Top 12 Workout/Fitness Goals for 2014

 

While on Christmas holidays, I am planning my personal workout and exercise goals for the next year.  For me, to set up some goals and challenges gives me the motivation to create a better body and state of health. For a person over 60 years old, it is increasingly important to balance strength, endurance, agility, flexibility and balance. The following are my exercise/workout goals for 2014. What are yours?

The great thing about movement and fitness is that there are hundreds of different ways to stay in good shape or great shape. Design the ones that you stick to, challenge you, and make you more fit than you are today.  These are my goals and routines, considering that I have about 8 hours a week to workout:

  1.  Maintain my current fat mass percentage of 15-16%, which gives me 84-85% muscle mass, a very good number for a man over 60. Keeping the fat percentage number under 20% for men and 25% for women is a good goal for everyone. This I will do by balancing endurance training with enough interval and strength training.
  2. Always have the endurance for a challenge of a two-plus hour swim, run, bike ride, hike, tennis game, or cross country skiing challenge. In other words, I always want to be in good enough shape that I do not flinch if someone challenges or entices me to a two-hour endurance activity.
  3. Do as many interval run, swim, cross-trainer, cycling or spincycling sessions as I do long endurance workouts – about 2-3 per week of each. The older you are the more effective and important interval training is for maintaining muscle mass, speed, and strength. It also increases testosterone, compared with over-training with too-long endurance workouts, which can actually decrease testosterone.
  4. Do at least two strength training sessions per week. Most of the time, it is in the gym. It can of course be done at home with strength training bands, kettle bells, weights, machines, a power plate, pushups, etc.  I often do the strength training before my interval sessions to make very efficient use of time.
  5. Mix up my 90-100% effort interval sessions between: 1) Tabata (20 seconds on, 10 seconds recovery X 8, X 4 sets); 2) 30 seconds on, 90 seconds recovery X 8 X 1-2 sets; 3) 200-400 meter running intervals with equal recovery time X 8; and 4) hill or stair work.  I will do the short intensive intervals with running, cross-trainer, spincycle, burpees, jumping jacks, etc.
  6. Do my endurance training, consisting mainly of 45-150-minute runs, swims, cycling, or cross country skiing. I will try to do these at least 3 times per week, maintaining a good fat burning and endurance training zone of 60-70% max pulse (for me, this is 125-135 heart beats per minute).
  7. Rest up and know my boundaries, do not over-train to the point of over-exercising, which causes too much inflammation and oxidation, increasing the risk of injuries. The older you are, the more time for recovery and tissue repair is needed. A rest and recovery after an extra tough day of training is a good idea. On the rest day, if movement is desired,  a long walk, golf, light sessions of such things as tai chi, qi gong, yoga or other types of more relaxing movement can be done, and still count as recovery day.
  8. Eat right and take supplements that accentuate the positive effects of my exercise sessions and protect me from injuries. I have incurred very few injuries and problems during my 45-year-long love affair with exercise and movement, and I do not want to do anything stupid that would cause injury or long term health problems. A little bit of muscle soreness from time to time, challenging my body to something difficult, is of course acceptable. A little soreness after a tough workout or competition is the result of achieving some good results from a workout, but this is minimal if I take plenty of antioxidants, enzymes and plant nutrients.
  9. Experiment with new types of exercise equipment, training methods, exercise routines, etc., to keep it interesting and work different muscle groups. It is great to discover new ways to stay fit. Variation is great to keep many different muscle groups challenged and working well. Last year I did the Swedish Challenge (Svenska Klassiken) of doing a 3k river swim, 30k cross country running competition, 90k cross country skiing competition and a one day 300k cycling competition within one year. I also did my first triathlon (Olympic distance) and got more into kettle bell training. I plan to discover and try something new this year, too.
  10. Enter at least 6 different competitions, which will give me more focus and concrete goals for my training. My goals so far are: a) a 5k swim; b) 1-2  half marathon runs; c) 2-3  ten k runs; d) a triathlon, olympic distance, event; and e) an aqualon (a run + swim competition).
  11. Get some advice from experts when I need it or try out a new challenging experience or event. Read up, get advice, and prepare well when getting into something new or challenging. Being well-versed, coached, or prepared minimizes mistakes, accidents, and bad results. Using the right clothing, equipment, and training makes everything work better.
  12. Keep a positive mental picture, keep it challenging but fun. I exercise to reduce mental stress, not to increase it. I exercise to improve my health and quality of life. I do not take it too seriously or beat myself up if I miss a session, competition, or goal. Life happens and sometimes you just come short or your life takes you in another direction, but my intention and plan is to be consistent and challenge myself in a healthy way. Also,  I enjoy the special time with myself that I have when I exercise alone, but also enjoy the times I have when working out with friends or meeting new exercise friends. The competitions are challenging and fun rather than too serious or stressful.

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