Movement Patterns For Life

I saw an advertisement on television the other day which got the old grey matter thinking. It involved a young man jumping over his front gate. The advertisement showed this man getting older but still jumping over the gate every day until he was very old.
Now what might seem a hohum sort of exercise for a young man becomes an impressive athletic feat for an elderly individual.

I got to thinking (I know this doesn't happen a lot) what if you performed a particular exercise every day for as many years as you possibly could. Would the movement patterns become routine?

Here is what I am getting at. I used to play amateur rugby. I stopped when I was thirty one. Ten years later I played in a fun match for my employers. I woke up the next day and felt that I had been run over by an extremely large vehicle. Bear in mind I was weight training regularly and was fit enough to stagger around a few half-marathons.

Some of my team mates who were still regularly playing weekend rugby were “a little stiff” the next morning. Effectively I had let my rugby movement patterns erode and the ageing process will make their re-establishment extremely difficult.

After seeing the advertisement I thought I would conduct an experiment. I would select a few exercises perform one or two reps maximum EVERY day (holiday's abroad might be a little tricky).

Effectively the ageing process will increase resistance (remember this is a long term view not your normal twenty eight day cycle).


The exercises are:

  • Dips – 2 repetitions (Push)
  • Pull Up – 1 repetitions (Pull)
  • Wall Handstands – 20 seconds (Allbody)
  • Kettlebell two-handed suitcase deadlift – 1 repetitions (Hinge)
  • Baseball catcher static squat – 30 seconds (Squat)

Now each of the above is a lot less than what I would normally perform and at the moment feels very easy. Because the repetition count is so low you will be able to carry on your normal training routine around this complex. The proof of the pudding will be in ten years. In ten years these numbers might not appear to be too bad.

A few of you learned people out will now say isn't this the same as Dan John and Pavel Tatsouline's excellent 40 day protocol outlined in their book “Easy Strength”? Well it's similar, but the repetitions in my exercise group are even lower. The vision I have is being eighty years old and still able to perform these exercises and someone thinking these weren't bad numbers for an “old geezer”. You might think “that's not going to happen age will catch up with you”. Of course it will, but my point is if you establish the movement patterns daily you should be able to perform them for many years. Think back to the rugby analogy.

But the main consideration is that if I can still perform this complex at an advanced age I might still be in a reasonable state of health.

Anyway I'm going to give this daily routine a go, noting

  • Effects on current training protocols
  • Are the exercises getting easier or harder to perform.
  • Energy levels.
  • Do I actually feel better for doing it (most important I guess).

I'll report the results in a month or so.