Hitting 40 was not really a big deal for me. It didn’t really bother me knowing that I had reached that number. What really hit me was the fact that I was putting on all this extra body fat all of a sudden. It was almost like my body decided to celebrate with some extra chunk forming around the love handles area. “Oh, come on Jason … take a load off, enjoy yourself, have a little bite of cake,” I’d hear people say. But no, that just wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t going to let my body just turn to pot after all these years of staying lean and mean. Not under my watch, at least.
I was kind of like the security guard for my own body … I’d look it up and down in the mirror and see some of the weigh being put on, and would advise it that it would have to leave— immediately!
Unfortunately, I have to fight to remove it. After age 40, for most people, our metabolisms begin to slow and continue to slow every day. This means that in order to maintain that great body of yours, you have to watch what you put in your mouth and concentrate more on cardio than doing the weights. All too often, you see guys in the gym that do the same exercises in their 40s that they did in their 20s and 30s. The body can’t maintain that same body as it did with the same pattern. You just won’t be able to keep up with it unless you have a unique metabolism.
Some changes that can be made in the gym to help maintain a lean, mean body are:
More cardio! Do 10-15 minutes more cardiovascular exercise before training with weights to build or maintain muscle.
Speed up aerobic exercises. So if you have the stair climber on level 4 all the time, step it up a notch. Put it on level 5 or even 6 if you are feeling some good energy that day.
Slow down your movements. You don’t need to be King Kong in the gym and be the strongest person. Leave that to the youngsters who still have something to prove. Stick with lighter weights with increased reps. Be sure to squeeze at the top of the movement so that you can really feel the burn in your muscles.
Exercise in the gym at least five days per week for one hour.
Changes in your diet that can help you maintain a lean mean body:
Stick with the proteins! Chicken, fish, poultry, Greek yogurt, brown rice, and nuts are some ideas.
Be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth. Too often, we aren’t aware of our eating habits. We subconsciously don’t realize we are snacking or putting in too many calories. Before you take your next bite of food, be aware of what you are snacking on. Reach for fresh fruit before candy to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Don’t eat too late! If you are a regular 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. shift office worker, then you want to be sure to finish eating dinner by 6:30 p.m. Doing this will allow you to digest your food for the evening before sleep time.
Spread your meals out throughout the day. Keep the fire burning with smaller portions more often. This will help keep your metabolism operating at full speed for you.
This workout regimen and diet plan will not only work for guys and girls entering their 40s, but it’s great for anyone working out at any age. If at first you don’t see results, keep at it! The body goes through a few changes after 40, and muscles eventually will respond in a positive way!