What does fitness look like in the mid-30s
What does fitness look like at 35 Part 1-Identify some of the issues Part 2-Provide some solutions
As my friends and I are approaching our “mid-30’s”, I have started to notice a few changing trends in the way we exercise, and the way we consume exercise. Fitness is literally at our fingertips with all of the apps and Instagram pages devoted to it, but we seemed to be as confused as ever. The overload of information, both good and bad, has made many “experts” and left many confused about how to train. After listening to clients’, hearing friends complain, and ask for advice, I have decided to tackle what I think are three of the biggest barriers to fitness for women in their 30’s.
● No Organized Training Program--- Tools like ClassPass, Instagram, etc. have made it easy to have a buffet of options at your fingertips, which can be great, but they lack consistency. Showing up to a different workout every day can be really fun, and stimulating for the brain, but it is hard to attain results if you don’t do something consistently. One of my favorite sayings is “you get good at what you do.” Rarely do you see a professional athlete who isn’t honing their craft every single day. If you want to get stronger, and get more fit, you have to lift regularly. There sadly is no substitute. Muscle building takes progressive loading over time, it is all about volume.
If group fitness is your jam, find classes that complement each other. Is it really smart to do a yoga class after a “chest, back and abs” day at Barry’s? Both types of exercise tend to focus on similar muscle groups. This is not as good as traditional programming but is the best solution for those who prefer classes. Remember try to think about the major muscle groups used in each class, and then schedule them out so that you don’t end up working the same muscle group every time. And as for cardio, remember too much of anything can be a bad thing. High intensity exercise every day will likely result in injury, and if you are able to do it every day without injury, it probably means that you aren’t giving your all in class.
In an ideal world, you would be able to accomplish three main full body workouts a week. Split into an upper body push/lower body pull day, and upper body pull/lower body push day, and a rotational day. Anything on top of this would be gravy. So before you just click on your favorite class for the 3rd time in a week, take a second to think about how it fits into your weekly split.
● Scheduling Issues--- Kids, family, work, all take up significant time. Too often, I hear people saying that they don’t have enough time to workout. My thought to this is that if you have as little as 20min, you can workout. Depending on the situation, this may mean that you go in front of your house and run/walk up and down the hill outside (in SF) or grab a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells and do a quick strength complex. Somewhere
along the way 45-60min became the standard length of time to exercise. Don’t let that notion hold you back! Stay tuned for my next article with suggestions for short and dirty exercise suggestions.
On the flip side, I see many people trying to make up for a lack of fitness during the week by exercising in excess on the weekends. Two workouts a day, extended length workouts, etc. This is a recipe for injury. Aim for moderation, your body and your metabolism will be pleased.
● Lack of focus on recovery and regeneration--- You need to be in tune with your body! That means respectfully listening to it, when it tells you it needs a rest. Sometimes we go go go so much that we don’t even realize we have done too much until we end with an injury. One extra day of pushing ourselves because of the demons we are fighting in our heads is not worth weeks out of the gym because of an injury sustained. Don’t be afraid to be brutally honest with yourself and start with where you are. The gains you get as you get stronger and your endurance builds will be that much sweeter. Find a body work person, find a physical therapist, and a chiropractor or acupuncturist, and learn to take care of your body. You only get one.
While this is nowhere near a comprehensive list of roadblocks or life challenges that occur on our road to fitness, it is definitely a start. I think that these three topics lead to many of the other roadblocks, like always finding an excuse, not being prepared physically or mentally, and a general barrier to entry. If we feel like we cannot do something, or have fear of being the “worst” one in class, we won’t show up. Let’s rally to support each other. Be open to trying all forms of fitness, but also find your passion, find a professional to help you program accordingly, and then enjoy every step of the way. There is no greater feeling than achieving something you thought was previously unattainable. So get out there, get uncomfortable, and get educated. You just might surprise yourself!
What does an ideal week look like? Monday-Upper pull/Lower Push Tuesday-Metabolic Wednesday-Recovery (yoga, pilates, etc.) Thursday-Upper push/Lower pull Friday-Rotational power (longer cardio day) Saturday-Recovery Sunday-Rest
Easy Workouts to do at home
● DB high pull
● DB squat to press
● DB RDL
● DB bent over row
● DB alt. Rev. lunge
● Lunge jumps
● DB pull through
Repeat 3-5 times. 8 reps for each exercise. The weight should be challenging. Rest 1-2min between each round.
● Run 2mins recover 1 min for 20mins. The 2min pace should push you. You should not be able to carry a conversation during those 2mins.
● Set the incline to anywhere between 1.0 and 5.0. You can up it from 1-5 as the pushes go, depending on your fitness level.
● End with a series of 5 sprints all done at 1.5 incline. 30s on 30s off, 45s on 45s off, 15s on 15s off, 60s on 60s off, 30s on 30s off
● Plank walk up
● Reverse lunge/Forward lunge
● Lateral lunge
● Cross body mountain climber