Tag Archives for " fitness "
Many people walk into the gym without an idea what they are there to do other than get a workout in. As a result, they don't see the results they want. On this episode, we discuss how you can build the right fitness program for yourself.
[00:01:11.230] – Allan
Hello, Ras. How are things going?
[00:01:13.440] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:01:15.530] – Allan
Going well, just kind of busy, actually. Kind of funny. I was supposed to have a call and I completely lost track of days.
[00:01:23.780] – Rachel
[00:01:26.650] – Allan
I switched up my workouts and I did a weight lifting workout on a Sunday. And as a result, I woke up the next day thinking it was Tuesday and did a weight lifting workout and then woke up today thinking it was a Wednesday, when, in fact, we're recording this on a Tuesday. And so it's like I was completely backwards on my thinking, fell behind, thought I was way behind. And then even though everything being what it was, I should have known different. I didn't. And as a result, kind of miss some appointments and things I was supposed to do. So if I was supposed to be on a call with you on Monday night, I apologize. I thought it was Tuesday night. I just don't even know what was going on last night when I thought, okay, it's Tuesday night, tomorrow's Wednesday. What do I have going on? And okay, well, tomorrow is another weightlifting day, and it wasn't today was a cardio day. And we'll talk a little bit more in detail about that at the end. But it was just kind of one of those things of the weather here is the same every day.
[00:02:35.170] – Allan
There's not a lot of differences. I don't really have weekends the way a lot of people have weekends. Any day could be a weekend. Everybody's here on holidays. So it doesn't feel different one day to the next, for the most part, any day here. So, yeah, just kind of lost track of days.
[00:02:54.420] – Rachel
Oh, my goodness. How crazy is that? Do you keep a calendar? Do you have a paper or a digital calendar?
[00:03:00.430] – Allan
I have a digital calendar, but it's kind of one of those things where I'm trying to condition myself to not look at things unless I need to look at things. So social media maybe not look at it all the time. Log in and check in on my clients once a day or so where I need to and do what I need to do. And then it's the same thing with a calendar. It's typically just, okay, what do I know is going on today and on the Monday, but I knew I needed to record something so we could have this call because I failed to do it on what I thought was Monday. And then again, just like, complete confusion. Didn't do what I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do it and then didn't know what day of the week it was and did other things, failed to do other things I was supposed to do.
[00:03:56.110] – Allan
So it just kind of put me in. I'm in this kind of weird juxtaposition because my weekend and the first part of next week is going to be intense because we're moving all the gym equipment. We're moving in. So the paint is late, the light fixtures are late. So those are going to be like, I had to go actually buy replacement/alternate light fixtures, not the light fixtures I want to keep. I had to pay for those just to have light fixtures because you need light the building to do what you got to do sometimes. And then the paint is not in because we were put off the paint waiting on the light fixtures because it's coming from the same source. And I'm like, no, I got to have the paint because they're finishing up now and now I don't have paint. So I told the person we were telling them, okay, look, regardless of whether the lights are ready, bring the paint, because I've got a paint because we're moving all the equipment in on Sunday.
[00:04:51.080] – Allan
So I'm hopeful I'll get the paint on Thursday, Friday the latest, and then I'll start painting where I can paint. And then I'll start moving equipment in and continue to try to paint around the equipment. That's going to be harder, but it kind of is what it is. So a lot of moving parts in my life right now, and I just completely lost track of days. But I won't lose track of days those days because those are going to be four or five really hard days.
[00:05:18.510] – Rachel
That sounds like it. My gosh, no wonder you've lost track of days. There's a lot going on. A lot of things you're balancing right now.
[00:05:25.780] – Allan
Yeah. How about yourself?
[00:05:28.690] – Rachel
Good. I'm far less busy than you are, but things are going good. I mentioned I have a trainer and I'm working on my marathon program, and over the weekend I ran 16 miles on my treadmill, and it was hard. It was a challenge.
[00:05:51.190] – Allan
When you're training on the treadmill, do you use the distraction, like watching Netflix or something like that?
[00:05:58.820] – Rachel
I can't watch anything because I feel like I have lost balance and I don't want to accidentally trip. I think I was watching something like, I don't know, the Matrix or something ages ago, and I was trying to bob and weave along with Neo there, and I almost fell off the treadmill. I prefer to listen to podcasts or on certain days, music is actually easier to listen to. So that's about my limits of my distraction. But it was just a long day and I chose that over outside, we had single-digit temperatures and double-digit wind gusts, so I chose the safer route.
[00:06:41.130] – Allan
Yeah. And those are not the conditions that you're going to be running your race in. So there's no value to pushing yourself through something like that, other than just saying, I want to be uncomfortable for what was probably about two and a half hours.
[00:06:55.180] – Rachel
Yeah. It was definitely the right guess. Exactly like that. The snow and the ice is just too sketchy, and it would have impacted my gate so greatly that I probably would have put myself at more risk than I got off the treadmill. So at least on the treadmill, I had a consistent gate, which I think is far more beneficial for that long run.
[00:07:19.910] – Allan
Day treadmills were originally a punishment.
[00:07:24.730] – Rachel
I know, I know. I could tell you. Yeah. So things are good up here.
[00:07:32.220] – Allan
Good. So let's go ahead and get into today's episode where we talk about programming for yourself.
[00:07:38.550] – Rachel
Hello, and thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. Today, I want to talk about a topic that is actually really important if you're looking to build your fitness and make it really matter. A lot of people approach fitness programs the wrong way. They try something that's generic. They don't get the results they really wanted. As a result, a lot of them give up. So today I want to discuss how to build a fitness program that's right for you. So first, let's define the problem. Now, the initial problem with a fitness program is that most people seem to have a singular view on fitness. So you either think that you need to build cardio or you think you need to build strength or you think you need to do this. And as a result, people get tied into one dimension of fitness. So they become runners or they go in and they start taking the classes. They really enjoy them. And so it's just basically you're doing classes. And then there's also things like people that just go in and do yoga and think that's sufficient for what they need, or people that actually just go in and do weightlifting and say, okay, that's all I need.
The reality is most of the time that's not enough. And when we do this, what happens is we tend to put the workouts first. So you enjoy the class. The class is what you do. You feel like you're getting what you need. And as a result, what we've done is we've effectively put the tactics in without really having a strategy for what we're trying to accomplish. So if you're going to work on your fitness, you need to ensure that the fitness is doing. The work you're doing for fitness is working for you. So why do we do some of these things? Well, the first one is if you enjoy doing something like you really enjoy running or you really enjoy your fitness classes, you tend to want to do it more. Or another thing that I've seen quite often is people are really good at one thing, so you're really good at running or you're really good at lifting. And as a result, that's why you want to do that one thing. But movement for the sake of movement is not necessarily always a good thing. Now I will be the first to tell you I'm not going to poopoo anyone who takes the time to do a workout.
If you're doing a workout, that's a thousand times better than not doing a workout. But there's a reason why the treadmills are at the front of the gym. And the reason the treadmills are at the front of the gym is because 99% of the time that's as far as most people are going to go, they're going to walk into the gym and they're going to get on the treadmill, they're going to do their time, literally, and then they're going to get off the treadmill, and that's their workout. Now, again, movement for the sake of movement, fine. But realize that won't necessarily get you where you want to be. You need to get a little deeper. You need to do a little bit more because you're not only missing modalities, you're missing key one of the ones you're doing. Okay. So it's great you're on the treadmill. It's great that you're lifting, but are you really pushing yourself? Are you really doing the things that are necessary to move the needle for your health and fitness? So how do we make this happen? Because it's so easy to get wrapped up into the I'm really good at lifting, and I really don't want to do these other things or I'm really good at running, and I don't want to do these other things or I really enjoy doing the elliptical or the treadmill.
And I'm really somewhat intimidated by doing anything further. So the first thing you want to do is you want to go all the way back to the beginning. I'm going to do this to you over and over again. You have to go back to the grounding that you did at the front of this whole process. And if you don't know what that means, I'd encourage you to go back and listen to any of the lessons I've talked about with regards to commitment. And so within commitment, we have this vision. Okay. And within the vision, there are multiple segments of fitness that you're going to need to have. I've never seen anyone who has this vision to be able to run 50 miles a day and that's their vision. That's not what people emotionally attached to. The vision is about enjoying your life. It's about being the person you're meant to be. It's about being able to do the things that you need to do, which is fit for task. So if you want to be fit for task, you've got to really pay attention to what that means. What does the future you what are they capable of doing?
Okay, so let's say, for example, you want to be able to travel and there are certain places you want to be able to go, like let's just say Europe and you want to be able to do the Mediterranean, you want to be able to arrive there and enjoy yourself and do the things that you want to do. Well, I can tell you one of the first challenges you're going to get when you get that trip going, because you're most likely going to have to get on an airplane or some kind of mode of transportation that's public and you're going to have to load your bag, you have to carry your bag, you're going to put it up over into the overhead bin. There's things you're going to have to be able to do that will require strength. If you're going to do something and go somewhere and you're going to be doing walking or anything like that, you're going to need some stamina. And if the roads are cobbled like they are in most of Europe, you're maybe going to need some balance and mobility is always a good test thing to have just to keep your body moving in the way that it's supposed to so you don't injure yourself.
So just in that one vision of being able to travel successfully, you're going to need strength, stamina, mobility and balance. Okay, so that's four different training modalities that you don't get if you're only doing one thing. Now, how much of each of these do you need? Again, we go back to the base. The base is your vision. Okay. If your overhead is not going to weigh over £30, then there's very little reason for you to train to be able to press over £30 over your head. Okay. If the most you feel like you're going to ever have to walk or run or do. If you're going to go do a tour or something would be about three or 4 miles, then maybe that's the stamina that you need to have. So if your vision is travel, then you need to be fit for that task. If your vision is to do something else, like be an awesome grandmother and keep up with your grandkid, maybe your stamina needs to be a little higher at certain points in time. You're picking up the child, maybe your strength needs to be a little higher at certain points in time.
And then the other thing is mobility and balance. Obviously if you live in locations where there is a potential for you to fall or slip, you need to have those skills too. So looking at your vision is really an independent topic, independent approach to you doing you to you being the fit that you need fit for task. So what you need to do, the work that you need to do is really should be driven by that vision. And if it is, that breaks down all the motivational problems that you would have. Yes, it can be intimidating to try something that you're not good at. I walk into a yoga class. I am like a bear in a Penguin shop. I don't belong there and I know I don't belong there. But if I need to work on mobility, that's a great place to do it. If I want to get into body weight strength, that's a great place to do it. Even if I'm uncomfortable, it's important for me to push myself through. And if my vision is a part of that, it makes it a lot easier to do. So how do we get started with all of this?
And I'll say the first step is always going to be a self assessment. Now the self assessment goes along with my GPS model, and the S is the self assessment. So how are we going to self assess? Well, the first is to look at our fitness and what our capabilities are. Okay, so what areas of fitness am I really good at? And I'll tell you generally strength. However, I did tear my rotator cuff a few years ago, and as a result, I am not as strong in my upper body from a pushing perspective as I was back then. So there are areas of fitness where I'm good, particularly leg strength and pulls with my back. But there are areas of strength that I'm not so good at. So kind of looking and saying, what are the areas of fitness I'm good at? I know that I'm good at strength. I know that I'm good at long, slow cardio. Where am I not good. I'm not good in balance, I'm not good at mobility. So those are areas that I may need to focus on. Okay, do I want to do more where I'm already strong?
And the short answer to that is it depends. If I need to be stronger, like I'm trying to work on building my pushing strength because I'm weaker, then that's something I need to consider. Okay, so what effort is now necessary for me to maintain or gain the fitness I need? For most of us over 40, that's going to require working each body part at least once per week. But probably just twice per week would be enough for most of us to maintain or gain some fitness at that level. Meaning if I want to get stronger at lifting weights, I'll probably need to do weight training for my whole body or for body parts at least twice a week. So what are some fitness areas that I'm not so good at? And I mentioned earlier, I'm not so good at balance. I'm not so good at mobility. So what effort is necessary for me to gain or maintain those? And that's some balance training that's putting myself in some positions where I might not be as comfortable. So instead of doing a two legged squat, maybe I'm going to do a one legged squat, or maybe I do some form where I'm moving side to side and then doing a squat.
So there's opportunities there for me to work on my balance. As for mobility, that's paying attention to where I'm tighter, where I'm not as mobile and working on stretching, working on some other efforts to make sure that I'm gaining that mobility. And for those types of modalities, for balance and for mobility, those are things that I could practically do every day. So if I'm lifting two times per week as a whole body workout, I now have five days left. I can focus on doing these other things and in some cases, maybe go ahead and double them up and I can do these others more often. So you kind of see how I'm beginning to do from this self assessment to build out the training things that I need to get in to build fitness, to maintain fitness based on where I currently am and based on where I want to go. So the first question is, is a predefined workout for you? Because they're everywhere. You can go on the Internet, you can do a quick search for anything you want to train on. And basically a workout is going to come in. So if you went on YouTube and you type, which is the second largest search engine in the world, and you Typed in mobility workout, you would be inundated by all kinds of videos that you could do as a predefined workout.
Now, I would say that for most of these, yes, for balance and mobility, a typical class or plan will work fine. So you can go in and say, okay, I'm going to do this basic stretching class or I'm going to work on this balance program. Those typically are fine for just about everybody. However, I'm going to say this, not all muscles need to be stretched. If you have good solid mobility in certain movement ranges, say you're almost double jointed in the upper body or in the lower body, you don't need to stretch those muscles. Those muscles are already long. They're already doing what they're supposed to do. Look for other muscles that are a little tighter and focus on those. So while basic plans and classes work, you just need to make sure that where you need to be focused, you are getting that focus. The next is stamina. Now, stamina is kind of one of these things that I think a lot of people struggle with particularly as we get older, and that's because we have physical limitations. Now, as we went through that self assessment, we talked about reasons why we were good or not so good at things.
I mentioned the shoulder problem, so you may have issues with your needs. There's a lot of different examples of where we have physical limitations that would prohibit us from doing certain activities where we're trying to build stamina. So at least knowing those ahead of time is really important. For most of us working on stamina, it's really good to try to get this done outside. Getting outside is going to be better for you. However, there are a lot of machines that can help you do this, particularly when the weather is not so nice. This episode is coming out in March, maybe it's in March, but as this episode comes out, you're going to see that the weather is starting to improve. This is a great opportunity to get outside, but in the event you can't, it's raining, the weather's not good. It just isn't conducive for you to be outside doing these things. Treadmills, elliptical rowers, bikes. There's all kinds of machines that can help you build different forms of stamina. Mixing them up, trying different things always a good thing. Get that variety in there where you can, particularly if you're trying to work around a problem like knees or shoulders or something like that.
All that said, like I said, outside is better. Outside is better. So if you can do these things outside, go ahead and do it. And then if you're going to do a program for stamina, I strongly encourage you to use one that has been proven to be effective. One of my favorites is Jeff Galloway's run walk run method. We interviewed him on episode 248, so you can go back and listen to that episode. I'll have a link in the show notes, but that's a great program about how to build your running stamina without injuring yourself. Other great programs. You can find a couch to five K program. It's going to be sort of a similar walk run kind of thing. So you can build up that stamina in a controlled perspective to try to get you ready for a five K, which is 5 km or basically 3.1 mile. So you're looking to do something specific, either just program or the five day programs. Both are great programs and it can help you start your spam in a process. And as you get a little bit more specialized or start building up to longer distances or longer periods of time, there are other things that you can use that are fixed and then always.
We had a conversation with Rachel not long ago. She has hired a running coach to help her improve her stamina even further so she can run faster and have better times on her run. So if you're looking for that, sometimes having a running coach can go a long way towards helping you build superior stamina. So now we'll talk about my favorite thing. Okay. As I mentioned earlier, it's really important for you to understand your limitations before you start a strength program. Some of those are physical limitations. As I mentioned, my shoulder, my ability to push, my ability to do shoulder exercises very much different than what it was just even five years ago. So I have to be aware of that. I have to address that as I put my training plan together, and then the other is knowledge gap. So one of the reasons that I work on getting my certified personal trainer and the different specializations that I did was just recognizing that I had a knowledge gap in what my body was capable of doing and what I need to do. I was building most of my programming for the first several years off of what I knew when I was in my 20s.
And guess what? It doesn't work and it breaks you time and time again. So I knew I had a knowledge gap. If you have a knowledge gap, you don't know the form of particular exercises. It's really important for you to get this right. Don't do an exercise right and you put load on yourself. Opportunities to hurt yourself is huge, so make sure you've bridged that knowledge gap before you leap into any kind of program. Now, when you're getting started for most lifters, as long as you do know the form and you find the right coach or you find the right website. Strong Lifts Five by Five is one of my favorites. They teach you basic workouts, basic programming, simple lifts, five sets of five reps. It's pretty straightforward and it will help you get stronger. It's a really good entry level basic workout that you can do for quite some time before you need to switch that up. And then most gyms will have a machine circuit. And while machines are not optimal from a form perspective, it's really hard to screw up. If you're sitting in the seat properly and you've got the right posture, a machine workout can be quite good.
You just have to make sure that your settings on the machine are appropriate so that it fits your body. Most machines can adjust seats up and down, back and forward. Just making sure you're in a good position to do that workout is really important. You go to most gyms, they're going to have people available to help you learn how to set up that machine and use that machine appropriately. Take advantage of that or as I mentioned earlier, hire a coach to walk you through it. But strength is probably the only fitness modality that I would say is non negotiable. You have to be training strength, and second behind that is stamina. You have to be training stamina. Mobility and balance are also important, but if you aren't building strength and you're really just focused on stamina, you're going to lose strength, you're going to lose muscle mass. And in the long run, as we age, that's not going to be a good thing. So strength has to be a part of your program. Stamina must be a part of your program. Mobility and balance will very likely need to be a part of your training.
It's just a function of how mobile and how much balance you have now and how much work you need to do to enhance that or at least maintain it, depending on where you stand. So those are the basic training modalities. Now I want to skip into something a little bit deeper about fitness that I think is probably some things that people really struggle with in the long run. First off, a lot of people will start a fitness program and then they'll get bored. And like I said, if you downloaded a program and you started it and it's not something that's progressive, then it can get kind of boring. So if your decision was that you were going to go out and run or walk the same path, and so you're going to walk around the field or you're going to walk through the neighborhood and you've got your horse, if you will, you've measured it out and you know the length and the distance that you're going, and you're maybe keeping up with your time. You know, this takes you a certain amount of time so you can get your workouts done before dinner or before you have to go to work.
So you know how much time it's going to take you to do this. But if you keep doing the same route week in and week out, other than changes of weather and other things that might be going on in that neighborhood or in that field, it could get pretty boring. So that's one thing to be very concerned about is if you get bored and you want to quit, it can be a problem. Likewise with lifting weights, you may go in and do the same basic five exercises. When I mentioned strong lifts and you do them and do them and do them, and then you kind of say, okay, I do these every two times a week, and then eventually kind of getting boring. I mean, okay, squats are great, bench press is great, pulls are great. But in the end, that can get a little boring when you're doing the same workout week in, week out. And yes, maybe you are seeing some progression on that, but it can get kind of just dry. And so don't make sure that what you're doing and the fitness routines that you're doing don't bore you. Some people are able to do the same thing over and over and over again, and they're fine with it.
Others do need some variety. So at least be aware of where you stand with some of those things. Next, some people will see diminishing returns or plateaus. Now, this is completely normal in all phases of training. Initially, you see some pretty good results because your body is not accustomed to what you're doing. Your brain and your muscles are having a conversation. It's a very easy conversation to have once they figure out the wiring, the very difficult conversation when you first get started. So you will see yourself from a strength perspective, potentially from a stamina perspective, from a balanced perspective, and even from a mobility perspective, actually sees some pretty good gains in returns when you first start. And then it kind of slows down and then it kind of Plateau. You've seen this with weight loss. You'll see it with fitness. So a lot of people get disgruntled or upset when they don't see that continued linear progression. And I'm going to tell you, you almost never see a linear progression over and over, because if you did, then the strongest people in the world would never stop getting stronger. So there's a natural limitation on what the brain muscle conversation can do.
And then there's a limited potential for when you're actually building muscle and building strength or building stamina that can continue. At some point, you will Plateau. Now, there are things we can do to break those plateaus, but just realize, don't get dismissive. Don't quit just because you're not seeing the return. And then the other thing is sometimes you're going to see unequal returns. And so maybe your stocks are not exactly what you wanted it to be. Whereas some individuals just really can't put on a lot of muscle mass, they're getting stronger, but they're not seeing their muscles get bigger. They're putting on all the stamina. They're capable of going further. Distances are going and or going faster, but they're not necessarily losing weight because they thought, okay, I'm burning all these calories, I should be losing weight. So just recognize that even though you're pushing yourself in a fitness direction, you won't always see equal gains going forward. And even within body parts, you might not see the same. So like for me, it always was the case. My legs get stronger. They get bigger very easily now. Probably not as easily now as they did before when I was younger.
But that said, I can get really strong with my legs. I'm not capable of getting that much stronger with my upper body the same way. So I see unequal returns. And I also see my legs getting bigger when I lift weights with my legs do leg strength stuff, my upper body doesn't respond quite as well. So recognizing that I'm going to have those biological limitations, I have to keep pushing through, I cannot let that break me mentally. So these are things that are really hard to get through mentally, as if your workout is boring. If you're not seeing the returns that you used to be seeing or you're seeing unequal returns a lot of times that makes it really difficult to stick with, but I want you to go back to what commitment your grounding. There's a reason why you're doing this. There's a vision of what you want to accomplish. If you want it bad enough and you know where you're going, you will still get there. It's never going to be a straight line, so you got to keep pushing through. And that takes a lot of guts, it takes a lot of mental fortitude.
But if you have a good why and you have a good vision, that makes it a lot easier, stick with it and it'll pay off. Okay. So the whole reason we're on this podcast is to learn how to program for yourself. Okay, so first, let's get into the basics of all this. Now, the first thing is you have to know your muscle groups. You have to know what you're doing and why you're doing it. I'm going to talk about this predominantly from a lifting perspective, but a lot of this will fly across the board. Okay. So first, know your muscle groups. When you're doing a certain movement, what muscles are you supposed to be building? What muscles are you supposed to be using? For most exercises, there's going to be a pro mover, there's going to be a primate mover that's causing that exercise to move. Even if it's a compound style movement, there's a prime mover for parts of it and then potentially a different prime mover for other parts of it. So knowing which muscles you're trying to work for each exercise makes it easier for you to know that you're doing the exercise.
Right. So knowing the exercise. Okay, so what muscles am I going to work if I'm doing the deadlift? Well, the deadlift is a very complex work exercise. It is a compound movement, meaning multiple muscles are working. The deadlift happens to work the entire posterior chain. So you're working basically your back, your butt and you're working your hamstrings. So all the way from almost top to bottom, you are working the back of your body, the posterior part of your body. When you do squats, you initially start by using your quadriceps, which are the muscles in the front of your legs. And then as you get deeper into the squat, eventually your glutes are going to kick in and they're the braking mechanism at the bottom, and they're the muscles, the biggest muscle, they're going to start you moving back upwards. So knowing that a squat will require you to use both the front of your legs for a period of time and then the back your butt for the rest of the movement, and then reversing that going back up will help you make sure that you're keeping good form, working the muscles you're supposed to.
So understanding the work that you're doing is really important. That starts with understanding the muscles. Okay. Next is for every exercise you can do has a particular form to it. The form is important to making sure that, one, you avoid injury. But two, understanding that form also affects the angles on the muscles. And so a couple of examples would be whether you're doing something a pull from above your head, like a lap, pull down or pull up, whether you're doing a high row, a low row or a shrub. So what I just talked through were three different angles of rows that are all intended to work a different muscle group across, mostly your back. So the laps when you're pulling down the lats are the main mover, the prime mover. It's going to pull that bar down. If you're pulling the bar, the cable potentially to your upper chest, that's a high row.
So that's working more of the upper back, the rhomboids and the trapezes. And so there you go. There's a whole different set of muscles. When you're doing low rows, you're now working more of the middle back. And when you're doing shrugs, you're working most of the traps and larger traps there. So you can kind of see as you change the angle of something, it's a different exercise. Hand position can also be a very different thing. If your grip is wide. When you're doing something like a bench press or push up, you're really focusing on the chest. If you get your hands closer together now, your triceps are more involved in the movement and maybe less of the chest. And if you get your hands all the way together almost now you're doing well, you're doing a push up, push up. And at that point, now you're working mostly your triceps, the back of your arm. So where you put your hands also affects the movement you're doing. So as you're putting together exercises, again, knowing the muscle you want to do and understanding the form of the exercise, these are critically the next important phase of this, or at least understanding level, is to know your volume.
Now I'm not going to get into that on this episode because we're probably already going long. But on episode 506, we discussed how to increase volume and knowing what your volume is. And volume relates to the amount of weight, the amount of reps, amount of sets, and also how fast or slow you're moving the weight. And so all of those things add to your volume. And so knowing how to adjust those so that you're getting the most benefit out of the work for what your goals are is important. So you might want to go back after you get started here, go back and listen to episode 506 just to make sure you've got a grip on what your volume is as you're getting into work. Now if you're someone who's going to get bored and you start a program, the easiest way to change a program that you already have is to swap exercises. So I'll give you a couple of examples. Let's say you have a program like the five by five. And the back squat is the exercise that was in the book or on the website. You say, okay, I'm going to do this exercise.
And then you get kind of bored with your back squats or you've got toe and you want to try something different. Maybe you try a front squat. It's a very different exercise from the perspective of the angles with which the bar is going down, how your body structured. You're going to move that center of mass a little bit. That's going to change the exercise. So the front squat is a good exercise to go back to. Another one is a lot of people will work on a leg press. Leg press is a great way for you to build overall leg strength.
A lot of leg strength, actually.
You can get really strong in your legs using a leg press. But sometimes people get to a point where they're a little bit tired of the leg press. They've gotten up to a particular weight and they feel like, okay, they've done enough. They really want to change the structure of their work or they want to do something slightly different. Maybe you introduce a hip rust. So you're basically at this point, you're elevating your back maybe on the bench and you've got a weight on your lap and you're trying to do rust. So your feet are flat on the floor, your butt goes down your hips, and then your hips go up to basically try to thrust upwards against the weight. This is a great butt glute word, which again is similar to the leg press. So something you can swap. So basically, anytime you have an exercise, you get a little bored with it or you're not seeing the progress, you can swap out another exercise that works the same muscles or muscle and plug it into the work and use that as your exercise. So not the easiest thing, but every exercise that you do, particularly if one of them is bothering you, can be swapped with another exercise, typically works the same muscle groups and gives you the same effort or at least similar effort and results.
Now, if you're going to make a change, if you're going to do something, I highly recommend that you stick with something for at least six to eight weeks before making a change. You're doing a different workout every day, every time. You're not really going to get the optimal benefit of what you're doing. For one, we talked about that brain muscle, the neuromuscular connection. That's really important. If you don't do an exercise enough, you're not going to get that your brain and your muscles are not going to talk as well as they could without that communication. You're not getting enough work. So you're not going to continue to see gains. If you're swapping exercises every week, you're not going to see those gains the way that you'd like. That will be. So you're going to want to make sure that you stick with something for a while. Six to eight weeks tends to be a really good time before we make a change. Next, you got to increase the load. If you stay with the same weights. And I see this all the time, people will go in and do a circuit. They'll set the machines on exactly the same weight and they go through them time and time again and then they don't really know or see that they're getting any stronger.
The fact that they try to raise it up one weight, they don't really feel like they're able to do it. And that's the struggle. They really haven't pushed themselves, they really haven't made it progressive. So adding a little bit of load when you're using good form creates the stimulus that causes the muscles to react and get stronger and get bigger in most cases. Okay. And then when you're doing this work and sticking with it for a while, you begin to see that strength starting to kick in. So last week you were doing the pulls and you were only pulling £20. This week you're pulling. You're now up to 22 or 25. So now you're seeing the weights get bigger as you learn the exercise, there's communication between the muscles in the brain and then actually, yes, your muscles are changing, they're adapting to the stimulus and they're getting stronger. That's a huge motivation. You start realizing that the work you're doing has a positive effect of actually seeing fitness improvement. That's a great way to know. That's a mile marker to know, hey, I am moving towards my vision. I see it, I see what I'm doing and that's important.
So make sure you stick with it at least long enough. Six to eight weeks to know what you're doing is working before you start trying to mix it up. I know, boredom, boredom, boredom, right, but that's important. So find that balance between switching things up and sticking with it long enough to know that it's working. Okay. So this is how most of us got our start. Most of us, back in the day, it was trial and error. We walked into a gym much like you might, and we had no idea what was going on. There was all this equipment, all these weights. Sometimes there were really big guys back in the back rowing around big dumbbells and big plates and all that. We see that. And I agree it can be a little intimidating for the trial and error part where we just really don't know what we're doing and we're approaching it. I hope today that I've given you some ideas of how you can approach this from a little bit more upscale. You have access to the Internet, you have access to a lot of information, you have access to me. So you won't have to go through trial and error.
Another thing that we did back in the day was we had fitness magazines, so Flex and Muslim Fitness. Those were the main magazines that came out. There were a lot of other bodybuilding magazines in the day. Those have pretty much been replaced by YouTube and different websites. But the concept is the same. There's stuff out there, some of it's good.
Some of it's really bad.
So just kind of knowing that, okay, I have to learn and I can't just try to apply this thing because I can tell you, I read magazine articles where guys were doing 100, which means they're doing 100 reps for a muscle group. A little muscle group at that. I tried it. It hurt. Did it give me additional muscle gain? No, not at all. It was probably a wasted workout because it was too much and it really wasn't set for what I was trying to accomplish at the time. But it looked cool, it sounded cool. And the bodybuilder that was touting it in the magazine was someone that I respected, but again, not necessarily the right thing to do. So take what you see online with a grain of salt, spend some time doing some research, asking questions, and put together a program that's going to get you to your vision. All things considered, being over 40 does add some challenges. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I went to NASM and got certified. And yes, there was a good bit of expense to that. I can't even tell you how much money I have spent on my education, my fitness education over the years.
And so there are ways for you to get around that. Hiring a trainer is a great way to do that. And along the way.
I've done the same.
I've hired coaches to program for me and to push me because when you have someone there, you work harder. So every time I've hired a coach, I've never regretted it. I've never regretted having someone there who wrote a program. I could look at the program and say, this is reasonable, this makes sense. And then I could push myself. And they were there to help. They were there to encourage, they were there to critique. And so my form was better, my work was better, I worked harder, I got more results, and it was well worth the investment. Now, if you want to fast track your fitness and weight loss, I'd encourage you to go to 40 Plusfitness.com. I have an application there had some problems with that website up until I today, but I will have a link to the application there. Go ahead and complete that form. And then we can go ahead and connect and see if 40 Plus Fitness Online training is for you. Programming is not rocket science, but it's also not something you can just pull something off the Internet and do and know that you're optimizing your health and fitness. So if you're still stuck and you need help or you want help or you really want to fast track what you're doing, go to 40 Plusfitness.com and there you'll see a link for an application.
Go to the application. It's not long. It won't take you long. But then we'll get on a call, I'll get on the call and we'll come up with a plan just for you. And it may not be 40 Plus Fitness online training. And that's cool. I really want to help you get where you want to go. And if this training program isn't the right thing, I will help you find the thing that is and get you started and get you moving in the right direction. So thank you so much again for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:46:38.750] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:46:40.290] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. What a really great and timely podcast. I think the tips that you've given about developing your own training program could not be more perfectly timed. I'm seeing a lot of questions on the Internet about why do we do this or how do we do that? And right now it seems to be revolving around strength training. That's an important modality that people just don't know how to fold into their current training programs. But I like what you set up here for the listeners because there's a good way to go about developing your own program.
[00:47:14.800] – Allan
Yeah, well, first it has to align with what you're trying to do. And that can be an event or that can just be a lifestyle you want to have or both and probably should be both. Me, I get highly motivated by having an event in front of me. I think I posted something this week in the group about how even the most elite athletes are not what they would call optimally fit all the time. They have their ebbs and flows, their seasons and off seasons. And so they're going through those things themselves.
[00:47:48.480] – Allan
But that said, they're hiring the professionals. They're doing little things that they're supposed to do. And yes, you can do those things yourself. And when I work with clients, I think the thing that sometimes just it kind of frustrates me a little bit is to have a client that really just wants to work out in front of them. They don't want to think about it. They don't want to learn anything about what they're doing. It's just like make me skinny is sort of the mantra. And I'm like, well, okay, skinny doesn't mean healthy. Lifting weights will get you stronger.
[00:48:24.560] – Allan
If they're asking questions. Well, how strong do I need to be? And I'm like, I don't know, what do you want to do? And so they're not able to answer that question because they haven't really done the initial homework. So to them, it's the workout is. And I hate to say this, as we said earlier, the punishment for being unfit. I'm not healthy and fit. I'm not the weight I'm supposed to be. So I have to effectively punish myself. So I've got to do this running. I've got to get on the treadmill or elliptical and they're not really planning out what they're doing. And then even if they do pick up a program, they don't know why they're doing the exercises they're doing. Other than that's what the program says. So they're following a program.
[00:49:05.880] – Allan
And while I said in my talk, that can be great. But at the same time, it's really hard to stay motivated. When you get to the end of that program, it's like, okay, well, I just do it again. Is there something else? And a lot of people get stuck at that. And so I'll work with someone for a number of months, maybe even a couple of years, and at the end they're like, okay, I'll see you. And I'm like, okay, cool. And then they just keep doing what I gave them until they stopped because they get bored or something gets in the way, and then they just don't know where to start back. They're like, well, I was doing this weight and doing that exercise, and now I don't know, should I lower it this amount do that, or should I just go back in and do what I was doing?
[00:49:51.610] – Allan
And that fear keeps them from starting again. And then they're out. And so I talked to him a couple of months after that, and they're like, how's it going? It's like, well, kind of fell off with the exercise. I still run and they still do the thing they enjoy doing. So they're still doing the cardio stuff, if that's what they enjoyed, or the hiking or whatever, the biking. They're still doing some of that stuff. Not all the time, but some.
[00:50:17.030] – Allan
But their eating completely falls off because again, the exercise kind of drives eating. And I don't mean that you can exercise out of bad diet, but what I found is almost implicitly 100%, someone who works out, puts time in in the gym, pays the trainer, starts eating better, and when they stop paying the trainer and then they stop working out, they go back to their old habits. So just realize that there's more there than just doing a workout.
[00:50:49.390] – Rachel
Well, I think you mentioned the very first place to start is to have your vision, to have your long term goals. And it's not necessarily like for me right now, I'm training for a marathon in April or the ultra, maybe I'll do in the fall, but I've got good role models in my life. My great grandparents didn't leave their farm property until they were in their 90s, their late 90s at that.
[00:51:14.080] – Rachel
So I'm looking that far forward. I want to be active and able to live independently well into my 70s, 80s or 90s if I'm so allowed to do so. So lucky. But that's the thing is that I've got these long-term goals and then in the medium, I've got these short-term goals about running, and I think that's what people might forget about. Sure, you can do a couch to 5K program. That's a great place to start. Absolutely. But what are you going to do after that? What is going to keep you motivated to stay active and to stay healthy and fit for the long-term? And some of these tips, like having a vision is a good place to start.
[00:51:56.800] – Allan
Yeah. When you have that vision, then everything seems to make a little bit more sense. You know, that okay, I could have all the stamina on the world, but if my grandchild comes running up to me and I can't pick them up or I have to sit in a chair because I can't kneel down and tie their shoe, those are things that are going to emotionally affect me in a way that I don't want to experience. I want to be able to get down on the floor and tie their shoe and roll around with them in the grass and not feel like, okay, now someone has to come help me up. I want to be able to do all this stuff. And so, yeah, there's this long-range plan.
[00:52:34.090] – Allan
And then for me, the short run is okay, I'm doing another Tough Mudder. And what I found is these particular obstacle course races are requiring me to be more fit in more direct ways, meaning I have to have more stamina than I think I would ever need with a grandchild.
[00:52:54.290] – Rachel
[00:52:56.810] – Allan
Grandchild is not going to make me do 15K running in addition to 25 obstacles in a given day. Now over the course of a month, maybe. And then the other side of it is just the physical strength and being able to do the things that I'm going to have to be able to do without knowing what some of those things are because they don't broadcast all of their obstacles. You know, some of them, but you don't know all of them unless you've already done a race that season. And then generally maybe you do. But for most of us going into the race, they don't broadcast and tell you what all the obstacles are. So I know I'm going to need strength, I need grip strength, and then I'm just going to need grit.
[00:53:38.570] – Rachel
[00:53:41.730] – Allan
One of the things I can say my training is that my cardio came back really quickly. I've taken a break I've taken a break from training and everything to kind of just say, okay, I'm off. I'm going to take an off-season. Good long off-season. And then I said, okay, now I'm back in and I'm going to work really hard all the way up until the race. But my cardio was right back there. I'm hitting anywhere from ten to twelve and a half miles easy. I'm not doing the run the way you are. I'm literally just doing a good Huff walk. But doing that today, I think I did a little over 7 miles, but the terrain was hilly so some of the grades were up to I would probably say somewhere around 15% in places that I was going so…
[00:54:29.380] – Rachel
[00:54:31.170] – Allan
It was a good walk, particularly considering it was just the 7 miles. And I know I say just the 7 miles. Oh my God, 7 miles. I'm like, I didn't start with 7 miles, I didn't start with 7 miles. It was a progression that I did over time and then your body has some memory to it and you're able to take a break and get back at it at some level and work your way back up. And that's part of fitness. It's the ebbs and flows of working your way through.
[00:55:01.490] – Allan
Now, same way with strength. I'm back in the gym, I'm working with weights that are in my opinion pathetically low. But at the same time I know for other people I'd be like, oh my God, if I could actually do that, I would be really happy. So this is not about evaluating where you are relative to other people, it's about evaluating yourself relative to those vision. What do I need to be successful for this Tough Mudder/ and a couple of things we've talked about is I've got to lose body weight. I talked about that, what is it, two or three weeks ago? Okay, well, I've already shed 12 pounds.
[00:55:40.760] – Rachel
Good for you.
[00:55:41.600] – Allan
Okay, great. And that was again, I got into ketosis and one of the cool things is a good long walk really strikes up your ketosis levels. It's kind of insane. A good long walk for you and I that's two to 3 hours or so. And so I tell you, if you check your ketones before and after doing one of your events, one of the things your trainings, particularly the longer trainings, you'll be surprised at the change in your ketones. Now if you do a weight lifting, it's actually going to increase your blood sugar and you might not see that. So just kind of knowing that and knowing where I'm going and having the experience, which is great, but you don't get the experience without the experience.
[00:56:31.020] – Allan
So if you're going to put something together, know why you're doing what you're doing, have a plan, pay attention, do some research. And above all, if you're going to hire a coach, which I encourage a lot of people to do like you've done like I do, is ask why. Have those conversations learn from it. Because that's your ability in the future be able to do some of those things for yourself.
[00:56:58.750] – Allan
I just wish I had a coach on this island that could be in there for my workouts because I know physically if they were there, I would work a lot harder. Other than the fact that I have my way of eating and my way of doing things, I don't know of another coach for people over 40 that would know how to treat me like I was 20 when I needed to be 20, because there's things I can do that I was doing when I was in my 20s.
[00:57:28.610] – Rachel
[00:57:28.910] – Allan
Some people in their 40s can't. Okay. But also know when to treat me like I'm in my 40s and be cool with the fact that I have a way of eating that is different than what they would encourage people to typically eat. You got to have your carbs before you work out. And I'm like, well, no, if I had carbs, I just go to sleep. I'd be in a coma. So no, I don't need the carbs before and I don't even need them during literally I can take a liter of water and I'm good. That's my 3 hours of go, go, go. A liter of water.
[00:58:07.190] – Rachel
[00:58:08.630] – Allan
And I do hydrate a lot after, and I've hydrated a bit before. But all I need to have with me as I go is that liter of water and I don't bonk. There's no bonk if there's anything that's going to stop me, it's just the fatigue and the legs.
[00:58:27.630] – Rachel
[00:58:28.510] – Allan
At that point where, OK, you push yourself to the line, which is where you need to be for this training session. Good. But I know that again, from experience, from being a coach and coaching myself. So as you're putting your programs together, I think it's just really important for you to take those lessons. Realize you're also you're bio-unique. So downloading a program off the Internet works for 80% of the people. That Bell curve. But if you're an outlier, you're out of luck. You're going to have to figure something else out. And that takes experience and time and effort and paying attention to your body and doing those things.
[00:59:09.000] – Allan
And so I just encourage people, if you don't know what you're doing, ask for help. It's not that hard. And I am opening up five slots in my training. And for these five slots, I'm particularly looking for people that want to up their fitness game. So in the past, I've really focused on the weight loss. I think I've gotten those clients in that want to really work on weight loss. And if you still want to work on weight loss, you can reach out to me.
[00:59:37.960] – Allan
But right now, for at least the next six months or so because of what I'm doing for myself, my brain has really turned on to the fitness aspects of it. So if you're looking to up your game in fitness, and that can mean starting from zero and wanting to get to level one or that can be being at level five and wanting to be level seven wherever you are, I'm able to meet you there. And we can put together training programs. You can learn why we're doing what we're doing, and we can help you get that fitness together. So if that's what you want, go to 40plusfitness.com, not 40plusfitnesspodcast.com, but 40plusfitness.com and I'll have an application link there. You can fill out the application. We'll get on the phone and we'll figure out what you need. If it's my training program to get you there, it's not a fixed program. It's custom. So like I said, if you're starting from zero and just want to get to one, we can do that. If you want to ratchet it up a little bit more, we can do that too. So do reach out if you're interested in that.
[01:00:42.330] – Rachel
And then of course if it's running that you're interested in really getting good at then Rachel?
[01:00:49.940] – Rachel
I'm here. Just ask me any questions.
[01:00:52.500] – Allan
Where should they go? You've got a website, too.
Strong-souls.com. You can just reach out for me there or even on my socials. I'm on Facebook and Instagram. Just shoot me a message and I'll be happy to help you out.
[01:01:05.730] – Allan
All right. And we'll have the links in the show notes for this one so if you have any questions, please do reach out to us.
[01:01:12.440] – Allan
Also, again, we're trying to put together a Q&A episode. So if some of these questions you would rather just ask and have answered on a podcast then I do want you to reach out Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com and just email me there. Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. We'll take those questions. I may reach out and see if you want to record and ask your question vocally and be on the podcast that way. Or I can just read your question from your email on the podcast. But if you have a question you'd like for us to answer on an episode, we do want to try to accumulate some of those so we can get those questions together and have a duo episode with Rachel and I answering your health and fitness questions.
[01:01:58.420] – Rachel
Sweet. That would be fun.
[01:02:00.320] – Allan
Great. Rachel, anything else you want to get into?
[01:02:02.910] – Rachel
No, this is great.
[01:02:04.460] – Allan
All right guys, have a great week and we'll talk to you next week.
[01:02:08.080] – Rachel
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Many people believe that any health and fitness endeavor must be a full-on sprint. They start a new diet and don't take into account how they're going to sustain it over the long haul. On this episode, we talk about how to find your pace.
Due to Allan's travel we recorded our hello and wrap up sessions beforehand and did not do our standard hello section for this episode.
Today we're going to talk about pace and how life isn't all sprints. I want to start this with basically two contrasting stories from my life. The first one was my tough mudder training. Now I've told the story in the book, and basically the concept here was that I decided I wanted to do a tough mudder with my daughter. And this was March when we made this decision.
And the race that I wanted to do was in November. My daughter was going to be 21 years old, close to 21 years old. She was a level one CrossFit coach and quite fit. And so in my planning for this tough Mudder, my training for this tough Mudder, I knew I was going to have to push myself pretty hard and pretty fast if I was going to be in shape for that tough Mudder. So going from March, where I was already generally training to November, I still had a lot of ground to make up, and so I did what I call a sprint.
I trained really hard. I worked on my nutrition really hard, and I sprinted, and I got it all done. I got the work done. The results were great. You can see the before and after picture on my Facebook and on my website, 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com.
And when I did it, I felt really good. I got that sprint done. I accomplished everything I wanted to do, so good for me. Right? Well, let's flash forward about five years, maybe a little bit further when I did the Spartan training.
Now I plan to do the Spartan race as a function. We were going to be traveling to Chicago, and there was a spartan in there, and I thought, hey, I could do a Spartan. And so I asked my younger brother if he wanted to do it with me, and he did. So I'm like, okay, let's do this Spartan. Let's go to Chicago and do a Spartan together.
The difference was I was in okay shape, but I needed to be in Spartan shape within about two and a half months. And so I started my sprint, and I pushed hard, and I worked on my nutrition, and I did everything I could do to be ready for this Spartan race until I broke my rotator cuff snapped in the middle of a workout. I was trying to do overhead presses with dumbbells, and the reality was I didn't hurt myself doing the presses. I hurt myself trying to get the weights up into the starting position.
I felt it snapped, and I knew immediately what I had done.
And in fact, it was a very bad tear. But it wasn't a tear that had happened just during that sprint. It was a tear that had been happening over a long period of time. And the only reason I tell you these two contrasting stories, I still did this part. It hurt like heck, I still did this part.
But the stories I'm telling here are really just to emphasize the fact that if we go too hard, too long, we will break. And that's not the purpose of what we're trying to accomplish here. The goal in health and fitness is not a destination. You might approach it and say, oh, I need to lose 40 lbs, and that's my goal. That's my thing.
That's my finish line. But after you've lost that 40 lbs, it's not like honey and roses for the rest of your life. You're still going to want to train and need to train. You're still going to have to focus on nutrition and do the things you're doing for your health. That doesn't change.
So don't feel like there's a finish line. Just like if you're saying you're going to do the couch to 5K and you complete that 5K, hopefully you're not hanging up your running shoes and saying, I'm done nothing more. No more training. I'm out. I accomplished the great thing, the 5K.
That's not how this works. We train to live and be the people we want to be, to be better tomorrow. And yes, while we might have goals in mind of certain things that we want to accomplish, be it a weight loss goal or completing a race or doing something else, those are just motivating goals. Those are just things that drive us the measurement criteria. So we know that we're successful at getting better.
The true goal here is to come up with a sustainable lifestyle and a sustainable lifestyle basically means you can eat the foods you like and not feel deprived. Now, are you eating as much of it as you want? Maybe not. Maybe you used to have pizza every night, and now you're only having pizza maybe once a month. But you're still having pizza.
So you're eating the foods that you enjoy and you're enjoying your foods. You're just not eating as much. And maybe you've changed your palette to a point that some of the foods that you used to enjoy, you don't enjoy as much now. So you've found a sustainable way of eating that you can eat most of the time, if not all the time. And you've also in sustainable lifestyle,
You've built a movement pattern that improves and helps you maintain your fitness without breaking you. So sustainable is something you can do for the long term. And that should be the overall objective of everything we do with our health and fitness is to find the sustainable path that we can stay on the vast majority of the time. It's not that you wouldn't depart from that, that you wouldn't take a detour. But once you take the detour, you know, to get right back on your sustainable path and keep pushing forward.
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is brought to you by Timeline Nutrition, the makers of MitoPure. We've talked about the importance of mitochondria the power generators at the heart of nearly every cell in our body. So, you know, keeping your mitochondria healthy is an important step in feeling good and slowing the aging process.
Several years ago, I read about pomegranate being a superfood, but I could seldom find it at the grocery store, and the juice has more sugar than a Coke. So I ditched the idea. Now there's Timeline Nutrition's Mitopure.
We learned that it's the Urolithin A that seems to be what's improving the mitochondria and the pomegranate was providing a precursor. We can't get Urolithin A from food. Basically, our gut bacteria turn allegations in the pomegranate into Urolithin A. Unfortunately, most of us don't produce enough Urolithin A to optimize mitochondrial health. Urolithin A is the primary ingredient in true line nutritions Mitopure. Okay, science lesson over.
It comes in a powder form to mix it into yogurt or your favorite smoothie, a protein powder if you're looking for a great one, two punch of muscle support, or soft gels. I've been using mine up here for a few weeks. I have the powdered form that is a light berry flavor, which is good for plain yogurt, sour cream, or cream cheese. Yeah, I do all of those yet it won't overpower anything you choose to add it to.
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So let's talk a little bit about pace. The faster you go, the longer you go, the more likely you break. That's true in everything that we do, particularly when you're over 40. Now, my story at the beginning of this episode, we're about pushing too hard training for an event, and I broke, but the same can hold true for nutrition. If you deprive yourself of a type of food or you eat a certain way, that's really restrictive, the likelihood you're gonna fall off the wagon goes up substantially.
If you tell yourself I'm never going to have another drink, that might work for you. But the reality is for most people, they're going to find themselves at a party, they're going to find themselves at a bar and they're gonna have a drink, and that's okay. There's nothing substantially wrong with that. But the harder you push yourself, the more restrictive you are, the more likely you're going to fail at some point, it's just the way it works. So when I talk about pace, I like to think of them in three terms.
Okay. The first is the sprint or the Ferrari, the second is a moderate pace. I call the pickup truck, and the third is slow, which I call the minivan. And there's reasons for each and every one of these paces that goes beyond what you want to accomplish. So let's talk about sprints first.
When you are ready to do a sprint, there should be nothing between you and the finish line. You want to be able to do straight forward without having to stop. You want to do it as quickly as you can responsibly. And that means there's nothing there to stop you. There's no one there to bother you.
There's nothing that is going to be in the way. So if you're training for something and you want to do a sprint, it's got to be there in your eyesight, in line of sight. And so in that case, it's got to be close enough. You're trying to go from A to B, not A to T. And while it might look from my before and after picture A to T, realize not all of that was really a true 100% sprint.
I wasn't sprinting every day, all day, but I was working toward getting better and better each day. And as I got better, I pushed harder and harder. So it was a sprint, in a sense, but it was an A to B, B to C, C to D kind of approach. I wasn't looking to go A to T. And if that's what you're trying to do, you're probably going to break before you get there.
And then the final bit with sprints, that's really a big one for me is you've got to keep the ego in check. Ego is your enemy when you're doing a sprint, because at that point, you're not looking at your red line. You're not looking at what's going on with the heat and your engine. And if you're pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing and you're not paying attention, snap, there you go.
Honest Truth, the weight I was doing when I was doing those overhead presses was far more than I should have been doing. I didn't need to be doing. I did it because I could until I couldn't. So you've got to keep your ego in check and know what you're doing is building you rather than breaking you. So sprints are important.
You're in your Ferrari, you're rooming down the road, and as long as there's nothing to hold you back and you're not going to red line and break, go for it. Next is the moderate pace. So I was a big fan of tailgating when I lived in the United States, and so I had a pick up truck with a tonneau cover so I could put all of my tailgating gear in the back of the truck to go to Hattiesburg for the games. Now, here's the thing. I couldn't own a Ferrari and take all my tail gaining gear because it wouldn't fit.
And my pickup truck doesn't travel as fast as a Ferrari. So I couldn't get there as fast. I could get in the Ferrari. And other than law enforcement, pretty much be there from Pensacola to Hattiesburg. And I don't know, 3 hours, maybe.
Okay, but that wasn't going to work in a pickup truck. I had to go a little bit slower. I take a little bit longer, not much longer, but it would take longer. So it was a more moderate pace because I had baggage to carry. So what's the kind of baggage that would hold us up in general?
Well, we have vacations planned. We have family members that are around that maybe we need to do some things with them. Maybe we have a job, all those little things you got to carry around with you that might slow you down a little bit. And that's okay. If you're patient, you find yourself a sustainable pace that fits your lifestyle, again
That's the objective here. And then you move and you're in this for the long haul. So in general, you should probably be spending most of your time over the course of the next several years in the pickup truck going a moderate pace, you can carry the things you need, do the things you need. There's a lot of utility there to get things done. You just have to have the patience and look at this as the long haul.
Slow and Steady
And then the final pace that I like to talk about is slow. And that's where you're in the minivan. And so you got the kids and the wife and this and that and you got to stop and go to the bathroom, every other exit. And so these issues, these people, these things, they're all happening. And it's not necessarily outside, outside your control, but it's generally outside your control that these are things you also have to focus on.
Your health and fitness may not be the ultimate number one priority in your life, but it's got to be important enough that you're still moving forward. And that's the key. If you have even more patience and self compassion, you do keep moving forward. And that's the key of moving slow is that you're not sitting still and you're not sliding backwards. So at worst times, you're holding your ground.
But most of the time, there's this little push forward a little bit forward. And while the minivan can't go as fast as the pickup truck or the Ferrari, you're still doing something positive for yourself, and you have to keep your head up and realize that's the case. And so I titled this episode, you can't sprint all the time or something like that. But basically, it's not all about sprints for sure. So what is the right pace for you?
Well, the reality of it is it's probably at different points in time going to be all three. There are going to be times when a sprint makes sense. So you say, hey, I'm going to sign up for a 30 day challenge to do this thing, and that can be an awesome motivator. You can sit down and say, when we get to next spring, I want to be able to run a 5K, and now you're moving at a moderate pace, taking a very cool or easy couch the 5K program to get yourself to a point where you can complete that race safely.
And then there's going to be times when things are going on in your life that you just have to slow it down and get in the minivan.
So having the self awareness to know which one makes the most sense for you, and using that as a tool where you're moving forward, you're sprinting when you can. You're going a moderate pace most of the time, and occasionally a slower pace, so that self awareness gives you kind of the gist of all of it. So again, find the pace that you don't break yourself. Find the pace that keeps you moving forward and not going backwards and stay at that pace until it makes sense to change and do something different.
You have health and fitness goals. You know what your vision is, of what you want to accomplish. You have to go the right pace or it's not sustainable. So again, the overall objective of your health and fitness should be to find a sustainable lifestyle and understanding pace and being self aware are key components of making that happen.
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Many of us miss the opportunity to have more accountability and build a stronger relationship just by working out together. Today we discuss working out with your partner.
This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, what does getting naked mean for supplements? It means no unnecessary additives. It means premium sourced ingredients without fillers. So you don't need to compromise on your diet or your goals. That's what Naked Nutrition offers.
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Post show with Rachel.
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It can feel like an insurmountable effort to get and stay fit when you're over 40. In this episode, I share 9 keys to getting you and keeping you fit.
Hello and welcome to today's podcast. I am so glad you're here. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness Podcast. Today we're going to talk about 9 keys to being fit after 40. You know, there's a lot of folks out there that you'll see and they, they seem really, really fit and they're over 40. You know, you have to ask yourself, what are these people doing that's allowing them to accomplish this? I was having a conversation with a guy at the gym, you know, we're both over 40. He's an excellent shape. He does the CrossFit style type workouts. And so I was, I was just asking him about it and what he was doing in his training and where he was getting his training materials from. They're always varied, different workouts.
And, he enjoys doing them and that's cool. And he's really good at it and he enjoys it and it's a different kind of fit than I am. I'm more of this strong, slow, I can carry heavy stuff. I can do all the things I want to do. And so we have a different mindset of what fitness is. And we get to talking about that a little bit because he was thinking he might want to get into competition. Now if you're not familiar with the CrossFit competitions, they're quite intense. Uh, and I was explaining to them, I said, you know, the last time I saw one of the, uh, the big ones, uh, the guys that were over 40, the masters level athletes, they were just in tremendous shape. I mean, the things they were doing was just actually quite insane. And we even got into that, why are they doing all of these insane things, over the age of 40, over the age of 50, that, you know, I would say even 20 years ago, no one would've dreamed someone over that age would be doing things.
And we see this every day and I do like sharing these in the Facebook group. If you're not a member, you should go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. I share all kinds of information, and if I see a 72-year-old woman doing a deadlift that's over her body weight. Yeah, I'm going to probably share that because it's pretty cool. But there's different looks and feels to fitness and I said it in the book, The Wellness Roadmap, and I'll say it again. Fitness is not a look. Fitness is about you being fit to task. So I think that's the first key for you to pick up on as we kind of go through this whole view of fitness is that fitness is not a look. A fit grandmother is someone who's able to be a great grandmother to her children.
She's able to do the things that they want to do. She's able to get out and be with them. She's able to provide for them. She's able to be the person she needs to be, that's her fitness. For someone like my friend Glen who wants to compete in CrossFit games, he is going to push himself a lot harder and that might not be entirely healthy, which is another whole other conversation we could be having. Being fit doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy. And that's why I call it wellness of having all three. So fitness is not necessarily a look, it's a way you feel, the way you're able to do the things you want to do. And to this point, I am there and will I always be there? I don't know. You know, like I said, I want to be the a hundred guy who is 105 who can wipe his own butt.
I want to be independent. I want to be able to take care of and help my family and my wife. I don't want to be dependent on others. And so my fitness regime is based around those things. So one of the big things when I go into fitness is do no harm. So as I'm lifting, I'm trying to make sure that I'm not hurting myself. I'm only making myself stronger or maintaining strength in certain areas. The other work that I do is about just trying to avoid injury and staying fit. So that's one thing. People who are fit are doing, they're not evaluating themselves relative to other people. They're not trying to compete against their 20 year old selves. They're doing what's necessary to be fit to task. The second thing is they have a focus. It's very easy for people to get into a kind of a routine, a habit, or they show up at the gym or they do their morning thing.
They do their run, they do their, maybe there's some lifting, but they just are kind of putting it all together. They walk into a gym or they walk into a workout either doing the same exact thing they do almost every time, or they come into the gym and they really don't have a plan at all. You'll see a lot of this now, it's a lot more common to go into a gym and see that half the people are sitting there looking at their phones. Now, if they're looking at their phones because they're trying to figure out what their next set is, or they've got a timer, then that's cool. But most of the time we know that's not what they're doing. They're texting their friend, they're doing this. Real fitness is going to come from application. It's going to come from being engaged in what you're doing.
Your muscles will improve better if you're focused on the movements that you're doing. So if you are a runner looking and feeling about your form and making sure that it's not breaking down versus just a mindless run, you're going to do better in fitness if you're focused on the form and the feel and the things that are going on in your body then if you're listening to a podcast or doing something else, listening to music. Sometimes that lack of focus is preventing you from reaching a level of fitness that you're interested in reaching. You know, when I go in the gym to work out, I actually like to go in there and when there's no one else there because otherwise my full introvertness comes out. And, you know, I don't talk to anybody during my workout. I don't like to talk to people during my sets.
I don't like to talk to people during my breaks. I don't like to talk at all during that time when I'm lifting. If I'm in there lifting, I'm lifting. So I actually go into my gym when no one else is there and do my own lifting. That allows me to have just complete focus on task. I don't have to do anything else. So that's the second key, focus. The third key is intensity. If you're not pushing yourself and being intense and purposeful and it's a little bit different than focus. Focus is staying engaged in what you're doing. The intensity means that while you're doing work, there's some effort to it. There's some, there's some push to it. You're finding that that line of discomfort, you're going outside of your comfort zone. So people who are really building good fitness are always right at the edge.
So there's an intensity to the work they're doing. Now they don't always stay at that edge and we'll talk a little bit about that. Then the next point. But they do have that edge, you know, they're the ones that are actually going to be very kind of happy about having a PR. Now when we talk about PR, that's a personal record. It doesn't have to be something huge and massive. But cutting 10 seconds off of your one mile walk can be great. That means you maybe, you extended your gate a little bit, you extended your speed, your pace, taking a different route and going up a, a route that has a Hill that makes that walk a little bit more difficult. There's an intensity to that purpose. So finding that opportunity to incorporate intensity into your work is going to make things a lot better when I'm working out with clients.
Now, you know, I'll get them in there and I'll add more weight and I'll be kind of pushing them while they're doing it. You know, a lot of folks they'll get in and it's hard. And they'll want to stop right at that line where it starts getting uncomfortable. And that's actually where some of the best stuff is happening. So having a little bit of intensity in the work you're doing is really, really important. The fourth point is balance. When you go into a work deal that you're going to do a workout, just, just recognizing that your, your body is an organism that can break. And it is an organism that needs to recover and rest and it's an organism that's capable of a lot of different things. But if you go in and do the same work, the same type of work all the time, you're not going to have balance in your fitness.
So if you're just going out and doing running, that's great. If you love cardiovascular training, perfect. If cardiovascular or stamina is something that's very, very important to you as a, what's your fitness should mean, perfect. But you still need to be working on those other things. You need be working on strength. You need to be working on balance. You need to be working on your mobility and flexibility. Those are very important as well. And if you're not putting balance into your fitness regime, you're getting very one sided. And that's, that's an opportunity for injury. And also means you're probably not going to be as fit as you could be because you really weren't focused on the other aspects of training. One really good way to make sure that you're getting balance is for you to kind of look at periodization. And what I mean by that is where you'll take time to say, okay, this is my running season and then I'm not going to run during my off season and give my body a time to recover.
All professional athletes do that. They have their season when they're on and they're working really, really hard. They play their season and then after their season's over, they have a recovery period. They have a time when they're doing something else. They're probably working on repairing injuries or probably working on, you know, mobility and flexibility. They're training other aspects of what they do. Not necessarily that directly in relationship to the athletic event that they're involved in. So making sure that you have balance in your training is also very important. Okay the next one, which I guess is number five is going to be patients. You've gotta be patient in this game for fitness. Our bodies will respond to stimulus. If you stimulate a muscle and you give it adequate nutrition and adequate rest, it will get stronger. But you've got to have the patients to know that that's not necessarily going to happen in a linear fashion and it won't always go up and it won't always be large increments.
You know, one of the, one of the difficulties in running a gym and working with people is that, you know, at first they're using smaller dumbbells and that's, you know, okay, cool. It makes sense. But the difference between say a five and an eight is significant in percentage wise. It doesn't seem like a lot that extra three pounds, but when you look at it from a, what you can do with five pounds versus what you can do with eight, it's a pretty big jump. And even when you get up to weights, like we're dealing with, uh, you know, 10 and 15 and 20, those are still huge, huge jumps in volume of work. And so it's really hard. A lot of times for new trainees or trainings that haven't been around to recognize that those jumps from 15 to 20 are huge and to have the patience to keep working through.
And sometimes you're not necessarily gonna get all the reps you want to get, but just kind of working through that process of saying, I'm going to get there. Maybe you're doing a body weight squat and you'd really like to start adding some resistance. Have the patients to really get the form down on the body weight squat, have the patients to get your strength up and to keep your form. And once you've built that strength, once you've built that mind body connection, that neuromuscular connection and your body's moving the way it's supposed to, all that's going to happen. But you have to have the patience to work through this process and then recognize again, strength gains, speed gains, distance gains, all the gains that you would see in the fitness game are not linear. You're not going to get better in a linear fashion.
There's going to be really great periods of time when things are going really good. There's going to be times when things level out. And that's just the normal state of the human body. We never function in a straight line. You don't lose weight and straight line, you don't get stronger in a straight line. None of that works that way. It's always going to be kind of up and down. You want to look at basic trends and you want to be smart about it. So have the patients. The next item is also very important as part of the three P's that I talk about in the book. The Wellness Roadmap. It's the persistence and consistency. So a lot of people will come in the gym, uh, in January, you know, new year's resolutions and they'll hop on that treadmill and they'll go for 45 minutes.
They're exhausted, they go to work, they come back the next day, they come back the next day, they come back the next day. Well, there are about three weeks in and they really haven't seen a move on the scale. You know, they give themselves an excuse to skip a day and they skip that day. And then by skipping that day, they didn't maybe skip the next day. And so they're, they're not persistent. They're not consistent, so they're not going to see improvement because they really haven't done anything long enough to give their body the stimulus to say, Oh, I'm a runner, or Oh, I need to be ready to do this energy output each day and manage that. All our people will go in and they'll lift weights and they'll get delayed onset muscle soreness. We call that Dom's for short. They'll get DOMS, it hurts. It hurts a lot. And that'll be enough for a lot of people to just quit.
They'll say, Oh, I don't like the pain, that hurt. Or worst case, you get a small injury, little tweak to a hamstring or you know, your shoulder starting to feel a little wonky. And rather than having the persistence and consistency to work around that injury, you know, you still can work your legs if you have a trouble with your shoulder, you can still probably work your back and maybe your arms, maybe your chest, but you don't, you know, you can work around a lot of these things if you're smart about it, but you still have to stick in there and do the work. Even if it's a situation where, okay, yeah, you kinda tweaked your shoulder or you're feeling a little bit sore in the elbow, maybe we avoid the weights for a period of time when we focused on a different modality.
Maybe it's time for you to do some high intensity interval training with a little more sprint work. We can do that on the exercise bike. We can do that on the elliptical. And we do that for a few weeks to kind of build some stamina while we're waiting for the elbow to recover. But that's persistence and that's consistency. That's still showing up for your fitness and you have to do that or you're not going to be fit over 40. Number seven is the third P in that I have in the wellness roadmap and that's progression. We want to make sure that what we're doing is adding value and there's going to be a point when your body gets to a given strength and you can go do a given weight. I see this in circuit training a lot. People will go up to the circuit training machines and they're always on the third peg for this machine, the fourth peg for that machine and the first peg for this one and the seventh peg for this machine.
And they go around and they set their pegs in the same hole every single time they do that machine. That's great that they're getting the exercise. I'm really happy to see them in the gym working, but the majority of the people that are doing this aren't getting any stronger in the initial peg hole that they put themselves in is not going to be the level of fitness that they really want. They're going through the motions. I don't mean any disrespect for this, but we used to call these Barbie workouts and that's where you'd see the young girls come in and they'd pick up the three pound weights and start doing curls. Number one, biceps of smallest muscle you could possibly want to work for any duration, and because they're not going to do much value for you. And number two, the amount of weight then resistance they were using wasn't going to do anything.
And their concern was that they were going to get big and bulky, not gonna happen, not gonna happen for a woman. And definitely probably not even going to happen for a man over the age of 40, unless you really put in some intense work and focus on muscle building. It's not easy for us to gain muscle over the age of 40. So don't be afraid that you're going to get bulky, uh, put some progression in there. Get stronger. This is only going to help you as you get older if you're working on runs, be smart about how you do your long runs in your short runs. So that you're building a slow progression to get yourself ready for the running season. I use the term gentle nudges and I mean that your progressions should be these normal little small increments. As I said earlier, we're talking about smaller dumbbells that can actually be very difficult to do.
So it's a function of recognizing I do some sets at 20, maybe I drop back to my fifteens for my second and third set. That's cool. You're still giving yourself those gentle nudges to allow your body to get stronger. If you're doing your runs, you're looking at adding some volume to a run, but never adding much more than 10%. Uh, that's kind of a rule of thumb. Your long runs should never be more than 10% more than any other time that you were doing. And we kind of use that in bodybuilding, weightlifting resistance training as well. But in a general sense, you want these gentle nudges that are going to allow your body to have the stimulus that it needs to get stronger. A gentle nudge of progression tells your body, Hey, there's more requirement here. We're going to have to work harder next time and your body responds positively to that by getting stronger.
The eighth one is recovery, and this is one that's really hard for a lot of people. More is not better. You know, I have a workout program that I do with some group trainings and we do a full body workout twice a week, and invariably every time I talk to somebody about twice a week, they're like, Oh, well I should do this program on the days I'm not training with you. No, you should not do this program. This is a strength program that requires the stimulus, the nutrition, and then of course, the recovery. The recovery is as important, if not more important than the work. If you could imagine that you did a whole bunch of work, say you were setting a foundation for a home and you spent all this time laying the concrete and you didn't let the concrete set before you started building on top of it, obviously your foundation is not going to be there because you didn't allow it to set.
And so when you're working, you're building muscle, you're cutting muscle down. You need to give it time to recover and to rebuild. So recovery time is very, very important overall across your workouts, making sure that you do the work and you have the recovery time. Two other functions of recovery are as you're doing work, recognizing that there's times when breaks are important. We see this in high intensity interval training where there is a break period that's allowing your body to basically recover a little bit. We see this in resistance training where we'll do a set and then we'll have a little rest period. It could be for a minute, two minutes. It's really just time to let your energy systems reset and be ready to give you maximum output for the next set. So those little bits of recovery.
And then the final one I want to talk about is sleep. Sleep is hugely important to balancing your hormones, making sure you're giving your body what it wants. Most of the good stuff that happens in our body happens when we're asleep. Our brain refreshes, our body refreshes. All these things are really, really good for us. So recovery and sleep, hugely important if you want to remain fit. If you push yourself and you don't allow yourself to recover, you're going to start dealing with cortisol problems. You're gonna start dealing with other things and you're not going to reach your fitness goals. You're just not. Recovery is as important as the work. And then you see, we just had, uh, seven points that were all built around work. And I'm giving you the one recovery, but want to be very clear. Recovery is hugely, hugely important. It's as important as those others. You have to make sure you're doing the work, but you have to make sure that you're getting the recovery your body needs. So listen to your body. Uh, never should it tell you to quit, quit, and never come back. But if it's telling you you need an extra day, if its telling you you need a little bit extra sleep, the sleep, the recovery are important. So listen to your body when that's what you're hearing.
So the final point is to wellness. As I mentioned before, a lot of people will really push fitness goals and they'll push themselves to a point where they're being unhealthy. They'll push themselves to a point where they're being unhappy. If you find yourself in the gym comparing yourself to other people, you're never going to be happy with that result. You just aren't, we, we are all built on our bell curve. There's going to be a percentage of us that are outliers. You know, I see it on Facebook all the time. You know, these guys going out there and bench pressing 450 pounds, they're older than me and you know, if I sat there and said, “Oh, I have to be bench pressing 450 pounds.” I would never make it. I'll never bench press 450 pounds. I know physically it's probably outside the means of what I ever was capable of doing. But even if I took the time to do the training, I'm pretty sure soon as I found someone who is doing 450 like me and I got past 450, there'd be someone else doing 500. And so the comparisons to other people are really going to break down your happiness. And so I want you to start comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday or last year. Those are better comparisons. Maintaining your strength as we get older is a win.
We're dealing with sarcopenia, we're dealing with osteopenia. Uh, we are losing strength every single year unless we're doing something to prevent that. So if you are maintaining or getting stronger in your lifts, that's a huge, huge plus. If you're getting better times on your runs or at least maintaining your runs, that's a win. There's a natural aging curve. And if we're doing things to break down that, that aging curve, that's a fitness win and we should be very happy about that. So don't compare yourself with others. Compare yourself with who you are, who you know you should be. And then as far as the health aspects of it, you should never let your push to fitness break down your push to health. They're both equally important. They're all happiness, health and fitness, all three legs of a stool. And we have to have all of them in equal proportion or just not going to be whole.
We're not going to be well. So don't let fitness overrule those other two. You need to make sure there's balance in your life as well as balance in your work. So as you'd go through the process here, I'm going to recap just a little bit, but you know the keys to being fit after 40, they're not hard. It's just a function of saying you've got to do the work, you've got to get the recovery and you got to make sure it fits within the paradigm of who you are as a person.
So going through them really quickly. Fitness is not a look. Fitness is about being fit to tasks and case in point being 105 and being able to wipe my own butt. That's a good look for me cause I don't want to be the guy who needs help going to the restroom, but I'm not going to look like maybe someone else that you would say was fit. I'm going to be fit for task.
Second is focus. When you do work, focus on the muscles you're working. Focus on the form of what you're doing that's going to help you prevent injuries. That's going to help you get better results. The mind muscle is a huge, huge proponent of making sure that you're building fitness as fast as possible.
Intensity. You need to work hard, you need to make sure you're pushing yourself in a way that when you're doing the work, you're really engaged in that work and you're getting the most out of that work. So focusing on what you're there to do, making sure that you're engaged in it. And then the third one is intensity. You know, this, this is fitness is a push. It's taking you outside of your comfort zone. So there should be some intensity to what you're doing. It's great to do some casual walking here and there. That's great for overall health. It's great for potentially weight loss and other goals that you might have. But slow walking without really putting some intensity to it is not going to improve your fitness. It's going to just basically allow you to age on a standard aging curve.
The third is balance. You know, don't just train one dimensional. Don't just say I'm a strength person, which I could very easily say, I've got to do some balance work. I've got to do some stamina work and I've got to kind of keep those in balance to meet the goals of what I think I should be as, as a fit person. Okay.
The next is patience. Fitness does not just happen and it's not something that you're going to always have. There'll be an injury if you injure yourself, you need to be patient about the recovery. You need to be patient about the time it takes. You need to be doing the, the physical therapy that's necessary and not going out there and immediately trying to get back into the workouts you were doing. Have the patience to listen to your body and do what's right for you.
The next is persistence and consistency. We have to keep showing up. We have to keep working. We can't rest on past. You know, this is not a situation where we, we built up a nest egg that we can now live off for the rest of our lives. Fitness doesn't just stay with us. We have to keep paying in so we have to keep showing up and we have to keep doing the work. Uh, progression. Uh, if we're not progressing, if we're not pushing ourselves toward progression, we're very likely more to regress. That's the aging curve. So making sure you're working towards progression is very important.
The eighth, again, is recovery. And I can't stress this enough if you're working hard, if you're doing the focus, if you're doing the intensity, you're doing all these things you need. Also let your body recover when it's time to recover. So being smart about recovery is really, really important. And then the final is don't let fitness over. Well overdue wellness. Wellness is health, happiness, and fitness. So you want to have all three in your life, so take time for all of them and don't let fitness push you out of those other two.
before you get outta here, I wanted to take just a moment to invite you to our Facebook Group. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group we have weekly challenges. I share all kinds of information there. It's sort of like a way to keep conversation that we have on this podcast going, so if you'll go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group you can join the 40+ Fitness Podcast Group and be a part of a like-minded community. We help each other get where we want to be. We celebrate our wins. We have a good time. I hope you'll come join us. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group.
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Before we get into today's episode, I would like to ask you if you would take just a moment to vote for The Wellness Roadmap in the Author Academy Awards. We've made it as a top 10 finalist in the health category. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist, and that'll take you to their website. You'll find a little arrow down the page a little bit. You can scroll to page 7 of 16 that's the health category. Just click on the book title, you don't have to give them any information about yourself. Just click on the book title and that will secure your vote for The Wellness Roadmap. Again, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist. Thank you. This award means a lot to me and your vote means the world to me. Thank you.
So today's episode is the third part of a mindset series. On episode 397, we talked about prioritization and time management by utilizing a tool that I created called the identity grid. You probably do better to go back and listen to the last two episodes, but you don't have to. I'm gonna try to make each episode stand-alone, but if you want to get the whole picture, I will probably be flashing back to that grid.
Also on episode 398, I kinda got into the getting the wellness, the things that you'll need to do to make that happen that include pushing outside your comfort zone, uh, applying your energies the right way and not overstressing yourself. Um, and then just looking at it more like a program rather than a project. So I'd encourage you to go back and listen to 397 and 398 if you haven't already, but I will try to make this episode stand-alone.
Today we're going to talk about commitment. Are you committed?
I talked to my clients, fairly regularly about this topic. I've talked on the podcast about it a few times, uh, but I can't under stress or overstress that the importance of commitment. If you really want to accomplish major wellness changes in your life, it's really just not going to happen if you're not committed to change. Because change is probably the hardest thing for a human being to do. Our bodies are naturally designed to find balance, are naturally designed to get to a comfortable place under what stress and daily living requirements we have today. So if you can get away with being 200 pounds overweight, your body's gonna let you be 200 pounds overweight, uh, because you can, and you can get away with it. And we can work around all these different things that used to set us back, but we figure it out.
You know, um, if you're unable to get up from a toilet because you're older and your legs aren't strong enough, put rails in the bathroom now that's going to help you for a period of time and then eventually you'll probably lose that arm strength. I don't want that to be my future. So I've made a commitment to ensure that I keep myself healthy and strong. So that isn't my future. That isn't who I am. That isn't how I identify. So I've set up an identity for myself that includes doing regular fitness training. And so as you look at that though, showing up is hard. Our bodies naturally want to be in that balance. So what do we do to break that balance? To break what our body calls, what they call in our body homeostasis. While it takes stimulus, stimulus takes work. So if we want to improve our overall health, we improve the foods that we're eating.
If we want to improve our overall fitness, we have to push ourselves across the different modalities that we use to define fitness. If you've read the book of The Wellness Roadmap, uh, that's up for an Author Academy Award. I talk about that in the book. Fitness is basically fit for task. It means that you're capable of doing the things that you want to do in your life. So for me, at 105, I want to be able to wipe my own butt. I want to be able to get up off the toilet. So I'm going to need to be fit enough to make that happen. For some of us right now, fitness can be, I want to basically be able to go on hikes and spend time with my family and not be overly fatigued or down and out the next day. Um, I want to be able to lift things that need lifting around the house.
I want to be able to open jars for myself and my wife. I want to be able to do those basic things that as we get older, sarcopenia and Osteopenia kinda take away from us if we're not doing something about it. So how do we make this commitment and how do we make it a commitment that we're going to stick to? Because face it, all of us do resolutions. All of us do our diets, all of us have done fitness regimes before and failed. And the reason most of us fail is this lack of commitment, a resolution, a goal, a diet there. They're all words. We used to fail that because so many people do. There's no, there's no jeopardy to it. There is no disgrace to it. It just, yeah, I tried a new diet and I fell off the wagon. I'll get back on it on Monday.
Well, today's Tuesday a well, okay, well, yeah, Monday. Um, there's all these different reasons we don't do it. But a commitment is very, very different. When you make a commitment, you're starting from a point of self-love. You're starting from a point that's very, very deep and emotional. And if you've ever made that type of commitment before, you'll really begin to resonate and understand what I'm talking about when you say you're going to do something for someone you love, you do it. Um, if you say you're going to pick up your spouse at the airport at five o'clock, you're at the airport at five o'clock. So if you make the same kind of commitment to yourself with the same basis of self-love, that you're going to be at the gym at five o'clock, then you'll be at the gym at five o'clock and not at the drive-through at McDonald's.
So that's where this comes from. The commitment comes from this really, really deep, deep emotional well, it's gotta be something that really touches you. It has to be a part of, as I've said over the course of this last few weeks, it has to be a part of how you identify. If you don't identify yourself as someone who's getting fit, it's not going to happen. When you get married, you make the commitment. You go from being engaged to married. You go from saying fiance to spouse. Now, you might verbally trip that up a few times, but in your head you know that commitment's there, you feel that commitment, you've made that commitment and you made it in a rather public way. So I encourage you, if you're really looking to to make a commitment, start with something deep and emotional and then make it public.
Now I provide online personal training and you can come to me, go to the website, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com and you can find links there to look up our group training and you can make that commitment to us. We're on a Facebook group, we're on our regular weekly calls. You can email me, we can have regular conversations about this commitment you have and keeping you on track. So make it deep, make it public and then beyond all kind of know what this is going to look like. You know a lot of people get married young and they don't know that type of people they're going to be when they get older, they really haven't set that vision. That's why a lot of people will say, wait a little while before you get married, so you really know what you're getting into. So you really know the vision of the direction that your life is going to go and where you want it to go.
I got married when I was 21 now. Was that a mistake? I guess so because I'm not married to her anymore, but at the same time it was just a part of my life lessons and I learned from it. So I'm not going to call it a mistake, but I do know that if I had known my path a little bit better at that point in time and had a better vision and we shared that vision and it was the same deep and emotional thing, that commitment would have stood time. It just would have. But we didn't do that. So make a commitment. And again, I can't stress this enough, deep and emotional, make it public and know what it means. Have that vision. So you have the why and you have the vision and you put those together and you make it public. That's your commitment and it needs to be based on self-love.
It doesn't need to be based on fear. Fear will only get you so far before you forget the fear and you revert back to old activities, but love sticks with you. Fear is something you feel in a movie theater and then you walk out of the theater and you're not afraid anymore. Love is something that you just keep on feeling. It's deep. It's emotional, it's chemical. It's a part of who you identify as. So take the time to build a solid commitment so we can make this fitness and health thing happen for you. Like I said, if you need a coach, reach out to me. I'd be glad to get on a 15-minute call with you just to kind of fare at some of this stuff out so you can get a little, get to know me a little bit better so I can get to know you a little bit better.
Online personal training isn't for everybody, but if you want to just get on the phone, have a consult, absolutely free. Come check it out. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com and you're going to find a link right there on the sidebar. If it's, if you're on the phone, you may have to scroll down a little bit before you see it, but just get in there, get to know me and figure it out. We can help you set this commitment. We can get to your why, we can get to your vision. We can put that together into a very solid commitment that could change your life, so do check it out.
before you get too far away, please do take a moment to go over to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist scroll to page 7 of 16 find The Wellness Roadmap. It's actually the first book on the list for health category at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist and then you just click on the cover and it'll take just a couple minutes for you to get over there and find the page and and vote for the book. I really do appreciate it. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist and vote for The Wellness Roadmap today.
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Hello and thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast. I’m really excited to have you here today and I’m really excited to share today’s show with you. It’s going to be a solo episode. I got a lot of great feedback from the last one, so I did promise you and I am going to continue to give you some of these solo shows. And the topic we’re talking about today called “Modes of Transportation” is really, really important. It’s something that you really need to make sure you understand before you get into your wellness journey, until you get into your path. It’s a part of what I call the “Wellness GPS”.
What I find is so many people struggle to know what to do when, where to go, how to get there, and when they run into a problem, they really don’t have the tools to break away and get through what’s going on. So they’re in a plateau, they don’t know how to get around that. They get into a roadblock or they hit a stumble or a pot hole. They don’t know how to get around that. If you’ve set your GPS right, it will help you do those things, and if you’ve set your Wellness GPS well, you’ll know how to react and do the right things for your wellness.
I want to help you do that, so to do that, I’m going to launch a challenge. It’s going to be called the Wellness GPS Challenge. This is going to be a short-term challenge – I’m thinking probably something in the realm of about seven days. We’re going to walk through each and every step of the Wellness GPS path, get you completely set up to almost guarantee success.
My clients that have used this strategy, used this approach – they get results, and I want you to get results too.
Now, because I’m going to be working directly with you, I can’t bring on a whole lot of people to do this. It’s going to be a very small group, like 20 people. I’m only going to allow 20 people in, and if you want to be a part of it, you need to be on the waiting list, because I’m going to contact the waiting list first, allow 24 hours for them to join, and then I’ll start looking to announce it on the podcast and otherwise. But the first 20 slots are going to go to people that are on the waiting list if they want it. So you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/GPS. And when you sign up on that mailing list, you’ll be getting some emails from me to let you know what the timing is and what we’re going to be doing, and then we’re going to go ahead and launch it. If I get to 20 just from this mailing list, then I’m done. So if you don’t want to miss out on this offer of being a part of the Wellness GPS challenge, I encourage you to go join that mailing list today. Again, that’s at 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/GPS.
Let’s get into our topic – modes of transportation. So I want to set the scene for you. I was probably about five years into my wellness journey, as it would be, and basically it was a yo-yo experience, to say the least. At this particular time though I was in generally good shape. I felt really good, I’d been working out, things were going pretty well, but my work schedule was just getting insane. I was traveling about 90%, and this was one of those rare weekends that I was at home and I just decided I didn’t want to do anything. I was jet lagged, I was tired, so I’m sitting on the couch just pretty much working my thumb. It’s a Sunday morning and I’m flipping between Face the Nation and various infomercials. So as I’m flipping the channels and watching stuff, all of a sudden this commercial comes on for a program called Insanity. You might’ve heard of it – it’s from the same people who did P90X and all the Beachbody people. And this was Shaun T, and this dude looked great. The folks behind him were moving, they were exercising. It all looked really good. And what was really cool about it was that they didn’t need any equipment to do the work they were doing. I was like, “Wow, I travel a lot, it’s really hard for me to find a gym at points in time with all the travel I’m doing. This might actually be the answer.” So of course I get my credit card out, I dial the 1-800 number and I order the stuff.
I come back from my next business trip, and there it is in my mailbox. I was really, really excited about it, so I just decided to rip the covers off, see what’s in it. I knew that I couldn’t carry all these DVDs with me. There were about 12 of them or so. I couldn’t carry all of them with me, so I was saying, “What do I need to do? First thing I’ll do, I’ll rip all these to my computer. I’m getting on another trip soon, and instead of having the DVDs with me, it’d be easier if it’s on my computer. I’ll be more likely to do it on the road.” So I did that first, knowing myself, knowing I needed to have it handy if I was going to use it. Then as soon as I got done with that, I put the first DVD in and it was a fitness test. So I do this fitness test and I really push myself because I want to know how well this does, so I’m going to really push myself to do this fitness test. And it was hard. Not just hard; it was really, really hard. The next day I was basically incapacitated. I felt like I’d been strapped to my bed and beat with a baseball bat. I woke up and I felt so bad, and I really didn’t want to get up. I knew I had to get ready for work and I was laying there and I finally decided, “I’m so much pain, I won’t be able to concentrate. This won’t be a good day for me.” So I called in sick. It’s kind of embarrassing now to look back at it. It’s a little funny, but at the time I was really embarrassed that I pushed myself so hard in a workout that I literally can’t go.
I only tell you that story because I think a lot of us actually approach our health and fitness thinking, “I’ve got to get this done now.” The body weight, the things that we’re trying to get rid of, the things we’re trying to do. We didn’t get into the shape we were in just a couple of weeks, in a couple of days, in a couple months. But I think a lot of us have this general mindset that we want it now. And one of the things that’s going to be a limiting factor, and I’ve talked about this a lot on the show, is just physically what we’re capable of doing. I think in a sense we all know that if we push ourselves too hard, we’re going to break.
But there’s another point to pace that I really want you to take to heart. And it’s the one that’s really the hardest for us to deal with, because we’re gung-ho and we all want to get there – and that is, what vehicle are we going to have to choose to go? The vehicle we choose is going to determine the pace with which we get there. So, in a normal example, if I wanted to drive from here in my home in Pensacola Beach to Hattiesburg, it’s about a 3-hour drive. I’ve done that drive so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. It’s a relatively straight flat road. If I got into a sports car, I could probably get there in two and a half hours easy. I’ll break a couple of speed limits here and there. I know where to not break the speed limits by now, but I’d go really quick. It’s a really easy road, I know the way. Boom, I’m there. It’s just me and the car, and I’m in Hattiesburg. So if I want to be in Hattiesburg for a football game, I’m there. No problem.
So, if you’re single, got nothing else going on in your life, no other troubles, no other problems, no other passengers or baggage – sure, hop in the sports car and get there. As much as your body will allow you to do so, that should be your pace. That can be your pace. But unfortunately many of us do have baggage and passengers. So if I wanted to go to a football game, but I also wanted to set up the tailgate for everybody – I can’t take the sports car now because I can’t carry the tent, the chairs, the grill, the food, the cooler – all the different things that I would want for the tailgate. Now I have to bring my pickup truck. The pickup truck doesn’t handle as quickly as the sports car. It can’t go quite as fast and it’s not going to get there in the same amount of time. So now with the truck, it might take me three hours to get there, which is actually substantially more than two and a half when you sit down and do the math. But because I need to carry the baggage of the stuff in my life, it’s going to take me longer. So, if I have a job that has me working 18-hour days, I won’t be able to work out as often as I may have wanted to work out. If I have some other issues going on with people that are going to want to have food and I want a social life and I want to go tailgate, then I have baggage that’s going to keep me from moving as fast as I might have moved if I didn’t have that baggage. So I have to take the pickup truck – it’s going to take me longer to get there. If I can’t do the things I need to do all the time, without regard to any other timing, any other thing, I might have some difficulty getting there as quickly. And I have to accept that. That acceptance is a very, very important thing.
Before we really get into the acceptance though, I want to talk about the final one, and that is, what if I have passengers? So what if I have six people that want to travel with me to the game? I can’t take the truck because I can’t sit six people in my truck. Now I’m going to have to buy a bus or rent a bus, and the bus is going to be a little harder for me to handle. I might not be as familiar with the transmission, I’m going to have to slow down. And then invariably one of the six or seven of us that are going might have to go to the bathroom while we’re on there. So we’re probably going to be taking a few more pitstops, particularly if those passengers happen to be your children. So, recognizing that you have people in your life that are going to slow you down, you have stuff in your life, events, work, the gym closes, all these different things that can happen that are going to potentially slow you down – you have to set your mind to understand that there is going to be a pace of movement that is going to be most appropriate for you and the lifestyle you want and need and have.
I define wellness as being the happiest, healthiest, most fit person you can be, and I put happiness in there for a reason. Not having baggage can be great, not having passengers can be great. But I’m thinking to be the happiest person you want to be, you’re going to have the baggage, you’re going to have the passengers, you’re going to have those special events. You’re going to have the people – your children, your spouse. You’re going to have those people in your life, so you have to make sure that your fitness journey, the way you set all of this up basically is strategized to deal with that. You may have passengers, or baggage, or you may have both. So you have to choose the appropriate mode of transportation which is going to then reflect into the pace with which you see movement, with which you see the journey happen. Once you satisfy yourself with understanding that that’s how all of this works, it becomes a lot easier for you to accept that you don’t have to feel the acceleration of a sports car to know that you’re moving forward, as long as you stay the path and you keep moving forward. So, getting your mindset on the front end of what is possible and how you’re going to get there, with which vehicle and what that pace is going to be like, is going to go a long way towards helping you reach your goals.
I want to close with one other thing, and I know this is going to be a really short episode. This is a really, really important topic that you need to think about and wrap your mind around, because if you really do want to meet your goals, if you have certain fitness goals that you want to meet – it’s not if you’re going to meet those goals. You must meet those goals. Your health and fitness, your wellness should be the most important thing to you right now, and if it is, then you’re going to want to pick the right vehicle, and then just understand that it’s not if, it’s when you reach certain goals. If right now I wanted to train for a 10K, I have my wife, I have a couple of trips that are coming up. I have to consider the baggage and the passengers to decide, can I do a 10K? Am I capable of doing a 10K in six weeks, or maybe I need to sign up for the next one? I still have it. It’s still there, I still set it up. It’s just a different 10K at a slightly offset time, and I’m doing that because I’m being responsible to understanding what my baggage and my passengers are. And if you’ll do that, that’s going to lend into the whole happiness thing because you’re getting what you want out of your life and you’re meeting your goals. So it’s not if, it’s when. And now you’re on the path and you know you’re going at the pace that’s appropriate for you.
Closing, I do want to leave with one other thing. There are the passengers, there is the baggage, but you are the driver on your wellness journey, period. You have to make some hard decisions, and that might mean at points in time, asking your spouse to eat a little differently or to help you deal a little differently. It might mean telling your children they really can’t have Oreos in the cupboard all the time because you’re trying to accomplish a certain thing. It might mean that you skip a time out with your friends to go do a run because your actual race is coming up really quick. Those are the tradeoffs you’re going to make, but to get the full balance of what we’re trying to get out of wellness, which is happiness, health and fitness, you’re going to have to really tie into understanding the pace that’s the most appropriate to you. That’s not just what your body is capable of doing; it’s what your life is capable of supporting.
So, take some time to think about the pace with which you should be working towards your wellness goals, and then make that your reality. Make those goals happen when they’re supposed to happen for you. You’ll be so much happier, healthier and more fit, and therefore, well.
Here are a few of my biggest pet peeves related to health and fitness: