Below is a brief video that I recently posted to Facebook. Within the clip, you will see a man performing chin-ups on his 73rd birthday.
Clearly, his display is impressive particularly when considering that he was born in 1938. This man can perform more chin-ups than most healthy males born in the last 30 years.
So what is his secret? He must follow a highly touted routine, right? I wonder what form of periodization he is using. Perhaps he receives daily training updates to his inbox that allow him to display such strength? It’s got to be something, right? Maybe a new supplement? What could it be?
Unfortunately, those looking for an overnight secret are not going to find one. The secret to this man’s ability aren’t found in a book and can’t be purchased in bulk from the supplement store. This elderly man’s ability is the result of hard work and consistency over many years.
In a previous Youtube video, he mentioned that began performing pull-ups at age 40. When he started, he would do pull-ups every day. He’d always try to perform one more than he did the day before. He didn’t have any fancy rep schemes or periodized programs to follow. What he did have however was the determination and perseverance to keep showing up day after day.
Showing up and legitimately pushing yourself regularly are two of the best ways to produce results in the gym. You don’t need a fancy plan. And no, I’m not knocking the potential value of a well thought routine. My point is that while some people obsess over program creation, others just wake up and train. What they do may not always be right, but their repeated effort makes up for it, often allowing them to surpass those who possess more book knowledge on the subject.
There is no denying that most men cannot perform a fraction of the chin-ups that this man performs. Many half his age who are physically active and so-called experts in training cannot even perform as many chin-ups as him. Who knows what they will be doing in their 70’s.
So what’s the lesson to be learned?
Keep it simple. You don’t need to know everything. Keep showing up and keep pushing yourself. In time, you’ll see what works and what doesn’t. You’ll learn more by doing than you will with anything else.
“If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you.” – Bruce Lee