Top 4 Trainer Tips to Getting Toned and Fit Over 40
I saw a quote on the Internet the other day that made me giggle. It was a picture of a guy standing around a group of overweight seniors with the caption reading, “If you want to look young and thin, hang out around old fat people.”.
Now, that’s one way to do it, isn’t?
But if you live where I live you will be hard-pressed to find some out-of-shape seniors to hang with to make you feel better. All the seniors I know kick some serious butt and make a lot of twenty-year-olds look bad.
So, our next step is turning to fitness to help get us get fitter and feel younger.
Over 40? How to Get Toned and Fit
Whether your goal is to:
- Lose weight
- Build muscle tone
- Prevent diseases
- Or simply stay above ground for the longest you can
These four tips will help get you there far more effectively than other training technique.
One of the first rules of achieving better fitness is frequency.
I know, super boring, right? However, you cannot expect to see any change in your body or fitness with an inconsistent workout plan, or by training just once or twice a week.
How often should you be training then, for results?
Three times a week strength work, twice a week aerobic, or interval work, and everyday stretching.
Seems like a lot?
Well, for the bulk of those days (the strength and cardio workouts) you would be training for less than an hour. Take 45 minutes against the rest of your 24 hours, and you have less than 4%.
Meaning that less than 4% of your total day is used exercising.
If you can’t invest in a measly 4% towards your health, then you need to be careful because you just may become that old fat person others go hang out with to look and feel better.
As we get older we naturally lose our lean muscle mass. Women, between the ages of 20 and 40, will lose on average 3.6 kg of muscle while gaining 10 kg of fat. Men, between the ages of 20 and 80, will lose one quarter of their muscle mass (Dr. Michael Colgan).
And guess what? Running, cycling or other aerobic sports will not prevent this loss.
Researchers at McMaster University compared a ten-week program of weight training plus aerobic exercise against aerobic exercise alone. The aerobic group showed only a 2% increase in cardiovascular capacity and an 11% increase in endurance.
The weight training plus aerobics group showed a 15% increase in cardiovascular capacity and a massive 109% increase in endurance!
For strength the results favoured weight training even more. The aerobics group showed no increase in arm or leg strength while the weight training group showed a 43% increase in arm strength and a 22% increase in leg strength.
Building your strength and lean muscle mass will:
- Boost your ability to burn fat
- Grow bone density
- Improve immunity
- Combat diabetes
- Reduce joint pain found with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Strengthen your heart
- Yield better coronary artery flow in the heart
- Produce greater sub-maximal endurance and less fatigue.
Exercise intensity matters far more than duration when working out.
In a study called the Copenhagen City Heart Study, the researchers there followed a random sample of about 12,000 people in Copenhagen for 21 years.
These 12,000 all cycled and what the researchers found were that the individuals who typically rode fast on a regular basis (so biking at a higher intensity) lived 5.3 years longer than those cycled slow.
A study found in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that women who engaged in shorter bouts of more intense exercise had a lower body mass index than those who stayed at a steady state when exercising.
This particular study found that for every extra minute of high-intensity exertion a woman did each day was linked to a .07 decrease in body mass index. And that’s only one minute.
Imagine if you did five to ten minutes a few times a week?
Try these high-intensity workouts (suitable for all levels):
35-Minute Bodyweight HIIT
24-Minute Ab HIIT
TRX Tabata – Part 2
TRX Tabata – Part 1
30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata
STEP or BOSU Ball HIIT
If you have an attitude and demeanour that you are going to try, that you are going to allow yourself to get uncomfortable, and that you are going to take it one day at a time and not get frustrated with the process then you will get amazingly fit and toned.
I have trained thousands of people in my 20+ years and the ones with a positive attitude always achieve their goals.
However, if you constantly say to yourself:
- There’s no way I will ever be able to run for that long.
- I won’t be able to hold a plank that long.
- I can’t find the time to workout.
- I’m too old.
- I”ll never be able to squat, lunge or perform a push up.
Or, if you play the victim and claim “How did this happen to me? I used to be able to…” then all hell will break loose in your brain and you will never successfully reach your goal.
Tapping into the power of the mind is used with athletes all the time.
They are taught to visualize their course, their upcoming match or event. They are coached to visualize themselves doing it, step-by-step, and then winning it.
They know that negative self talk will manifest into their grey matter, then into their muscles until it finally becomes their new reality.
So, stop being a victim and start taking control. Stop talking to yourself poorly and in a way that you would never talk to anyone else like.
Treat yourself with the respect you deserve and you will not only be fit and toned, but you will also be happy and content.