#5: Get Strong
No matter what your sport and what your goal, strength is crucial to success. It’s also crucial to your well-being as an older dude. As we age, both our muscles and our bones naturally atrophy. That leaves us more susceptible to injury and illness. To participate vigorously in any sport, it’s crucial to have a well-balanced strength-training program to supplement your practice of your activity of choice.
The training Konstantin developed for me consisted of a an hour of circuit training focused on a rotation (one per session) of Legs/Back, Shoulder/Biceps, or Chest/Triceps followed by a half hour focused exclusively on developing leg strength.
For the first hour we most often did a rotation of three exercises at a time repeated three times, including two lifting movements and one aerobic one like jumps or Konstantin’s favorite, “jump like a bunny” which means hopping across the room and back. Over time, I was able to move from one exercise to the next without more than a moment of rest and what at first was intense sporadic pain became more of an endurance test.
Konstantin saved his real creativity for the last half hour of legwork. “We have to keep the pressure up now,” he’d tell me. Step ups on a bench with weight, hops onto a bench, heavy squats against the wall with a ball, and his favorite “rocking squat” which includes holding a heavy weight between your legs squatting and rocking forward to straight legs and then rocking back through another deep squat to straighten back up (don’t try that one at home).
Over the months of work together, my strength and condition increased dramatically over time and built the foundation for my success.