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Bodybuilding For Babyboomers - Shaping Up For Summer, The Baby Boomer Way!

Shaping up the baby boomer way means training hard, yet training smart. That means employing science and the wisdom that only comes with age to our training. Learn why!
Shaping Up For Summer, The Baby Boomer Way!
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While many parts of the U.S. continue to be blasted by snowstorms it's hard to change the mindset to think about warmer weather and summer activities. But, beware boomers; bathing suit season is just around the corner. It's time to get ready.

Shaping up the baby boomer way means training hard, yet training smart. This Legendary Fitness team wants you fit for this summer, and many summers to come. That means employing science and the wisdom that only comes with age to our training. Let's let those kids burn themselves out with their training programs that maximize gains at the high cost of lost training time from injuries. We know better.

Get Your Nutrition In Order!

  • Keep a training journal. Write down everything you eat. Every piece of gum, candy and taste of food. Hundreds of calories are ingested each day as a taste or just a bite as we are running to another activity. You need to be aware of exactly how much you are putting in your mouth each day. [Diane: I like to use the Gold's Gym training journal due to the two-page format. It allows you to view daily resistance training, nutrition and cardio. And there's plenty of room for notes. Richard: I don't use anything formal to log daily nutrition. Just one piece of paper lasts a long time as I use my own codes, (EW for egg whites) and eat the same thing on a daily basis when dieting.]

  • Clean out the pantry. Eliminate temptations by throwing away cookies, cakes and snacks. DON"T feel bad about the waste of money. You're a tough Baby boomer on route to a Legendary Physique this summer and will not let $15 worth of Oreos and pretzels stand in your way of success.

  • Re-stock the pantry and refrigerator with appropriate foods to build a better body.

    • Brown rice, oatmeal, steel-cut oats, rye or whole wheat bread
    • Eggs
    • Canned tuna
    • Lean protein such as chicken, fish and beef
    • Green vegetables such as peppers, broccoli, celery, green beans and cucumbers
    • Bagged salads when on the run
    • Fruits that are low on the glycemic index such as strawberries and melon
    • Low sodium soy sauce, salsa, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, non-stick cooking spray
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Non-fat cottage cheese and yogurt
    • Non-fat milk
    • Almonds
    • Sugar-free popsicles when in a pinch

  • Stock up on protein supplements. Eating small meals about every three hours makes it difficult to consume so many 'real' meals. That's where protein supplements come in handy. You'll need two kinds.

      Whey Protein. Good to use pre and post workout, or any time as a small meal when you want to keep the carbohydrate content low. [ Diane: I like several different brands and rotate to keep from getting bored.

      My favorites include, EAS Precision Protein, EAS Simply Whey, (a great price performer with great taste), Next Designer Whey (always a good taste choice for a beginner) and AST VP2. Richard: I like to get a good blend of the different Proteins including whey isolates and concentrate and caseins, so I choose Pro-blend 55.]

      Meal Replacement Shakes. (MRPs) Use these for snack meals and for times when eating a real meal is impossible. Keep a shaker, a bottle of water and an MRP at your desk and in your car so you are always prepared. Personal favorites for both of us include one of the oldest, Met-RX, chocolate and EAS Myoplex Lite or regular Myoplex in Tropical flavors.

  • Keep protein bars on hand. It's not always practical to whip out a shaker bottle to mix up an MRP, so protein bars are a great choice. Fat levels tend to be high, so keep that in mind when planning your day. Carbohydrate levels can be extremely high to the point where you just might be better off having a brownie, so please choose wisely. EAS makes a low-carb bar, advertised at 3 grams of carbs. Just remember, they're not counting the carbohydrates from glycerine, which takes the count up to around 20 grams. But, 20 is still a reasonable amount of carbs for a protein bar. Diane's favorite, EAS Low-Carb Strawberry and the new Detour bar, which can satisfy any craving for a Snickers. But, at 9 grams of fat and 290 calories, you better plan this snack carefully into your daily meal plan. Richard's favorite, EAS Advant Chewy Chocolate Chip, nice and cold right out of the refrigerator.

Now that your refrigerator and pantry are well stocked, let's examine putting these ingredients together into meals.


    Steel-cut oats, whey protein and blueberries
    Egg white omelet, whole-wheat toast and melon
    Oatmeal, cottage cheese, and strawberries*

Snack One:

    Protein Bar OR MRP
    Whey protein and small piece of fruit
    Cottage cheese with fruit
    Yogurt with strawberries


    Grilled chicken, beef or fish with salad and brown rice
    Tuna on rye bread
    Oven roasted turkey with sweet potato and green vegetables

Snack Two:

    See snack one


    Grilled chicken or fish with salad and green vegetables

Snack Three: (if needed)

    Whey protein or cottage cheese

Portion size will need to be determined by you. Do you need to lose weight? Then you need to expend more calories than you take in. Is your goal to put on lots of lean, sexy muscle mass? Then, you may need to have seven or eight small meals per day, or keep the five to six meals per day with added calories at each meal.

What you should see from this guide is that there is plenty of lean protein, as well as a good amount of complex carbohydrates to provide the necessary fuel for daily activities, including your job and your training sessions. Taper carbohydrates down to low levels as the day goes on, as you will not need the same levels of fuel for sleeping as with your daily activities.

*Diane: Much to Richard's chagrin, my favorite breakfast is one that I have each day. I mix cottage cheese and cut up strawberries into my cooked oatmeal, then sprinkle with cinnamon and some Sweet 'n Low or Stevia. It's not pretty, but so good. Thanks to Western CT's busiest trainer, Trish Erwin for the breakfast tip.

Getting your nutrition in order takes planning! We won't kid you here. You are going to need to plan ahead and be prepared. Grill up a week's worth of chicken breasts and stick them in the freezer. Prepare several days worth of brown rice and store in throwaway containers. Place a container of rice and a chicken breast in a cooler with a piece of fruit, an individual container of cottage cheese and a protein bar and you've got several meals to eat on the go.

No time for breakfast in the morning? Cook up several days of steel-cut oats or cooked oatmeal and place in Ziploc containers. When mixed with cottage cheese, the oatmeal is great cold. Or try this novel idea?get up 20 minutes early and have a great breakfast of cooked eggs.

It's not easy, but you don't want to look like your peers, do you? It takes effort to have a legendary physique, and we are not looking to be like everyone else, we are looking for health, fitness, vitality, youthfulness and vibrancy.

Get your supplements in order! Our top three picks.

Want to take it a bit further?

One more step?

The list goes on and on with supplements. But, we are trying to give you an introductory sampling of possible supplements to add to your daily plan without overloading you. Depending upon the stresses you put on your body in terms of the intensity of your exercise programs will determine the levels of supplementation and the need for additional items not on the above list.

Everyone should check with their physician before adding supplements into their routine. This is critical for Baby boomers and all ages that are a bit overweight. Carrying excess pounds creates imbalances in the system, which makes it difficult for the body to metabolize the supplements properly. Diabetics should NOT use glutamine before checking with their physician and should check protein supplements carefully as many as now including glutamine.

Diane: Here's my glutamine tip. Since glutamine is a supplement that aids with recovery, I want it in my system at the moment I've completed my training session. So, I add a few grams of glutamine to my water bottle that I use during my cardio and resistance training sessions. And then post workout, I'll take a few more grams of glutamine. Try this method of supplementing with glutamine and let me know how it works for you.

Getting In Shape For This Summer Means Movement.

Let's start briefly with a discussion of cardiovascular exercise. Many more details will follow next week on cardio and resistance training.

If you need to shed bodyfat, you need to start moving. If you are brand new to exercise, start slow this week with walking, as walking is easy on the joints and can be done ANYWHERE! If you don't have a treadmill at home and it is cold and rainy where you live, hit the mall for a brisk 30-45 minute walk, five times this week. That's all you have to do. It's simple, it's free and doesn't require any equipment. For those of you lucky enough to live in warm climate get outside and go for a walk. Enjoy the outdoors!

Are you an intermediate or advanced level fitness buff that's already engaged in cardiovascular activity? Then try something new this week. If you are always strapped to a piece of equipment, get outdoors for a walk or bike ride. Go skiing or snowboarding in cold climates. Find an ice skating ring and really burn some calories. Movement is and can be fun, so go and enjoy.

Getting In Shape For This Summer Means Resistance Training!

Once again, much more on resistance training next time.

Are you brand new to weightlifting? Here are your assignments for the week

  • Make the decision to join a gym or create a home gym
  • Purchase your gym membership or equipment for home gym
  • Hire a personal trainer for several sessions to learn about program design and the critical elements of proper technique
  • Hit the bookstore. Recommended reading for beginners.

Book discussion? Yes, book discussion. We've been busy working behind the scenes at Legendary Fitness in preparation to bring you, the baby boomers in search of improved physiques, a website where you will have a voice. Want to discuss your views on the current state of bodybuilding? Or state your opinion about a training technique discussed in one of our recommended books from the Legendary Fitness Book Club for Baby boomers, this will be the place. Stay tuned for details, or get a jump-start by getting on our mailing list.

Dave Draper and I.

Are you an intermediate or advanced level baby boomer lifter? Work this week with fairly high reps and low weights, as we will start to build up intensity in the coming weeks as we prepare to create legendary physiques ready for the upcoming summer season.

  • Reflect on the obstacles that have held you back in the past. What can you do to eliminate these obstacles? Do you need to adjust your schedule to make time for workouts? Do you need to plan better to get in all of your meals? Do you need to get to the store and finally get some new lifting straps? Start to remove the obstacles.
  • Get that mindset going. You know what I'm talking about. Don't you want to walk that invincible walk when you know you look simply awesome? Richard calls this, "Walking with the Gods." Stayed tuned for details of his upcoming article by this name in Hardcore Muscle magazine.
  • Hit the bookstore to pick up the intermediate/advanced level entry for discussion.

Your goals for the week are to get prepared by cleaning out the pantry and restocking with nutrient dense foods. You will also start to add movement into your routine or incorporate something new into your cardio. Prepare for resistance training with a gym membership or home equipment at the beginner level, while more advanced levels prepare your mind for the physique transformation journey. Hit the bookstores to expand your mind with knowledge and get ready next month to start sharing your thoughts and concerns with fellow baby boomers in search of legendary physiques that redefine the aging process.

Train hard, train smart, start reading and get ready for summer!
Richard and Diane

We've been hearing from you and are still gathering your thoughts and views on the current state of bodybuilding. Do you have an opinion that you would like to share? Send us an email and we will put together a sampling of reader emails in the coming weeks.

Click here if you are interested in receiving our weekly newsletter that will keep you informed of our additional articles, special projects and appearances. We want to hear from you! Send us an email if you would like us to cover a topic here on Bodybuilding for Babyboomers or if you have a specific question.

Do you want to have your Baby boomer shape up for summer photos published in an article here on or for an upcoming project via Legendary Fitness, LLC a company geared towards the special exercise and nutritional needs of baby boomers? Send us your before photos, along with your name, residence and goals for the coming weeks. You can send in photos and training logs as the weeks progress or send the information and photos in June, as the summer season gets underway.

All submitted photos become property of Legendary Fitness, LLC; submission shall constitute a grant to the use of your photos and information as we deem appropriate.

Copyright 2003. Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC. All rights reserved. The advice given in this column should not be viewed as a substitute for professional medical services. Before undertaking any exercise or nutrition program, Legendary Fitness, LLC advises all to undergo a thorough medical examination and get permission from their personal physician.

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