If you’re over 40 and struggling to get back the body you once had, keep reading. You’ll discover what’s holding you back, how to overcome the problems, and feel 10 years younger
The 40 and over crowd has a few things in common. One of these is time. As we have gotten older and family and work responsibilities have increased. Time for ourselves is in short supply.
We’ve also experienced muscle loss and fat gain as we’ve aged. It sucks. I hear you.
In fact, every year over the age of 30 you lose 1 pound of muscle. By the time you’ve hit 40, you’ve lost at least 10 lbs of muscle and have likely replaced that with unsightly fat.
So what do you do about it?
First, get your priorities straight. Your goal at this point is not to lose fat but to layer more muscle on your body.
By layering more muscle, you’ll have more muscle cells. Fat burns in your muscle cells. So layering muscle is like building a fat-burning furnace inside of your muscles.
Not that I’m not talking about building an excessive amount of muscle or turning you into a bodybuilder. You just want to look good. It can be done. It has been done. And you can do it, too..
Building athletic muscle is like your fountain of youth. It will allow you to move better, play sports again, throw the ball with your kids, or even run that Tough Mudder or whatever else comes your way.
It all gets back to muscle. One of the big mistakes guys over 40 make when they decide they want to get into shape again is doing long cardio workouts. Worse yet, they do these cardio workouts before they strength train.
Let me explain.
Long 45 minute or one hour treadmill workouts suck for helping you lose fat. In fact, they slow your metabolism down and eventually the weight comes back. This 1980’s approach is not what you want to do when you’re over 40 and trying to turn back the clock.
Instead, focus on short, intense cardio to aid in fat loss. Recent studies have shown that high intensity interval cardio is more effective for helping you lose fat. They also help with your cardiovascular health.
Be sure to do your strength training first followed by your HIIT cardio if you want to keep or add muscle, keep your metabolism high and get maximum results from your program.
Did you ever go to the gym during the first week of January? Every piece of cardio equipment is taken. People flock to the gym at that time and go directly to the cardio machines in hopes of getting rid of the fat. Then they might do a few sets of strength training or none at all… then leave. YIKES!
When you do cardio first and follow it with strength training your body wants to fuel the cardio workout by using the stored glycogen (muscle energy) from your muscle cells.
When that is complete and you then do your strength training, your body has no glycogen to fuel your strength training and will pull from your own muscle for energy. The result is a slowed metabolism and poor results.
Now, take the exact same strength workout and cardio workout and do the strength training part first. Now your body wants to use the glycogen in your muscles to properly fuel your strength training workout. When you follow that with cardio, your body will now use it’s preferred energy source (fat) to fuel the cardio workout. The result is more fat loss without losing muscle.
So many people miss that part. By simply keeping the strength training then cardio sequence you will jump-start your progress from your workouts.
Here are 2 sample weekly workouts:
1A) Dumbbell Squats - 3 x 8
1B) Incline Pushups - 3 x max reps
2A) Dumbbell Row - 3 x 8
2B) Stability Ball Leg Curl - 3 x 15
3A) Split Squat with Front Foot Elevated - 3 x 8
3B) Inverted Rows - 3 x max reps
Conditioning: Stationary Bike - warm up 5 minutes, 30 seconds fast followed by 30 seconds slow 10 times, 5 minute cool down
1A) Dumbbell Split Squats - 3 x 10
1B) Wide Grip Pull-ups - 3 x max reps
2A) Dumbbell Chest Press - 3 x 8 reps
2B) Rotational High Row - 3 x 12
3A) Dumbbell 1-Arm Shoulder Press - 3 x 10 each side
3B) Dumbbell 1-Leg Deadlift - 3 x 10-12 each side
Conditioning: Rower - warm up 5 minutes, 30 seconds fast followed by 30 seconds slow 10 times, 5 minute cool down
* Exercises that have the same number before them (ie. 1A and 1B) are meant to be performed back-to-back with no rest in between. Rest 1 minute after both exercises before repeating for suggested number of sets.
At Preston Strength we specialize in helping adults over 40 lose weight, build muscle and feel 10 years younger. We're conveniently located in the Great Bridge area of Chesapeake, across from Big Ugly Brewery :). You'll get a completely customized program to help you reach your goals in a private, supportive environment. Click the Contact button at the top of this page and fill out the form. I'll be in touch within 24 hours.