The Sixty Year Fitness Challenge (Sixty) is a fitness program developed by John Berardi and published by Six Thirty Seven. It was first released in July 2012 and later updated in October 2014.
In early 2011, Berardi began working with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which had conducted research into the effects of exercise on heart health since the 1970s. The ACSM’s findings were based on studies involving over 50,000 participants. These results led to the creation of a new exercise protocol called “The Sixty” which aimed to improve cardiovascular health among those aged 60 years or older.
Berardi wanted to create something that would appeal to everyone and so he started working with a team of experts from different fields such as nutritionists, acupuncturists, physical therapists and psychologists. They came up with a program that combined elements of other popular programs such as CrossFit, the P90X workout and others. Berardi then worked out some of these ideas into a book titled The Sixty Year Fitness Challenge: A New Way To Live Longer.
The book became very successful and it was translated into several languages including Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.
The Sixty Program consists of six weekly workouts. There is a warm-up routine for before every session, and a cool-down routine for after every session. Each weekly workout lasts for forty-five minutes and should be performed three times a week.
The first week is called the Preparation Phase and all six workouts should be performed in that week only. Weeks 2 to 4 form the Gaining Phase in which only three of the six workouts are performed. It should be noted that the Gaining Phase volume is lower than the weekly volume during the Preparation Phase. The next phase is the Consolidation Phase which only involves two of the six workouts. The last phase is called Maximum Results and involves one high-intensity workout each week.
Workout A (Lower Body Resistance)
The first weekly lower body resistance routine focuses on strengthening the muscles of the legs using bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges and calf raises.
Workout B (Upper Body Resistance)
The second weekly upper body resistance routine focuses on strengthening the muscles of the chest, back and arms using exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups and dumbbell rows.
Workout C (Full Body Circuit)
The third weekly full body circuit routine focuses on increasing endurance using exercises such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers and high knees. It also involves some aerobic exercise.
Workout D (Lower Body Plyometrics)
The fourth weekly plyometrics routine focuses on increasing lower body explosiveness using exercises such as jumping lunges, side jumps and depth jumps.
Workout E (Upper Body Plyometrics)
The fifth weekly plyometrics routine focuses on increasing upper body explosiveness using exercises such as push-ups, plyo push-ups and medicine ball throws against a wall.
Workout F (Full Body Resistance)
The sixth weekly resistance routine focuses on increasing full body strength using exercises such as squats, lunges, overhead presses and chin-ups.
The ACSM published new guidelines in 2017 and the Sixty program was shown to improve cardiovascular health to a greater extent than the guidelines recommended. It was also shown to improve muscular strength and endurance more than the ACSM guidelines recommended for older adults. The Sixty Program was also less time consuming than other exercise programs such as P90X or Insanity, but was shown to produce similar levels of improvement in health and fitness.
The EK program was designed by Robert H. Hinbern, a chiropractor and former instructor at the University of Indiana.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Meet the NIOSH” Steps to a Healthier Workforce” Challenge-Integrate Safety and Employee Fitness by K Kasuga, T Nakano, K Oguri – Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2011 – LWW
The Effects of Goal Setting on Adherence to an 8-Week Fitness Challenge, Goal Confidence, and Improvements in Physical Fitness by MR Prather – 2017 – cardinalscholar.bsu.edu
Cardiovascular Fitness Modifies the Relationship between Genotype and Neurocognitive Function during Executive Challenge in Late Adolescence by FS Drennan – ASSE Professional Development Conference and …, 2005 – onepetro.org
Sixty minutes of what? A developing brain perspective for activating children with an integrative exercise approach by TLG Elston – 2004 – macsphere.mcmaster.ca