Good morning! Or afternoon/ evening. Whenever you read this is cool, I’m just happy you’ve taken time out of your day to read stuff I write!
3 training thoughts
We often train for the short term benefits that seem important to us right now – getting ready for that beach holiday/ upcoming wedding/ reunion etc and forget about the long term benefits that resistance training delivers. 2 of the most worrying issues as we age are sarcopenia and osteoporosis. We lose muscle and bone strength. This has the double whammy (what a great word!) of making us weaker and more prone to falls, and at the same time making us less resilient to damage and more likely to break something. And for old people, a broken hip is a highly likely outcome from a fall and, having seen the issue first hand, the outcomes aren’t pretty.
But before I get you too depressed, there is plenty to do about it.
Muscle loss isn’t inevitable until you hit 80+, and hormonal issues and the bodies breakdown starts to overtake your efforts, but it is a factor of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle as we age. By staying active, and by building and maintaining as much muscle as we reasonably can, can offset both muscle loss and weakening bones as we age. This doesn’t mean we have to go full Arnold, but adding resistance training 2-4 times per week can go a long way to bulletproofing your body against the impacts of time.
I love dips as a tricep/ chest builder but the exercise is not appropriate for everyone due to the stresses on the elbows and shoulders. I’ve been looking for a good alternative to them that I can integrate into more client programs for a while, but just found this.
A staple core exercise variation in many of my programs is the anti-extension group of exercises, think planks, rollouts etc.
A common issue with these is a complaint of lower back pain at the extended position. While this may put yu off doing them, the cause and solution for this are straightforward. As you go out, you get to a point where your abs are no longer strong enough to maintain a neutral or slightly tucked position at your hips. Your hips roll forwards, putting stress into your low back causing pain. The solution is simply to limit how far you go out on the movement. Only going as far as you can control the position of your hips allows you to maintain better hip position and therefore a better back position.
2 nutrition bites
Having a plan is key to progress. I may have mentioned this before…
I have 2 great solutions for you to help you overcome any issues you have with getting on track with the nutrition side of things and help you make more progress towards your body composition goals.
The first is from my client Ceri, she’s made a 3 week rolling meal plan that works for her and her family and their busy lifestyle. Meals can be moved around a little to suit any last minute plan changes, and they can be adjusted to suit all the family preferences that pop up. And most importantly, it gives structure and is easy to follow. In the 6 weeks or so she’s been using this approach, she’s made great progress without ever having to track calories.
The second approach is from my online client Lisa. We were chatting about her progress and calorie targets (she’s happy to track consistently and it works well for her), and looking through her tracking over the last 3 weeks, we found a couple of 3-4 day stretches where she absolutely nailed her calorie and protein targets. So these days have given her a template of how to do it more consistently, and now she has a plan in place to follow.
Whether you want to track calories or not, you need to get some kind of plan in place to see progress. How do you plan your week?
When considering your fatloss / body composition goals, you need to consider what you are willing to give up in order to achieve them.
Are you willing to give up on Friday night after work drinks?
How about that scone with your afternoon cuppa?
How many meals out are you willing to miss out on?
While you can absolutely see great amounts of progress and still go out fairly regularly, the more defined and lean you want to get, the bigger the sacrifice you need to be willing to make.
Personally, I like doughnuts too much to ever get stage lean…
1 exercise demo
Spilt stance RDL.
The non working leg stays on the floor, close to, and just behind the foot of the working leg. Get right up on your tip toes to make sure you keep your weight off of it!
Run through your reps on the working leg without falling over, then swap sides and repeat.
This is similar to the option above but this time your back foot slides along the floor. This maintains contact for balance, but changes where the balance point comes from, meaning you have to work harder to maintain good technique. Don’t push off the back foot.
Full SL RDL
Take that back foot away! Balance now comes from your ability to stabilise on one leg, maintain a flat hip position and an improved sense of balance. You can touch the foot down at the top position if you need to between reps.
I’ll usually program 3 sets of between 6 and 12 reps per side.
P.s. if you haven’t checked out my new podcast, you get it here:
It’ll be available on other platforms soon!