If you are a guy over 40 then you know things have changed. Maybe you have lost your energy? Or maybe you no longer have the lean physique you once had. Don’t worry I am here to help you out! Here are 9 fitness tips for guys over 40.
Do Push Ups – Back when I crossed over the 40 mark and finally made the decision to get into the best shape of my life it actually all started with pushups. You see I was part of this mastermind group and the leader of the group started a pushup challenge. It wasn’t just any old challenge as if you did not complete your daily pushups and reach the goals that were set for the challenge you had to pay up. Yes, it was like reverse psychology where you actually did not win a prize for doing it but actually paid money to a charity that you disliked. I talk about it in my book if you want to learn more about the challenge, but pushups are considered to be the ultimate barometer of fitness. It incorporates so many muscle groups and core strength. There is a reason the military does so many pushups. Plus, you can easily do this first thing in the morning or at night in your home!
Eat More Protein – protein is a “macronutrient” meaning the body needs relatively large amounts of it. One of the very first things I did when I did when I made the commitment to get fit again was I increased my protein. Now I know you probably aren’t going to carry around a big bowl of brown rice and chicken and eat all day. Or, like when I was in college I had a co-worker that I worked with at the community college gym who had 7 or 8 tuna fish cans with him that he would eat during his shift. But, you need to start increasing your protein intake. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to: 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man. If you are working out and lifting weights I recommend a little higher intake. Also, if you are like me and have a difficult time getting your protein from natural food sources like chicken, fish, and meat then you can use supplements like a protein shake to get the amount you need. I use Shakeology.
Recover well – As we age unfortunately it takes us a lot longer to recover than it used to. I learned that the hard way a few weeks ago when I took my friend out to celebrate his birthday but that is another story. No serious as we age we need more time to recover from our workouts. Especially, if you are doing any sort of HIIT training or heavy lifting. Don’t feel guilty about taking extra days to recover, especially if you are really sore from a hard workout as your body needs it.
Do HIIT Exercises – All the rage these days is HIIT training. What does HIIT stand for you ask? Well, it stands for high, intensity, interval training. What makes it so great? Well, with HIIT training your heart rate will typically be above 84% of your max heart rate for a period of 12 more minutes throughout, which leads to EPOC. EPOC is a big fancy word for what we call the “afterburn.” That is where you are burning calories 12-36 hours after the workout. Not to mention the caloric burn you received when doing a more intense workout than just getting on the elliptical.
Get More Sleep -If there was one piece of advice that I would say to you that could make all the difference in your weight loss and general health it would be to get more sleep. I used to give a stress management presentation to corporations and I would ask them to raise their hands if they got five hours of sleep a night. Most everybody raised their hand but as I asked them 6, not as many, then 7, even less, and finally 8, maybe one or two still had their hand up. I have heard it all. But I don’t require as much sleep or I can sleep all I want when I am dead. The truth here is your body needs rest and recovery like I mentioned above and there have been studies that have shown people who get 7-9 hours a sleep a night are in better health and lose more weight. Work on getting more sleep!
Eat More Super Foods – Don’t worry I not telling you to go out and start eating kale chips although it wouldn’t be a bad thing but you should start eating more broccoli. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which reduces cartilage depletion in the joints according to researchers. Start eating more oily fish like Tuna, Sardines and Salmon. Why are they so good for you? Apart from being a great source of protein, these oily fish pack the goodness of Omega 3 fatty acids. Also, the monounsaturated oils keep you healthy, are great antioxidants and keep your metabolic rate high. My best friend and college roommate would go on what I called the fish diet when he wanted to lose weight and you know what every time he would eat nothing but fish he would drop 10 pounds. So, eat more of these superfoods to help you keep your joints working and your metabolic rate high!
Make Weights Heavier – Lifting heavy and with good form is important to grow lean mass and more muscle. Also, by lifting heavy and strenuous your body will release growth hormone which is critical for growing muscle along with other benefits of being a male! When lifting you should focus on weights that will allow you to perform 10-12 reps. You want to make sure the last few reps are challenging and you struggled to get them.
Hydrate – Earlier I referred to sleep being one of the most critical habits that you should strive to do more of, but hydrating ranks right up there with it. Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body need water to work properly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Water is needed for overall good health. And it is especially as important as we age. You see as we get older the body “dries out”, and our tendons and ligaments become less resilient. Poor hydration can lead to constipation, dry and itchy skin, sinus pressure, headaches and fatigue, which can be the result of toxins building up in our bodies. One final point to make here and that is if you want to lose weight being properly hydrated as been proven to help with weight loss. Make it a point to drink those 8-10 glasses and if you need to use an app to track it try My Fitness Pal. I use that one.
Resistance Isn’t Futile – As we get older our ability to gain lean muscle decreases. Peak muscle mass usually occurs around age 25. So, the gains you make at this stage in your life might not be a lot but the flip side is you will not lose the muscle mass you worked hard to get if you start doing resistance training. The goal should be to get 3-4x a week of resistance training in.
I hope these tips will help you either start or keep going on your fitness journey. If you need anything or would like a 10-minute fitness consultation with me please don’t hesitate to reach out.
P.S. I would love for you to join me and other like-minded people in the All About Health and Fitness Group on Facebook. Click the link here.
Looking for a new challenge and a jump start to get started? Join the “7 Day Fat Loss Jump Start Challenge.”
Is it possible to still have a heart attack even though you are fit? Well, yes you can and the famous fitness guru and host of “The Biggest Loser,” Bob Harper suffered a heart attack over 2 weeks ago that left him unconscious for two days. It happened while he was working out a NYC gym. Luckily, a doctor happened to be working out near him and performed CPR and AED until the paramedics came. Bob is just one example I have heard of this week alone, as a little closer to home for me, a client’s husband that I train had a mild heart attack and ultimately needed surgery to get a stent placed in one of his valves as it had blockage. In relative terms he is in great shape. He does Muy Thai regularly, lifts weights, and eats healthy. However, one thing that both men have in common is that they have a family history of heart disease and cardiac arrest in their family. Family history is a huge red flag and if you fall into that category your risk is increased and even if you are fit a heart attack can still happen.
So, just because you work out and eat well doesn’t mean you are immune from suffering a heart attack. As many of you know my father died at the age of 67 from a massive heart attack and is a primary reason I am on the mission to help others get fit and transform themselves physically to help prevent such a terrible thing from happening. However, as you can see it can still happen to those of us that work out and try and be fit. With all this being said is there anything you can do to potentially prevent a heart attack from occurring? That is actually the question I had myself and actually asked my good friend and doctor just the other day. He told me of a new procedure, which I am looking into and will report back here once I have it performed. As for other ways here are just a few:
Now, I know some of these tests may be more extensive and involves more time and money but I highly encourage you if you have a history of heart disease in your family like me or Bob you should consult your doctor during your physical and see if one or more of these tests should be administered. I mean the saying it is better safe than to be sorry is definitely in play here.
I hear this all the time from clients, ” I am exercising and eating well but not seeing any results.”
First let me tell you I have been there and know it can be frustrating, but I am here to tell you that you are focusing on the wrong thing and that is why you are not seeing “results.”
In this video you will learn 5 reasons why you are not seeing results and how to start doing what will get you seeing the “results” you want!
P.S. leave a comment and let me know what you think.
As I sit down and write this blog post the first month of 2017 is about to come to an end. Let me ask you a couple of questions. Have you ever tried setting a weight loss goal before? Were you able to reach it? Don’t worry you are not alone if your answer to the second question was No. Research has shown that 25% of people abandon their New Years Resolutions after one week. And a staggering 65% abandon them within 6 months. To add to that the average person sets the same resolution 10 separate times without success.
Now if you are tired of trying to lose that same 10, 20, 30 pounds and ready to finally crack the weight loss code then this post is for you. I am going to give you 5 proven strategies that will allow you to finally reach your weight loss goals in 2017.
1.) Keep your goals few in number
When it comes to setting your goals keep them few in numbers. For instance, you may have one or two fitness and health related goals to go along with a personal and career goal. You don’t want to overload yourself with too many. Make sure they are goals that are really going to move you forward in your life.
2.) Create S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals
S.M.A.R.T.ER is an acronym for specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timely, energizing and relevant. Let’s break it down.
Specific – When it comes to specific you want to really want to nail it down. Don’t just say I want to lose weight, but rather I want to lose 10lbs.
Measurable – You want to be able to measure it so as an example if you weigh 150 lbs and want to lose 10 you can use a scale to measure to see if you reached it.
Actionable - Make sure you can add action to it. For instance, I want to not only lose 10 lbs but I want to get more consistent and work out 2-3x a week.
Realistic – A lot of times I have clients tell me they want to lose 20 lbs in 4 weeks. Is that doable? Sure, but not healthy and really realistic. When it comes weight loss think of losing 1-2 lbs a week.
Timely - It is important that you put a date on the goal. What I mean is don’t just say I want to lose 10 lbs but give yourself a deadline. I like to use 12-week increments ( something I talk about in my book) when I set goals.
Energizing – Set a goal that is going to energize you. Make it be something that is going to get you up in the morning ready to tackle it. Maybe it is for a trip coming up or a reunion. Something that will get you pumped up.
Relevant -Take a look and make sure it is relevant to what is going on in your life. Face it, as we get older are priorities change and although vanity might still be what we aspire to a more relevant goal is to get into shape so you can play ball with your kids without getting winded.
3.) Write them down – Goals not written down are mere dreams in your head. People who write down their goals achieve them 45% more often according to researchers.
4.) Review frequently – Once written down review them often. Out of sight means out of mind. Read them every day or put up sticky notes on your fridge or mirror so you see it!
5.) Share selectively – Share them with someone who is going to support you and keep you accountable. Putting it out there makes you more likely to take action. If you need a group that will hold you accountable you can join my FREE FB group (All About Health and Fitness)
I hope these 5 strategies gives you a better understanding of how to set goals that you can reach. Let’s make 2017 the year it happens for you.
If you need my help with getting started and you want to jump on a call please send me an email at Dave@davemcgarry.com and we can jump on a quick coaching call!
P.S. If you like the blog post above and want to continue to save time from having to search the Internet for fitness tips, motivation, recipes and coaching join my bi-monthly newsletter!
When working with clients probably one of the top 5 questions I get is, “How often should I weigh myself?” I have t admit for some time I steered my clients away from weighing themselves, except for the initial assessment. However, I have since changed my mind and position on the subject of weighing as a tool to measure progress.
I recently read a good article by Page Smathers on the MyFitnessPal blog that looks at, the benefits of weighing in, from a different angle and gets you to ask yourself whether or not, weighing in, daily, weekly, monthly or never will hurt or harm you.
By asking yourself this question I believe puts each individual in the position to determine what is best for them and will be more beneficial and individualized to your situation.
You can read the Paige’s article “How Often Should I Weigh Myself” nnby going to the MyFitnessPal blog.
Let me know what you think? Do you weigh daily, weekly, or monthly? Comment below.
P.S. If you are looking to get a Jump Start on your weight loss you can check out my “7 Day Jump Start Fat Loss” by joining here.
The Fit Over 40 Challenge book is finally here!
After over a year of ups and downs and struggles to get the book done it is finally up on Kindle. I thought I would just take a moment and write out a quick post on why I wrote the book and who the book is intended for.
Some of you know my story and have been following me for some time. For those of you that are reading this for the first time and don’t know much about me and the mission I am on then I will share with you briefly right here.
2016 marked the 10 year anniversary that my father passed away from a major heart attack. You see for most of my life I was concerned about my dad’s health. He was a smoker, diabetic, and not someone who put an emphasis on exercise. Eventually, that took its toll and at the young age of 67 he passed away.
Now having gone to school and studied exercise science I always felt somewhat responsible for not being able to help my dad get fit. It tool me some time after his passing to finally realize that it was not my fault and it falls on each individuals own responsibility for their well being.
The other thing that bothered me and still pains me when I think about it is my dad never got to meet my two daughters. I want to tear up right now just writing this.
So with all that said back to why I wrote this book. You see, if I can reach one person and get them to take responsibility and change their habits, which could changed their life I will have accomplished my goal. I wrote this book to one honor my father but also to make a “dent” in this world (reference to Steve Jobs).
The book, ” Fit Over 40 Challenge” is nothing revolutionary but after spending 20 years in the fitness industry as a coach and trainer I lay out my simple plan and strategies to getting fit at the age of 4o and beyond.
Oh, and why 40 you might ask? Well, two reasons. One, when I hit age 40 I wasn’t in the best shape of my life. I had become complacent and unmotivated. I write in the book how I got motivated to change and become in the best shape of my life at my age of 43 (age at time of writing this post).
The second reason of focusing on being fit over 40 is because most of the clients I have worked fell it that age range and over the years I saw the results they were getting and how much the quality of their life improved after getting results with me.
So is this book for me?
The book “Fit Over 40 Challenge” is not for everyone. I also write about that in the book. However, the strategies and principles I present can be applied to just about anyone who is looking to get fit and change their lifestyle once and for all.
Also, the book does offer a simple 6 week plan to get started if you are new or haven’t worked out in awhile.
If you would like to learn more or purchase the book you can get it over at Amazon by click here.
Thanks again for all your support!
Everything You Want Is On The Other Side Of Fear
In order to have the life, career, relationship and body you desire, you’re going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It’s a law of the universe that the more you stretch to grow and expand, the more resistance you’re going to encounter pushing back against you. Like a plant trying to push through the earth to become an oak tree.
And the fear of having to do the things we don’t want to do, like getting up earlier in the morning, getting out of a bad relationship, changing careers, being sore from your workout – is what keeps us from achieving greater things.
I’m going to be honest with you right now and tell you that when you start working out, you’re going to be sore and in pain… but only at first.
And when you change your eating habits for healthier options, you’re going to be left feeling hungry and craving junk food… but only at the beginning until your body adjusts.
And when you start drinking the right amount of water to stay hydrated, you may hate the taste and have to pee every 15 minutes… but only for the first few days.
The biggest challenges are at the beginning and if you push through, you’ll be rewarded with the results on the other side!
Stay tuned for Fat Loss number 10 as it may create an “ah ha” moment for you!
P.S. If you want to take a challenge and push yourself to grow I have created the “6 Day to a Stronger Core Challenge” for you. You can take the challenge by adding your info here
Have you hydrated yourself today? You may recall that yesterday’s law of fat loss was all about staying hydrated to lose weight. If you missed it you can click here to read it.
Today’s post is a little different but I feel can make a difference in whether or not you stick to a fat loss program. I personally subscribe to this philosophy.
Here is law of fat loss #8.
Friends Make Fitness Fun
If you’ve always worked out alone, you’ve been making a huge mistake.
Not only is it infinitely more enjoyable to exercise with a friend, but having someone else there will actually push you to subconsciously perform better.
When I share this Law Of Fat Loss with people, many times the response is, “But my friends don’t like working out…”
If this is true, I got you covered. I work with many friendly, likeminded people just like you and I’m happy to introduce you into a few future workout buddies.
I guarantee you’ll have more fun and enjoy working out more than you ever have before!
Also, if you would like to join an online fitness tribe that has a group of fitness enthusiasts you can join for FREE at www.allabouthealthandfitness.com. I hope to see and interact with you in the group.
I hope after yesterday’s post you understand the importance of resistance training and you are now going to add it your weekly workout routine. Also, if you read all the way to the end of that post you saw I teased you with Fat Loss Law #7. So what was I talking about?
This is going to be short and sweet by here you go.
You Must Be Properly Hydrated To Lose Fat
Do you know how long we (humans) can live without food?
It’s about 40 days for the average person.
It’s about 4 days.
Water must be pretty important right?
Not only is water crucially to our survival, but our bodies are mostly composed of it.
If you aren’t properly hydrated, then your organs, hormones and cells can’t do their job properly and that means your body is not likely to release it’s fat storages and build lean muscle tissue.
Additionally, when you’re dehydrated, you’ll actually feel hungrier, even if you just ate.
Here is a sneaky little fat loss hack I share with my clients:
When you’re feeling hungry or about to eat, drink 16 ounces of room temperature water (2 cups) and wait 10 minutes. Miraculously, most of your hunger will go away and you’ll be able to make better choices!
I know you have heard all this before but the power of hydration is real and if you really want to transform your body and health start making hydration a key component of your fat loss approach.
P.S. The next Law of Fat Loss pretty much sums up my philosophy.
If you liked this post and you are tired of searching the Internet for tips and resources on health and fitness related info then I encourage you to receive my premium newsletter by joining here
If you recall way back in the beginning where I talked about 21 Laws of Fat Loss I said that they are not in any particular order. However, if you read yesterday’s post about the law of compounding if you start implementing each one of the previous 5 things start to compound over time and can create a huge transformation in your life!
Strength Training Benefits Everything
I often get asked, what’s the best workout for fat loss?
10+ years ago, it was believed that in order to lose fat you had to spend an hour on a cardio machine, as often as possible.
Those were some boring times…
But since then the science of fat loss has improved and one single reigning king of workouts has taken the throne…
The king of all workouts is: Strength Training
What qualifies as strength training?
In order to get all of the amazing benefits of strength training, you must do weight lifting exercise with resistance (like dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells) that you cannot do for more than 12 repetitions in a set.
By being limited to only 12 repetitions because of the resistance, your body gets incredible lean muscle building, cardio and core strengthening benefits; all in a single workout.
Now of course you wouldn’t only do 12 repetitions every time. This example is used to demonstrate that if you’re trying to do “a lot of repetitions to tone up”, you’re likely not getting the real benefits of strength training.
This is how our most successful clients get such incredible results – by picking the right weights.
Before you start trying to add more weights to your workouts, make sure you consult a fitness professional to ensure your form and technique is safe and effective.
I know this is not going to be easy for most of you and it has to start with changing your mindset. Just so we are clear I am not saying to quit doing cardio but don’t make that your sole focus every time you work out.
To start off let’s say you are working out 3x a week. For the first week just add one day where you do 1 day of strength training and 2 days of cardio. From there switch it the second week and do 2 days of strength and 1 of cardio.
Once you have completed the first two weeks of this you can continue to flip each week or add another day to your routine so eventually you are doing at least 2 days of strength and 2 days of cardio each week. If you really want to push the envelope get to the point where you are doing 3 days of strength training and 3 days of cardio with one day of rest.
If you need some sample workouts you can do at home you can download my “7 At Home Workouts” right here.
P.S. Fat Loss Law #7 is something you can only live without doing for 4 days otherwise you may no longer be living!