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Building Muscle & Mindset at 40 and Beyond

 

By Chris Wilson, RKC, CPT, CSN

BuildingMuscle-40article3Getting old(er) is a fact of life and for many people, a truth that is very tough to accept. I just turned 40 myself making this concept all too real.

I’d love to tell you that I’m just as awesome as I was in my early 20’s…but I won’t lie.

My body IS 40 years old regardless of what the voice in my head wants to shout when I walk through the gym doors.  It has been lifting weights, running, jumping, twisting (and sitting) for over 25 years.

I will not ever stop working out…that I know. But if I don’t want to be in pain and on the brink of injury, I do need to change HOW I workout.

Every day we get older and our physical health slowly diminishes. Men’s testosterone levels drop with every passing year and not only do our bodies begin to break down, most people find that they cannot make the time for activity like they once did, including me.

And time is the one thing we can never get back.

Sure, there are plenty of fit, physically active guys with gray hair but in reality only a small percentage of the population.  Just look around anywhere you go. Heavy set men having difficulty moving their bodies and it seems to get worse every year.

This trend is the result of two things:

Consumption of Calorie Rich Processed Foods & Lack of Movement Every Day.

BuildingMuscle-40article2The GOOD NEWS is that we can change them both and quickly.

As far as the super high calorie overly processed foods we find on every shelf in most stores across this country, the solution is simple.  Minimize consumption and find alternatives.

It can’t hurt you if you’re barely eating it.  Limit yourself to only 100-200 calories per day of crappy food or reward yourself with healthier alternatives that taste good and won’t hurt you.

Secondly, working out consistently may come easy to some but carving out time for yourself only gets harder as you age with family life, full-time careers, household chores and other responsibilities.

You cannot force something to work in your life and expect it to last. Exercise needs to be habit; it needs to be a part of who you are and how you go about your days.

Most workout routines have you lifting weights, doing body weight movements or doing cardiovascular exercise all the time independent of each other. These programs get results and typically work in the short term.

But as with most things “forced” in our lives, they eventually stop working because people are creatures of habit. We like to feel comfortable and usually that involves some form of laziness.

Building muscle at 40 and beyond is about you doing what you love to do when it comes to activity. Here is one great example of a workout specifically designed to work the entire body and is amazing for guys 40 or more.

There are other ways for guys 40 and older to be physical:

  • Play in a Basketball League
  • Martial Arts
  • Run 5 & 10Ks
  • Compete in Powerlifting
  • Bodyweight Calisthenics and more.

The key is to choose different ways to be physically active and like what you’re doing for exercise.  This will help with longevity and give you the long-term results you want.

Because if you truly like something, it will be very hard to stop doing it.

BuildingMuscle-40articleI always like going back to children when it comes to explaining exercise and being active.  Most of the children in this world have one thing in common; they like to play.  Playing is exercise.  Kids run, jump, twist, climb and move their bodies with tremendous power, strength and agility.

As we age, we lose that ability.  Not because we got older but because we stopped moving like that every day and this point is missed by many experts in the field of strength and health.

Add recess back into your life and have that time everyday where you get to play in different ways. In doing that you will regain energy, muscle, mobility, confidence and your life will be forever changed.

The Best Way To Continue Building Muscle Into Your 40s