three or four minutes to try and recover. Even that is tough cos recently I did six chinups with 30kg attached, rested almost five minutes and could only do three next set ! Should have tried for three sets of five reps at that weight in retrospect cos the sixth one was tough as fucken anything.....

    In saying all that though I try and mix it up every now and again ie lower the weights and less rest ( sixty seconds or so )

  • You'll only add mass if you eat lots, exercising alone won't do it.

  • yeah, if you want to add muscle mass, it ain't easy, and unless eating like ahorse, the right food, the right protein powder, you're not going to have to worry!

    rest is good, I reckon we must rest a minute two at the most between sets.

  • Thanks Guys - great no worries then!

    I went for my first run in a couple of years with no bad effects (so far) on the old back, so delighted with that.

    More work at mo means less gym time for me, so will be doing quicker sessions of KBs/Punch Bag/Chins/pulls etc alternating with Cycling/Swimming/Running in between when I can.

  • I rest between pull ups:

    1. Do 10 sets of 5-7 complete pull ups, aim in 10 minutes-that's a good one without much rest

    2. Do 6 sets of half-pull ups* with a walk over there and back, bout 2 miuntes I guess-usually something like 30/20/15/15/15/15 (*only go 2/3 of the way down)

    All pull ups are done with straight legs, no cheating.

    BTW, how are the abs going, getting stronger? Check out my thread on doing ab exercises on the pull up bar, they're really effective.

  • Cheers Kea - yes remember your ab exercises they look pretty savage so building up to them. Doing boxing style planks, sit-ups, leg raises (lying on ground) holding legs out off ground etc. Once I'm proficient at that then the hanging lifts are scheduled in for phase two.

    Abs coming on well because I'm losing fat. Now weigh 78.5kg. I'm going to continue with the current cardio flavour to my programme then switch in few weeks when I get bored.

    eg yesterday - chins, dips push-ups, lunges, 10 mins KBs, abs, 10 mins on the punch bag, then finished off with a swim.
    Intend to fine tune as I go, so one session focus more on chins (do yours above) another press ups etc etc.

    today no time for gym so will do quick run.

    Here's a nice little blast to get your pecs pumped in one minute! (copyright some bald dude on youtube)

    take two light kettlebells/dumbells - for me around 12kg each works fine.

    Assume press-up position - hands gripping kettle bell handles - and do 15 very slow pressups going as far down as poss, chest dropping below your hands, touch floor if poss.
    Try to take one second down and one second up (easier said than done).
    Then immediately on floor, or on swiss ball, do 15 wide-arm flies with the weights
    Immediately after that do normal presses with the weights until failure.

    Sit back enjoy the burn, and the admiring looks you get from those who have just seen you straining like a mofo to press two small dumbells

  • abs are an interesting one. We hardly train them at all.

    I think in our last 8 weeks (two training blocks), we have had zero ab exercises. For two reasons, if we train them to hard, to often, they'll grow, and we don't want a big blocky waist as bodybulders, and 2, your core gets a hammering (and abs) from the exercises you do at the gym anyway, Tricep pushdowns my abs get hammered holding my body upright! Today with skull crushers, again, abs got caned. So we hardly train them at all (as opposed to old trainers twice a week at least for 20 minutes). Last season our abs on compe were no better or worse than the season beore too.

    Which to me goes to show that it is probably 90 percent diet when it comes to abs, and 10% training!!

    But in saying all the above, pre contest I like to do a bit more, so I can 'feel' them when on stage, so when you flex you can feel the pain, and you know they're there!!

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