Grandpa – Grandson Workouts

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Question: I’m in my 60’s and my grandson, who is 13 wants to start working out. According to my doctor, my health could be greatly improved from workouts as well. Would it be beneficial for the two of us to train together?
Answer: There are similarities between training for a 13 year old and a man in his 60’s beginning with the session length since both sessions need to be short in duration, typically 40 to 50 minutes max. Kids don’t possess large amounts of muscle mass and have not developed muscle endurance. They run out of gas quickly. For adults who are considering beginning an exercise program, the shorter session length prevents you from being exhausted as well. Although your muscle mass is mature, yours is, at this point, untrained.
Both of you should begin with two sets of each exercise: use two exercises for abdominals, two or three for legs, two for chest, two for back, one or two for shoulders and one each for biceps and triceps. This means you’ll both be doing a full body routine two times a week initially. After a couple of weeks, both of you could move forward to a split routine and train three days a week. This would require training upper body, chest, back and shoulders on one day and legs with arms on the other. You would repeat a different workout each week.
The two of you will need to pay close attention to form and range of motion. Your grandson need to use a complete range of motion to aid in his development and muscle control. You need it but be more cautious in case you have any old injuries which could be irritated by some movements. You will probably be relatively stiff in your joints. Both of you will be sore, especially after the first one and second workouts. At this time you could go to three sets per exercise.
Here’s where the differences pop up between in training. Your grandson needs to utilize more free weights with his training. Free weights contribute to greater motor skill development and from that comes better athleticism and sports skills. The base of his routine would include multi-joint exercises which would coordinate several muscles groups working together. You, on the other hand, would be safer beginning with a mixture of machines and some free weights. The machines typically keep you in a safer range of movement and help prevent injury unless they are used incorrectly.
The soreness both of you feel in the early workouts will dissipate as your training continues. You’ll go from feeling like every muscle in your body has been overextended to a nice tight feeling. You should feel better with each consecutive workout and your grandson should be able to establish good training habits as he begins puberty which is when real growth will occur for him. Enjoy the time together.
God bless and keep training.
Daryl

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