Fit At Any Age: 40’s
I recently collaborated with Mens Health to bring to life an informative article titled, “Fit At Any Age”. And although you’ll have to grab yourself a copy to get the full scoop on how to maximize your physical performance with each decade of your life, I’ve put together a series of powerful snippets that’ll give you a head start on making the next decade your greatest decade.
Photo: Nigel Tadyanehondo / Unsplash
Just as you’re wiser in your knowledge on life, you’ll need to be in your training too. With time becoming the biggest barrier between you and a six pack, complex training is your new best friend. Not only is this short, high intensity form of training time efficient but it’ll leave your metabolism scorching calories long after you leave the gym floor.
Pairing a strength exercise with a multi-joint plyometric exercise (such as a benchpress and clapping push ups) into complex sets with little to no rest between will stimulate fast twitch fiber growth whilst simultaneously awakening the nervous system, which in return can fight the signs Alzheimer’s and dementia – a deathly combo which is most common to develop in your 40’s.
Struggling to stay committed? Now might be the best time to invest in a personal trainer or coach. Not only will it keep you motivated and on-track, but the extra set of eyes will ensure that you focus on form over load, breaking any bad habits that you might have formed over the years and keeping you well away from the docs office. You are after all more prone to injury now than ever before.
Your Secret Weapon:
Combining strength training with high intensity interval training (or HIIT) will allow you to enhance both your cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength in one short workout – the perfect concoction for blasting fat during your busy schedule.
Make sure to keep the work to rest ratio even, with intense efforts at 80 – 95% of your max heart rate lasting between 1 – 8 minutes with an equal active recovery at 40 – 50% of MHR. Don’t skimp on an effective cool down either. Spend a minimum of 10 – 15 minutes at the end of each session dedicated to light cardio and stretching as your body enters the post-exercise period called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) – a 2 hour period where the body continues to burn calories, totalling to 6 – 15% of the overall workout energy expenditure.
Don’t skip out on the shut eye. A study conducted over 25 years covering more than 1.3 million participants discovered that those who got less than 6 hours of shut eye per night were 12% more likely to experience a premature death. Here’s the good part – those who slept on for more than an average of 8 – 9 hours per night had an even higher risk at 30%. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864873/). The key? Getting a regular 7 hours of sleep per night. This will not only improve your life expectancy through the release of growth hormones, but also increase immune health, memory and reduce hunger levels.
However, your recovery goes beyond sleep. Aim on taking in a minimum of 56 grams of lean protein per day and set aside the time to give your body some TLC too.
As you enter the sedentary life, your joints begin to lose their capability of moving through the same range of motion as they did 10 years ago. Increasing your mobility through regular foam-rolling and dynamic stretching can help release tight fascia (also known as trigger points) and relieve muscle pain, increase circulation and restore range of motion.
Your weekly training overview:
- HIIT Training (30 – 40 minutes of 1 – 8 minutes at 80 – 95% of MHR with equal active recovery at 40 – 50% of MHR, 1 – 3 times per week)
- Core Strength (2 – 3 sets of 12 – 20 reps at <67% of max, 1 – 2 times per week)
- Mobility Training (30 minutes of functional movements, foam-rolling and stretching, 1 – 2 times per week)
- Aerobic Training (60 – 90 minutes at 60 – 70% of your max heart rate, 1 – 2 times per week)
Day 1 & 5: HIIT & Mobility Training
Foam Rolling: 10 minutes
Walk-Outs: 12 reps
Single Leg Body Weight Deadlift: 12 reps
Resistance Band Hamstring Stretch: 30 seconds
Pigeon Stretch: 30 seconds
Doorway Pec Stretch: 30 seconds
Push-Up: 2 minutes, as many reps as possible for time
Indoor Rower: 2 minutes at 40 – 50% of MHR
Alternating Split Squat Jump: 2 minutes, as many reps as possible for time
Jog: 2 minutes at 40 – 50% of MHR
Repeat 4 – 5 times.
Day 2 & 6: Aerobic Training
60 – 90 minutes of cycling at 60 – 70% of your max heart rate.
Day 3: Core Strength
Plank: 3 sets of 60 seconds
Side Plank: 3 sets of 45 seconds per side
Single Leg Glute Bridge: 3 sets of 60 seconds per side
Barbell Roll Out: 3 sets of 15 reps
Russian Twist: 3 sets of 15 reps
Want to find out how to maximize your performance in your 30’s, 40’s and 50’s too? You can read more here.