170619 The bench press endurance test

170619 The bench press endurance test

Although the one rep max is the gold marker for a bench press there are other ways to determine if the athlete is within the standards for their age and weight groups. The accepted test for gender and age comparison is the YMCA bench press test.

The test requires a male to lift 80 lbs and a female to lift 35 lbs as many times as possible with a metronome set at 60 beats/minute.

The test is terminated when the individual cannot completely extend the elbows during a lift or cannot keep pace with a metronome set at 60 beats/minute.

The standard norms of strength for the bench press are expressed in the following charts coming up next. If you are not within the healthy category then it’s time to start a more aggressive strength training program. A physically fit healthy range is above average up to excellent. Anything less is settling for mediocrity.

Female Age 
Excellent 50-36 48-33 46-28 46-26 34-22 26-18
Good 32-28 29-25 25-21 22-20 20-16 14-12
Above average 25-22 22-20 20-17 17-13 15-12 11-9
Average 21-18 18-16 14-12 12-10 10-8 8-5
Below average 16-13 14-12 11-9 9-6 7-4 4-2
Poor 12-8 9-5 8-4 5-2 3-1 2-0
Very poor 5-1 2-0 2-0 1-0 0 0
Male Age 
Excellent 45-39 43-34 40-30 35-24 32-22 30-18
Good 34-30 30-26 26-24 22-20 20-14 14-10
Above average 26-25 25-22 22-20 17-14 14-10 10-8
Average 22-21 21-18 18-16 13-10 10-8 8-6
Below average 20-16 17-13 14-12 10-8 6-4 4-4
Poor 13-9 12-9 10-8 6-4 4-2 2-2
Very poor 8-0 5-0 5-0 2-0 0 0

Similar tests compare age with the ability to correctly do the bent knee sit up.

100619 Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance training

100619 Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance training

The principle methods used to develop the cardiovascular and respiratory systems revolve around working below the anaerobic (without oxygen) threshold pace for both time and distance. This means performing a cardiovascular exercise at a pace fast enough to tax the physical response of the two but without going into the anaerobic ranges. The anaerobic range gets its turn at the end with a fast sprint to the finish line and you need superior strength to excel in nearly every physical activity. Taxing both the cardiovascular and respiratory systems is the goal of endurance (aerobic, with oxygen) training programs. Since the physical ability that is needed to move the limbs seems to disappear, first let’s look at this next.

Strength, as most can agree, is a vital component of training no matter if it’s endurance or power, you still need the strength to move your body. In the case of the endurance athlete, this strength comes from the development of strength endurance. A lack muscular endurance means you will not be able to go long distances if your muscles can’t continue putting out the force necessary to move the limbs.

The majority of endurance athletes lack muscular endurance. This is commonly seen at the end of a long race when one participant has a strong kick and the others fall behind at the finish line. Another example of this occurs when some of the athletes seem to be just barely moving their legs forward in a shuffle instead of a powerful stride to the end. However, is it all just in the muscles? Hardly so.

Respiratory fatigue precedes cardiovascular fatigue symptoms and therefore gives out sooner thus limiting the power output of the muscles engaged in the endurance activity. The respiratory muscles must be able to continue onward for long periods and still produce adequate power output to ensure a successful outcome.

Training muscular endurance requires high repetition numbers some even as high as two hundred to two hundred and fifty for one set. These are mentally hard training sessions and not ones for the faint of heart.

030619 Improving Joints Function by Daniel Pare

030619 Improving Joints Function by Daniel Pare

It all begins with the right approach to training.  Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced trainee you only need what is required FOR YOU to get results!  That is why analyzing a training program is So important.     

The more weight you persist on using under those conditions the weaker your muscles will become.  As for the joints, let’s not forget that if you are hurting you are certainly not getting results!         

You like to do negatives, forced reps, burn sets… and you do them regularly!  They are good except that they must be added to your workout in a way, that they will produce results.  Just make sure that they are used accordingly.  Consider utilizing sets of 5 reps and keep in mind proper form and technique.  Whether you are looking at weight loss, toning, becoming stronger, excel in sports activities and so forth, you need to approach training with that in mind.  By working out and emphasizing on remaining strong from start to finish, you will get the results you want.  Analyze what you are doing or have been doing and experience great results, quicker, and most importantly, injury free.  It is well worth it.  Daniel Pare, NCCP, CSO, CSPS, CSTS.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Fax 519-637-1210 

270519 Improving Joints Function by Daniel Pare

270519 Improving Joints Function by Daniel Pare

It all begins with the right approach to training.  Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced trainee you only need what is required FOR YOU to get results!  That is why analyzing a training program is So important.     

As an example, if you are used to doing something that looks like this; bench-press, incline bench-press, and decline bench-press for 4 sets of 10 reps, that is well in excess of 100 repetitions for a chest work out.  You are doing too much!

Let me remind you of a simple fact, which will help you make the right decision when it comes to designing your own training program “Train To Remain Strong”. 

In order to make high repetition sets efficient one would have to workout at approximately 50% of what one’s strength level is (this is an average and some individuals will be able to use a little more).  This means that when you are doing bench-press for example, you should remain strong from the beginning to the end of that set.  The barbell should be pushed up evenly and straight up, your shoulder blades should be close to each others and remain that way, your abs kept very tight, your feet should not move, your buttocks should remain on the bench, and your head should not move.  You must be very tight and sturdy and remain that way for all those repetitions.  Does this seem like a lot?  

By doing sets of 10 repetitions at more than 75% of your strength level you are not working towards improving and maximizing joint function at all.  Remember that if the muscles are not strong enough to do the work, the joint is certainly not doing well!  Daniel Pare, NCCP, CSO, CSPS, CSTS.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Fax 519-637-1210 
Email Stsa1258@aol.com

210519 Actively Fit Seniors—My New Site

210519 ActivelyFitSeniors.blog 

If you are retired or in the near future going to be retired this blog may be of benefit to you. Check it out and see what you think.

Another Actively Fit Seniors site is here at YouTube


Here is the Facebook site


If you are active, send over some videos of what you do to stay healthy. If they are approved then I will add them to the videos page. However, the downside to this is there will be no payment for these and by sending them over to me you are also giving me a release consent form  as stated ion the form below:

Video Consent and Release Form

Without expectation of compensation or other remuneration, now or in the future, I hereby give my consent to __________________________ [legal entity/organization], its affiliates and agents, to use my image and likeness and/or any interview statements from me in its publications, advertising or other media activities (including the Internet).

This consent includes, but is not limited to: (Initial where applicable)

_________ – (a) Permission to interview, film, photograph, tape, or otherwise make a video reproduction of me and/or record my voice;

_________ – (b) Permission to use my name; and

_________ – (c) Permission to use quotes from the interview(s) (or excerpts of such quotes), the film, photograph(s), tape(s) or reproduction(s) of me, and/or recording of my voice, in part or in whole, in its publications, in newspapers, magazines and other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including the Internet), in theatrical media and/or in mailings for educational and awareness.

This consent is given in perpetuity, and does not require prior approval by me.




Signature of the Actively Fit Seniors Representative, Danny M. O’Dell

No Minors are to be videoed and sent in for my review and approval. If sent, they will not be used on the ActivelyFitSeniors Facebook, WordPress or YouTube sites.

Revised 080419

200519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 5 Overtrained

200519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 5  Overtrained

How do you know if you are entering the overtrained realm? Listen to your body. Other clues to overtraining are more subtle. They include the following anaerobic indicators:Stages of Overtraining

1. No effect on performance 
Altered neural functions

2. Probably an effect on performance 
Altered motor unit recruitment
Altered sympathetic activity and hypothalamic control

3. Probably decreased performance 
Decreased motor coordination
Altered excitation contraction coupling
Decreased muscle glycogen
Increased resting heart rate and blood pressure
Altered immune function
Altered hormonal concentrations

4. Decreased performance
Decreased force production
Decreased glycolytic capacity
Sickness and infection
Emotional and sleep disturbances

Adapted from Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning by Baechle and Earl

130519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 4 Overtrained

130519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 4  Overtrained

How do you know if you are entering the overtrained realm? Listen to your body. As an example, one of my personal “sure fire ways” of knowing I am entering this phase is illustrated in the following scenario.

In my training diary, I keep track of every set, every rep and every weight lifted in every session. I note how each set felt with an alpha character beside the log entry for that set. It is either an “E” for easy, an “M” for moderate or an “H” for hard.

If my training is going really well and I find myself writing down how much weight I will be lifting a month from now on the present program…I know it is time to change or one of two things will happen:

1. I will get hurt (more than likely I will be getting hurt)
2. I will not finish the program

Invariably, this is a major clue to me to change the intensity, load, duration, sets reps, or frequency of exercise. If I do not heed the obvious warning signs of my projected gains, I lose in the end.

This little secret has saved me many a time over the past ten to twelve years of developing an injury. Every now and then, I forget and keep pushing ahead anyway.

The last time I ignored it I ended up with a shoulder surgery. I was laid up unable to use it for over six weeks. Yeah I know what you are thinking; he could have done squats with a safety squat bar. I did and the pads on the par extensions hit RIGHT ON THE STITCHES. I kept up squatting. I was complaining (whining) to my doctor about the pads hurting the shoulder he had stitched up so recently. He looked directly at me and said very calmly “Don’t rip out my stitches”. I stopped doing them and went instead to the leg press machines in my gym.

060519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 3 Background information continued

060519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 3  Background information continued

In 1954, Hans Selye came up with a description that described how an organism adapted to sources of stress in their environment. He called the model the “General Adaptation Syndrome” aka GAS. From this modest start, strength and conditioning specialists have come up with all sorts of training plans. A well-designed program will be characterized by a continuation of the Eustress processes. On the other hand, stagnation, soreness, minor injuries, and a lack of desire to exercise provide an early indication of distress that eventually leads to “Overtraining”. Leading into the overtraining is a condition called overreaching.

Overreaching is a desired effect that results from setting and achieving goals. It is the push to a higher plateau of ability. But if you remain in this zone too long, you soon reach the overtrained condition. Recovery from over reaching is easily accomplished with a few days active rest, a lighter than normal load, intensity and frequency of effort. How do you know if you are entering the overtrained realm?

290419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 2 Background information

290419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 2 Background information

In 1954, Hans Selye came up with a description that described how an organism adapted to sources of stress in their environment. He called the model the “General Adaptation Syndrome” aka GAS. He further described two such stressors, one good and one bad. They are respectively:

Eustress or that which produces growth, performance enhancements and repair.
Distress, which can cause decay, damage, death or disease in the living organism.

The General Adaptation Syndrome theory states there are three phases to an exposure to stress. Phase number one is the initial alarm, phase two is the resistance to the stress and the final phase is the adaptation to the stress (which Selye called exhaustion).

Breaking the three phases down into manageable bits of information one will find the first stage is the body’s initial response to the stress, i.e. flight, fright or freeze. (“Shock or alarm”, as it is described in the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning book by Baechle and Earle) The body at this point has a temporary inability to cope with the situation; however, it quickly calls on energy reserves and begins to function in a more appropriate manner.

This is the beginning of the resistance phase in which the body adapts to the stimulus and returns to a more normal state. The body is preparing itself for a continuation of similar stresses by growing stronger in response.

The final stage is exhaustion. If the organism does not have a pause in the constant stress, it begins to break down. Thus, overtraining has reared its ugly head and progress begins to “grind to a halt”. Minor injuries appear, desire diminishes, and working out is no longer enjoyable. The workout program has failed!

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS*D

In days of old when men were men and women were women they exercised in the fields or in their homes from sun up until sun down. And no one ever mentioned overtraining, supercompensation, distress or ustress; they just did what had to be done to survive. They ate clean, lived clean and died clean.

We could take a lesson from them and do the same but we don’t. Sure they were strong, they had to be just to keep living back then. It is apparent from reading any history at all that staying in shape was not the reason these old timers did so much hard work. It was to continue to live. But times have changed and we don’t have to struggle quite so much to stay alive-at least in many areas of the world. Now we can go to a gym or workout in our homes to stay in shape.

If we followed the regimen of sun up to sun down we would get in shape darn fast but how long could we tolerate the program? Not long I am sure.

“Supercompensation” is the thin window of opportunity between overreaching and overtraining. It is the ideal goal in any well-designed exercise program, especially if you are contemplating a contest in the near future. But, how is it reached without overtraining and getting hurt?

The body’s adaptive mechanisms are wonderful and can do marvelous things to keep you healthy. However, you must pay attention to what it is saying about the evolution-taking place concerning your training loads, duration and intensity and the effects on you.