Fitness Over 40

The Beginning Has Begun

I honestly had troubles sleeping last night.  A mixture of excitement and nervousness consumed my mind, causing me to wake up several times throughout the night, mixed in with dreams of how my video production and getting everything set up was in complete disarray.  Well, workout #1 is completed, felt awesome to do so, but no doubt, looking forward to upgrading and improving the “exercise studio” to every ones viewing pleasure.

I wanted to post the video to todays workout, so anyone who is curious what the 21 Shred Workout looks like, can watch in its entirety. After today, all the daily videos will be on our members page at http://www.whatsyour21.com and click on “shred heads”.  I am surprised (also concerned) that my legs are a bit wobbly now that the workout is completed.  Might have some soreness tomorrow that I have to work through.

Now that the workout is complete, I will finish my large glass of water, enjoy a hot cup of black coffee, then off to the Co-op to get some organic produce for my first meal at 11am.  Still not completely sure of its ingredients, a lot depends on what’s available there and looks ripe.  My goal is to make a green smoothie with almond/coconut milk, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 banana, spinach or parsley, hemp seeds, and maybe some mango or pineapple.

Anyone not familiar with intermittent fasting, remember to first:

  • welcome the feelings of hunger.  Science has already proven the benefits of this program for our bodies and mind, so this state of hunger was something modern man and women experienced and adapted to.
  • Don’t calorie count!  Remember, you are eating for only a 8 hour period, eat throughout the day foods that are low on the glycemic index (all explained in my book).
  • Stay away from “set meals” throughout the day.  Eat only as your body requires, just grazing on foods at intermittent periods.  Your last meal of the day is your feast!

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Fitness Over 40

Tomorrow: My life changes forever!

It has really been a mental warm up to get to this point, but I am ready for the challenge, and more importantly, the change.  Tomorrow morning will be my first day on my 21 Shred challenge, which is going to test me mentally and physically by going 21 consecutive days performing the 21 Shred workout program, and the 21 day nutrition plan that includes Veg-Aleo and Intermittent Fasting.  Truthfully, that is the easy part for me.  It is also the first time in almost 10 years that I will be refraining from alcohol for that long of a period.  It seems so sad to me to even write that, but it’s true.  But I am doing this for my children, and most importantly, my middle son with special needs, who needs his dad around for a much longer time.  He will be my motivation through this.  No doubt, I am excited, but at the same time, so nervous.  My anxiety has been a challenge to deal with, and the use of alcohol for almost 10 years has created that dependency that will be hard to break.

My hopes are that I will be able to connect with others who are going to be going through similar challenges, and we can all pull together to encourage and motivate one another to create this change that will hopefully be long lasting.  I have been around the block long enough to know that it takes 21 consecutive days to form a new habit, and at the age of 46, teaching this old dog a new trick will be nothing short of a miracle.

Tomorrow morning will be my first of the exercise program, which not having exercised rigorously for over a month, I am going to welcome the challenge.  My objective however, being that I have to do this for 21 consecutive days, I will have to remember to not completely exhaust myself in that I will create soreness that will make day 2 very uncomfortable!  I have my dumbbells, and I have my space cleared out to get this program under way!

This is a call to any out there like me, who have been wanting to overcome either a food or lack of motivation habit, and want to finish the year of 2017 in a stronger and healthier body.  Go to www.whatsyour21.com and consider joining the challenge with me!  The more we get together for support, the better chance of success we will all have!

Cheers to a healthy and happy rest of 2017!

Fitness Over 40

21 Days To Form a New Habit!

3tj4reAnyone else out there that can relate to this?  Had great intentions on that “beach body” for the summer, and here we are, end of July and you’re thinking, “well that didn’t go as planned!”  Yep, me too.  Took on a new job, this was the first time I worked full time while the boys were off, kind of just threw me off my game!

No more excuses!  We all can make them.  It’s time to get laser like focus and test our mental and physical capabilities by completing the 21 Day Shred.  This will be 21 consecutive days of 21 exercises, performed in 30 second intervals with 30 second rest, all body weight and some dumbbell exercises, performed in the comfort of your own home.  Live video feed for those that want to follow along at 5:30am EST or complete on your own time.  We will be tracking on our private facebook page and pushing and motivating each other to keep going!  In the end, 2 men and 2 women will be chosen by the group who represented the contest the best by logging each consecutive day, and being there to motivate and support the others.

In addition, the goal of the group is to make a few dietary changes as well.  This includes the follow:

  • No added sugar.  If the label says “sugar” do not consume!
  • No breads
  • No alcohol
  • No processed meats, crackers, cookies, or anything artificial
  • No dairy
  • No concentrated fruit juices

Think you can do it?  I am betting that as a group, we all can!  In addition, completing the exercises I have outlined will benefit in the following ways:

  • Spike the metabolism into high gear with 21 consecutive days of exercise.
  • Develop phenomenal core and stability strength
  • Develop a strong mental attitude
  • Provide support and encouragement for all contestants
  • Lay the foundation for new habits, since it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

Click here to view the contest details and see the exercises that will be performed during the 21 days.  There will be variation to the exercises, but all are of medium difficulty and can be performed by most.  How much determination do you have?  Enough to make it for 21 days?

I am going for it, and I would love to see you too!

Fitness Over 40

HIIT or Long Steady Cardio For Weight Loss?

For anyone not familiar with HIIT, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  Basically a workout that a person would establish a either a few different exercises or an exercise that allows for short intervals of high intense effort, like a rowing machine, bike, treadmill, etc.  But is this more effective than getting on that elliptical trainer or treadmill, getting the heart rate up and keeping it there for 30 minutes or so?  What do you think?

Well, best thing we can do is break it down:  I would imagine that most people reading this like myself, are interested in losing some fat, especially around the mid section.  We know that we must burn 3500 calories in order to lose a pound of fat.  So to lose a pound of fat a week, we must burn 500 calories a day more than we consume over a 7 day period.  So if we keep our eating the same, that 500 calories would result in the following activities of long cardio:calorieexpenditure

 

The benefits of the long cardio is that almost 60% of the calories burned during the session are the result of fat.  Not bad, however, we have to look at the downside of this too.  Once we complete a bout of long cardio, within the hour, more like minutes, our heart rate has returned back to its resting rate, our muscles have minimal damage, so little is required in regards to repairing of muscle tissue.  The heart was not stressed enough to increase it’s overall capacity and strength.  We did open the arterial walls and allow more blood flow, which is a good thing in heart health.  But lets take a look at HIIT.

Completing 20-30 minutes of HIIT unfortunately is not track able in regards to caloric expenditure unless you are completing on an apparatus that tracks the overall calories, but what we do know, is that this form of exercise typically takes the heart rate into maximum values, forcing the heart to respond and become stronger over time.  This type of exercise also pushes the muscles beyond normal exertion forcing muscle damage requiring muscle repair over a 24-48 hour period.  So what does this mean?  When we push the body beyond normal capacity, once the bout of activity is completed, our body must repair itself.  In order to repair, it is going to require more energy expenditure for those 24-48 hours, simply put, our metabolism is now at a higher level causing our base metabolic rate to be a higher state, burning more calories while we are at rest.  Not too mention, that repair is now going to increase the total volume of the muscle fiber itself, requiring more calories in the day to keep its current volume.  Basically, the more muscle in volume (size), the more calories our body requires to maintain that muscle volume.

In a study produced by the Journal of Obesity by Stephen Boutcher, it was cited:

“Possible mechanisms underlying the HIIE-induced fat loss effect include increased exercise and postexercise fat oxidation and decreased postexercise appetite. As mentioned, Gaitanos et al. [29] have suggested that towards the end of an HIIE session that consists of numerous repeat sprints (e.g., ten 6-second bouts of maximal sprinting) an inhibition of anaerobic glycogenolysis occurs and ATP resynthesis is mainly derived from PCr degradation and intramuscular triacylglycerol stores. That increased venous glycerol accompanied HIIE in both trained female cyclists and untrained women [15] supports the notion that acute HIIE progressively results in greater fatty acid transport. Also Burgomaster et al. [55] and Talanian et al. [42] have shown that 6 to 7 sessions of HIIE had marked increases in whole body and skeletal muscle capacity for fatty acid oxidation.  (here is the link to the study)

Basically the study is stating that fat loss from HIIT occurs far after the bout of exercise is completed, in addition to the body requiring calories to return to normal levels of muscular glycogen (energy stored in the muscle) and muscle repair.  When our heart rate levels are low, as in the repair phase after the exercise, fat is a dense energy fuel that can be broken down with sufficient levels of oxygen.

To summarize, yes, if you want to take a walk in evening with your family it will be a good way to not only burn a few calories, but probably some mental clarity will be good for you too.  But let’s face it, if you are like me and are past the age of 35, you have probably seen a dramatic drop in your testosterone levels and regardless of how much you try to watch what you eat, you are gaining fat around the mid section faster than you ever thought possible.  The best way to attack this, is through some HIIT which can be done with some simple or even no equipment! high-intensity-interval-training This is a good starter guide.

Good luck with your bouts of exercise, if you have never done any HIIT, start small, and look to incorporate more of it into your workouts!

Live happy and healthy!

 

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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Goin Back To My Roots…Way Back

Looking back a few years ago, no doubt, implementing my “Veg-Aleo” eating was the single greatest contributor to getting lean and in the best shape of my 40 year life! Over the last several weeks, I have found myself slowing shifting my daily diet back into a more “off the land” mentality. As I describe in book, it brings a natural primitive feeling to me and seems to feel connected to my soul. Of course I am asked constantly about what I eat throughout the day, so today I took a pic of “what’s in my lunchbox?” Just another day to reinvent yourself and be your best! I will update later as to the “-Aleo” part of my food intake.