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Fast start fitness for men over 40

1. If your goal is weight loss, don’t waste your time working small muscles with isolated movements!

If you don’t enjoy doing resistance training or are pressed for time, concentrate on working the largest muscle groups with compound resistance movements. Most people want to lose fat and firm their bodies. The way to do that is to use resistance (weights or machines) to train the large muscle groups. Have a trainer show you the best calorie burning exercises such as squats, lunges, bench presses and rows.

2. Dieting will not eliminate body fat

Your body can’t differentiate between intentional calorie deprivation (as in diet), and starvation. When you dramatically reduce your calorie intake, your body shifts into a protective mode by slowing your metabolism down and holding onto fat (an important energy source) and burning muscle instead. In the beginning you will lose weight by drastically cutting calories. But it won’t be fat loss, it will be water and lean muscle tissue – the exact opposite of what you want to lose. To permanently lose the fat stores in your body, you’ve got to burn more calories and increase your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns fuel throughout the day), with a precise exercise routine and proper nutrition plan. Even if you don’t exercise (but I recommend that you do), just eating 5-6 small high-quality meals each day will substantially increase your metabolism – and you will burn more calories!

3. Tummy trimmers, body shapers, and ab exercises CANNOT spot reduce

This is the one that drives me the craziest. We have all seen the infomercials touting muscle – specific exercises for body fat reduction. We have all wondered, (at least a little bit) if that contraption is the missing piece to our workout program. I am here to tell you, you cannot reduce your waist size by working abdominal muscles, nor can you reduce your thighs with a thigh exerciser. It’s a scam. A total rip-off. The only way to reduce body fat is by combining a precise program of supportive nutrition with the right balance of aerobic and resistance exercise. If it sounds hard, it’s not. It’s just hard to cut through all the lies, misinformation and total nonsense being shoved down your throat by these big marketing companies. Most men, 40 years and older, carry excess fat around their waistline. Unfortunately, most men believe (because of exhaustive marketing by these companies) that by doing insane amounts of crunches they will remove fat from a particular area. This is the single biggest mistake you can make in the gym! Your time is better spent combining cardio, weights and reduced caloric intake to bring down the waist size.

4. The most important meal of your day

The obvious answer to this question is breakfast. Never, ever skip breakfast! If you want to maximize your fat loss efforts, you have to eat breakfast. But, I am here to tell you that the meal immediately following your workout is just as important if you want to lose fat and build muscle. Post exercise nutrition is one of the keys to weight loss, maintaining muscle and keeping your metabolism flying high. When you exercise at a moderate to high intensity level, you burn body fat which is good, but you also deplete the glycogen stored in your muscles which can be bad. If we don’t replenish our glycogen storage after the workout, our body goes into a catabolic state. What does that mean?. Congratulations, you just got fatter! Skipping eating after a workout will actually slow your metabolism and result in the loss of muscle tissue.

It is key to note that I am not warranting a post exercise meal if all you did was go for a walk around the block (although that is good). I am talking about a moderate to high intensity exercise session lasting at least 45 minutes. Also, it is important to note there is a window for getting this vital meal in. It is generally best to get this post exercise nutrition within 60 minutes after a workout, preferably within 30 minutes. This is when glucose uptake in the muscle is at its greatest and will be used most effectively to repair the muscles.

So let’s talk about ideal nutrition for a post exercise meal. To support optimal weight loss, this meal should not be too large, preferably between 150-400 calories depending on your goals. This meal should consist of carbs and proteins , and very little fat. The carbohydrates are needed for optimal glycogen replacement and the protein is needed for muscle. We want this meal to be digested quickly so we want little to no fat and this is the only meal of the day where it would be okay to limit the amount of fiber. Add a banana to your protein shake or have a small portion of pasta with a some chicken to get the high glycemic carbs and protein you need to keep the weight off!

5. Times have changed, have you changed your workout?

Getting back into the gym and performing the same routine you did when you were 25 years old can leave you with injuries and shrinking muscles. Your muscles are “endangered” at 40. They will disappear at a rate of a ½ to a full pound a year if you do nothing with them. But you can stop the decline – safely. Just lifting weights can slow down the decrease in your Growth Hormone (GH) levels. GH is responsible for lean muscle mass, body fat reduction, youthful skin, and deeper sleep, and can decrease at a rate of 24% per decade. A great way to increase the “GH spurts” during your workouts is to lift weights. Three set of eight to ten to failure, with no more than one minute rest between sets. Doing this will flood your bloodstream with lactic acid, which cues the pituitary gland to secrete GH. Although you must increase the intensity of your workouts as you age to produce more growth hormone, you need to be careful to take it easier by warming up with lighter weights and taking more time to recover between workouts. It is a good idea to alternate heavy and light sessions to give your muscles (and joints) ample time to rest. And lastly remember to prevent the gradual decline of GH make sure you constantly switch up your workouts with either cross training or periodization schedules.

6. You can still rock a killer body!

Sure, age makes a difference in how quickly the body recovers and how much muscle can be built, but its not enough of an excuse to just throw in the towel and live in mediocrity the rest of your life! If you are over 40, you absolutely have to be more diligent with recovery and nutrition than when you were 20 years old. Proper training and nutrition will allow your body to age gracefully and maintain your lean body mass, but you have to keep at it. Give me a break, if you think you can be super diligent during the work week, only to drink and eat out all weekend and expect to have a six pack, it doesn’t work that way. You can still look like you are 20 with your clothes off, but it comes with hard work. In order to achieve a killer body you need to do the exercises that work the biggest muscles (legs, chest and back). You need to do interval training on cardio at the proper intensity and, most of all, make sure you are limiting your calories so you are in a slight deficit each day. To maintain low body fat levels you need to eat nutrient dense, unprocessed foods with the proper ratio of carbs, proteins and fats. Not just at breakfast and lunch and then go out to eat at night and have a couple drinks, you have to be disciplined. So, if you really want that killer body, go and get it! The idea that flabbiness and lack of strength are inevitable is laughable, stay active and you will stay young!

7. Do It Daily!

You can spend your time searching the internet and reading special reports until you are blue in the face, but if you don’t get out there and start moving, you will waste the knowledge you are getting. Start today and make a point to get out and sweat at least once a day! That doesn’t mean set aside two hours to hit the gym each day, it could mean a 15 minute walk to the store or going for a hike, but get out and do something! When done properly diet and exercise is 100% effective at reducing body-fat and the host of diseases that come with those extra pounds. So make a point to DO IT DAILY!

Listen, these seven tips should be enough for you to get started, but it by no means is the whole package. You need to get up off your butt and get moving! Do something every single day towards your weight loss goal. Make good decisions at the grocery store, at the restaurant and make yourself a little sweaty each day,

Diverge Personal Training Gym opened in 2008, yet it has had its roots within the Hillcrest neighborhood for over 10 years. The co-owners  Brian White and Derek Heintz have been helping the community with their fitness goals since 1998.  They have created a fun and distinct training facility that fuses both traditional and modern styles of training.  They continually push the boundaries of fitness and weight loss, in fact, the diversity their gym offers will invigorate your exercise routine and you will achieve better results than you ever have before. Come experience a personal training gym that pushes the boundaries of what your body can do.whether that means going for a walk or hitting the weights hard! Do It Daily!