Many of our adult clients are between 40-60 years old. Over the years my team and I have helped hundreds of people get in the best shape of their lives well after their “prime”. Proof again that age is not an excuse.
Most of the work we do in their first-year training with us is re-educating their mindset and knowledge base toward what training and healthy nutrition really is.
Many of these clients come to us with a barrage of the same issues:
- Too busy working to get to gym
- Too busy raising a family
- Too many old injuries to train
- Too much cardio
- Too many carbs
- Too much stress
- Not enough sleep
Getting fit does NOT require hours in the gym each day, nor does it require crazy fad diets or fat loss pills. What it requires is a holistic approach to your overall lifestyle. Working on only one area of your health will only produce minimal results.
Example #1: You train like crazy but eat like crap…What this person usually winds up being is injured. They become overworked trying to “outrun” their diet because they are not fueling themselves properly.
Example #2: You train hard, eat well, but you barely sleep. Lack of sleep = Stress. This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT factors in fat loss. When you don’t sleep, and stress is high your body produces cortisol the anti-muscle building fat storing hormone.
What can you do to keep training hard and making positive strides with your fitness well into your 60s and beyond?
1. Mindset Shift – Start thinking about longevity not just aesthetics. Thinking about your own mortality gets you thinking about ALL the components of fitness. Exercise, Nutrition, Sleep & Recovery, and Stress Mitigation.
- Less is More – Too much intensity or volume can often cause more damage than good.
- Breath – Deep breathing not only helps you recover but it greatly reduces stress.
- Sleep – Sleep is the bases of all recovery. You need 7-8hrs a day. If you’re not getting that your training should reflect it and be less intense.
2. Cardio Myths – The want or need to do excessive amounts of running, biking or any other form of aerobic work came from the “aerobic craze” of the late 70s and 80s. IT WAS A GIANT MARKETING PLOY that transformed the way millions of people thought about fitness. Here are few BS Myths about cardio…
- Cardio Over Strength for Fat Loss – WRONG! The fastest way to get “fat skinny” is to do hours and hours of cardio. This will deplete your muscle mass and beat up your joints. Strength translates to everything, aerobic work only improves aerobic capacity. What about heart health you say?! An hour of strength training has been shown to be as beneficial to your heart and preventing heart disease as an hour of cardio.
- Stay In the “Fat Burning Zone” – Staying in a low intensity “zone” because is burns a high percentage of calories from fat will NOT get you lean and ripped. Turning up the intensity of your training and lifting weights will burn far more calories per hour. So, unless you plan on doing three hours of cardio each day to burn off all that extra fat I suggest hitting the weights hard and fast 3-5 times per week.
- Cardio on an Empty Stomach – Food is the fuel in which you burn to push through a hard workout. If you’re going to train in the morning eat something small so you can train hard and don’t throw your body into a deficit. As a rule, I recommend roughly 15-20g protein and 25-40g carbs pre workout and 25-40g protein and 60-80g carbs post workout. Fuel and recover around your workouts!
- You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet – Believe me I HAVE TRIED! It’s impossible. At one point I was training 3-4hrs a day but eating everything in sight. After months of this I looked nearly the same. Unless your Michael Phelps and swimming for 10hrs a day it’s not gonna happen!
3. Nutrition is the Fountain of Youth – Most people only think of their nutrition in terms of “macros” carbs, fats, and protein. Fat and Carbs are the fuel we turn into cellular energy and proteins are the building and repair molecules. However, there is another VERY important component to your foods, the “micro-nutrients,” all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to run. Most vitamins act as enzymes in the body speeding up chemical reactions everywhere, like digestion. Minerals are structural components of nearly every part of the body like calcium for strong bones. Most vitamins and minerals come from fruits and veggies.
HERE ARE A FEW EASY DIET HACKS (try this for 30-days to see and feel the difference)
- Cut Out ALL Added Sugar. Don’t eat anything that has sugar added to it. This will not only reduce bad calories but improve insulin sensitivity.
- Drop the Grains – No wheat, barley, rye, oats, rice or quinoa for a month. Most of the world’s grains are heavily sprayed with Glyphosate (Round Up) a toxic chemical shown to destroy your gut lining and healthy gut flora. Grains also have very little nutrients other than carbs.
- Take 4000IUs of Vitamin D – Most of the world is Vitamin-D deficient especially if you’re in the north east. This will help with a variety of factors like recovery and immune health.
- Hydrate in the AM – Start your day off right with a healthy elixir of 32oz of water, lemon juice, and some pink sea salt. Add a little fresh ginger if you want. Do this everyday and your guts, skin, and blood will love you long time!
4. Recovery Needs to be on the Schedule – Recovery is equally as important as getting in your training sessions. If your always go, go, go and never take time to recover you WILL break down. Think of recovery like paying your credit card. If all you do is spend, your credit will run out. You must make consistent payments to keep it going. Here are few simple recovery tools to use as often as possible.
- Sauna – One of the BEST ways to recover and great for your CV system.
- Contrast Shower – Hot/Cold Shower. Back and forth as hot as you can stand it to as cold as you can stand it. Do that 10x and this will help increase circulation and get the blood moving.
- Foam Roll – Not the 5 minutes before class I see many of you doing but a good 15-30 minutes session. You can do this at night while you watch TV.
- Massage – Getting a massage has two benefits. One you get tissue work and two you get to disconnect and relax. Win-Win!
5. Good Sleep is a Habit – I used to be a terrible sleeper. Waking up all the time and having a tough time falling asleep. Then I started my “sleep routine” and I’ve not had an issue in years. Here’s the routine.
- 10/3/1 – No caffeine 10 hours before bed, no alcohol or food 3 hours before bed, no SCEEN TIME 1 hour before bed.
- Timing – I go to bed and wake up at the same time 7-days a week. In bed before 1030, up between 5-5:30am. I’m strict with this unless I have a special event.
Sleep Supplement – Magnesium Citrate works great to down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system and help you relax. Combine that with a little Reishi Mushroom tea and its light out!
- Brain Dump – 30 minutes before bed make a list of all the things you must get done the next day. Reflect on 1- things that you accomplished that day and or reiterate some gratitude. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this helps.
- Breath – Right before bed take 5 minutes to so some deep belly breathing. Big inhale through your nose and slow controlled exhale through your mouth.
- Black-Out the Room – No tv, no electronics, no lights. GOOD NIGHT
There you have it gang! The days of pounding ourselves into the ground may be farther and fewer between but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the best shape of your life at 40, 50, 60 or beyond. It means you must be smarter about the way you do it.