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My Fitness Theory

Discussion in 'Exercise, Health, and Well-being' started by Steve, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    See i have this theory on fitness and i wouldn't mind some feedback on what others think of it.
    If you think its off then by all means let me know. Happy to hear others thoughts.

    My theory is not very clear cut (age wise) and is a vague in some area but here goes...

    I will start by saying that all theories are just that, a theory. Until it is proven, which this one isn't, well it's just someones thoughts based on their own observations/thoughts.

    I split it up into 3 stages based on age. The whole theory relates to body composition, muscle strength, flexibility, injury avoidance, and everything that sits in the fitness basket.

    1. SET UP STAGE: Between the ages of 10 and 20 (maybe up to roughly 25 years) is our set up stage. Prior to 10 years old anything can happen so I ignore that time of our lives. During the set up stage is when we set our body up for what it can be and how easy it will be later to maintain that level of fitness. That may be that it gets set up to run fast, lift heavy things, jump high, get fat etc. It's where the building blocks are laid. If the person is lazy or sedentary in the set up stage then the odds of getting to run fast or lift heavy things in stage 2 to 3 are greatly reduced. I'm not saying it cant be done but the chances are low for a couple of reasons. Firstly because the habits haven't been programmed into the mindset and secondly because it is much harder later to burn fat, build muscle, train muscle fibres to react at speed, and the metabolism slows which hinders the whole process. This is the stage the body will come back to if you lose your way later in life and hopefully your 'muscle memory' will help you get back in shape. All this can be overridden to some degree by very hard work and time later in life so if you missed the boat on stage 1, dont worry you can catch up to a degree.
    2. MAINTENANCE STAGE: Between the ages of 25 and 40 (and up to 45 depending on the person) is the maintenance stage. I believe that in this stage if you can maintain a healthy body (in a fitness sense) then in stage 3 you will be miles ahead of everyone else that didn't get stage 1 set up. If you slack off in this stage for a year or 3 then you should still relatively easily get it back with some work. If you slack off for 10 years then you will have probably lost the edge you had from stage 1 (the set up) and you are in the same boat of those that didn't set up properly. The habits you created and the building blocks physically laid in stage 1 will be your biggest asset and provide you with muscle memory to get back to good shape. If you succeeded in stage 1 then do your best in stage 2 to keep up a good level of fitness to benefit through to the end.
    3. HANG IN THERE STAGE: Beyond age 40 you are then in the 'hang-in-there' stage. This is where if you got it right in stage 1 and 2 life will be so much easier for you. You will have the right mindset and motivation to keep active. You will have less injuries, be more flexible and generally enjoy a greater overall health and quality of life. If you bummed out on stage 1 or 2 then all is not lost. Like giving up smoking when you are 60 is still a good idea, as is taking up exercise....its always a good idea. You can improve all parts of your fitness/health through regular exercise regardless of your age. My point in my theory is that if we start early and can maintain the momentum then you are gonna have a dream run.
    Hopefully this theory is not misinterpreted as doom and gloom. If you are over 40 and didn't get stages 1 and 2 down then there is always hope (re-read stage 3 again). My theory is aimed at the younger population in that if we can give them a reason to be active now then maybe they will understand that it will only make life later that much easier, and less of a burden on the health system.

    The whole theory may seem obvious but when i put to people i often get the response of 'well i sort of knew that but never acted on it'. By putting it out there it could just raise awareness and get people thinking more about it.
     
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  2. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    I love crazy plans, and i like how you have an open idea about theories. I think you can't judge something until it's done and finished.

    I would agree with everything you've said, ... ecxept, you've tapered off at age 40 and put some emphasis on starting early. Which i agree with, but as we have an aging population, you may be alienating the majority of the poplulation? Don't get me wrong, i like it all and agree with it all,. but from a Marketing point of view, people that have already past the age may feel left out and it may feel a bit negative for them? If it's marketing, the older people have lots of money, and you could also include, "age 50" , "age 60" ..
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    I hear you loud and clear Stevo. I knew it wouldn't wash well with anyone who may be a little older.
    If I was trying to sell it then I have just cut off half, or more, of the population. Maybe i didnt think that through well enough :facepalm:

    I appreciate you taking the time to give me your honest opinion and I value that. Thank you for that.

    Maybe my theory is in its infant stage and needs a little tweaking.
    Maybe instead of calling it the 'Hang-in-There' stage I could call it the 'You still have time' stage? It doesn't really change the guts of the theory but might suck a few in with a new stage name. :whistles:
     
  4. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    ignore my ramblings there, i had a few wines, trying to get photos ofcourse. Are you doing personal training or something?
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    No worries Stevo, a few wines is what we need to let our thoughts flow more freely. I appreciate your feedback.

    Not personal training really. I do have two people that use my gym equipment (my wife and her friend) so they do look to me for guidance and motivation from time to time. But this theory of mine was more about how I think the whole lifecycle works, i.e. if we start off well then we will more than likely continue to have motivation to keep fit. Or if we know at a younger age what the benefits are from starting off well then it might keep more people motivated throughout life. I come from a mechanical/engineering background so I like to measure things and this was my way of attempting to do just that.

    My ramblings don't mean a lot and no-one apart from the readers here will ever see them so it's no big deal really.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Breaking longevity and how an active life can help us stay healthy into stages is a good way to explain this theory to people (especially young people).

    Sometimes just saying "be active all your life and you'll be better for it" just doesn't sound structured enough to motivate people to exercise. If you break it into stages as you have done people can see clear goals to why we should build a fitness base early in life in order to make the progress into middle age and beyond less effort than it needs to be. I think your theory is sound and I totally get it. :thumbsup:

    Definitely the younger you begin your life of regular exercise the better. You can still get a lot of growth out of the body between 25 - 40 (particularly men) but after 40 the human body tends to slowly succumb to the aging process. Having said that, there is no saying you can't improve what you have significantly after 40 because you certainly can! However, if there were two people both aged 44: a couch potato and a long time recreational runner, for instance. And both decided they needed to become fitter for their retirement years, my bet is on the runner to have an easier transition into doing what it takes to meet their goal.

    The other thing to remember, is fitness and exercise can take on many forms and they are not all orthodox. Gardening and tinkering in the back shed can be two examples of exercise which may be more than enough to keep people plenty fit through life without having to hit the pavement running or pumping iron with Arnie in the gym.

    Sport is another area which can help. I play 1st grade tennis against several guys in their 50's and 60's who are extremely fit and agile - they run me ragged :heat: I used to play in a team with a 79 year old ex paratrooper and he was amazing for his age (still is) he never said it but I could tell he's been active all his life. Most of these guys play tennis 3-4 times a week so they use sport to keep active and fit.

    Yes Steve, goals and stages are a proven training method and I think you've hit the mark. Your caveat to say it's never too late is also fair for people who may think they are "past it" but lets be honest if they have never exercised EVER in their life then starting mid-forties is going to be real hard and should be done carefully with medical advice. It's not impossible though.

    Nevertheless, correct me if I'm wrong, you're mainly aiming your fitness theory at a younger audience (GenFAT) who are in big trouble if they don't change their collective sedentary lifestyles very soon...
     
  7. Nina

    Nina Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree. Thanks for an interesting read.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Thanks Nina.

    You are spot on Mark in everything you have said. And the younger generation does need to wake up I think.

    The other thing you mentioned was the fact it doesnt matter what activity you do it can still help overall. Case in point, a couple of years ago I took a few weeks off work to build a wood surfboard. I worked solidly on it and I had lost so much weight by the end I couldnt believe it. I can only imagine the weight I could lose if I did that type of work full time.

    Despite what i called each stage, we can make gains/improvements in all stages. This was just a way to overview fitness in a holistic way.

    Cheers all.
     
  9. Pink

    Pink Active Member

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    Steve, I love that you have posted this theory. I think a lot of us have thought about it throughout the years and talked with others around a barbie. I agree in essence with your theory but I would like to add that perhaps you have been a bit dismissive of the under 10 age group. In my line of work we are seeing more and more 80-90kg ten year olds and a whole spectrum of obese children in this age group. I think this is becoming more and more the set-up stage as there is evidence pointing towards this being the stage when the number of fat cells are generated and sedentary lifestyle habits are hard-wired into young brains. I always believe there is a chance to correct this throughout each different life stage but as you say it will be a lot harder.
    Cheers,
    Pink
     
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