Get functionally fit to live a life you love
Everybody wants to be healthy and fit, but what does that really look like and how do we get there? On episode 585 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to get functionally fit so you can live the life you love.
Let's Say Hello
[00:02:42.440] – Coach Allan
Hey, Ras. How are things?
[00:02:45.420] – Coach Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:48.220] – Coach Allan
Busy, as always, but enjoying it. Bringing on some clients for my new program, and I'm actually doing a little bit of in person stuff. One of the reasons I wanted to do the retreat was I kind of missed having someone in the gym lifting and doing the thing, so I went ahead and brought on some local clients, working with them. They're all over 40, so I'm not breaking any rules, so I'm kind of doing that. And then our daughter Summer is getting married in really just a few short weeks. So also planning a trip back to the United States for a few weeks, see family do the wedding thing. Second and final, daughter married off. All kids married off. Done. Scratch that.
[00:03:39.180] – Coach Rachel
Nice. That's fantastic.
[00:03:43.250] – Coach Allan
And enjoy some time with Tammy while we're up there traveling.
[00:03:48.150] – Coach Rachel
That sounds wonderful.
[00:03:49.760] – Coach Allan
How are things up north? Way up north
[00:03:52.870] – Coach Rachel
Good. Yeah, way up north. I'm the exact opposite of you. I am doing my best to relax and rest this week. I'm kind of in taper. I've got a big race this weekend, so I'm doing my best to get a few miles in, but not too hard, and to do all my recovery and rest tricks and tips that I tell all my athletes. So I'll be ready and ready to go this weekend.
[00:04:18.420] – Coach Allan
So for folks that really haven't done a whole lot of training for running but are interested, can you explain what taper is?
[00:04:27.340] – Coach Rachel
Yeah. So the taper would be the few weeks between your last big week of training and the run, your actual race, and it depends on how much time you need to taper, depending on the run. So if you're doing maybe a five K or something a week, taper would be plenty of time. You kind of taper down the amount of running and the intensity, and you rest. You focus on fueling, you focus on nutrition, you focus on getting your head right, strong and confident and ready to go. And I'm actually tapering for an Ultramarathon, so I've been tapering for a couple of weeks now, but my big race is this weekend, so same thing. I'm still running, but fewer miles and less intensity, and I'm pounding in all the best nutrition and hydration I can so that my body is ready for this weekend, for the miles.
[00:05:21.900] – Coach Allan
How far is this ultra?
[00:05:24.860] – Coach Rachel
This one is about 34 miles, so a little over 50K.
[00:05:29.630] – Coach Allan
Cool. I know you got this.
[00:05:32.290] – Coach Rachel
Looking forward to it.
[00:05:33.280] – Coach Allan
We'll talk about it.
[00:05:33.950] – Coach Rachel
Oh, I know it'll be fun. Yeah. I'll let you know how it goes.
[00:05:38.590] – Coach Allan
All right, great. Are you ready to talk about functional fitness?
[00:05:44.260] – Coach Rachel
Episode – Get functionally fit to live the life you love.
What I'm going to do on this episode is I'm kind of kind of wrap up a whole lot of different topics around fitness and mindset that I've discussed over the years. I just haven't really ever done it in a full wraparound thing, and so we're going to be bouncing to a lot of different things. But if some of this resonates with you, I definitely want you to check out the quiz that I'm going to talk about at the end, because that'll kind of help start you on this journey or get you further down the line on it anyway. So now a lot of times the reason that I'm talking to a potential client or a new client is that they really struggle to stay motivated when it comes to fitness. In some cases, they hate exercise at all. They don't like working out. And even some say, I just don't want to get sweaty. I don't like being sweaty, or I don't like the gym, or I don't like. There's a lot of things that they're using as these barriers that are keeping them from being fit.
And some of that's real and some of that is imaginary. But we're going to talk about these in a way that you can explore this thought, this process, and find a way to stay motivated to work out and get fit. So one of the core attributes for the way I approached training, it's the way I fixed myself, was commitment. Getting away from the levels of decision and resolution and willpower and all of that and really just drilling down into commitment. Now, commitment has two parts. There's the why. Why do you want to do this? Why do you want to be more fit? And the why kind of usually has about two aspects to it. Sometimes it's a little bit more, there might be something exciting in your future that you want to be ready for. But in general, the why relates to people. Almost always relates to people. We don't do this typically for ourselves, although sometimes we do, but there's usually other people involved, the people we care about. We want to be fit so we can be there for them and so that they don't have to take care of us. The second aspect of that is what we want to be able to do.
And that gets a little bit overlapped into the vision. But sometimes just having that big goal is reason enough. I wanted to do a tough mudder and I wanted to do it with my daughter. I wanted to be fit and be able to participate in her life. And so that was my why. That was a very compelling why for me. And so it pushed me to do more. Now, before I got started on the journey, though, I had to understand my vision. What does that mean? What does it mean for me to be fit? And so initially there were some capabilities that I needed to have. I needed to be stronger, I needed to weigh a little less, I needed to have more grip strength. So there were these capability, things that I wanted to have related to that race. My capabilities that I need now are actually much the same. I'm the guy who lifts things at Lula's. I have to be there when I'm working out with my clients in person. I also have to be able to move the equipment around and I need to be able to be strong enough to protect them if they were to drop a weight or make a mistake.
So there are certain capabilities that I need to have in my life also. Your vision can be driven around lifestyle. We've talked a lot about things that our parents used to do or grandparents used to do that they no longer do, and their lifestyle changed. My grandfather loved to play tennis, and then at the age of 80, he couldn't play tennis anymore. And that changed his lifestyle significantly. Not being able to take care of himself changed his lifestyle significantly. So thinking about the capabilities and the lifestyle that you want to have kind of starts to give you a clear picture of what your vision is. And then the final bit is about values. And this is where we tie the vision to the why. The values are who you are. They're how you want to be seen in the world. So you don't want to be seen as someone who's dependent. You don't want to be seen as someone who's not capable. You don't want to be seen as someone who's weak. And so those values of you wanting to be a contributor, wanting to be a part of things, wanting to be independent, those values that you hold dear are the wraparound.
That's how we form this commitment, because it ties the vision to the why. Okay, so now when you think about that vision and you think about what you need to be able to do, the lifestyle you want, the values you have, now, this is not so much about working out. Working out doesn't sound fun. It sounds like a job. It sounds like another thing to do. Exercise. That word sometimes even sounds worse. Sometimes exercise just sounds like we're doing something for no apparent reason at all, like running on a treadmill, going nowhere. I'd like you to introduce the term training. When you're doing something that's improving your fitness, you're training. You're training to be the person that has the capabilities that you want to have. You're training to be the person that has the lifestyle you want to have. So you see how now it changes the complexion of exercise, working out, movement in general, because now it's done on purpose. You have a purpose. And so for us to meet that purpose, for us to accomplish this vision, we need to start training in a way that builds just that. So no longer are we just going into the gym for half an hour and piddling on that and doing a bit of this.
We literally go in with a mission. We go in working on what we call functional fitness. And functional fitness is where we're able to build a fit for Task body. It's where we're able to get ourselves in the condition we need to be to do the things we want to do. And that could be something special. Like, I did a tough mudder. I've talked to people who want to do Mitchell pushu and other hikes and other things, races and whatnot. And so you're training for those things, and you're also training to have what you need to succeed in all of your life, to have the lifestyle and the capabilities that you want. So let's break that down. What does that look like when you start training for your vision, when you start training to be functional fit for task? Well, first it's important for you to consider this from three different optics, okay? There's a short, a middle and a long. Now, initially, we need to be playing this from the long term perspective, okay? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 80s? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 90s?
What am I going to be like when I'm over 100? And so we don't want to do short term things that break us too far away from our long term goals. So I know some people want to have six pack ABS. It sounds cool and all, but a lot of times when you see the actors or you see the bodybuilders with the six pack ABS, they're doing unhealthy things. They're doing things that are actually messing with them in the short run to have those ABS, to do that movie or win that show. So when you're thinking about this from a long term perspective, first priority, it changes things a little bit. Now you're doing things to maintain health. Now you're doing things to maintain this over time. We're not damaging joints. We're not doing things that are silly for the sake of a short term thing. And then you can start looking at the short term things. So you may want to run a five K. You might want to lose a little bit of weight, whatever it is. Those short term things, being able to pick up a tennis racket again, being able to play volleyball again, those short term things are the quick wins.
They're built in such a way that you should use them to know you're moving forward and help build confidence. So the Couch to Five K program tends to be a really good approach for someone that wants to build stamina so they can keep up with their grandkids. And they use that as a training mechanism to start building that stamina. The Couch to five K. You can go in and start a basic strength program initially for the short term of putting on some muscle so you look a little better for the summer coming up really quick here. But you're looking at your long term and you're going to be able to do more. And so as you watch the weights go up, as you get stronger, there's some confidence building there. You know you can get stronger. You see yourself getting stronger. So your long term drives the whole thing. The short term are these little stepping stones that are going to show you how you're moving forward. So they're basically mile markers. And I'll talk about goals in a minute. But this is a way that you build a program that works for you because you get the short term wins building towards the long term.
And then there's sort of this midterm. And this is where when I said I want to be a participant in my daughter's life and not a spectator, that's where this comes in. So the midterm things are where you look at life tasks. When you look at bucket list items, you look at things that you want to be able to do ten years, 15 years, 20 years. You're looking at the midterm of your life and saying, if I'm going to be on this planet for another 50 years, I don't need to be training the whole time just to be stronger, stronger, stronger. I need to have some things that I'm going to enjoy. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement. I want to be able to enjoy grandchildren. I want to be able to enjoy a lot of things in my life. So I'll have these midterm goals that are basically where I expect to be on the aging curve at any given point. Because we have control over our aging curve, we're still going to age, but we can do it quickly and peter out, or we can slow that down, stay strong, keep our stamina, and be able to do things for the rest of our life.
There's zero reason my grandfather should not have been able to play tennis in his eighty s, I mean, golf in his 80s. There's zero reason if he had started training in his thirty s and forty s and fifty s, he would have been able to play golf. But he played golf, and that's all he did, and then he lost golf. So training would have helped keep him in the game much, much longer. Okay? When we look at the long term, we're looking at healthy aging. We're looking at maintaining our health and our independence. We're looking at being able to do the things that are necessary. So I make the joke I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105, but that's on purpose. That's my long term. I vision the long term. And I've heard I'm kind of weird for doing this, but vision the long term and build your programming to think in terms of the long term first, then the short term, and then we break out the midterm and say, how does that look? And we manage that, and we have training programs, and we take those steps, and there's always the short term.
We keep looking at building towards the midterm and then the long term, but we got to keep that all in mind so we're not sacrificing one for the sake of the other. Now, a few weeks back, I guess maybe a couple of months back, I talked about smart goals, where we add the extra A, making it smart goals. Now, if you've worked in business, in a corporate environment, I know you know what smart goals are, and they're typically listed out as specific measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Okay? I added action based, because if an outcome is your true goal, which it's a vision is an outcome, if your outcome is the goal, it's really hard to measure, it's really hard to achieve, it's really hard to make it time bound because the outcome isn't 100% in your control. You could have an outcome goal of wanting a PR on your next half marathon or your next five K, but if you twist an ankle that's out, it's not going to happen. So smart goals are about actions. Smart goals are things about actions, things you can control. So the way I want you to think about it is to have what I want, what do I need to do to get there?
So if I want to get a PR on a five K, well, I need to work on my running, not just running the five K, maybe running a little further than a five K in some of my training runs, maybe running a lot faster on some of my training runs or running hills. So the actions are certain training mechanisms that I want to do in a given week and the weeks leading up to that five K. So if the five K is eight weeks from now, I might have a training program that says, okay, week one, I'm running two to 3 miles a day, five days a week. And then I say, okay, the next two weeks, maybe I go ahead and take one of those days and I bump it up to a three mile, I mean to a five mile run, and I take one of those days and I turn it into a speed on the Hills speed and Hills Day. So now I'm building more endurance so that the five K, which is 3.1 mile, is actually easier for me because I can run further and I can go faster because I've worked on my speed.
And so my smart goal would be, here's my training program. I'm going to do this training program for the next eight weeks. It'll include these runs these days and here's why I know I can do it. Now, this is relevant to my short term goal of being able to get a PR on my five K. So it works. And I'm running these five KS just as a measure of building stamina so I can keep up with my grandkids when I take them to the zoo this summer. So you can kind of see how you can break all this down and build these smart goals. And then each of those workouts, you click them off. It's like, I did my five miler, I did my Speed hills day, I did my runs for the week. And so each of these is that little step. The training you're doing is the step, it's the next thing. And so that becomes more motivating because you're seeing it happen. Some people even like Tony Horton was on the show a while back, and he pulls out a paper map and just basically says, let's start checking off workouts. So if five runs happens to also correlate with your five days of the week for the weekdays.
Then literally, you should see an X or check mark on every one of those days during the calendar. And maybe you have a couple where you see, if I miss it, I'm going to do it, make it up on Saturday or Sunday. You can do that too. But you see the check marks, you see them happening, you're getting a streak going. You're getting it going, and you're seeing the results. And so that's where this all kind of comes together. Now, all that said, this sounds practical and easy when I say it right. And you've probably gone down this line a few times of setting goals and starting the workouts, and then something happens along the way that derails you, okay? And that something is us. It's our own mindset. And so that's where the rubber hits the road on. A lot of this is going through that self awareness practice. So we know what our tendencies are. We know what's going to go on. I wake up in the morning and I'm supposed to do my run, and it's raining, and then I don't do my run. What happens? Well, maybe I miss the next run too, or I eat like crap that day because I messed up.
I didn't do my run. I should have got on the treadmill and done my run, or I should have run in the rain or whatever, but I didn't. And so a lot of times we get in our own way now in doing that self awareness work. And this is really work you'll do for the rest of your life. We don't really ever solve ourselves. We just learn more and learn more, and that makes us better at being ourselves. And so as you go through your self awareness work, and you keep going through your self awareness work, it's worth going back and kind of relooking at it and reanalyzing it. So as I've worked with clients over the years, I basically come up to about five different mindsets as people approach fitness. And each of these mindsets, if they're not worked toward and understood, tend to get in the way. So they can block you from being more fit. But many of them are also superpowers. If you know them, you can lean in. You can lean in and figure out how that mindset can make you stronger, how that mindset can make you faster, how that mindset can help you build stamina so you can go longer.
So all the fitness things that you want, once you know your fitness mindset, it makes it a lot easier to stay on course and get where you want to go. And so if you want to learn about this and you want to learn what your primary blocker is, you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. This is a free quiz. It won't cost you anything. It takes about 60 seconds. So quite literally, if you started right now doing the quiz online at 40 plusfitness. COMFIT, you'll finish that quiz before we finish this episode, okay? And now this will tell you what your primary blocker is and then you'll know what you need to do to get past it and use it to move forward. I don't run all my clients through this, but I have a good conversation with them at the very beginning of our sessions, and we talk about what they are and how they work. And nine times out of ten, I could just call out their primary mindset at the beginning because the words they use and how they approach it and what they've done in the past, it becomes apparent to me.
So this quiz is going to help you a lot, figure out what your fitness blockers are so you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. So let's take a step back and kind of recap what we've talked about today, okay? You need to be a certain person. You need to be a certain person today, tomorrow, and maybe 50 years from now. And to be that person, you need to train. And so when you train for a purpose, a function of who you're going to be, that's functional fitness. So you should look at your training, not exercise or workouts or sweat sessions or whatever they are. You doing something to train yourself to be something else. Like we went to high school, to graduate high school, to be adults and live in the society and know how to speak and write and read and everything else, right? This is training. It's the same thing, okay? Now when you're looking at your training, you want to focus on all of your needs across your entire lifespan, your aging, span. Start looking at the long term so you have a good picture, mental picture of where you're going overall.
Then you can start working on the short ones that are going to give you kind of that quick hit, confidence boost, easy win, quick win. So that's the thing you can do that's going to happen this month. So not this huge long term thing, but what can I do this month? What's important to me this month that I know is also kind of moving me in the right direction for my long term goals. And then you can start peppering in the medium one. So maybe you are retiring at 65 and you want to go do Mitsubishu. And so you want to be fit from a stamina and strength perspective to be able to do that at 65. So your medium term goal is to make sure that you build and maintain stamina and strength and balance and that you're ready for when that day comes. So you see how you can take your long term. You can mix in in short term wins and then build out your medium term to make this all fit together into a long term program that serves you your whole life. Now, the way we get these short term ones done and that just builds the blocks going forward is the mile markers to keep us moving forward are the smart goals.
So we're specific measurable attainable or achievable and action based relevant. So they tie back to who you want to be long term, medium term and short term. And they're timely. So again, most goals need to be a month or maybe a quarter, but usually a month. And when you're doing the month to month, it allows you to adjust. As your life changes, you can adjust them. So timeliness needs to be in your face, it needs to be now. And so if you're writing your goals for your short terms that are driving towards your medium and long terms, you've got everything set out in front of you. And the only thing left to do beyond that is to look for those blockers and do some self awareness work so that you know what could get in your way and what could prevent you from reaching those goals and therefore hitting your short, medium and long term visions for who you need to be. So I hope this was helpful for you. If it was, go ahead and email me or message me on Facebook and let's have a conversation. I'd be interested to know what your long term vision looks like and how you want to build a program for yourself that's going to take you there.
So message me on Facebook or you can email me. Coach at 40plusfitness.com.
[00:29:22.010] – Coach Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:29:33.900] – Coach Rachel
Hey Alan. I always love talking about functional fitness and being fit for task. And the other thing I like to talk about, especially something I've been reflecting on lately myself, is having this level of fitness later in life. We spend a lot of time planning our careers, our families. We plan, we know we're going to retire, we put money away in the account for that, but we don't spend quite as much attention to detail or planning on planning a healthy retirement. Like, I want to travel, mike and I want to be busy when we do get the chance to retire. And we want to be healthy enough to hike mountains and do all sorts of fun stuff in our retirement. So we kind of need to start planning now so that we're active and healthy and good to go today. So that a decade or two decades from now, we still have maintained a level of fitness so that we can be as active as we want later in life.
[00:30:32.420] – Coach Allan
So, yeah, way I kind of equate that is, is your fitness paycheck to paycheck or is your fitness are you investing in a 401? So there's going to be something there later, right?
[00:30:43.620] – Coach Rachel
Sure, yeah, that's a great way to look at it.
[00:30:47.140] – Coach Allan
And your fitness should never be paycheck to paycheck because that just means that. You're going to age and you're going to dwindle and you're going to lose. You're going to lose in this thing because you've got to put something in the tank and you got to be consistent about it. You got to be doing it now and a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. It's not like you got to kill yourself. And it's not like you have to train for a 34 miles ultra, but just a little bit. And thinking, what do I need? What am I going to need? What kind of stamina will I need to keep up with my grandkids? What kind of things will I need to be able to be there for my family, be there for my wife when she needs me? And so it's making a small investment now that, you know, will pay off and being consistent about making that every single time, the same way you do your 401, it just becomes automatic. You just do it and you don't think about it anymore. You just do it. And there are times where you step it up a little because you can, and it makes sense.
[00:31:42.970] – Coach Allan
And there's times you back it up a little bit because you just can't. But you're always putting something in and you're always on it and not looking at this like, well, I'll do that tomorrow. It's paycheck to paycheck kind of fitness.
[00:31:57.340] – Coach Rachel
Yeah, well, you also mentioned the word exercise. And who likes to exercise? Nobody likes that word. It's a terrible word. Well, you know, we do, but we're not really exercising, like you said. We're training. We're doing something that we love. And I love to run. You love to lift, heavy things other people might like. Tennis or pickleball is a really growing sport right now, and there's all sorts of things that are out there. And when you're doing something you love, pickleball is not exercise. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is not exercise. You're training to do these things, and it just gives it a whole different connotation. And I'm sure that there's something out there that somebody would love to do, maybe not running like I do, but there's got to be something out there.
[00:32:46.830] – Coach Allan
Yeah. And if you find that there's just something holding you back and you're just really not wanting to do this, then I would definitely look at that quiz I talked about, the 40 plusfitness COMFIT. So 40 plusfitness COMFIT, it'll take you 60 seconds, and you'll learn something about what might be keeping you from making that investment perfect.
[00:33:09.640] – Coach Rachel
That sounds like a great thing to do.
[00:33:11.670] – Coach Allan
All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.
[00:33:15.780] – Coach Rachel
Great. Take care, Allan.
[00:33:17.400] – Coach Allan
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