2010/08 – Steve’s & Dave’s Fitness Advice

27 Aug


fitness advice 0810 02
Working out / August 2010
Bewegungsforum Nieder-Olm

August 2010

Being retired, living a sedentary life style, sitting in front of a computer a lot, enjoying the good life of good food, wine & cigars at 57 are all best ingredients for being lazy, overweight and out of breath.

Things I don’t need.

So I started visiting a nearby gym almost daily for one hour last November, and after 10 months, I feel better, muscle strength is firmer, weight is 13 kg ( 26 lbs ) down, sleep is good and most important : NO diet, just sports – I like it.

I basically do 4 kms ( 17 minutes ) on the rowing machine for warm-up, some muscle stations, another 2 kms ( 15 minutes ) on the treadmill and finish off with 4 kms ( 14 minutes ) on the Cross-trainer

Bewegungsforum Nieder-Olm : www.bewegungsforum.de/

Long time goal is to reduce my weight down to 85 kg ( at 87 right now, so almost there ), better fitness rate overall, better blood test values regarding cholesterol, sugar, fat, better heart rate, etc.

We are all different, but I can only recommend a fitness programme.

I wish to thank Steve and Dave “Boss Hogg” from Virginia, USA for valuable advice and encouragement given when I started.

Also, for allowing me to use this precious advice here so others may benefit from it.



Hi Nino,

With your fitness, I would be very cautious, start slowly, and listen to your body. If possible get a couple of hours of a fitness instructor a week.

Losing 10 kg’s should be done gradually over a 3 to 6 month time-frame. Getting in shape could take 2 to 3 years.

Cross train. Do not focus on one type of exercise, as it will become boring and tedious.

  1. Stationary bike
  2. Treadmill walking or a good hike in the woods
  3. Weightlifting. Alternate upper and lower body
  4. Stretching
  5. Swimming, even the breast stroke. Get proper form training
  6. Yoga. Yes yoga
  7. Martial arts, great for the co-ordination and a good outlet for anger
  8. Rowing on the erg: get proper form training and this machine will pay you back 10x in fitness
  9. Work out with Friends or wife: great for motivation

Pick up reading material on-line for nutrition, exercise, etc. For vigorous workouts longer than 30 minutes consider a soluble food supplement, such as Hammer Heed, etc. You should be able to buy this on line in Europe from any sports store. You will be amazed at your stamina and recovery when you are well hydrated and ingest some good calories while working out. Hydrate after working out and eat within 30 minutes to further improve your recovery.

Set reasonable workout goals and reward yourself as you get close to these goals.

Wear proper workout shoes and clothes, and not heavy cotton. Your body wants to cool down fast and not have your skin rubbed raw by heavy cotton fabric, and your feet need proper support.

Eat well, but not that well. Stick with a Mediterranean diet, fish, greens, olive oil, they are on to something here.

Avoid red meat and dairy (sorry) and fried foods. Grill and bake. Use healthy oils such as olive and canola for cooking.

Ignore fad diets, and the BS on starch (bread, potatoes and rice).

Eat more whole grain bread, brown rice, fruit, and fresh salads with vinaigrette, raw nuts (almonds and walnuts), and seeds (pumpkin and sunflower).

And some good hearty German bread and lentil/bean soup. I have been eating German linseed bread since I was 13 years old. Love the stuff: www.rudolphs.net

And in Germany you should be able to get this bread fresh daily. This stuff sticks to ribs and fills you up.

Critical factors for men over 40:

  1. Sodium: lack of sodium after a 1 hour work out can cause dizziness and leg cramps. You can buy tasteless 250 mg sodium tables to dissolve on your water bottle (any on-line sports store will sell these as sports salt tablets)
  2. Hydration: you need to be drinking about 750 to 1,000 ml of water during a workout (your piss should be clear to light yellow)
  3. Get a physical from your doctor (LDL, sodium, creatine, blood pressure, calcium): better to find out what the problems are on paper than after passing out
  4. Rest and recovery: getting 8 hours of solid sleep and a cat nap during the day is essential
  5. Moderation: yes this applies to eating and smoking cigars.



Your workout plan sounds good with rowing, weights and treadmill. I would hold this pattern for 3 to 4 months and maybe add in some Lifecycle.

Eventually you should try to mix the days up a bit to avoid monotony and throw some challenges into the mix as well. For example, if you workout 6 days a week, try focusing on one type of exercise each time, say weights one day with light rowing or Lifecycle to warm up and then do 20 to 30 stations.

Then the next day focus on rowing and do 5km with 1km warm down, and some weights. Doing weights after rowing can be very beneficial as your muscles are nicely warmed up. Eventually you can work your way up to 10km of rowing at a 3 minute per 500 meter pace, at 25 spm (strokes per minute), with the wind resistance at 5. Just remember the higher wind resistance on the Concept 2 erg, means you have to pull harder, but less often. Wind resistance at 5 is meant to feel like rowing on the water. Level 10 is meant to feel like rowing through reeds.

Same with the treadmill, work your way up to 10 km. I would be careful with the incline on the treadmill as it could hurt your knees and tendons in your ankles. Then repeat the cycle and rest on the seventh day. So you have basically 2 day that focus on weights, 2 on rowing and 2 on treadmill.

I try to have seasons for my workouts, with spring and summer for running and biking, and fall and winter for rowing, swimming and weight lifting.

Try to log your workout each time and as you increase the tempo or distance, it is always interesting to see the results.

Go online to http://www.concept2.com/   to see excellent examples of workouts and videos on form. There are some fantastic resources on-line for weightlifting and running as well

And do not forget that as your workouts increase in length and intensity, you will need some liquid food supplements and possibly some sodium.

Good stuff on the food, more German bread and vegetable soups. Breakfast really is the the most critical meal of the day, and sometimes my biggest meal of the day.




Hi Nino,

Rowing is 70% quads (upper leg), 20% arms, 10% lower back. It is important to push hard with your legs, have your legs locked at the end of your pull, and then let the arms follow up in the pull.

Great video illustrating proper form:


Most good cyclists are good rowers, provided they have great form. I would slow your pace down to 24/25 s/m, as 29 to 32 s/m is what’s called ‘race pace’. At your age, your heart rate should not go above 120 bpm. Wear a good watch and do a 10 second heart rate test midway and at the end of your workout. Later as you get in better shape you can flirt with 140bpm. You may want to invest in a heart rate monitor to amuse yourself. I have one, but rarely use it.

Also, remember to stay well hydrated. Us old guys over 40, dehydrate fast, sometimes without knowing it. Try to finish 750 ml of water over the course of a 1 hour work out, and continue to drink water after the workout (another 750 ml). This will do several things. One, speed recovery, as muscles do require water to heal, and secondly protect your kidneys. Chronic dehydration can cause kidney failure and stones. Your piss should be light yellow or clear. Dark piss is a clear sign of dehydration. Just remember, if you are thirsty halfway through a workout, it’s too late, you are dehydrated. Try to take a sip of water every 5 to 10 minutes.

At my age, 47, I now take 2 small water bottles on my runs longer than 10km, and it makes a huge difference. When I was a teen and up to my early 30’s I took no water. I was an idiot. My performance was probably degraded by 10 to 25%. And in several triathlon races, I actually ran out of water because I took so little with me. Big mistake. So many missed opportunities. Oh well.

This is no BS, Nino, I actually am a better cyclist in my 40’s than when I was in my 20’s because I am better hydrated and fed during my workouts and races. Although I do not have the cardio of a 20 yo man, I am able to actually better my old cycling times, and beat some time trial records I set 15 years ago, because of my better diet, hydration, more rest, and of course better equipment. I have always had a good training program, with a mix of hard sprints, long work outs, and short intense workouts.

Also do not underestimate the importance of rest, days off and sleep to help with recovery.

Like us old men, cigars need to stay hydrated and rested too remain healthy.




I’m so happy to hear about your progress and dedication to the gym!!!

Losing weight is not easy when you’re over 30!

J. and I are both pushing each other to get in better shape, and while it’s a constant struggle, it is very rewarding when you see your progress.  I’ve found Crossfit to be incredibly helpful, along with a good old fashion Russian kettlebell.

I keep a notebook and record every single workout so I can compare how I’m doing over time, not just whether I’m still the Michelin Man.  The other thing I learned is to constantly mix up the workout.  Do only cardio some days, do 4 sets of 15 sometimes, 5 sets of 5 with heavier weight, etc.

Here are some websites you might find useful (sorry for the unsolicited advice, but I’ve found them very useful and motivating and think you will enjoy them)

Crossfit, which is essentially a new workout every day, 3 days on/1 day off.  Focus on functional strength and endurance



“Lite” versions of Crossfit workouts:


My good friend Mike Mahler has some good stuff: www.mikemahler.com/articles.html

Best to Inge and the pharmacy crew!




It sounds like a GREAT regimen they have you on.

Neither you nor I have to worry about getting into GSG-9 so we need to be realistic about our goals (and define those goals).

I would encourage you to start using free weights once you establish a good base with the machines.

The other thing I’ve learned- and this would be very difficult given how good German beer is- is that beer is loaded with estrogen.  Estrogen is bad news for a man (hence “beer belly”)

Here is one of my favorite workouts:

500m row

21 “push press” with a dumbbell in each hand.  This is where you slightly lower your hips, bend knees, and then stand back up, and press arms over your head like an explosive Olympic movement.

Start with lighter weights 🙂

500m row

18 push press

500m row

15 push press

500m row

12 push press

500m row

9 push press

If they have an assisted pullup/dip machine, that one is fantastic.  When I started getting somewhat serious about fitness in 2007, I could barely do 3 pullups…..last summer I did 20.

With pullups, if you do 1 (or 2….or 3) in between your other exercises, you’ll be amazed how quickly you can progress.

The other thing- free squats with a 10 kilo dumbbell held like a goblet are fantastic.

I’ve recently gotten back into drumming, and while I know I’m bad, I’m enjoying the heck out of it!



fitness advice 0810 01
Bewegungsforum Nieder-Olm
fitness advice 0810 03
Bewegungsforum Nieder-Olm
fitness advice 0810 04
Bewegungsforum Nieder-Olm
fitness advice 0810 05
Bewegungsforum Nieder-Olm
fitness advice 0810 06
Bewegungsforum Nieder-Olm
Copyright Nino

Comments are closed.