Turning 70 is actually a big deal, let me tell you. It sounds so fucking old, for one thing. Eyebrows raise when I divulge my age. What follows is for you guys who are getting up in age, my experiences of late in trying to keep the parts working. I got out of shape for really the first time in my life, over the past 2 years. My running sucked, I had lost cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength, and didn’t feel all that great. Ugh! About 3 months ago I started running more seriously, and joined a gym, especially for upper body workouts. You’d think I’d know better than to let things slip, after editing a series of fitness books and hanging out with athlete authors for over 10 years. Well anyway, do I feel better!
In running you’ve got to push the limits to make progress, and if you’re going to compete in races, you have to administer pain in measured doses while training. I knew all this about running, from getting in and out of shape over the years; it was a familiar path. Weight training, however, was different. I hadn’t worked out with weights since the ’80s when I hung out with Bill Pearl for two years while we did GETTING STRONGER. This was the first gym I’d ever joined and I feel like a kid in the candy store. There are literally 100s of machines, fitness gizmos, a superb collection of free weights. I knew the basics, from GETTING STRONGER, and started doing 30-40 minute workouts 2-3 times weekly. Man! First was the upper body pump, something runners don’t experience. Things started circulating in my chest and arms, and this felt good. In a very short time I started putting on muscle. Bill talks about this: in GETTING STRONGER, he says that weight training produces noticeable results in a month or less, and that’s why it’s so encouraging. So it is; whatever your age, it’s never too late to put some of that muscle back on.