What should every 40+ guy know about training?
Embarking on a fitness journey at 40 years young and beyond presents different challenges to the days of your 20-somethings when you were practically invincible.
Here are the most pressing questions answered that the mature athlete needs to feel younger, get stronger and maximize the time he has to be as healthy as possible
9 questions answered about training after 40
EXPERT: Kevin Kearns is a nutrition consultant, author of Always Picked Last and a strength and conditioning coach specializing in aging (burnwithkearns.com).
What is the most effective way to burn fat of and get rid of my love handles?
It is unfortunately a fact that men after the age of 35 tend to put more fat around their middle, aka the love handle area.
The best way to burn fat overall in your body is interval style training for at least 30 – 45 minutes up to 5 days per week.
It is really simple equation to follow, if you want to lose a pound of fat or body fat, you need to burn and extra 3500 kilo calories per week.
Interval training will not only nuke the fat, but keep your metabolism on fire for hours after.
Now, as far as spot reduction, it simply has not been proven to work. Is it worth working that problem area?
Yes, definitely, however one million crunches will never resolve the problem. Your diet is the other side of it as well. If you eat crap you will pay for it.
If I have I only have 10 minutes what will give me the most bang for my buck?
Some is always better than none. A paper in Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, found a seven-minute workout using 12 bodyweight moves done at a furious pace lowered body fat and reduced waist circumference in just 6 weeks.
If all you have is 10 minutes a circuit type of workout that covers the whole body in multiple planes of motion is your best call to action.
In other words, you move in three dimensions (forward, lateral and rotational) so your daily routine should reflect that.
Here’s a sample bodyweight routine:
Squats (20 reps)
Rotational push ups (10- 20 reps)
Lateral jumps (20 reps)
Jumping jacks (20 reps)
Pull ups (10 reps)
Bodyweight upper cuts (20 reps)
Side planks (1 minute each)
Planks (1 minute)
I’m getting man boobs – how can I get rid of them?
Diet is definitely important here, as is your training and unfortunately genetics. Get your hormone levels checked to see if there is a biological reason, other than being overweight.
Some men are more prone to moobs, but the good news is that there is relatively simple surgery that can be done if need be.
Personally, I have never met a military guy with man boobs. Why? A daily regime of PUSHUPS.
These are one of the best overall upper body exercise and regardless of your starting point you can progress by adding another 1-3 reps to your sets each week, even if you start by doing them with your knees on the ground.
If you try to do them laterally (push up and then move your hands to the side and perform it again) or rotational pushups (push up then rotate and wave raise a hand to the ceiling and balance on one arm.
I could prescribe a unique chest training routine to you but a daily push up session is far superior because it works the muscles more regularly so they’re always adding a new performance dimension to them.
As a bonus, you’ll get an uptick in arm size.
I usually do cardio but have noticed my stamina has really decreased, so is it better to increase my cardio or strength training?
This is a real interesting question. Many times its because your routine has had to suffer through two simple words: generally, and usually.
Those words are killers when you’re trying to breaking through plateaus and will make you bored and stale. To answer your question: I would say neither.
Try a different workout to excite your mind and body or try a different time of day. Do you swim? Have you done yoga? Pilates? Kickboxing? Ballroom dance?
It’s been researched that because as we get older there are not a lot of firsts anymore like, so unlike when we were kids, our brains and body become bored.
Try and think outside the box. I tried yoga eight years ago and now I’m there at least twice a week. Mix it up and you’ll soon find your stamina increases in new and exciting ways.
I travel for business and most the hotel gyms suck, how do you recommend I stay fit while on the road?
Personally, I work with a lot of people who travel, so do I, and they research hotels before they get there for the gym.
That generally does work and the larger chains have better gyms. Now, if you don’t like this suggestion then it’s worth getting a pair of resistance bands or slide disks, such those from valslides.com.
This is a deadly combo for the road warrior because you can easily do tons of drills that are functional for general fitness to the superior athlete.
The equipment takes up no space in your luggage and can be done anywhere.
I’m noticing a lot of back pain when I wake up do I need to increase my flexibility or strengthen my back?
Yes, to both options. Since most of us sit too much in today’s world, you need to increase your flexibility in several affected areas.
5. IT bands
You also need to perform more rotational type motions to help strengthen the lower back. Back extensions and reverse back extensions done for 4 sets of 20 reps is an excellent exercise that uses your bodyweight.
One of the oldest and best forms of exercise to do all of the later is Chi Quong. It’s only 10,000 years old and it’s been practice as long.
This has been used with great success to promote flexibility and strengthen in the lower back. As well most of us also need to spend more time warming up properly and cooling down.
Of course, stretching must be done daily if you can help it. Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds after your workouts, giving careful attention to all areas of your body and you’ll be set.
I eat really healthy and exercise five times a week but the weight does not seem to come off. Is there a better diet plan and does paleo work?
Are you really sure it’s healthy? Overall diet has to be observed and recorded to be effective.
With my programs I make all my clients take pictures every time they eat and submit them by text or email to us.
Then we have a wrap session about suggestions we will make about what and when they are eating.
Many times people have a food allergy that they don’t even know about and it could be causing them to not lose the weight they want.
It’s often something super simple. For me, it was yeast and it kept my lower stomach bloated. Within a month of dropping it from my diet I lost 10 pounds.
Now, when it comes to Paleo I’m not a big fan. Why? Food was very different 10,000 years ago, being 100% organic and wild, so how can you duplicate it now? You can’t.
I’m super busy with work and family I don’t have time to do split body part training for 2 hours, so can I get an effective workout in 45 minutes?
You can count on circuit style workouts to deliver an excellent workout stick to high-intensity interval training.
For the weight training stuff, follow this formula for constructing your workout.
Step 1: Do a lower body movement (such as lunges)
Step 2: Complete a core exercise (such as medicine ball twists)
Step 3: Move onto the upper body moves (such as pull-ups)
Step 4: Follow it up with one minute of cardio (such as jump rope)
Over the course of the workouts, be sure to rotate my exercises and you’ll be able to perform 30 different exercises in 30 – 45 minutes and burn 800 calories at least.
My sleep pattern sucks and it’s affecting everything. Do you have any diet or medicine suggestions?
Lack of sleep is definitely going to run you down and kill growth hormone production.
Try implementing these four simple changes to your day
- Eat some carbs with dinner at night. They release serotonin which helps you sleep.
- Meditate daily. Emptying your brain and slowing your parasympathetic nervous system does wonders for stress levels
- Increase your sex life. Seriously, sex is a good stress reliever…
- Use over the counter supplements such as CALM, which releases much needed calcium in your blood stream.
With these nine questions answered, you should be able to continue training well into old age and using the fitness elixir to keep your body clock young.
Remember, 40 is the new 30 – but only if you look after your body like it deserves.
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