We recently caught up with Owen McKibbin, a 56-year old former pro volleyball player, creator of the Zone Progression Training Method, and official spokesperson for The Rack. Owen shared advice on how to stay healthy and fit as the years go by, along with his secrets for success.
What advice do you have for people who want to stay in great shape as they grow older?
As you grow older it’s very important to remain active and choose your exercise program wisely. Functional training that utilizes multiple muscle groups, all while working in unison is the most efficient way to stimulate the greatest amount of lean muscle while burning the most amount of calories in the shortest amount of time. Focus on exercise that puts more of an emphasis on “pulling” movements as opposed to “pushing” movements. For example, pull-ups and or assisted pull-ups, lat pulldowns, and seated rows. These moves target almost all of the muscles of the upper body and help promote proper posture.
What are the key components of a great workout?
A key component of an effective workout program is to choose a routine that will give you the best possible results in the shortest amount of time. I suggest implementing a regimen that utilizes high-intensity sequential movements using weight-bearing resistance to promote bone density, lean muscle growth, and overall structural integrity.
What should we be eating?
Modifying our diet as we age is very important. Unless you are a pro athlete, you should restrict your intake of simple carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, pasta, and bread. Studies have shown that excess amounts of these high glycemic carbohydrates cause inflammation which can ultimately lead to a whole host of other diseases later on in life. If you love bread and can’t live without it, substitute your whole wheat bread or pasta for alternatives that are derived from other foods such as quinoa.
Try to avoid fat-free foods as they are typically loaded with additives and high in carbohydrates. Also, stay away from artificial sweeteners, cut back on sugar in all forms, and limit salt intake. I try and make an effort to eat organic and all-natural when possible.
What are the most important ingredients for success? What does it take?
Be consistent and try not to be too hard on yourself while still staying disciplined. Remember, it’s ok to have a cheat day! Eat whatever you want one day a week, whether it be pizza, ice cream, etc… But try and stay on a healthy course for 5 to 6 days a week.
Along with eating healthy, make sure to keep your workouts consistent. Doing a little exercise at least 5 days a week is ideal. Even 5 minutes a day is a hundred times better than doing nothing at all.
How can people make fitness an important, consistent part of their life?
An analogy I use a lot takes us back to brushing our teeth. No kid wants to brush his teeth morning and night. As parents, we have to constantly ride our kids. Repetition breeds perfection.
As an adult, I believe that if you force yourself to do something (in this case working out) on a consistent basis as your parents forced you to brush your teeth, you will eventually create a good habit. Imagine going 3 weeks without brushing your teeth?? Never, right? You would end up in the dentist’s chair getting your teeth drilled for cavities, root canals, etc.
That seems minor compared to being whisked out of your home or work on a stretcher as you are having a heart attack from lack of a consistent workout program. So what’s the message here? You created a healthy habit early on that eventually became a routine that everyone I know does at least twice a day. The same goes for working out and anything else in your life you want to excel and be good at.
A day is 24 hours. One hour is 1/24th of your day. If you work out hard, and smart for half of that 5 days a week you will live a longer, happier, healthier life. Besides what it does for you, it has a trickle-down effect on your friends, spouse, and even your kids.
Featured photo by apfelfred