I am not able to do the cardio work that I once did, at 81 years of age. My knees are bone on bone and I have back pain periodically. This eliminates running or walking, except for short walks outside or on my treadmill. After playing tennis for decades and golf very briefly, I can’t really do either satisfactorily now. But I’m not complaining. I can still do cardio.

Each morning before breakfast, I alternate weight training with physical therapy for my back.

I have discovered a way to get cardiovascular benefits from weight training. It is effective for me to use lighter resistance and higher reps – 25 to 30 reps with very little rest between sets. Or none.

The test of the cardio effect I get is the amount of perspiration I generate, at least to some extent. I know that sweating does not by itself build muscles or reduce fat. But it indicates that we are making progress. Sweat indicates the intensity of a cardiovascular workout, though external temperatures are also part of the equation.

Progressive resistance exercise builds muscle. This is true with lighter weights, as long as the last few reps are challenging. My greatest gains were with heavy barbells at the age of 18 or 19. Reps were 5-8.

At this point, I use lighter resistance-high reps-little or no rest for cardio and muscle maintenance.

The remainder of this post will show equipment choices for this type of workout.


I am an Amazon associate, which means I may incorporate their links into my posts, with earnings based on activity from those links. This has no effect on pricing whatsoever. I like to use Amazon for random personal purchases and I enjoy their good service and the fact that they have just about anything anyone may want.

Here are a few items I may use or otherwise recommend. Please note the full descriptions, reviews and similar choices shown with each link.

Resistance bands with handles – I use these in every workout

Loop bands – I use these for physical therapy, but they can also be used for strength building. Popular with women.

Dumbbells – I use these with every workout

Lighter dumbbells


Bullworkers are spring-loaded tools with handles at the ends and also extending from the cables. We are able to push the handles together or pull them apart. Significantly, we can do both isotonic reps and isometric holds within the same set of reps.

Below is the Bullworker Steel Bow. I use this primarily for chest work, 25 – 30 reps with a long hold for 3 or 4 sets. Little rest between sets.

I also use the Bullworker Bow Classic for back training. It is larger than the Steel Bow and gives us a greater range of motion.

Martial arts expert and movie star Bruce Lee used Bullworkers as a young man to improve his striking force.

I like the Bullworkers for these reasons:

  • They are quality tools and durable
  • Bullworkers are easily portable and great for traveling
  • They come with a handbook with exercise instructions

Here is the link to the Bullworker website

Also, I have a permanent link for Bullworker at the side of my website. View it at any time for updates and other information.



I will always be appreciative of ways and means to stay in shape, regardless of age. One of my orders for exercise equipment was recently challenged by my bank since I was using my credit card. The bank manager knew I was 81 and thought that it wouldn’t make sense that I would be still working out. My picture at age 80 is shown below.

We can always work around injuries as long as we stay motivated. To me, workouts are a part of my morning routine, like brushing my teeth.

Please choose a lifestyle of fitness – exercise and sensible eating. You will never regret that choice.

Leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Spring is here. Let’s get outside!


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