I get it, you've been out of the fitness game for too long, and you're ready to get the wheels in motion - awesome!
But where do you start? What should you begin with and how hard should you be going right off the start line?
Read the Over 30's Fitness Cheat Sheet below and discover the 8 truth's that you need to know to get back in shape, stay injury free and reach your goals once and for all.
1. Slow and steady wins the race.
All too often we jump straight back into our first workout without considering the consequences. If you haven’t trained recently or have been inconsistent with your workouts, it’s very easy to over-do it when you get back in the gym.
Wanting to train hard is fantastic but you’ve got to build up your strength and endurance over time. Too many guys try lifting the weights they used to throw around or jump right back in the deep end and wind up feeling like they’ve been hit by a mack truck and it’s 3 – 5 days before they can move normally again – and for most people, this is far from ideal.
If you’re thinking of getting back in the gym, or starting back up your workouts at home, think big but start small. You want to ease your way back into it and find your groove again. The last thing you want to do is try jump right back where you left off and end up injured or flaring up and old injury.
Slow and steady wins the race here and your fitness endeavours should be based around longevity. You’re not getting any younger and you’ll want to build up your strength and fitness levels over time so you can remain as fit and healthy as possible.
2. Movement isn’t punishment.
Your training program or workouts shouldn’t be focused on the various ways you can punish yourself for bad weekend or a few weeks of poor eating habits.
Your focus should be on moving better, improving your joint mobility, strength, and endurance rather than just flogging yourself.
Sure it feels great to know you’ve really pushed yourself hard and can be very rewarding. We like to build up to that level of intensity throughout each session by preparing ourselves with an adequate warm up, movement drills and mobility exercises.
Technique is everything and 95% of the time when you perform an exercise that causes you pain it’s a result of poor technique or an over looked weakness. By spending a decent amount of time focusing on the quality of your movements, your strength will increase, your pain levels will decrease and your work capacity will also increase because you’ll be able to perform more movements with better technique and as a result you’ll be able to train harder, pain free.
3. Set progressive goals and as your fitness levels improve, set larger goals.
You didn’t gain 20 kilos overnight and you aren’t going to lose it overnight either. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unattainable goals in the beginning. You want to get as many small wins under your belt as possible to build your confidence, have a greater sense of accomplishment and to help you build momentum towards achieving your larger, scarier goals.
If you haven’t been exercising regularly, a small win would be training 4 times per week for 4 weeks in a row. The same applies to your diet. Don’t go cutting out all your carbohydrates and depriving yourself of everything as of next Monday, in the hopes of losing large amounts of weight.
Set a goal to eat 3-4 real meals per day and to cut out the junk food for 14 days consistently and then build on that momentum from there.
Changing habits is hard and making the new one’s stick is even harder, but ultimately your habits are what got you to this point right now and if you’re like most guys I know, the fear of failure can be crippling.
Don’t make things harder than necessary, set small goals and as you accomplish these smaller wins your confidence will grow and so too will your goals.
4. Strength Training or Cardio? What’s best for you?
As you may know, here at Holeshot Fitness we are huge fans of strength training for several reasons but largely because of the benefits and results our clients achieve within their programs.
Everybody can benefit from a combination of Strength Training and Cardiovascular exercise but your goals, current weight and fitness levels will be the biggest indicator of what’s going to be most beneficial to you at your current stage in the game.
For example, a 40-year-old, 170kg man, is not an ideal candidate for an Olympic lifting or running based training program. He would see far greater success and a reduced risk of injury with a low impact training program of underwater walking at the local pool and guided free weight exercises for his upper and lower body.
There’s pros and cons to Strength Training and Cardiovascular based training programs, what’s important is understanding where you’re starting from and where you want to get to, from there, with the help of an exercise professional it’s easy to determine which training methods are going to be the best fit for you.
5. Ditch the diet and try J.E.R.F instead
It’s very easy to get caught up in the latest dieting trends when it’s all you see online and a friend as done it and lost XX amount of weight within weeks. The problem is the yo-yo cycle this creates and the never-ending endeavour of losing weight and getting in shape.
Instead of going on a diet every few weeks or months, try ditching the diet and J.E.R.F instead. J.E.R.F stands for Just Eat Real Food. It’s a super simple strategy but it works great and it’s easy to stick to.
Start cutting back on the snickers and mars bars, scrap the cans of V, chocolate milk’s and servo pies and start eating real food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Simply cutting back on the junk food, sugary energy drinks and laying off the booze throughout the week is enough for most guys to lose the first few kilos.
Adding more fresh fruit, veggies and lean protein sources to your diet also goes a long way with improving your recovery after workouts and ensures all that hard work isn’t put to waste.
After you’ve cut back on the junk and takeaways for a few weeks then you can start to get a little more specific with your diet approach and possibly start tracking your calorie and macronutrient intake or by following a professionally written nutrition plan.
6. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
You don’t need to smash yourself in the gym 5 – 6 times a week to see great results. In fact, we advocate that most of our clients only train between 3 – 5 times per week depending on their job roles and stress levels.
Simply put, your results are only as good as your recovery so if you’re always beating yourself up in the gym and not allowing yourself adequate recovery time you’ll start going backwards and you’ll likely wind up injuring yourself.
As humans, we tend to think that more of a good thing must be better but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Start small, aim for 3-4 workouts per week and gradually increase your training frequency from there. If you stop making progress in the gym or find that you’re starting to get regular pain or discomfort in your joints and muscles, it might be time to have a few days off.
Our two favourite training routines look like this;
3 Day Training Routine
Monday – Workout
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – Workout
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Workout
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Rest
4 Day Training Routine
Monday – Workout
Tuesday – Workout
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Workout
Friday – Workout
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Rest
7. Results will come, you’ve got to learn to love the process.
This was the biggest learning for myself and for my clients, you’ve got to learn to love the process. Chasing results is great but your motivation will come and go and if you’re only ever focused on the outcome, as soon as you lose motivation, you quit.
However, as you learn to love the process you get great enjoyment and fulfillment out of measuring your progress across all areas and making small improvements over time.
Try not to get caught up in only focusing on one facet of your health and fitness journey. The scales aren’t the only indicator of progress. Think about how you move, the way your body looks, feels, and performs. There’s always room for improvement and as you get better, your confidence grows and you begin to enjoy the process.
Learn to love the process and training is no longer a chore. It becomes a fun and rewarding daily activity.
8. "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur." - Red Adair
Lastly, trying to go it alone because you think hiring a personal trainer is too expensive is like trying to build a car in your garage instead of buying one drive-away ready to save some $$. What you might save in dollars you’ll certainly lose in time and wasted energy.
Hiring the right personal trainer to guide, motivate and educate you along the way will fast track your results and put you on the right path to begin with.
Sure, you’ll need to invest some money into services like 1-on-1 personal training or a group training program designed for guys over 30, much like the programs we provide exclusively at Holeshot Fitness but the results are well worth the investment.
Think of it like this.
Most guys sign up for a 6 to 12-month gym membership and rarely go because they’ve lost motivation or are unsure of what they should be doing but continue to pay until their contract is up. They wind up spinning their wheels but not getting any closer to achieving their goals and drop off.
That’s a cool $500 - $800 down the toilet because they chose the seemingly ‘cheaper’ route to reaching their goals. For most, this happens 2-3 times over before they decide to hire help.
Instead, they could’ve invested that same $500-$800 into a 3, 6 or 12 month coaching program at Holeshot Fitness and lost 5, 10, or even 15kg plus like so many of our clients have without the hassle.
When comparing the price of private group training and personal training to a regular gym membership, the gym seems to be the cheaper option but when you compare the total cost of an unused gym membership compared to a personal training or group training program that guarantees results, it’s an obvious choice.
I hope you found this cheat sheet helpful.
“Coaching everyday people through extraordinary transformations!”
If you’re over 30 and wanting to get back in shape, we’d love to help. Contact us today and lets have a conversation about where you’re starting from, what your goals are, and how we can help you achieve them.
Click here to schedule your free no-obligation 30min Fitness Blueprint session where head coach Ben Hidalgo will discuss your goals, and provide you a personal fitness blueprint to help you achieve your goals within the next 90 days.