FITNESS OVER 40
Personal training for real life.
If you're over 40 then 99percent of the fitness information on the internet is not for you! And many who try to follow it ed up doing more damage than good. So where do you turn to for advice? Right here!
Congratulations you're a 1percenter And this site is for you!
This site is for real people, 40 and over who want to keep their strength and energy high in order to live life to its fullest. The first thing you'll notice about me is I'm not the cleanest cut person in the fitness industry! At fitness over 40 we don't wear bright new dry wick tshirts and I'm not interested in having myself or my trainers doing photo ops with scantily clad female fitness models. I'm a real person. I'm over 40, and I'm Training for real life, just like you.
As we start to develop this site and you look around, you'll notice it's full of other real people over 40, living real lives too. We are cutting wood and camping with our families. We are playing hockey and riding motorcycles with our friends. We are NOT packing a Tupperware container full of the latest designer supplements on our trip to the tanning salon.
On many fitness websites you will find people who pump up their own egos using words like dedication and sacrifice. Saying you must be willing to sacrifice everything for your fitness goals. Making innuendos that suggest if you don't, you are pathetic and weak.
First, at fitness over 40, we say that Dedication and sacrifice are words used to describe the fine men and women who protect us in the military. it is not how to describe someone spending their time on this earth weighing their food and taking two naps a day! Second, they can keep their sacrifice. Getting in great shape shouldn't be complicated. Your workouts, and your meals should be simple, quick, and don't forget fun. Hey, we're over 40! Do we really want to spend the time we have left doing 3-4 hours a day in the gym? No! All you need is 1hr in the gym, 3 days a week, and some good play time outdoors can do the rest. At fitness over 40 we know what works! Check us out, and Visit often for regularly updated tips and tricks.
Most of us don't want to admit it, but once we hit 40, our shoulders have gone through some bumps and bangs and don't feel like they did when we were 20.
But if you're like me and you still want to lift heavy, throw a ball or a punch, and be able to still lift a fork to your face without pain afterwards. Here's a simple workout that I do to keep building on my bench press strength even though my shoulders are well past their prime.
Please keep in mind that if you are currently injured or experiencing the kind of shoulder pain that keeps you awake at night, then you should see your doctor and a qualified physiotherapist to get you pain free first.
What often happens once a physiotherapist gives a person the all clear, is they go back and do the same exercises in the same way that got their shoulders in such terrible shape in the first place. Lets avoid that this time with a well thought out plan.
Also, to keep it fairly short I have not included a shoulder warm up in this article. Please make sure your body is warm and you have moved those shoulders around sufficiently to get the fluid flowing in those old joints before beginning to lift!
Exercise 1: Slight Incline Bench Press Pin press clusters - 6 sets 3 clusters of 4 reps 10 seconds apart with 2 minute rests- explaination below
Without creating a long winded article full of technical jargon, or as I call it "Trainer geek Speak," let me simply say that setting the bench to a slight incline allows the shoulder joint to glide in the socket better than the traditional flat bench press or in a relatively high press.
Next, Pin presses are a form of bench press done inside the squat rack, so that you can set the spotter pins of the rack to be just above your chest height so that the bar doesn't quite come down all the way.
The other advantage of the pins is that you can set them at a higher, if coming down to a certain point causes pain.
There are a few basic reasons for pain in the lower range but the most common is a mobility issue that causes anterior glide of the humerus in the shoulder joint if you go too low.
Sometimes just being aware of that wrong position, using a lighter weight, and using more control and awareness will help you to correct this bad form. If you can't maintain the healthy position, simply raise the pins to the appropriate height, and again, consider seeing a physio to help you bring some mobility back. But this quick fix will help you continue to work on your strength while that is going on.
What the heck are clusters and what does he mean by 6 sets of 3 clusters of 4 reps 10 seconds apart and two minute rests?.... and a partridge in a pear tree! Well here's what I mean.
The clusters I described are really more like 3 sets with 10 second rests. But you have to do those 3 sets for a total of six times.
Here's how: Bring the bar down and rest it on the pins. From there you will begin rep one. Set the shoulders back and puff up the chest, tighten your abs and push into the legs as you push up for rep one. Return the bar down to the pins.
Pause for one second to re-tighten the body and refocus, and perform rep 2.
Once you have completed all 4 reps you let the bar rest on the pins for 10 whole seconds. Then repeat the process for 4 more reps. 10 second rest. And repeat the process for 4 last reps and return the bar to the rack. That would complete one set.
You will rest 2 minutes before doing set 2. Complete a total of 6 sets before moving on. As for the partridge in a pear tree, cook it and eat if after your workout.
The whole point of this exercise is to allow you to work with weights that challenge your body, but are still lighter and therefor easier on the joints than doing a typical 4 rep max bench press.
The pause at the bottom of each rep takes away the bodys natural stretch reflex and makes each rep harder, yet more cotrolled than it would be without it. Using the pins and with the pause at the bottom allows you to have better focus and control literally one rep at a time.
The bar should move up and down with each rep being in the same spot as the last, so the bar looks like its running in an imaginary track, and both sides of your body look, and feel the same as each other, and the same as the last rep.
Not like a bucking bronco at a rodeo landing in a different position each time! That wreaks havoc on the body.
With the pins and the pauses you can bring much more awareness to each rep in order to accomplish this goal and save those old shoulders. And please do not reach for the moon at the top of the movement.
DO NOT lift your shoulders off the back of the bench at the top. Keep them down at all times.
If your arms are still bent at the top of the movement in order to keep your shoulders down, so what? Believe me, its better to keep tension on the muscles the whole time instead of over extending and transfering that tension onto the joints.
Afterall, what are we working on here, our muscles, or our joints? I hope you know the right answer.
Exercise #2 - slight incline dumbbell, neutral grip bench press - 5 sets of 6-10reps
Set the bench on the same angle as you had it for your barbell clusters. A neutral grip means your palms face each other at all times during the movement.
Don't do any fancy twists or whatever, keep them facing each other. With the slight incline and the neutral grip you have created the safest position for your shoulders, so no twisting the weight and messing with that safe position.
For the first few bench press workouts. Start by doing a weight you can safely handle for 10 repetitions.
Once you have done a few workouts and are feeling confident that your form is good, then you can work towards a heavier weight for 6 reps in order to challenge your strength a little more.
Again, DO NOT lift the back of those shoulders off the bench at the top and DO NOT go so low that your shoulders glide up to create the position.
Exercies #3 - Slight Incline Dumbbell Chest Flys 3 sets of 10-12 reps
The bench stays at the same height yet again. You will find all kinds of internet gurus telling you to vary the angle of the bench for each exercise.
It's not that they're wrong, its just that they are writing programs for 20 somethings with healthy shoulders, not those of us who have been there done that, and got the acupuncture to prove it.
For the chest fly keep the dumbbells in a relatively nuetral grip as well. A tiny turn of the palms away from each other on the way down and a tiny turn inwards on the way up can be helpful to stretch and contract the chest but don't over rotate, and if it causes pain don't do it.
Simple advice I wish I would have listened to when I was younger.
Focus on the squeeze / contraction at the top of the movement and try to find that squeeze earlier and earlier in each rep as the dumbbells make their way to the top. keep the chest puffed up and the shoulder blades pulled back.
Don't bash the weights together at the top. It doesn't look or sound cool, it simply serves to throw you off and lift those darn shoulders off the bench! Which of course you won't be doing anymore because you're smarter than that now.
Exercise #4 - Standing cable side lateral raises 3 sets of 10-12 reps
You can use dumbbells for this if you wish, but I find that because the cable allows for the same resistance throughout the whole movement, I can focus more on truly targetting the lateral deltoid. ( the muscle on the very side of your shoulder that can help you have a wide look from the front or back )
This is often the only direct shoulder exercise I give to my older clients as it is the one I feel has the most reward for the least risk.
Cranky old shoulders can get easily irritated with direct work and it is possible to keep them strong through your chest and back workouts and some smaller maintenance work for mobility and stability. (which I will cover in another article )
I put this in with chest workouts because the shoulders receive so much indirect work while working the chest, that its easy to use this as a finisher for them and then let them rest the rest of the week while you do your other workouts.
How to do it; Stand close to the cable machine with the handle in your opposite hand. Keeping the wrist and fist tight and elbow slightly bent, raise the arm away from the machine to aproximately shoulder height and return down under control the whole time.
Use a mirror if possible and stare at the muscle on the side of your shoulder, tell it to do the work. not your wrist, not your forearm, your shoulder.
At the top of the movement your palm should be facing the floor, not the mirror! Do 10-12 repititions and then repeat on the other side.
Now that you know what to do, get started. I'm always interested in hearing feedback from anyone and everyone so after putting this workout into your routine for a few weeks. Contact me and let me know how its going.
A friend recently asked me what I thought of the paleo diet. Never short on opinions, I decided to put these 5 tips into an article. Here goes....
What you need to know....
. If it's directly from the ground or the animal its paleo enough for now.
. If you want muscle, you have to eat muscle
Men who use BBQ's and crock pots get more sex
. Fat doesn't make you fat
. Water gave birth to you...or something like that
. Men wouldn't buy pants at lulu lemon if they didn't want to be ridiculed
The word paleo refers to the paleolithic era and suggests that by following it you are getting in touch with your ancestors by eating foods only cavemen had access to. The human blueprint hasn't changed since then, yet what passes for food in the modern diet has changed drastically. To put it in laymen's terms; our bodies were never meant to digest that crap, and still can't.
This is all very true. But how complicated does it have to be? I've seen literally thousands of paleo recipes, each one more complicated than the next. I'm sure they all taste "yummy," or whatever cute word the 130lb male yoga instructor with toothpick arms and tight lulu lemon pants uses to describe them.
He is fascinated by his own ability to spend days foraging through the natural food pantries of his city and he drives all the way across town for a more authentic parsley in order to cook meals a paleo Martha Stewart can be proud of.
But neither his Prius nor the bottled spring water in his console, and certainly not his pants, were ever available to his ancestors. So he can either hike it in the nude and scoop water from the river with his manecured hands or he can stuff his superiority in the trunk.
If you are busy with those pesky things called jobs, families, and oh, lives; here are some simple guidelines to help you get started eating clean and getting one step closer to fighting that sabre toothed tiger.
1. If it comes from the ground or the animal, its paleo. If it doesn't, it isn't.
Pretty friggin' simple right? This is where the wisdom of the OMP's of strength training comes into play. For years they've been saying to eat whole foods. What are whole foods? Foods that are whole, of course.
Foods that are in the original state they came in.
Fish that hasn't been processed and broken down into a breaded tasteless stick. Beef that hasn't been swept off the cutting room floor and thrown into a vat of chemicals to become a hot dog. Vegetables that haven't been dehydrated and put into a box of magic powders to be later rehydrated and microwaved and called "soup."
If you have the time and money to track down all organic vegetables and free roaming grass fed beef that was given relaxation therapy every night and did pilates twice a day that's great. And it brings you a little closer to captain plum smugglers' version of paleo too.
But if you're currently buying margarine and eating low fat yogurt then you really need to grasp the basics first.
What I'm saying is you can eat all the gluten free paleo cookies you want from Mr. Fancy Pants' recipe book but if you're not already eating the building blocks of energy and muscle, then you are getting in way over your head by trying to get too complicated.
2. EAT RED MEAT.
If you want muscle, you have to eat muscle. period. I'm not saying we all have to look like Arnold, but you should have some basic male features and be able to do the heavy lifting in your household. It starts with nutrition.
Red meat has been given a bad rap for way too long. It is full of essential amino acids. ESSENTIAL. We weren't given teeth that rip and tear, and bodies for which the amino acids found in red meat are ESSENTIAL, just to avoid it. That would be absurd.
Back in the day the eating habits of the typical red meat eater also included little to no vegetables, a 6 pack of beer every night, and a pack a day of Marlboro Red. Somehow in their infinite wisdom someone decided it was the red meat causing these people all the problems. Let that sink in for a while.
But thankfully we've gotten smarter, we pride ourselves on being a gluten-free, paleo society. We can go online and find elaborate recipes for paleo egg nog and gluten free fruitcake any time we want.
But you know what else is gluten-free and paleo? Steak. Steak and a salad. Steak, salad, and what the heck, throw in a potato. wow, awesome. You are now a paleo god!
If your wife does all the cooking and says beef is bad for you and you just can't add red meat to your diet, then you're probably on the wrong website. But just in case you're still reading, here are some words of wisdom for you...
Buy a steak, throw it on the bbq and eat it. While your'e at it, throw paleo out the window along with everything I just said above, and have a beer and a cigar too. Invite a few friends over to enjoy these things with you. Do this every friday and saturday night until you grow a pair. After that you can figure out your own schedule.
3. The Crock Pot is Your Wingman
It's simple. Buy a roast, dump it in with fresh vegetables and spices of your choice, fill it with water, turn it on and walk away for 6-8hrs and presto, you are once again a paleo god. If you do steps 2 and 3 weekly your testosterone will increase, and your wife will appreciate the help. These 2 things lead to improved performance in the bedroom. Its a fact.
And if captain yoga pants doesn't like that your onions weren't grown organically in the mountains, nourished with spring water blessed by Budha himself, and carried to market on the backs of virgins, he can stick it in his paleo pipe and smoke it. You'll be too busy getting some action to care. Buy a crock pot and use it to cook whole foods. End of story.
4. Fats are Friends
I'm not talking about your heavy set friend who's nickname is Tiny. I'm talking about dietary fats.
Fats don't make you fat but the absence of them can.
Put some avocado's in your diet. Slice them and put them in your eggs in the moring or in your salads or just on the side of your plate at lunch or supper. While I'm on the subject, don't throw out the yolk or I swear I will hunt you down. Do you really think our caveman ancestors would get lucky enough to come across an egg and then throw out the yolk for fear of cholesterol?!
Cholesterol is self-leveling, you either have aproblem or you don't. Its not brought on by food intake, its hereditary, a genetic predisposition. So if you're not predisposed just eat the damn yolk already.
Add nuts and seeds to your salads and snacks.
Don't buy a friggin' chocolate bar at the gas station when you're hungry. Buy some nuts, sunflower seeds, mabe some beef jerky, or a banana. Once again you are a paleo god.
Coconut oil is good for you. Don't just cook with it. use it directly on your plate. I add it directly to my chicken or white fish to moisten it up. I also add it to sweet potato with a little sea salt and, you guessed it, I am a paleo god.
5. Water is Your Mother.
It gives you life. Yes this sounds like something Fancy pants would say and by now you probably think I hate him. I don't. I just like making fun of his pants. But seriously, bring your water bottle everywhere. Drink it. Refill it. Drink it again.
Most people are chronically dehydrated and don't even know it. Yet they complain about low energy and trouble losing weight. You can't have good energy and a healthy metabolism if you're dehydrated.
If you're on the road and you forget your water bottle, buy some. Yes it feels like getting kicked in the nads to buy water, but you're kicking yourself even harder by being stubborn.
People think nothing of spending $5 for a designer coffee and dehyrating themselves but its a sin to pay $1 for water. Just do it. Hopefully paying for water makes you mad enough to never forget that damn water bottle again.
Thats my take on the Paleo diet. Is it authentic in the guru sense? Not even close. Do I care? Not one bit. Obviously there is more to nutrition than what's in this article. I have many different approaches for many different clients but these are the basics that I start everyone with or have them return to when life spins out of control.
WIth this simplicity you can lose weight and keep energy levels high, get stronger, and have time to enjoy other things in life other than shopping for seven different types of organic mushrooms and cooking 75 meals per week.
I'm not trying to discourage you from going further and getting more serious about a paleo diet. I'm just stressing that its important to grasp the basics and have the discipline to follow them first.