If you have been thinking about getting back into shape and suddenly discovered that you are no longer in your twenties, welcome to the club. Many men have had to wake up to the fact that they can no longer do the kind of work outs that they did 20 years ago. At least now without some serious recovery time afterwards.
If you want to get back into shape you will need to look at your program a little differently than the guy who was never in shape in the first place. That’s because your muscles have a different capacity if you have been in shape at some point in your life than if you were starting out for the first time.
Let’s say you used to run marathons and are now 30 pounds heavier than your running days. If you went out to the track with someone who has never run a marathon but instead ran the remote control from his Lazy Boy, you’ll quickly see the difference in muscle ability and lung capacity.
Get a physical exam before trying any workout if you re over 40 or have two or more of the following risk factors: a family history of heart disease, you’re a smoker, you’re sedentary, you’re overweight, or you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
The irony is of course that these are the exact reasons to get fanatical about working out after age 40 because you will be a candidate for these health risks if you don’t exercise.
So if you are starting out with a new fitness routine, here’s what I recommend as the best men’s fitness workout routine if you’re over 40. Get a bicycle, a jump rope, an abdominal wheel and a set of 10 and 20 lb. dumbbells and finally a boxing rounds timer. You can really test yourself with just this little equipment alone. This program is not for the sedentary.
Try this routine for a month and check your waistline once a week with a tape measure.
First, do a five-minute warm-up by cycling, come back and start your jump rope for five minutes at about 40% of your full effort.
Set the boxing timer for two minute round time and 30 seconds rest. Start with six rounds. If you are reasonable fit, you can start with push ups on the first round and keep going until you finish the round. If you have trouble completing the push ups for the entire two minutes, go to your knees and continue.
Round One: If you are good at push-ups, go for as many as you can within the time allowed.
Round Two: Switch to the jump rope on round two and start off easy. Your shoulders will hurt but this round allows your muscles to work out the lactic acid. Now of course your lungs will hurt; but it is a good feeling.
Round Three: After the 30 second rest, go for an intense two minute round with the jump rope and hit 70% of your intensity. Rest for the 30 second break.
Round Four: Get on your knees and perform two minutes of ab wheel exercises. This will get our core nice and strong. You will be stretching your body and building your back and shoulders as well. Rest for the 30 second break. When you get really good at this, you can go to the full ab wheel stretch starting from a standing. This is called a super extension roll. To avoid back pain, maintain proper alignment and use your core.
Round Five: Grab those 10 or 20 lb dumbbells and begin to work your shoulders with standing dumbbell press. You will be doing them for two minutes so pace yourself and maintain proper form.
Round Six: Go back to the jump rope and fire off two minutes of intense rope work.
Cool-down in the same way you warmed up. Try to do two minute rounds at first, then gradually work your way up to the three minute rounds. Repeat the workout three to four days a week.