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Discussion: How do you get fit?

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Feb. 23, 2014
Men's 70
445 posts
How do you get fit?
The website of a trainer of fastpitch players ( who sells DVDS and individual programs) points out that fast twitch muscles are what are required for softball.
He argues against distance running for long periods of time and uses a cutoff of 30 minutes before the season. Recently I read about a trainer who gets guys ready for the NFL Combine and all his work is done at full speed to develop fast twitch which was specifically mentioned in the article. I have also read about 5 minute workouts at full speed (almost) which claim great results.
At 70 30 minutes of aerobics and going full out are both questionable. Here in Cleveland we can't play softball effectively all year so training before the season is critical. My question is what mix of full out workout and slower aerobic do you do at your various ages.
Feb. 23, 2014
91 posts
I agree, softball is basically sprinting in short bursts. I warm up, then sprint 50 yd. dashes, with a walk of about 50 yds in between, for 6 sets early in the season. Start at 50% the first 2 sets, 80% the next 2 sets, then all out the last 2. I walk and jog for about 2 weeks before this.
Feb. 24, 2014
Men's 50
47 posts
Everyone seems to be looking for the product, be it bats,gloves,cleats,supplements that will make you a better ball player. This makes the market ripe for scams and fraudulent products aimed at getting deep into your pockets. I am assuming most people on this board are in the age group of 40-90 years of age.
Without trying to address every issue that could be contained in our societies need for success with little effort,I am only going to cover fitness.
First of all understand Genetics. Humans DNA dictates what physical attributes we will possess as we mature. People with a majority of fast twitch muscle fiber will be better at quick short burst activity. Those with a majority of slow twitch muscle fiber will be better suited to handle endurance or long functioning activity. You can't build more fast twitch or slow twitch muscle. You are born with what you have. You can train to recruit more use from what you already have. Thus you are not going to become a track star or be able to produce a cannon arm simply by doing some specific exercise. You can show improvement but nothing overly dramatic.
At our age the best thing you can do is be consistent in three areas of fitness. Resistence training,Cardio training,and Stretching.
Resistance training(progressive weight training) will strenghten the muscle and connective tissue(ligaments,tendons,bone density)
Cardio training will increase the hearts ability to function during an elevated level of activity.
Stetching the muscles,tendons and ligaments before,during and after vigorous activity increase our range of motion. It also increases the bodys ability to stave off injuries due to over extension of joints,muscles during sporting events,(falls,collisions,hyperextending joints).
Do not over do your training. Rest over 50 is crucial to your recovery. I have found that training each muscle group once a week is plenty. keep your heart rate around 65% of its maximum, or for a male around 55 about 130 bpm. limit your rest to 30-45 seconds between sets.

2 days on,one day off,2 on, two off, is a great schedule for 50 and over. Good luck and be consistent. If it was easy,everyone would be in great shape.
Feb. 24, 2014
261 posts
Thanks for the information, this makes great sense. Much appreciated....
Feb. 24, 2014
Men's 70
445 posts
Olie, Thank you. I agree with your main points but have some nits.

1. Static stretching before activity is now generally considered counterproductive. Apparently static stretching puts the muscles in a protective mode and reduces power. Static stretching is ok after activity. Dynamic stretching is what is used before activity.

2. I don't understand your heart rate info. The general rule for maximal heart rate is 220 minus your age. For a 55 y/o this would be 165 (220-55) and 65% of 165 equals 107.25. New research h5s changed the max for older people to: 211 minus .64 times your age (211 minus .64 x 55 = 175.8.

I don't think your program is tough enough. I am curious what heart rate cyborg generated with his program which includes maximum effort
for some of the sprints.


Feb. 24, 2014
91 posts
HJ, Didn't check the heart rate, but it has got to be up there after the last 2 all out sprints. The thing you have to be careful of is pulling something, especially during the last 2 sprints. I wouldn't do all out effort until you have built up some time at 70-80 percent.I have trouble with quads and now calves. At 69, this gets a little tougher every year.
Feb. 24, 2014
Tim Millette
554 posts
Alan must be sick... A whole day of this question and no input???

Ok... Here is the real health test...

I am looking to buy a bat...anyone know where I can find reviews or a place to purchase?;-)
Feb. 26, 2014
Men's 70
445 posts
Just read this, you must get sufficient rest if doing high intensity

Actually Tim, I would like Alan's imput since he does both triathalons and softball and 1 is fast twitch and the other is slow twitch.

Feb. 26, 2014
322 posts
Had an older gentleman tell me the easiest way to get in shape was to NEVER get out of shape.
Feb. 26, 2014
10 posts
I like cross-fit but it is NOT for everyone. Also running with my track team gets me ready for the outfield. Weights are also a must. As stated earlier you must allow for good recovery which takes longer now than ever before.
Feb. 26, 2014
13 posts
I've been a PE teacher for 25 years and been in shape most of my 57 years. For the past three years I have taught three high school classes of P90X and it is a great workout by doing one of the 12 sets daily. High intensity workouts are great. Another great workout in which you can adapt to your favorite training is called TABATA training. Basically it's 20 seconds high intensity training then 10 seconds rest for 4 minutes or 8 intervals. High intensity boost your metabolism and heart rate in a matter of seconds. TABATA is a form of high intensity interval training methods that offers more health benefits than traditional cardiovascular exercises like jogging. It's short, efficient and can fit in almost any of your fitness programs. Here are a few of the things I do. A great warm-up tabata is 20 seconds jumping jacks then rest 10 seconds. Squat thrust 20 seconds then rest 10 seconds. 20 seconds high knees landing lightly then rest 10 seconds. Then modified push-ups 20 seconds then rest 10 seconds. If you feel the need repeat these and slightly increase the reps. Next do TI push-ups with 25 lb dumbbells raising only the right arm 25 lb dumbbell. Rest 10 seconds. Next do the same TI pushups raising the left arm 25 lb dumbbell then rest 10 seconds. Next take the 25 lb weight, or what ever weight you feel comfortable with, and raise to the right shoulder and do squats for 20 seconds. Don't bring your butt below your knees as it puts to much stress on the knees. Rest 10 seconds. Then switch the weight to the left shoulder and do squats for 20 seconds and rest for 10. 2 minutes are gone and you will already feel this but you next repeat that set in order to get the 4 minute TABATA completed. Also you can get on a pull up bar and pull up to the top and stop. Then you raise your knees to your waist for 20 seconds up and down then rest 10. Next for 20 seconds do a lighter bench press press of 80lb or so then rest 10. 20 seconds high knees in place then rest 10. Then 20 seconds with 25lb dumbbell alternative style curls both right and left then rest 10 seconds. 20 seconds jump-ups on elevated bench then rest 10. Next 45lb free weight and hold in front of chest pushing it out then into the chest while standing for 20 seconds then rest 10. Then side jump over short bench or even just a towel on the ground back and forth for 20 seconds then rest 10. Trust me you will get the workout from workouts in a short period of time. You can do whatever type of workout you like with what ever weight on this program and you will get fit. I like doing a TABATA workout with jump rope switching from right to left leg. There are numerous things you can do. I also do tabata with a rubber tube attached to a softball sized wiffle ball and throw for 20 seconds alternating left and right. Then with a drilled out wiffleball bat. High intensity interval training will burn more fat as you increase the heart rate faster. People with heart problems or high blood pressure should consult a doctor first before doing this type of workout. Google TABATA training and you will get many ideas on what to attempt and it will educate you on this high intensity interval workout. Trust me its four minutes of intense workout that you can increase to 8 or what ever you wish. Didn't mean to ramble on about this but just thought you may enjoy giving it a try and if you can't decipher what I wrote google tabata. BTW a good diet will be beneficial to your training also..............2424 Hope to see you all on the softball field if we ever get rid of this polar vortex crap.
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