While Thanos’ version of balance is more geared to wiping out half of all life in the universe to conserve its finite resources, my version of balance is only limited to training the body!
What do I mean by balance?
When you do any kind of workout for any kind of Body Zone (see my Starter Kit for an explanation of Body Zones), you have to balance the muscle groups thus so that you are not working one more than the other. This is a key component to avoiding injury.
Let’s look at an example from one of my classic workouts: Tire Slamming.
My version of a Tire Slamming Workout is a full-body exercise experience—from top to bottom.
Within each Body Zone, I have designed the exercises to be inherently balanced.
I start with Push Exercises (though sledging is a little bit of pull as well).
Here’s what I mean:
- Sledgehammer Right (35s)
- Sledgehammer Left (35s)
- Sledgehammer Overhead Right (20s)
- Sledgehammer Overhead Left (20s)
- Rest (1m)
Now let’s examine that series for a moment. First I slam the tire with my 16lb sledgehammer using the right hand over the left hand on the handle of the hammer (my Mjolnir). Then I switch to left over right—switching my stance also (right foot forward, left foot back, then vice versa). You get the idea.
The same for the overhead sledging of the tire except that my feet are aligned in a basic horse stance.
Then after a 1 minute rest, it’s time to push the damn tire on the ground.
So I get on my knees (wearing industrial-strength knee pads for use on my paved driveway), and PUSH!
I’ll push the tire down the driveway for 45 seconds (with both hands, hopping on my knees between each push, hence the need for the knee pads!), then I’ll rest for 1 minute, then I’ll push up the driveway for 45 seconds.
Here’s the balance part: pushing the tire in this way works the shoulder muscles (i.e. the Trapezius and Deltoid muscles), but next I want to do a push exercise that also works the chest muscles (i.e. the Pectoral muscles). Which is why I’ll switch to doing Elevated Push-Ups for the next two sets.
E.g.: Elevated push-ups putting my toes on the rim of the tire, putting my hands on these Under Armour training balls (like little-basketballs), and doing deep push-ups. So push-up for 45 seconds, rest for only 15 seconds then another set of push-ups for 45 seconds, and then a 1 minute rest before the next Body Zone series—Pull Exercises.
So Now I’ve worked a bunch of sets covering a good round of my push muscles. Which means that those muscles worked in a balanced way!
Next would be the pull muscles (e.g. the Biceps), which include exercises like Rope Tire Pull (think of Bruce Wayne training in the Bat Cave to take on Superman in Zack Snyder’s Batman V. Superman, only I sit on my butt to pull the tire towards me). Then a version of that pull exercise I call the Prone Tire Pull (i.e. lying on my stomach and pulling more from my shoulder muscles).
And finally, I finish up the pull-version of the Tire Slamming series with a Tire Curl—essentially, I use a wooden dowel with the tire’s rope wrapped around it and curl the tire like a barbell. I also stand on two milk crates with my back against my house’s side so that I can have a wider range of motion when I curl (as the tire passes between the milk crates).
When I get a chance, I’ll post the entire Tire Slamming Workout routine for you to try out, along with some helpful tips.
In the meantime, always strive to find balance in your workouts so that you both fully develop your muscles evenly and avoid injury at all costs—especially when you’re in your 50s.
“Perfectly balanced, like all things should be.” ~Thanos, Avengers: Infinity War, 2018