Can one also be happy about small steps that seem almost ridiculous to others? I would say: Yes! A representation of the joy of looking like a beginner after a lifetime of training.
Everything always the same?
Not everyone who starts with weight training has the same prerequisites. This starts with the time available for sports activities in addition to professional and private obligations and ends with the different physical aptitudes in terms of building strength or muscle mass.
For example, there is the division of the physique types into ectomorphic, mesomorphic and endomorphic. Personally, I have counted myself as an ectomorph all my life, which means: always slim to thin, and the increase in body weight is a constant toil. The well-intentioned advice to simply eat more is not wrong in principle, but it usually doesn’t help either. Those who think that it’s all down to this may wish to continue to believe it: However, the observation that some people are “bad feed converters” seems to be evident.
All right, so I’m an ectomorph. So be it.
For people with an ectomorphic physique type, it is often recommended to exercise short and intensive and regenerate long enough. In addition to all this, it is also recommended that they consume enough calories and avoid energy-consuming endurance sports if possible – at least in the build-up phase.
Sounds good. However, keeping the training time short is not the problem. But getting the intensity up by using relatively heavy weights is, if anything, the problem. Why? Because I’m in my 50s and I’ve never been Hercules in my life. So: My tendons and ligaments are in a good condition due to the training I have been doing almost continuously since I was 17, but I have never really achieved outstanding strength performances. And so the stupidest thing would probably have been to throw myself on the weights at that age like a twenty-year-old whose tissue is much more elastic: I would probably have been injured. And that’s probably not what I train for.
All right: If reason forbids youthful exuberance at an advanced age, then just do it differently. A little more creative.
Forever young and indestructible?
Giving the previously trained muscles enough time to react to the training load seems to me to be the most sensible thing in the whole workout anyway. Otherwise it would be like ordering heaps of building material for the construction of your house, but not letting the transporters arriving in rows drive to the property. Likewise it seems to me that the premature abort of the build-up phase by a too early next training, which disturbs just this build-up.
In addition, the older you get, the longer the regeneration usually takes. Ignoring this and pretending that one can still “pull a leg out of the world” is, in my view, not a sign of physical strength, but of intellectual inference deficits. I certainly didn’t want to do that, so what can be done to create a build-up training that is well suited to this phase of life, but also goal-oriented, given the “advanced hour”?
Digital instead of hormonal helpers?
My luck was to be able to develop an online tool called myTRS together with my daughter Julia, which focuses on the aspect of regeneration after hard build-up training. Not only does it show when after a previous workout which muscle groups are ready for the next attack: By consistently re-loading as soon as individual muscles are ready for the next attack, the consistency of the training was created that I had not been able to achieve in all the decades before. The fact that the workout never gets boring again helped me the most: The different degrees of stress and recovery of the muscles are always accompanied by different exercises.
So what this tool has brought me in the course of my test operation was: motivation, confirmation and a varied, lively training. And what’s more: a good ten kilograms of body weight in about a year and a half. More, not less.
Finally a beginner?
And now, after my self-experiment since autumn 2018, I am finally where a “normal” male adult beginner would start: At around 80 kilos body weight. Probably doesn’t sound special to many, but for me personally it is a really big step: In my twenties I almost never managed to weigh more than 75 kilograms. Only now, relatively late in life, have I managed to exceed this earlier limit considerably – and fortunately with a bearable abdominal girth, which is not supposed to account for the majority of the weight gain.
So now I am standing on a new plateau, which I will only use to set myself new goals. Of course it won’t be like I’m actually going to start training with this weight and at a young age. But: I am also convinced that I have not yet reached the genetically determined limit. I see it as an experiment and an expedition to explore this limit by means of training and without direct intervention in my control systems.