Exercises to Fight Mid-Life

Often, I hear the question of “What’s the best workout for someone over 40?”. The definitive answer would take the science of genetics, even your upbringing, and the sports you played. Also, how many hours do you sleep and what is your medical history? Some research suggests that 49% of your traits come from genetics and 51% from environment. All this suggests that there isn’t really a cookie-cutter workout for the over-40 bunch.

However, there are certain traits that 40-year-olds share. These are the typical things that happen as you age, such as increase in body fat, loss in bone mass resulting in loss of height, joint problems, etc.  Here is what I like to call an Adapt Phase program for clients that have somewhat of a background with a fitness program. 4 workouts, done twice each over the course of 2-3 weeks, will help you establish a baseline level to see where you can work harder and where you can focus to feel better. See legend below workouts for a detail of the abbreviations.  

Warm Up

1-2 minutes

Level 1: Running in place

Level 2: Jumping jacks

Level 3: Mountain climbers

  • In between each of the exercises below, do 30-45 seconds of active rest, including:
    • Level 1: Walking
    • Level 2: Slow pace jogging in place
    • Level 3: Fast pace running in place

Workout #1                                                            

Goblet Squat 4 x 12
Incline DB chest press 4 x 12
1A DB BO row 4 x 8
KB RDL 4 x 15
 
Plank (sec) 4 x 45
Chin-up (AMAP) note reps 3 x  
BW Glute bridge (elevated) 3 x 12
BW reverse lunge (each) 3 x 8
 
DB lateral raise 3 x 12

 

Workout #2

DB OH press (strict) 5 x 8
BB SDL 5 x 6
BB BO row 5 x 8
Knee to elbow 5 x 10
 
BW RFE squat (each) 5 x 8
*KB swing (sec) note reps 3 x 45
Push-up 3 x 15
Jump squat 3 x 10
 
Plank (sec) 3 x 45

 

 Workout #3

BB Deadlift 3 x 8
*Javelin press 4 x 8
*Goblet squat 4 x 10
*Inverted row 4 x 10
 
*1L glute bridges 4 x 10
Plank (ALAP) 1 x  
Jumping Jacks (sec) 1 x 45
Chin-up (AMAP) 1 x  

 

Workout #4

BB front squat 4 x 8
Plank (sec) 4 x 45
Javelin press 4 x 10
Plank (sec) 4 x 45
 
BB glute bridge 4 x 8
Push-up (AMAP) 4 x
Mtn climber (sec) 4 x 30
       
 
Pull-up 1 x 20


Legend
                                                           


BB = Barbell

DB = Dumbbell

KB = Kettlebell

BW = Bodyweight

1A = 1 arm

ALAP = As Long as Possible

AMAP = As Many as Possible

OH = Overhead

SDL = Stiff-legged deadlift

RFE = Rear foot elevated

Looking at this workout plan may be a bit overwhelming and you may feel like you aren’t ready, but remember, you can scale any exercise to make it easier if need be or more difficult. If you aren’t comfortable with a barbell, try a dumbbell. You don’t have a kettlebell at home? That’s fine, a dumbbell can accomplish the same result. 

 

Although this is not a cookie cutter program, it will help you establish a good baseline fitness plan if you are someone that is getting back into it after a layoff. Please be careful whenever you start a new fitness program and consult your physician first and if you aren’t sure, you can always ask a trainer! 


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