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MY TOP 20 FITNESS TIPS FOR OVER 30’s; PART 1
Hey LEGENDS! I thought I’d put together my top tips for transitioning and mindset with your exercise. I get a lot of the same questions every week about training and all things that accompany it, so I thought this is the best way to get it across to everyone. I think it’s applicable to everyone who is feeling a bit overwhelmed about starting exercise, resuming exercise or even in a bit of a slump with their exercise and health.
Here are the first 10, and are in the majority food and mindset based.
1. I acknowledge that my “prime time” is over.
The transition from mid 20’s to mid 30’s is sobering. I need to stretch/warm-up before exercise, I need to eat well and I need to understand that what was THEN is not NOW. This seems like a minor detail, but too many people live in the past. “I used to be able to do (insert something year former self accomplishment here) so I want to do that again” is what I hear too often. You can not turn back time, so focusing on the NOW is really, really important. Your best self is attainable at any age. You can actually be BETTER now; but you’ll need to make some changes to get there and be smarter with how you train. With age comes wisdom.
2. I eat well (most of the time).
90% of the time I eat the right thing. No counting calories, keto, macros, lemon detox. I just time my foods and get the essential foods in every meal (protein, fats and carbs) and are especially mindful to time my high energy/fast release carbs for after training. Have I tried calories/macros? Yes. In fact, I paid $250 per week for 16 weeks (you think our prices are high, huh?) for coaching from a natural bodybuilder and health coach from Sydney. The results I got were underwhelming, to say the least. Do I think calories/macros work? Absolutely. Why don’t I do it? I’m busy, it’s time consuming, life consuming and it’s not attainable for all people in all stages of life. Are you young? Do it! Got the time to count them? Do it! Want to do it forever? Do it! Just be mindful that the people often doing it are not you; a lot of them they’re 20 somethings with very freed up schedules or instagrammers getting chemical assistance. Timing my foods and being consistent works for me. It’s what Fern uses (fitness model champion, Australian powerlifter, double-degree attainee, busy business woman) it’s what Chris uses (natural bodybuilding champion), and it’s what our best transformations have used. And, when done properly, works for everyone, from housewives, busy business people to fit-pro competitors. But, like all nutritional habits, it requires dedication, resilience, and, above all, faith! Don’t try it for a few weeks and say “it’s not for me”. Try it. For a sustained period.
3. I eat vegetables; lots of them.
I don’t much like veggies in comparison with ice cream or bread, but I eat them in almost every meal. They’re good for you; nutrients, vitamins, water and antioxidants as well as benefits relating to energy and regulating blood sugar. If you refuse to eat them regularly, you’ll always struggle to lose weight or stay lean. It’s super important that you eat things that are good for you. Exercise isn’t everything. I also add cheese to my vegetables, as well as spice, salt and anything to make them taste better. Saying that, I have my pizza post-workout 3-4 times a week, ice cream (low calorie) nearly every night when I’m not doing a challenge (challenges are generally just Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and I really enjoy making tasty food.
4. I balance my food.
I eat bland, I eat exotic and I also eat tasty food. I eat it all. I’m not an “I can’t eat this” person. I CAN eat anything....we all can. Don’t ever say you can’t do something....rephrase it to “I won’t”, because that’s the reality of the situation. If it’s good for me, I’ll eat it. If it tastes good, I’ll eat it. If I have time, I’ll make something great. If I don’t, I’ll eat something that’s great FOR me. That’s it. Non-negotiable. Food is both fuel and a source of pleasure. But be mindful of making food your most pleasured object; the pleasure you feel from bad food equates to physical and mental pain for many later on.
5. I can’t do a handstand push-up.
None of my exercise routines are very “instagrammable”. I don’t do fad training and I keep things basic. My exercise is for me and I ensure that everything is done correctly. Form is paramount to me and if you’ve trained with me you can attest to this. I hate it when someone forego’s the basics to do something more complicated and less beneficial. When you train with others in mind, you really cheat yourself. So what if the exercises don’t always look sexy and fun. If you need to constantly be doing exercises that impress others, it say more about you than you think. This, unfortunately, is the appeal of F45 and CrossFit, I’m MY opinion. It’s “something new” and different. I’m not saying they’re not without their place, but they’re a, in my opinion, lesser version of exercise than others, as they don’t always focus on the basics. This is why injuries and burnout are so prevalent in these modalities. It’s also why a lot of people in their mid thirties stop this form of training for things that are less stressful on their bodies. I’m no hater; it’s just facts.
6. I leave my ego at the door.
I work within myself and I do everything correctly. If I want to work up to a max lift like a deadlift or a 45kg pull-up, I plan it....and even WHEN I do a max lift, I still do it properly. Not every workout is about “smashing myself” and merely lifting weight or getting my workout done. I activate my muscles correctly and I have never injured myself in the gym. Instead of thinking about HOW MUCH you lift, think about HOW you lift. It’s amazing how many 20 somethings I speak to can’t run or exercise because of injuries. Exercise should enhance your life, not inhibit it. Lifting better means you look better AND feel better.
7. No blowouts.
I love to travel and enjoy myself food-wise wherever we go. I have a stressful life, and like everyone I like to unwind, eat and enjoy other cultures. However, I like to maintain my health. I’ve never, and WILL never, blowout. I like to have visible abs all year and not feel unhealthy; visibly or mentally. The more you yo-yo with your weight, the less resilient your body gets at reducing body fat when you decide to be “good”. Going up and down on the scale will also down-regulate your metabolism. Blowouts also add stress on your joints, your ligaments and your spine.
8. I am really, really hard on myself.
I am always very critical of myself and I own that entirely. Yes, I take time to praise myself and have positive self-talk, but I set a high standard and I don’t drop below it. If I say I’ll get up and train, I keep my word. If I say I want to get to 8% body fat, dammit I’ll do everything possible to get there. I’m big on putting things out there, so I force myself to do them. If I say I’ll do something, I do it. I expect the same from everyone around me and I notice that the people who do this (clients, colleagues and friends alike) are often the most successful.
9. I’m never injured....technically.
There’s always something you can do. I have no cartilage in my right knee and my left one is degenerating very quickly (genetically bad knees), half of my left hamstring is essentially unusable and years of cricket means my shoulder isn’t amazing. Sport, as enjoyable as it is, can be detrimental to joints and ligaments and for me, all of my niggles and injuries are from that and NEVER from exercise. However, I always find ways to train and I’ve not once used excuses as to why I cannot train. You can always do SOMETHING. I can do every exercise, and I make sure that I’m doing them correctly and at a speed that will not exacerbate pain. Bad knees or shoulders, or backs are not an excuse not to train. They are your body signalling that you need to take care of yourself. If you’re always “injured” address your food consumption, your good fats, your supplementation, your sleep, your stretching or foam rolling routine, your alcohol habits and your general daily habits. Changing some of these will help in other facets of your life, too. Inflammation, lethargy and even blood sugar levels can all effect the bodies functionality and can be attributed to all of the previously suggested lifestyle choices. And, sometimes, you just need to push through....sometimes it’s cold, or I don’t want to run, or do cardio, or do lunges, but I do. It’s really important to understand that a little pain can actually make you stronger, and exercise can at times be a metaphor for life, and the training of more than muscles.
10. I hang around the right people.
This is key. They say you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I really value my, and others time, so I use it as best I can. If someone can really push me to be better, I want to be around them. I want to be elevated sometimes, and not always be elevating. People with skills and minds greater than mine are always the best people to train with or be around. If someone can teach me something, or force me to be better, that’s the person I will spend time with. If they can’t, I find it very difficult to spend prolonged amounts of time around them. The people I enjoy training with, and training in the sessions are those with a terrific attitude.
And while I’m on it, the last few reps are the MOST important. Fern is someone that I really enjoy training with, as she just gives everything. In any session I coach, I really try to convey that if the rep ranges are 8-10, you are not here for reps 1-7, but reps 8, 9, 10 and beyond, if need be. The last few reps of a weights set or 10 seconds of a cardio set are THE most important, and if you can really push yourself, you’re on the path to achieving greatness. I can promise you that every person I have ever 1 on 1 client that trained for a great transformation (and there are many 😝) always found 1% extra every session. That extra 1% over time was the difference.
The gym is just like life; you need to do it when you don’t want to, you need to know WHY you are doing it and you need to focus on viewing it as a lifestyle choice and not a fad that will come and go when you need it.
If you have any questions, post below. I’m always happy to answer your questions.
Part 2 next week, legends ❤️💯