Most of us have probably heard of Nikolai Amosov and his rejuvenation routine through Pavel in Super Joints. I'm inspired by his overall philosophy and approach to health maintenance, so here is a little post on what I have gathered on him. Enjoy!
In my early childhood I grew up alone and had no "program" of physical training. The manual labour made me stronger, but not adroit: I was not taught to swim, dance or ride bicycle. I used to run away from physical training classes both in my school and in my college.
In the war, I first went through radiculitis seizure, which was recurred again and again, evidently, due to long operation procedures.
In 1954 I was tortured by spinal pains and even some dorsal alterations were discovered.
Then I invented my system of physical exercises comprising of 10 exercises, 100 movements each. I started jogging in 1971, when a dog was purchased. In 1985 I had a heart blockage with a pulse rate of 40 beats per min. I stopped jogging and restricted myself to physical exercises. In 1986 after the implantation of a pacemaker I began to feel myself better and resumed jogging. In autumn 1993, my pacemaker failed to operate and it was replaced for a new one. In December, my eighty years anniversary was celebrated. I was awarded again with an order.
Soon after my jubilee, I realized, that it became harder for me to walk, though I continued my usual physical exercises: 1000 movements and 2 km jogging
I started feeling like I was aging in 1992 when I stopped practical surgery. I thought over the aging mechanism and made up my mind then to resist aging thought intensive physical exercises. I decided to make an experiment: I three times increased my physical exercises.
The Substantiation: genetic aging used to lower motivation for effort and capacity for work, muscles got detrained, it reduced mobility, thereby aggravating aging. To tear up a vicious circle, one had to make oneself to move a lot.
I started with 2500 physical exercises and later increased to 3000 movements, half of which were made with the dumb-bells up to 5 kg. I used to jog up to 5 km. And the aging receded. After half a year of such regimen, I looked ten years younger.
For two and a half year I felt very well. At that very time I wrote the book "Overcoming Aging ", as well as some brochures. I was fully aware of my decreased aorta activity, but hoped it would improve, but it never did. I developed stenocardia but I went on carefully with my experiment this time giving up the jogging. I had regular check-ups: my heart was getting enlarged. It was clear to me, that I had failed to deceive nature and that it was time to get ready to die. I accepted it in cold blood. I felt like having fulfilled all my life tasks. I even wrote my memoirs "Voices of Times".
In Mai 1998, my daughter, a professor of cardiology and my pupils offered me to undergo surgery in Germany - such old men as me are not used to be operated in my own clinic.
Professor Korfer implanted an artificial mitral valve and put two shunts in the coronary arteries. The operation was a success, though it was followed by long but not very hard complications.
I resumed my physical exercises immediately after the operation: first, I increased the number of exercises up to 1000, then I resumed my one hour indoor and outdoor walking. But I gave up jogging and dumb-bells.
Rehabilitation went on slowly. There were a lot of minor complications: headaches and instability of movements but I was patient.
I made up my mind to resume experiment. To my usual physical exercises I added dumb-bells-exercises and increased the walking time.
Only in summer 1999 it turned loose: the aging seemed to step back. I felt at once ease by walking. In the course of winter 1999-2000 I increasedthe number of exercises up to 3000 (1200 of them were dumb-bell-exercises)and walked for 1 hour daily. As for jogging, I did it carefully and no more than 1-2 km per day, mostly downhill. Soon I doubled jogging time andrate. My physical exercises, jogging and walking take 3 hours.
Let's talk about some essential problems: about health, illnesses, experiment, the way to live.
Other people on Amosov's program:
First about "intensive physical regimen". There is no need to talk a lot about the "mode of restrictions and loading". My recommendations for everybody is the same:
- 30-45 minutes of physical exercises/1000-1500 movements [repititions]. 500 of those exercises [repititions] with 5 kg- dumb-bells
- one hour of intensive walking, but 2-3 km. jogging is still better.
- Very important to have command of one's mind: the number of illnesses provoked by stress is far larger than those provoked by other factors. (This piece of good advice is as much important as it is useless-it is being hardly followed ). In this respect, it is very good to learn auto-training or meditation.
I am sure, that if a heart is strong, intensive regimen would provide an active life up to 90 years.
His original 1,000 Movements were 100 repetitions each of these ten exercises:
- Trunk Twists
- Side Bends
- Roman Chair Sit-ups
- Leg Raises bringing knees to head
- Forward Bends
- Shoulder Reaches (raise arms to shoulder height and throw them behind your back to touch each palm to the opposite shoulder blade)
- Arm Circles
- Knee Lifts to chest
Amosov later replaced the shoulder reaches and knee lifts in his original complex with four activities—One-Legged Jumps; Bringing the Elbows Back (pretend you are doing a dumbell BP negative); the "Birch Tree (Shoulderstand);" and Sucking in the Stomach (what it sounds like; another variation is exhaling all the air and expanding the rib cage [vacuum])—and he altered the number of repetitions slightly to keep the total at 1,000.
– Pavel Tsatsouline
In the beginning professor Amosov performed 10 repetitions of each exercise, but his back pain persisted.
So he kept increasing gradually the number of repetitions of each exercise, and when each was done for 100 reps, the back pain was gone. Professor Amosov stated that for young people, up to the age of 30, whose joints function well, it should be enough do only 20 repetitions of each exercise. When joint aches appear around age 40, the number of repetitions should be increased to 50 or even 100. When a joint hurts, it should be exercised more: 200 to 300 repetitions. To physicians' objections that this is too much, the professor responds that these high repetitions are needed to compensate for the unnaturally immobile lifestyle of most workers.
Since 1954 the complex changed very little--some exercises were replaced by more effective ones, but the total number of exercises, the recommended number of repetitions, and the time to perform the complex stayed the same. Professor Amosov warns that for joints health, the added resistance cannot make up for the lower number of repetitions. So repetitions with weights have to be done in addition to the 1,000 repetitions without, not instead of them.
– Tom Kurz
(re-post but relevant here)
Russian geophysicist V. M. Khudyakov, has a herniated disc in his lumbar spine. He describes his experience in a letter to Fizkultura i Sport (number 10, 2002), a popular health and fitness magazine in Russia.
In 1994, Khudyakov spent a whole month in hospital because of the herniated lumbar disc. His pain subsided somewhat after the hospital stay. Self-administration of electroacupuncture also helped him, but he was still far from good health. (I do not go into details of this electroacupuncture treatment as such description would take me off the subject of this article, and besides, I do not give medical advice.) To fully recover, Khudyakov needed to strengthen the muscles supporting his spine. Eventually, he started to exercise when he was able. After a while his daily program looked like this:
5:00 a.m. sauna and bath in ice water followed by 40 to 45 minutes of exercise.
100 back extensions on the floor
100 forward bends, knees straight, putting hands on the floor
100 hip twists to the left and 100 to the right while sitting on a rotating wheel and keeping trunk immobile
100 trunk twists to the left and 100 to the right while keeping hips immobile
100 clockwise circles with the head and 100 counterclockwise circles
20 push-ups after each exercise
This program very quickly made him feel good, practically healthy, but his pain would return occasionally after prolonged work in bent posture while gold digging. (He had to go deep into the taiga to dig gold because he could not find a job in his town, his wife was laid off, and they had two little children.) Final recovery came later, he thinks because of increasing the number of repetitions in each exercise from 100 to 200 and the total number of push-ups on fingers to 180–200. Now he feels better than before his spine was injured.
Khudyakov does all these exercises in the morning, and in the evening he does 500 to 600 squats or alternates back extensions on the floor with leg lifts 300 times.
- Tom Kurz