12 Things people over 40 need to know about losing weight and gaining muscleBelow are 12 things, in no particular order, people over 40 need to know when losing weight, gaining muscle and how you can use these to be better than you were in your 20’s.

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One. Don’t compare yourself to your 20’s. You have a new body; it’s not going to operate the same as it did in your 20’s.

-When you start working out in your 40’s and up, it’s too easy to compare your ability and progress to when you were in your 20’s; it’s unfair to yourself to do that. Start with a clean slate and rebuild yourself from the ground up. You’ll be surprised to find that you are actually better now than when you were in your 20’s.

 

Two. Mobility is a must.

-Spend one full workout each week just working on becoming more mobile and flexible. A mobile body is a pain-free body; a pain-free body can move better, which means you can do the bigger exercises that give the best results. 

Below is a sample of one of the mobility routines that we have our RTC members do on a weekly basis. 

Hamstring Stretch to Inchworm to lizard stretch (HERE) x 1min
Cossack Stretch (HERE) x 30sec/side
Scorpion Stretch (HERE) x 1min
Hip Extension to Reach (HERE) x 1min
Squat to Reach (HERE) x 1min
Inchworm to downward dog to toe taps (HERE) x 1min
90/90 Glute Stretch (HERE) x 30sec/glute
Lunge Stretch to Rotation (HERE) x 1min
Rolling Crucifix Stretch (HERE) x 1min
Repeat 2 rounds

 

Three. You have wisdom on your side (hopefully).

-If you’ve made it this far in life, you’ve learned a thing or two about what your body likes and doesn’t like. Pay attention to this. If you know that a particular exercise hurts well, then don’t do it, no matter if it’s one of those exercises that everyone tells you that you ‘must’ do.

 

Four. Nutrition determines weight loss, but weight lifting determines what kind of weight you’re going to lose. 

-Your focus should fat loss, not just weight loss. Yes, you can lose 50lbs of weight but look like a smaller version of yourself (this is in part because that 50lbs is a combination of fat and muscle). When you eat fewer cals but include weight training in your routine, you’ll see that when you lose that 50lbs, you’ll not only look smaller but leaner. 

The goal is to look leaner, not just smaller. 

 

Five. Focus on getting stronger.

-I’ve never heard anyone say they were too strong. Each time you workout, record your numbers, and next time that workout comes up in your routine, then strive to beat those numbers.

You can do this by lifting more weight, doing more reps, or doing one more set. 

Over time, as your body becomes stronger and you starting gaining muscle, your body will change and look completely different. 

 

Six. To change your body, you have to change your life.

-Right now, the way you look and feel is a result of the way you live. This includes all your day-to-day actions from sleep, when and what you eat, workout, what you feed your mind, stress, the list goes on. 

To look different, you must live differently. 

And if you are ever unsure what you should do, think of the person you want to become and ask yourself, “What would they do?” Then that’s what you should do and how you should live. 

 

Seven. Don’t force your spouse to live your lifestyle. 

-You have to keep in mind that you are doing this for yourself. You are choosing to live a different life and walk a different path, so don’t force them to live your way if they didn’t ask for it. That’s unfair to them.

You would not like it if they forced you to live a life that you didn’t ask to live, so don’t do it to them.

In the beginning, it will be a lonely road, but eventually, they will come around. 

 

Eight. Sweat daily.

-You will have to do more than you think. Working out 3xweek or every other day is a great way to start, but it won’t be enough to get you to the end goal. 

Most of the successful transformations that have happened in their 40’s or beyond made exercise, working out, or training a daily part of their routine. It’s as routine as brushing their teeth.

Set a goal of 30min and work your way up to an hour each day, yes you’ll have to make the time, but after a few months, it will be second nature. 

 

Nine. You haven’t peaked.

-No. Not even close. 

This thought typically originates from us looking at our parents, who, for many, were in their lat 30’s and early 40’s when they started slowing down and looking or feeling ‘old.’ 

Times are different now. Health and exercise are more of a priority and mainstream than ever; medical technology has advanced. You combine that with day-to-day activity. It will shock you at how good of shape you can become, and you’ll realize that you’re not even close to being in your best shape. 

 

Ten. Get your blood work and hormones checked often.

-Health, or a lack of it, shows up on the inside of the body first. But, the only way you can know this is by getting routine blood and hormone checks. 

I recommend every 3-4 months, no exceptions. 

If something is heading in the wrong direction, you want to know about it NOW and make those adjustments before it becomes a major problem, and this leads me to my next point…

 

Eleven. A healthy body will start losing fat and gaining muscle much easier than an unhealthy body.

-If you’re getting your blood work done frequently (this includes hormones), you’ll find that when the numbers are right where they should be, gaining muscle and losing fat becomes much easier.

A healthy body WANTS to be leaner, a healthy body WANTS to become stronger, a healthy body has more energy and wants to move. 

A healthy body feels flatter, not bloated, inflamed, or puffy. Focus on health, and the results come much faster. 

 

Twelve. Don’t use food to treat your emotions.

-This shouldn’t be just for those in their 40’s but everyone. Too many times, people eat food for the wrong reasons. 

Shooting you from the hip here, most people KNOW what healthy food is. They know that a sweet potato is better than an oreo cookie. They know that lean meat (steak, chick, turkey, etc… ) is better for them than a bowl of cereal a night. But they still do it anyway. 

When most people eat, especially at night, they are eating for the wrong reasons. They are using food in a way it wasn’t intended, eating out of boredom (this is an emotion), eating out of stress, eating out of sadness or loneliness, or even in celebration. 

Learn to treat or celebrate your emotions in a different way. Find other ways to destress and preoccupy your time. Find other healthier emotional outlets than a bowl of ice cream before bed. 

It won’t be easy in the beginning, but once you become aware of it, you’re well on your way to changing your life. 

Side note: if this is something that you are struggling with, seek professional help. It’s ok. I know you are trying! It doesn’t mean you’re broken; you’re not, so don’t think that.

 

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There are many other things, but these 12 are the big ones that I see most often for those in their 40’s wanting to lose weight and start gaining muscle.

If you need a guide down your fitness or transformation journey, click HERE <=== and let’s chat.

 

 

In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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