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Fitness Tim vs. Aging

Tim vs. Aging – T minus 4 days – Stretching and Weightlifting

In my much younger days, I earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I was never great at stretching but I could still kick the top of a door jamb and do a roundhouse kick to the side of the head of almost any sized opponent.  I have to say I’m not there anymore.  I haven’t seriously stretched in a long time, and I found that during the episodes where I have been motivated to stretch, it has indeed become more difficult as I’ve gotten older.

The ability to stretch is a sign of youth. I believe that if age reversal is indeed the goal, this is one of the areas where I should be more capable. But I’m not counting on being spontaneously more flexible.  I plan to work at it, stress the muscles that need stressing and count on hormesis to regenerate those cells in a better condition as I stretch them. If I am sedentary with regards to stretching, I would not expect any change at all.

I plan to use the stretching exercises I used with Tae Kwon Do, for legs, arms and back. Thirty minutes, four times per week.

I have stretches for the legs that work on the back, front, inside and outside of the legs. They are meant for kicking higher and faster, which is the hallmark of Tae Kwon Do.

For the arms, the primary is crossing the body with an arm and using the other above the elbow to pull it close. Then for the inside, one arm goes against a wall while you turn your body the other way.

For the back, a slow twisting motion to either side is good, plus the leaning forward and back in the other stretches.   Another, hands above the head and bending to all four sides.

I will probably modify these as I go.

The weight training will be with heavier weights. The goal is 2 or 3 sets, with 4-5 reps on each for various parts of the body.  This will take place at the local YouFit, and at some point, I will show the record and take pictures of the machines.

These are the theories I am counting on:

  1. Hormesis. We all know what weightlifting does. It tears the cells apart, overloads them, and then the body takes over and repairs the damage, building back better than before. Since the “building back” is to be enhanced by the scientifically recommended supplements that help build cells back more quickly and accurately, we should have synergy between the processes.

By the way, a good book to read that applies this principle to life, in general, is “Anti-fragile” from Nassim Taleb. It turns out that besides the body having this effect, humans can muster hormetic effects in their work and family life. The ultimate description of hormesis, is, of course, Nietzsche: “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Stretching is very much along the same lines, you are essentially separating muscle tissue, forcing it to take shape. Your body then reinforces the new shape, gives you longer muscles with greater dynamic range.

  1. Return to an earlier state. Assuming all of this theory is correct and I am returning to an earlier state of biological age, I cannot expect my muscles to give up their current state and restore themselves to an earlier flexibility. At least not in the time of this project.  If I develop a tendency to be more flexible because of a lower biological age, then I want to reach for that sooner rather than later.

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