2

votes

Has this 60 year old man hacked a key Paleo approach to being ripped with a simple high frequency routine?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 07, 2011 at 5:03 PM

This dude is absolutely shredded at 60 years old. His workout routine affords virtually zero chance of injury, and he didn't have to purchase a home gym or even a gym membership.

If he can keep an awesome physique by doing simple bodyweight resistance exercises daily, is his example possibly the best argument against big weights and heavy machinery? Also, doesn't this blast to smithereens the old theory that "muscles need to rest and recover"?

Here's the video link: Ripped at 60

alt text

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:01 PM

Daniel - I agree with your most recent comment directly above. I do believe that the genes influence it in some ways. I just wasn't feelin the part I quoted.

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 13, 2011
at 06:46 PM

You don't believe genes influence outcomes and that a bell-curve exists for the ability to gain LBM--and many other outcomes?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 13, 2011
at 03:20 PM

*"i.e., those who will never achieve more than a minuscule of muscular development no matter how they train or eat; and everything in between those extremes. Willy-nilly, nothing - no amount of teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing, hair-pulling or howling in the void - will alter the fundamental fact that any given individual's genetic programming in this regard is absolutely fixed."* I'm not too big on extreme blanket statements like this.

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 12, 2011
at 03:14 AM

What do you disagree with?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 11, 2011
at 11:17 PM

I respectfully disagree with much of this. Too many examples otherwise.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 11, 2011
at 11:14 PM

Namby - You can't always reverse age appearance. This question is about fitness.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 11, 2011
at 07:33 PM

He may be fit but he doens't look young for a 60-year old. I know many who look a lot younger.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:10 PM

righto Amerindian. it doesn't *always* mean shortcut, so those hacks that are not shortcuts can still be hacks. I like your additional stories here. thanks for taking the time write them. +1 for your insight.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 10, 2011
at 09:56 AM

But you are right, it definitely does not always mean "short cut." It'd be like bringing up an old miser who got rich by diligently saving his money in safe investments for decades. Everyone knows that has a good chance of working. You wouldn't consider it remarkable in regards to their approach, you'd be impressed with their diligence and perseverance in sticking to a simple, albeit not easy, plan.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 10, 2011
at 09:42 AM

From wikipedia's definition of *life hack*: "The term life hack refers to productivity tricks that computer programmers devise and employ to cut through information overload and organize their data. In more recent times, the same phrase has expanded to any sort of trick, **shortcut,** skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way might be called a life hack.[1]"

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 10, 2011
at 09:34 AM

@Jack-Then you should tell that to Patrik. From the Paleohacks FAQ: "A "hack" is a shortcut, rule-of-thumb, or simply a good way to get something done quickly."

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 09, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Amerindian - hack definitely does not always mean "short-cut".

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 09, 2011
at 03:10 PM

Mash - that's what I was saying in my comment above. I agree.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 09, 2011
at 01:21 PM

I would be interested to know if there is a curve of benefit in doing weighted exercises. I mean if you can do 700 pushups why not weight yourself so you can only do 350. Than as your volume increases, increase your weight further. I wonder if this would increase and be beneficial indefinitely or taper off at some point?

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 09, 2011
at 06:41 AM

He sounds a lot like Herschel Walker- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46o0to59LIY He talks about how he's never really lifted weights, even during his NFL career. He still does 3500-situps 750-1500 pushups everyday (before training MMA). He is nearly 50, practices IF, does **not** eat red meat, and recently began a pro-career as a MMA fighter. Could be genetics but maybe not?

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on December 09, 2011
at 12:43 AM

High frequency running and sprinting built my legs big time. I had never squatted before but I have huge legs just from always moving with them. 2 hours of soccer a day has done more for my legs than 5 sets of heavy squats. That isn't to say that weights are bad, just that I have had more hypertrophy from higher frequency.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 08, 2011
at 03:53 PM

he just might, but i think the risk for injury in a plan like the one in Aravind's first link is sky high. at any rate, neanderthal or not, the guy in the video is in a VERY small class of super fit and muscular 60 year old men.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on December 08, 2011
at 01:00 AM

Personally I think the risk of injury is higher with such a protocol. Surely there is less risk of a catastrophic injury like a torn pec, but the odds of developing tendonitis is massive. This dude in the video must have the joint robustness of a neanderthal.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 08, 2011
at 12:34 AM

700 pushups is a bit much. then again, people think the same thing when they see my workout log. 700 pushups in intervals of 100 at a time with 3 minute breaks is only like 45 minutes of working out. but I have to admit that it seems like that would get real boring after a few days. this is where perhaps 'some' added weight can come in handy, but keeping it low to moderate intensity would allow for a wide range of adjustment and upward growth for a long time.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on December 07, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Progressive overload through whatever means leads to muscular adaptations. If this guy always went to failure, what constituted failure would keep moving and he would keep getting stronger/get more endurance. If he always did X number, he would stay where he was. The argument against plans like these is that as one gets fitter, they become insanely time-consuming and tedious. 700 push-ups? No thanks.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 07, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Jack - read the second article I posted. The key quote - "Consistency and moderation over intensity"

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on December 07, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Agree with you guys completely. My deal is to just stay active with something, so long as the something is smart training. Don't hurt yourself and do something you will stick with.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Yah I agree. He lost me with that program, but I still think that the basic idea of high frequency could be a big key. Currently I am on a 3x per week agenda with 6 routines (so spread across 2 weeks) and I don't like it at all. It's too little workout time and I am terribly sore after almost every session. It's like my muscles have to start all over every time. I was never sore when I did total body 3-5 times per week.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 07, 2011
at 06:03 PM

Jack - I'm not advocating his approach necessarily, just that the notion of high frequency has merit. The variety of sets/reps I think is because the focus is hypertrophy. But if you are looking just for fitness, I think you could just keep it simple with the program and use cross training as the source of variety and it would work fine

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Aravind. Nice article. I read it and liked his examples, but then I found it kinda strange that when I got all the way down to his exercise program, it becamse super complicated. Make that SUPER DUPER complicated. I like some of the points he made for sure, but good grief, I'd have to be financially independant, and completely free of a job and all other of life's responsibilities to follow his program to the letter. At any rate, thanks bud.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 07, 2011
at 05:58 PM

Yes AC. I forgot about ahimsa. I could claim insanity. That would be more than a believable defense in my case

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on December 07, 2011
at 05:52 PM

You shouldn't kill, no matter what the reason. I don't think a jury would buy your "I only wanted the muscularity and ripped-ness" defense.

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7 Answers

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6
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 07, 2011
at 05:09 PM

I saw this video earlier this week. Chad Waterbury has been arguing for high frequency for a long time - http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/bodybuildings_next_frontier

Moreover, I don't think that this is at all profound. Look at the upper body development of gymnasts that train daily. I would kill for a gymnast's muscularity and ripped-ness.

With the dips and pullups, throw in some Deadlifts, sprinting, and an equivalent amount of flexibility work, and I think you have a complete fitness program

EDIT - somewhat related - http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2011/12/06/the-painless-path-to-endurance-plus-breville-winner-and-more/

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 07, 2011
at 05:58 PM

Yes AC. I forgot about ahimsa. I could claim insanity. That would be more than a believable defense in my case

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on December 07, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Agree with you guys completely. My deal is to just stay active with something, so long as the something is smart training. Don't hurt yourself and do something you will stick with.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on December 07, 2011
at 05:52 PM

You shouldn't kill, no matter what the reason. I don't think a jury would buy your "I only wanted the muscularity and ripped-ness" defense.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 07, 2011
at 06:18 PM

Jack - read the second article I posted. The key quote - "Consistency and moderation over intensity"

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Aravind. Nice article. I read it and liked his examples, but then I found it kinda strange that when I got all the way down to his exercise program, it becamse super complicated. Make that SUPER DUPER complicated. I like some of the points he made for sure, but good grief, I'd have to be financially independant, and completely free of a job and all other of life's responsibilities to follow his program to the letter. At any rate, thanks bud.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 07, 2011
at 06:03 PM

Jack - I'm not advocating his approach necessarily, just that the notion of high frequency has merit. The variety of sets/reps I think is because the focus is hypertrophy. But if you are looking just for fitness, I think you could just keep it simple with the program and use cross training as the source of variety and it would work fine

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Yah I agree. He lost me with that program, but I still think that the basic idea of high frequency could be a big key. Currently I am on a 3x per week agenda with 6 routines (so spread across 2 weeks) and I don't like it at all. It's too little workout time and I am terribly sore after almost every session. It's like my muscles have to start all over every time. I was never sore when I did total body 3-5 times per week.

3
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on December 09, 2011
at 12:13 AM

Travis hit the nail on the head for me in his comment on the OP. I enjoy bodyweight exercises and love doing yoga (am an instructor); but I have chronic impingement and recurring tendonitis in my shoulders, and less so in my wrists. After the 3rd month-long episode in a 2 year period where I couldn't lift my arm or sleep without pain, I replaced some of the hours of yoga etc in my week with 15 minutes of big lifts with relatively heavy weights, low reps. Haven't had a tendonitis attack in over a year now, though if I overdo my frequency of movement (especially now that I have a job that requires a lot of arm work) I will feel the warning signs (clicking, popping sensations, and burning pain inside my shoulder joints) and will scale back activity as much as possible to allow the inflammation to subside.

So no, high-frequency is not a workable way for me to build or maintain muscle now, in my mid-20s, and will be even worse for me in my 60s I'd imagine!

2
34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 09, 2011
at 12:00 PM

I think his story is impressive but I don't consider it a hack in the sense that a hack means "short-cut.". I've tried the high frequency high rep workouts like nearly every teenager does when he first hits the gym. Now days I see excellant results with higher weight, less reps and more recovery. That's not to say I wasn't huge or strong back then, I just maintain with a small fraction of the time now and I'm just as strong.

Edit:

I'd just like to add that I'm greatful that you shared this video. But I don't think it is necessarily relavatory or useful for the average person. In highschool I had the opportunity to take half a quarter of weightlifting, from a teacher who knew absolutely nothing about strength or conditioning-it was basically a period where we had free daily access to the weight room. We worked major muscle groups everyday. We had contests to see who could do the most dips, or pullups, or push-ups, or one-armed-push-ups, or sit-ups, or sit-ups with a hundred pound plate on our chest--and I won a lot of those contests. Typically the first week would be us really sore, second and third weeks was when people would start to have injuries to connective tissue, probably tendonitis, that was much worse and I had friends who never really fully recovered. That is why I think it's more amazing the 60y.o. in the video is impressive-work ethic and apparent lack of injury.

I like the link that Aravind shared but as I read it I immediatly had a few reservations. I grew up in several fishing/logging villages. My father worked in the local health clinics in the lab. He drew blood daily on guy's whose forearm muscles were so dense it was noticably difficult to stick needles into their arms. But those forearms while bigger than average folks were not bigger or as big as those of body builders. (I've also done fisheries work where I tail-grabbed salmon until my forearms were on fire and my thumbs felt like they were going to fall off--no noticable growth in musculature size based on high volume of work but the muscles were much firmer).

I read a book on body building as a teenager and the author had some great insights on the success/practices of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The author was comparing Arnold's high rep routine for legs to his own. He said it was like this guy he knew in college. This guy could read the textbook and show up for only the mid-term and final and wound up with an A. The author had to attend class everyday and take good notes and study a lot for the same A. If you didn't consider genetic differences/propensities-then you might think the first scenario was the best, whereas it was likely his friend's genetic predispostion/potential that had more to do with his final grade than his technique. Just as probably any routine Arnold undertook would result in greater results than his own.

When I first stared working out the problem was lifting too often, as it was for almost everyone I knew. I remember one year in highschool wanting so bad to get my bench over 300. I lifted far too often. When I left town for a week to go to Hawaii I thought for sure I'd lose all the gains I'd worked so hard for. I got back after a week of doing absolutely nothing and easily pressed 305 up several times when I got back, I'd been plateaued for weeks. My body needed rest. My muscles needed rest and recovery. From my exprience that is the case with most people--for them the lower frequency higher intensity resistence training is the hack working smarter and having the discipline to refrain from overdoing it solves problems that higher frequency does not.

The old man in the video I estimate is about 5'10" and 185, if his workout is from 60-90 minutes each day he burns from 620-1120 calories. Even if his diet were not ideal that level and intensity of exercise would stimulate muscle growth and burn calories. To me that is no secret to success, if we all had the time and were blessed with not experiencing any debilitating injuries from such an arduous schedule, we'd all likely be similarily successful.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 10, 2011
at 09:56 AM

But you are right, it definitely does not always mean "short cut." It'd be like bringing up an old miser who got rich by diligently saving his money in safe investments for decades. Everyone knows that has a good chance of working. You wouldn't consider it remarkable in regards to their approach, you'd be impressed with their diligence and perseverance in sticking to a simple, albeit not easy, plan.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:10 PM

righto Amerindian. it doesn't *always* mean shortcut, so those hacks that are not shortcuts can still be hacks. I like your additional stories here. thanks for taking the time write them. +1 for your insight.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 10, 2011
at 09:42 AM

From wikipedia's definition of *life hack*: "The term life hack refers to productivity tricks that computer programmers devise and employ to cut through information overload and organize their data. In more recent times, the same phrase has expanded to any sort of trick, **shortcut,** skill, or novelty method to increase productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life; in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in a clever or non-obvious way might be called a life hack.[1]"

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 10, 2011
at 09:34 AM

@Jack-Then you should tell that to Patrik. From the Paleohacks FAQ: "A "hack" is a shortcut, rule-of-thumb, or simply a good way to get something done quickly."

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 09, 2011
at 10:43 PM

Amerindian - hack definitely does not always mean "short-cut".

2
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:03 PM

It's a lot easier to maintain muscle than build it. Of course you can use your muscles every day so long as you are acting within your current capabilities. Most strength performance, and really the important thing for most atheletes, is skill. That's why they can improve from training regularly. It's not the fastest way to build big muscles but it's a great way to build useful ones over time.

0
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 11, 2011
at 08:47 PM

"How central a role does genetics figure in bodybuilding? The answer is, perhaps, best illustrated in the following anecdote. Invariably, during the question and answer portion of every seminar that I've ever conducted, a skeptic will ask, "But, Mr. Mentzer, if Heavy Duty training is truly the one valid, scientific approach to training, how do you account for the success of men like Arnold and Lee Haney?" To which, my stock reply is, "If you wanted to learn the most effective method for developing an optimum suntan, would you ask someone of negroid heritage?" The point being, of course, that while there are those born with the best tan possible (negroid), others swelter on beaches in the summer to obtain a moderate skin burnishing, and yet others will never tan, i.e., albinos.

In bodybuilding, there are the genetically blessed. i.e., those with a strong inherited predisposition for having/developing large muscles; the genetically accursed, i.e., those who will never achieve more than a minuscule of muscular development no matter how they train or eat; and everything in between those extremes. Willy-nilly, nothing - no amount of teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing, hair-pulling or howling in the void - will alter the fundamental fact that any given individual's genetic programming in this regard is absolutely fixed; and, within the context of existing scientific knowledge, cannot be changed. While everyone has the capacity to improve upon his existing muscular development, such can be done only within a "fixed" range. Or, in other words: no one with inherited physical traits similar to Woody Allen can do anything to alter his genetic programming so as to extend the range of his potential such that he could develop a Mr. Olympia physique."

Mike Mentzer

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 11, 2011
at 11:17 PM

I respectfully disagree with much of this. Too many examples otherwise.

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 12, 2011
at 03:14 AM

What do you disagree with?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 13, 2011
at 03:20 PM

*"i.e., those who will never achieve more than a minuscule of muscular development no matter how they train or eat; and everything in between those extremes. Willy-nilly, nothing - no amount of teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing, hair-pulling or howling in the void - will alter the fundamental fact that any given individual's genetic programming in this regard is absolutely fixed."* I'm not too big on extreme blanket statements like this.

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 13, 2011
at 06:46 PM

You don't believe genes influence outcomes and that a bell-curve exists for the ability to gain LBM--and many other outcomes?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on January 12, 2012
at 08:01 PM

Daniel - I agree with your most recent comment directly above. I do believe that the genes influence it in some ways. I just wasn't feelin the part I quoted.

0
Medium avatar

(19479)

on December 09, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Does he A, look great (i.e. large amount of muscle mass and low bodyfat percentage) because he does push-ups, pull-ups and dips everyday?

Or, does he B, do push-ups, pull-ups and dips everyday because he looks great?

I personally think that the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle, shifted a little more towards the side of B.

For a sixty year old man to have not only the muscle mass, but the skin tone (a factor of collagen, elastin, and other connective tissue proteins resisting the effects of glycation and gravity) of a man half his age the genetic component must not be overlooked.

I've personally experimented with high frequency exercise programs (ie. the "100 pushups and 50 pullups" protocol) as well as low frequency (my "primal" bulking cycle) and have found the low frequency to be just as effective (if not more so) in building muscle mass, strength, and for avoiding over-use injuries.

High repetitions do seem to be the way to go when the goal is to create more efficient movement patterns. For example, doing a high volume pull-up program I was able to become more economical with my pull-up technique, thereby accomplishing a greater number. However, this was a factor of firing the right muscles (a neuro-muscular effect) and partly due to learning how to better use the elastic component of my muscles.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on December 09, 2011
at 06:41 AM

He sounds a lot like Herschel Walker- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46o0to59LIY He talks about how he's never really lifted weights, even during his NFL career. He still does 3500-situps 750-1500 pushups everyday (before training MMA). He is nearly 50, practices IF, does **not** eat red meat, and recently began a pro-career as a MMA fighter. Could be genetics but maybe not?

-1
E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:49 PM

good job, now train your legs old man, unless you want to use a cane.

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