Fitness Over 40

Early Morning HIIT this 24th of July 2017

This morning completed 10 rounds of:

  • 150 meter row
  • 10 TRX crunches

Funny, after the first set, I was thinking “hmm, I might want to add another exercise to make this more difficult” well, by the 5th set, I was sucking eggs! Why I like this is that the concept keeps track of the entire session, so now my goal is to be able to complete faster than my 27 + minutes.  (The calorie is not cumulative, but per 150 meter.)

Here is a little summary of how things went.  Thank god it’s over!  Trust me, it is still embarrassing having my shirt off, but I guess its not where you’re at, it’s where you’re going!

Without hesitation, when asked what is the best fitness equipment to own, the first two things are the Concept 2 Rower and a TRX Suspension Trainer.  You can accomplish so much with these!

TRX is running $40 off right now!  That is an awesome price since I never see these things go on sale!

Fitness Over 40

The “Food-Like” Culture

As I write these food related posts, I must begin to explain that I too, like the rest of society, has been sucked in to the culture of “food-like” nutrition that has plagued our American diet.  I spend a lot of time discussing this in my book, since overcoming the addiction of what food manufacturers have created is by far, the biggest obstacle to overcome in the quest for proper health and nutrition.  So what is “food-like” products?  I would probably imagine by now you can read between the lines and figure out it is food that has been converted, processed, refined, artificially flavored, colored, and preserved and put into a very attractive bag or box, celebrity endorsed or just heavily promoted, and typically inexpensive food that sits on the shelves at your local grocery store.  I briefly touched on this in my last post about the meat industry, stating that 100 years ago, there was no such thing as any of the above listed items found in our food.  The introduction of all these chemicals have created a very unhealthy society, and it’s only getting unhealthier.

Unfortunately, as much as these products taste good, our society truly doesn’t understand the magnitude of the food they are consuming.  Again, pointing back to the fact that we have become so detached from our food, that we don’t even question its relevancy anymore to our overall health and well being.  To us, it’s about enjoying the taste, and providing the calories that our body and mind think we need.  I will spell it out right now:  THIS IS NOT FOOD!  I know that the old phrase, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck; it’s probably a duck.  So you think to yourself: “it smells like food, it tastes like food, so it must be food!”  Unfortunately some truth there, but looking further into the industry behind that food sheds light on a completely different picture!  There is a great book by Michael Moss, called “Salt, Sugar, Fat,” which really opens the door to discussing how the food manufacturers are working to create a food so closely to have the same addictive properties as a drug.  By combining those three things into food, and at exact amount in order to create something called a “Bliss Factor” which creates this immediate pleasure to the system that says, “oh yeah! I want more of that!”  It is really funny to think about the idea that these food manufacturers are basically scientists that are in a lab, adding more of this, taking away some of this, adding this, and all in search to get you addicted to their product so that you keep coming back for more.  This is how sad our food system has become, it has pretty much gone away from the farm, and now is built inside a laboratory.

With this much effort put into creating an addictive food product, no wonder it is so hard to try and eat a well balanced and healthy diet! Not to mention, if you are a father like me, having 3 teenage boys who see these commercials and they see their friends bringing it in their lunch bags to school, they ride your coat tails to get some in the house. And of course, in a weak moment, you come home, you are hungry, it will take 30 minutes or so to prepare a healthy meal, so it is so easy to just grab that bag or box and eat a few, and a few more, and some more, and next thing you know, you have consumed the same amount of calories you would have consumed in that healthy meal you were about to prepare. So what do we do?

This was an area I had to discuss about more thoroughly in my book, since the psychology of eating plays a much greater factor in our food choices than simply the nutrition or purpose.  I (at the time of my vegan run) had to daily work on verbally announcing to myself when I saw a bag of something on the shelf or a box of something in the pantry, I had to tell myself, “that is not food!”  and I would have to search my house for something that nature had provided me, not the laboratory.  Simply put, the only thing I would allow myself to eat would be a food item where the ingredient, was the ingredient!  Make sense?  It had to in its natural form, a piece of fruit, vegetable, or something else that grew out of the earth, but not in a processed form!  If there were more ingredients than the ingredient, it was off limits!

This little activity actually began to give me power.  Sounds funny, but having the strength to say no to artificial food-like food and yes to something natural, even though I would go through periods of feeling hungry, this sense of inner strength made me proud of my decision and each time, it became easier and easier.

Try practicing this activity, and I promise you will begin to see improvements in your health and energy levels!

Fitness Over 40

Most Effective Ab Exercise…But Proceed With Caution!

During my “glory days” of about 12 months, when I had the privilege of being able to lift up my shirt when any of my friends asked to see my abs, the first question was always..”Man, how did you get those?  I realize that my accomplishment was minimal of what you can see on the internet these days, but for a dad in his early 40’s, it sure was an accomplishment for me!  IMG_3689But to answer the question of how a 40 year old can develop abs, without hesitation, the first answer is “in the kitchen.”  You can do ab work all day long, but if your diet sucks, you won’t have anything but a pot belly!  But my second answer is that I lived with my ab roller.
Core Roller
There is no better way to destroy the core than doing as many reps as possible with this torture device.  I would usually do about 5-10 reps for 2-3 sets a couple times a day, then do to extreme soreness, I would have to wait about 2-3 days before completing the exercise again.  But as I began to lose fat around the mid section, this exercise surely did bring out the separation between the abs and the obliques.  Not to mention, the wife loved that “V” that shows up right around the pelvic region!

So why do you have to proceed with caution?  I will put on my Corrective Exercise Specialist hat to help with this one(Yes, for those who don’t know, licensed in addition to an advanced degree):  Everyone is familiar with muscle soreness and tightness that occurs with that.  absThis exercise not only focuses on strengthening the abdominal wall and obliques, but muscles that flex the hips (such as raising your legs off the ground) known as the iliopsoas are also engaged in this exercise.  When you couple those muscles that bring our torso closer to our lower region, and combine with how we tend to be sitting most of the day as a society, this can create a whole host of movement impairment issues.  The hunching over of the torso, the shoulders rounding forward from typing on a keyboard (as I am doing now), and extending our chin forward as we hunch, creates a great potential for future lower back problems, shoulder impingement issues, stiffness in the neck or even “knots” in the trapezius area.  So what I am getting at is that in the quest for a nicer stomach, we can introduce more tightness in that area that already is susceptible to issues.  So if you plan on adding this exercise into your regime, and yes, you will feel sore, then you must also incorporate plenty of stretching immediately following to lengthen the anterior portion of your body.  cobra-poseThe cobra is definitely a great stretch to do in between sets and immediately following your bout of ab rolling.

Good luck, keep stretching!

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Let the games begin…almost!

If you are like me, I can get inspired in a moments notice, and within the hour, it was like it almost never occurred.  I am aware that hitting that 40 mark is a game changer, and everything that “makes you a man” begins to slowly diminish.  Let’s face it, 100 years ago the average life expectancy of men was around 46, that is pretty depressing!  I am sure you can agree that in my mind, I still feel like a 20 year old.

So, this brings me around to the current post.  I know there are guys out there who have reached the 40 year mark and feel similar feelings that I do.  Even if you don’t, I would imagine that you still feel that hitting 40 took a turn of events in regards to your energy and activity level.  And like me, it would feel good to have that “inner drive” again and get up every day with the desire to conquer your goals.

Curious, any 40 year old guys out there relating to what I am saying?  In this day of community support through social media, what better way to get back in shape than to create a fitness group challenge where each day we can perform some basic exercises, calculate our points, and compete for the top 3 spots of the month for the cash winnings.

Introducing the Sisu Fit Games!  Some people might not have heard the word “sisu” and until my in-laws of Finnish decent introduced me to it, hadn’t heard of it either.  It means “perseverance, determination, guts, tenacity, stubbornness, and steadfastness.”  Basically the unwillingness to give up.  I love that word!  I learned that later in my life, that you must always possess some “Sisu” to accomplish anything worthwhile in life.  Now, here is our time to regain that inner and outer strength and compete in a friendly, supportive and encouraging manner.  Here are the details:

Eligibility:

  • Men 40 and over.  Must take a picture of drivers license(blur out license number) so that DOB is showing.

  • Classification of age group will be awarded points in the following manner:

    • 40-45 calculated points

    • 46-50 calculated points x 1.2 factor

    • 51-55 calculated points x 1.5 factor

    • 56 and over calculated points x 1.75 factor

  • Must have the ability to video record and post short workout segments for point verification.

  • Must have a distance tracking device via cell phone app or GPS monitor.

  • Must have a Facebook account.  Will be invited to our Private Group.

  • Exercise equipment needed:  Pull up bar and Abdominal Wheel (strength bands may be desired to help with assisted pull ups)

Rules:

  • Official launch date is September 1, 2017

  • Calender of exercises shown here: sept2017 

  • Each day on sisufitgames.com, a specific exercise will be assigned(air squats, push ups, plank, pull ups, 1 mile run, etc) with a directional video going over the details of the exercise, point value of completed repetitions, what is considered acceptable variations, and is not acceptable.

  • Contestants will have 2 minutes to complete as many repetitions(1 mile run n/a) in proper and acceptable form.  The repetitions must be video recorded with verbal time and date stamp.  All recordings must be from a side view(except pullups and ones noted).

  • Contestants are allowed to complete as many 2 minute rounds prior to 9 pm (EST) that evening as desired for maximum point values.  Only 2 minute video segments may be uploaded per time. Once round is completed, video is to be uploaded to the private FB page with point value noted.

  • Contestants must complete a point value form which will be provided with the exercise of the day, to be submitted by 9 pm that day the exercise was assigned.

    How To Compete In Sisu Fit Games

Log onto sisufitgames.com and go to the “EOD” page.

Screenshot 2017-07-05 10.03.11

You will see the EOD and instructional videos to complete each version Record and complete your 2 minute round of the EOD Click on the “Submit Your Points Here link Total your points for properly completed repetitions Screenshot 2017-07-05 10.05.05 Submit your points once entered Visit our Facebook page to upload your video of your 2 minute clip Official Rules for Standard of Conduct on Social Media Here Screenshot 2017-07-05 10.03.34 Post your video You may complete as many times during the day as you are able to Visit our Leader Board on Sisufitgames.com to see your ranking

  • At 9 pm on the last day of the month, winners will be announced.

  • 1st place: 50% of the jackpot

  • 2nd place: 30% of the jackpot

  • 3rd place: 20% of the jackpot

    • Jackpot amount is indicative of the amount of eligible contestants registered for that given month.

  • Winning distribution through Paypal or Visa Check Card.

  • Yes, I will be competing as well in the games, however, any personal winnings will be put back into the cash pot for the next month of competition!
  • To be eligible for each monthly contest, participant must submit entrance fee of $15 ($12 prize account, $3 processing) prior to the 1st day of each month.

To register go to www.sisufitgames.comDo you haveSisu_

 

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A Beginnings End

Hard to believe that 3 years ago, I weighed in at 185lbs, had practically a 6 pack and felt like I “had found the answer” to all my struggles with my weight.  Well, I’m back!  I have come to the realization, that you can never “find the answer” only find the path and then each day you must fight to stay on that path.  Habits and beliefs everyday will challenge you to revert back to your old ways, and it is a dog fight each day.  As I write this, I don’t know what will happen in tomorrow, nor the next hour, but I also have learned that we must nurture inspiration because it is not too often that it comes knocking on our door.

I think the result of this post is I am completely blown away at how much the last year and a half has been.  I am truly wondering if is my body telling me that at 45, my testosterone levels have dramatically dropped and the desire to exercise and stay in shape is going to be that much harder.  I have never remembered a time in my life where exercising was such a struggle.

Around the beginning of 2016, I remember falling into a slump, and I just thought that maybe I needed to take a brake, and let my body rest, maybe kind of a mental burnout.  A few months later, decided to pick it back up again; nope.  Maybe did a few workouts and lost all interest in continuing.  Waited a bit longer, try again.  Nope.  This pretty much has gone on the entire time.  Just watching my weight go from a pretty steady 200lbs to now hitting 230, and not too mention, probably about 5-10lbs less  of muscle!  Man, it has gotten pretty bad!

71617

I took this picture a couple days ago after a workout.  I felt so good about the workout, then looked at this picture and it felt like I got punched in that “larger-than-before” gut of mine.  Yep, going to be 46 in a couple months, and just hit the scales at 230lbs.  I guess you can say this is my journey blog to a better me.  I know that there are many men out there like me, and my hopes is that through community support we can all work to be a man we are proud to see reflecting in that mirror.

Wishes of Health and Happiness!  Drop me a reply if anyone can relate!