IEET > Staff > Affiliate Scholar > Hank Pellissier > HealthLongevity
“60 is the new 30” - Transhuman Senior Fitness
Hank Pellissier   May 18, 2015   Ethical Technology  

Longevity and Brain Enhancement are the two primary ambitions of transhumanists, according to a survey conducted two years ago. This indicates that the “average transhumanist” is strongly motivated to keep his-or-her physical body and mental cognition in tip-top condition. These desires would be, it seems, even more emphasized in tranhumanists who were 55+ years old.

I am 62 – an age considered “old” by many – but I recently “resurrected my strength” using a combination of old-fashioned hard work + new-fangled technology. In only 4 months I became stronger than I’ve ever been in my life.

I want to share with all transhumanists how they can attain the youthful power that I reclaimed. I also suspect that you want “Cognitive” advice, so I’ll conclude this with Brain Health tips.

this is me… I could look a lot worse

PHYSICAL EXERCISE

As a tech-savvy transhumanist you probably view people who don’t know how to use their smart phones as impossibly dense. You find iPhones “user friendly” and “intuitive” - right? Please apply your skill at comprehending systems to your own physiology. Especially, to assist you in exercising, the adrenaline system.  You will utilize it, joyously.

1. Weight-Lifting

Weight-lifting - does it bore you? Make it Fun! Pumping Iron needs to activate your brain’s reward pathway /dopamine system.  My “Victory-based” approach to workouts mimics the pleasure-seeking strategy attained in the best “Brain Games.

Frequency - every other day for 35-60 minutes. You only need to do 12-18 sets but you need to push yourself to exhaustion. “Work till Failure” should be your goal. Each set should be no more than 10 repetitions - if you do more than that its time to increase your weight.

Schedule weight-lifting early in the day before other responsibilities derail you. I do my workout immediately after breakfast.

Plan your workouts so you can achieve 1-3 “Victories” (Personal Bests) every time. Weight-lifting is the perfect exercise to accomplish “personal bests” in because there are dozens of muscles to work out with various exercises. “Victories” will fill you with pride and optimism and enable you to look forward to workouts.

Here’s exercises I recommend:

Dips
**Dumbbell Pull-overs
Dumbbell Incline Press
Pulldowns (on weight machine)
*Pullups
Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Tricep Curls (on weight machine)
Dumbell Bench Press
* Rows (weight machine)
* Overhead Press (weight machine or dumbbells)
* Pushups

Its important to not get injured. That’s why I recommend dumbbells and weight machines over barbells, especially on bench press. I also put an asterisk by four exercises because I pulled muscles doing those exercises, and I put two asterisks by Dumbell Pullover because I dropped 70 pounds on my face once… scary. If you discover that you get hurt doing an exercise, just replace it with something safer.

I didn’t list leg weight-lifting exercises because I want you to develop lower body strength on the days-off from weightlifting.

Below I describe a workout I had so you’ll understand what I mean by “victories” – it’ll show you how to strategize every workout.

#1. Pullovers add muscular thickness to the upper torso. My personal best is 90 lbs. I decide to try 95 lbs. - for the first time ever. I try it, and succeed 10X ! Victory! After that I do two more sets at 85 lbs; I do the first set 10X and the second set 8X. Whew! I’m very tired already, but still – A New Personal Best in one of my favorite exercise.

#2. Can I also improve by Pulldown Personal Best..? Which is 190 10X, followed by 6X and 6X? It’s not an exercise I enjoy, because it hurts my hands and my thighs (braced against the pad). I’m also tired already… Nonetheless, I put the pin on the weight machine at 200 lbs. Can I do it 10X? Uhhhgghhh! Yikes! I can’t do it even once! I have totally failed to improve myself in this today.

#3. My latissimus dorsi are – obviously – totally wiped out by the pullovers, so I decide to exercise another muscle. Biceps. I’ve been doing Dumbbell Bicep Curls at 40 lbs. for a long time, decades really. I think I “plateau” at 40 lbs. But today… I’ll try 45 lbs. I start – it definitely feels heavier… but I do it! 10X each arm! A new personal best! I follow it up with 8X and 8X. Major Victory #2. Excellent.

#4. I’m really exhausted… but I’d like to at least be close to personal bests in other exercises. Next I do Incline Dumbbell Press. My Personal Best is 50 lbs. 10X, 10X, 10X. Today I do 10X, 8X, 7X. I strain really hard, but I’m pleased with the result… it’s acceptable considering how fatigued I am.

#5. Tricep Curl (weight machine). I’m stuck on this exercise – I can do 130 lbs. 10X rather easily, but I can barely do any reps at 140 lbs. I decide, for fun, to see how many times I can do 130 lbs. Essentially, I’m creating a new “victory” category. Ready, go… it hurts but I accomplish 15 tricep curls. Good.

#6. Dips. I know my muscles are completely fried but I still want to do some dips. My personal best at dips is 30, but today I can only do two sets of 15 and 12. Ouch! My triceps are shredded.

#7. I finish my workout today with more Pullovers, at a lower weight. 85 lbs. Straining hard, I do two sets, 7X and 6X.

Owwww…. that hurt. I did 16 sets, in 45 minutes. With two major victories – both “epic” in my semi-narcissistic world (see photos).

2. Cardio

On your off-days you can exercise your cardiovascular system. I recommend swimming or running, but there are many other options – bicycling, rowing, a Stairmaster, or playing soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee, etc. What’s important is that you exert yourself for 25-40 minutes. I also skip the cardio - quite frequently - if I’m sore from the weightlifting. Sometimes I do yoga instead, other times I don’t do anything, except eat a lot. The weightlifting speeds up my metabolism.

Whatever you do, keep track of your distance and time so that you can also accomplish personal bests in this category. When I started swimming regularly, 2 months ago, it took me about 41 minutes to swim a mile. Now I can do it in 36 minutes and 40 seconds. Excellent! But…

I don’t want you to obsess about setting a personal best run or swim time every time… Theoretically, this is your “off day.” Weight-training is hard enough, and I really want you to push yourself when you do that.

3. Stretching & Abdominal Exercises

Your muscles will get quite sore and your body quite stiff due to the exercising – especially the weightlifting. Keep yourself limber by stretching regularly or practicing yoga. You can incorporate abdominal exercises at the same time.
If you don’t keep yourself limber — you’re going to get clumsy!

SUPPLEMENTS

Here’s one of my secrets (actually, its been extremely well-known and enjoyed for over a decade). After I finish my weight-training or swim, I drink a large glass of a soylent-like beverage that I’ve laced with Creatine. The benefits (and liabilities) of creatine are discussed online. The most reliable place to investigate its effects is at pubmed.gov – the archive of US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.

Here’s one research report that concludes:

“in older adults, concurrent creatine supplementation and resistance training increase lean body mass, enhance fatigue resistance, increase muscle strength, and improve performance of activities of daily living… creatine supplementation plus resistance training results in a greater increase in bone mineral density than resistance training alone. .. Creatine is an inexpensive and safe dietary supplement that has both peripheral and central effects. The benefits afforded to older adults through creatine ingestion are substantial, can improve quality of life, and ultimately may reduce the disease burden..”

Here’s another study supporting the combination of weight-training and creatine:

“This study confirms that supervised heavy resistance exercise training can safely increase muscle strength and functional capacity in older adults. The addition of CrM supplementation to the exercise stimulus enhanced the increase in total and fat-free mass, and gains in several indices of isometric muscle strength.”

This 11-year-old study reports that weightlifters who used creatine enjoyed a 14% greater average increase than those who did not. I buy my creatine online here but I am sure many other brands are just as effective.

I mentioned above that I ingest creatine with a “soylent-like” product immediately after my workout. The “soylent-like” item is from PowderedFoods.com.  It’s a nutritionally-balanced powder – I mix it with a teaspoon of creatine and shake the concoction up with water.

I like “powdered food” because it is very time-efficient; if you need extra minutes during the day so you can squeeze in a workout, Powdered Food can give you 650-1,000 calories in about 2 minutes. Just add water + creatine, shake, slurp and swallow. It also makes me feel great – it contains a lot of fiber, which aids digestion, and many users (myself included) find they need less sleep when their diet has a nutritional drink product. Creatine also works best when its mixed with a simple carbohydrate, and PowderedFoods are generally 33% carb.

Do I take any supplements besides Creatine? Yes. I take Probiotics every day, to “promote healthy digestion and support immunity.” The product I swallow is here but there are numerous other probiotics that are just as effective.

The primary reason I take probiotics is to Keep Me From Getting Sick, and it’s very effective at that. I am rarely ill. Here’s a report that substantiates the preventative power of probiotics:

“single and combination probiotics reduced fever incidence by 53.0%…and 72.7%… coughing incidence by 41.4%… and 62.1%…, and rhinorrhea incidence by 28.2%… and 58.8%…, respectively.”

Getting sick will prevent you from doing your workout – or from doing it so effectively that you’ll achieve any “victories.”

Magnesium – I added this supplement for “brain health” but magnesium provides dozens of benefits, it is “needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.”

Melatonin – I regularly take this supplement to improve my sleeping.

Nootropics: Research these if you’re eager to further elevate your brain power: I have taken Piracetem, and two NaturalStacks products: CILTEP, and SmartCaffeine.

BRAIN-TRAINING

Weight-training is great for your brain - a recent study claims it enhances memory by 10%.

If you want to really exercise your noggin, try a regular brain-training regimen – I recommend PositScience[TM]. Its “brain-games” are fun; I encourage you to approach them with the same determined competitive spirit that you use to tackle physical exercises.

Go to BrainHQ  and sign up — it’s very affordable – especially if you take advantage of AARP’s 35% senior discount. PositScience / BrainHQ offers games in Attention, Brain Speed, Memory, People Skills, Intelligence, and Navigation. Try doing the games for 45-60 minutes a week – they require concentration, but the motivation is provided by PositScience’s data… Do you want to be “below average” in Social Skills? Of course not! Do you want to have faster brain speed than 99% of the other competitors? Of course you do!

NUTRITION

I am one of those lucky people who weighs what I weighed in college. Most people aren’t like me. They need to lose weight. Here’s my advice: 1) Increase your Exercise Level. 2) Reduce Sugar Intake: Only eat 1-2 pieces of fruit per day. Stop eating or drastically reduce your intake of desserts. Eliminate fruit drinks, sodas, etc. Reduce your intake of all high-carb foodstuffs like break, all wheat products, pasta, pizza, potatoes.

ROLE MODEL FITNESS TRANSHUMANISTS

Max More, Chris Armstrong, George Dvorsky, Natasha Vita-More. All very fit. My apologies to everyone I didn’t name.

BOOK TO READ

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris.  Packed with amusingly-related advice, and I love that he’s always looking for efficiency - how to get the best results with the least amount of time.

SUMMARY

I hope everyone who is out-of-shape – especially people 55+ who “gave up” on physical fitness – I hope you get motivated to achieve their own peak personal physical fitness.

PS: Do you have a Transhumanist Health Tip you’d like to share? Let me and the readers know in the comments below.

Also, send me your own flexed senior “Selfie.” I am producing a conference on July 12 called “Transhuman Superpowers and Longevity” - I am lecturing on Senior Fitness and I am looking for 60+ photos for my slide presentation.

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.



COMMENTS

One Simple Change = 17 More Quality Years

Calorie restriction (CR) still proves to be the ONLY way to extend maximum lifespan in mammals. Much more so in shorter lived smaller mammals (up to 30% or more). If it could do the same for humans the food industry landscape would change dramatically. But it doesn’t. We might be able to squeeze out a few extra years at best. But again that’s maximum life span. CR does so much more. It’s the most sure fire way to totally AVOID and at least delay virtually every single aging-related disease on the planet. So it won’t extend human’s maximum life spans from 120 to 150 but it will significantly extend average life spans. In fact a reasonable estimate is 10-15 years. And it gets even better. Not only will you probably live a lot longer but you will live BETTER. Without CR we may expect to live to around late 70’s on average. The bad part about that is most can expect to suffer for over seven years lingering waiting for death to relieve the agony. But those who practice CR can expect about 90 active independent years and then die relatively quickly and comfortably. Adding it up look for over 17 more QUALITY years. You still die though… unless… we see likely breakthrough radical life-extending technologies during the extra years you bought.

Animal-based foods contribute to the astronomical rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes in the United States and elsewhere in the developed world. Heart disease, for example, is currently the leading cause of death in this country and a major source of disability as well. Though scientists previously believed that animal fat was the main culprit, epidemiological and laboratory experimentation have identified animal protein as another important contributor to the epidemic of cardiovascular illness in our population (T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell 11, The China Study 119 [2006])

Dairy products (such as cheese, in which animal protein is highly concentrated) are particularly harmful to health, even as the population largely views them as “healthy” in the wake of successful dairy industry advertising. As T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, amply documents in his book The China Study and elsewhere, the primary protein in dairy-casein-is among the most important known human carcinogens. The foods that both omnivores (consumers of flesh, dairy, and eggs) and ovo-lacto vegetarians consume thus leave them vulnerable to the heart disease, cancer, and diabetes that are prevalent in the West, and that have begun increasingly to appear in other populations that emulate the Western diet.

Translation: Eating animal products (even those that are low in fat, such as skim milk and lean meat) increases our risk of life-threatening and debilitating sickness.

I am sorry, but I am not a fan or a believer in CR. I wrote my opinion of it in a decidedly rude essay for HPlusMagazine.com 5 years ago, here:

http://hplusmagazine.com/2009/11/10/why-caloric-restriction-not-my-menu/

My opinion today is roughly the same.

I agree with some of your statements above, like the dangers of casein, but overall, I think your fear of animal fat is excessive (I love butter, by the way)

Also, I don’t know how much you exercise, but I’ve read that many CRs don’t like vigorous exercise, because it will make them hungrier. Is this true? If so, that seems to me like an awful way to live. Plus, you wouldn’t get any of the health benefits that exercising provides.

I hope you’re not dangerously thin, and if you are, I urge you to go eat a big meal. T-bone is my family’s favorite steak.

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