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The Workout You Can't Afford NOT To Do

This month 50Grand Health and Fitness launched their Life begins at 50 Challenge workout. The promotional event, geared mostly toward the 50+ community, was created to launch the company's website, and give you a sample of how you can use physical fitness to enhance your life and project the image of a fit 50 plus!

"50Grand was created to help any and everyone who wants to get fit and stay fit, but we specialize in those 50 years of age and up." says Jeff Warley, who is a Certified Personal Trainer, and CEO of the company. 50Grand Health and Fitness offers such services as Personal Training, Group Fitness Classes, and Health and Wellness events. As a new player in a 30 billion dollar industry, how you choose to market your services, and engage potential customers are key components. For this reason, 50Grands' team designed this campaign. This particular promotion is also somewhat personal to Mr. Warley, as this is the year that he himself turns 50. "I'm celebrating the coming of my fiftieth (birthday) by making sure I'm in the best shape of my life, and I'm asking others to celebrate with me by doing the same thing." he says.

Entry into the challenge, and the workout are free, and you need only sign up via the company's website. Once you receive the email, and the materials, you're ready to begin. It sounds like a simple promotion, however, when registration for the event far exceeded Jeff and 50Grand's expectations, it became evident that they had to scramble to find ways to streamline the process. "In an industry that is built on personalized attention, you naturally want to interact with everyone who signs up for something like this, but unfortunately you have to delegate some things to technology, in order to keep up with demand." Jeff explained, regarding a decision to automate the email replies to those who signed up for the challenge. Some "challengers", like Sandra Day from Yonkers, NY had to sign up twice, before receiving her email confirmation. Once 50Grand's team realized the issue, they immediately worked on a viable solution, and the registration process went smoothly thereafter.

The challenge is a ten week exercise program, that you can do anywhere, and takes about 20-30 minutes to get through. The warm-up consists of five exercises, while the actual workout is a circuit of nine exercises. The plan was designed to boost metabolism, burn fat, and build muscle. When asked how this workout was conceived, and why these particular exercises were grouped together for this purpose, Mr. Warley was happy to break it all down for us.

The Warm Up

1. Running In Place - Part of the warm-up process, this exercise is the first in the line up because it gets your heart rate up, and prepares you for activity. Running, Jumping Rope, and just about any form of cardio is necessary before stretching, as you should not stretch a "cold" muscle. Think of a rubber band, and what would happen if it was cold and brittle, then you stretched it.

2. Side Lunges - We use this as a warm-up, although it is great as an exercise in general. In our routine, we go into this exercise in order to stretch some primary muscles in our lower extremities. Main Target Muscle(s) Worked: Gluteus Maximus (glutes), Gluteus Medius/Minimus (Abductors), Quadriceps (quads), Adductors. These are all important hip and thigh muscles used in movement of your legs. Since we later go into a different Lunging exercise, this serves as a dynamic stretching technique.

3. Toe Touches - This stretch mainly targets the opposing muscle in the thigh, which is the Hamstring. Important: skip this stretch you are prone to low back pain or if it causes you any discomfort.

4. Shoulder Pass-Thrus - As we move up from the lower extremities, this exercise stretches the pectoral muscles (chest), as well as the arms, and shoulders.

5. Prone Press Up - We finish the warm-up with this great stretch for the lower back. Its benefits extend beyond that of just being a warm-up exercise. For those with certain lower back problems, it can serve as one of a number of therapeutic Lumbar exercises.

"Moving along to the circuit of 9 exercises; you should know that this circuit was carefully compiled as a Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) workout." Jeff explained. "PHA is basically an intense form of circuit training in which you group several exercises together, that work the entire body. To give an example, you would do an exercise that works the upper body, and then immediately follow it up with an exercise that works the lower body, and vice versa. You may also do an exercise which works both upper and lower body simultaneously. The benefit to this is that you get the heart pumping blood to the upper and lower extremities, which strengthens the heart muscles." he added.

The Circuit

1. Jumping Jacks - We start our exercise circuit off strong with this cardio exercise, because we need to get the heart rate up again, and we want the blood circulating to the upper AND lower extremities. There is also a modifier, for those with knee problems, which we demonstrate in the video.

2. Push Ups - Work the chest and triceps

3. Heismans - This is what we call a Plyometric exercise. Plyometrics are exercises that use explosive movements, such as leaping, jumping, or hopping. Mainly working the lower extremities, Heismans are a phenomenal fat burning exercise, with tremendous cardiovascular benefits.

4. Crunches - (w/Medicine ball or dumbbell) - This exercise was added to target the mid section of the body (the core/abs). We add the medicine ball or dumbbell for added resistance.

5. Burpees - Pound-for-Pound one of the most feared exercises in the spectrum, Burpees bring together a series of moves that target upper and lower body, as well as the core, all in the same exercise! This was intentionally put in this spot as an Apex to the entire circuit. There are several variations on the Burpee. We focus on the four count Burpee (watch the video), and the modified version for those who find that version to be too strenuous.

6. Lunges (w/Balance) - And we're back to lower body! Lunges, again, target the main leg/thigh muscles. We've added the balancing component to challenge your stability, and address the muscle imbalances that most of us have. Furthermore, its secondary benefit is that it helps to strengthen the core musculature.

7. Lateral Raises - This upper body exercise targets the shoulders, and when you go a little higher than the shoulder, you hit the deltoid muscles as well.

8. Squat, Curl to Overhead Press - Another "beast" of an exercise, this series of moves targets the Glutes, Quads, and Hamstring with the Squat; the biceps with the Curl, and the upper traps (back muscles), shoulders and triceps when you go into the Press.

9. Two-Leg Floor Bridge - As the final exercise in the circuit, it serves several purposes. As an exercise, it is meant as a core strengthening technique. We use it here, not only as an exercise, but also as an active recovery and cool down (because of its low impact).

This challenge runs up until May 1, 2016, and you can pick any ten weeks between now and then to sign up and begin.

The Life begins at 50 Challenge workout video is now available on YouTube for you to follow along as you go through. "It is complete with music, and instructions from me as I go through the entire workout!" Jeff says, as he shows clips of the demonstrations. "This is a fun way to get your workout in, and ensure that you are performing each exercise in the routine with the proper form."

It is estimated that approximately 34% of Americans (about 72 million) are obese, and the World Health Organization sited lack of physical activity as one of the main contributing factors to the development of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. To combat this problem, it is recommended that we get a minimum of 30 or more minutes of moderate exercise, at least 5 days a week. At a time when few adults, or children for that matter, are even getting close to that, it seems as though the Life begins at 50 workout program is an excellent place to start.


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