I remember growing up in the 80s, everyone's Dad was a worker.
Dads were STRONG and Capable.
You'd see them all doing yard work, working on cars, lifting weights in the basement, going to the park and running. These were all common activities amongst men. Today, things have changed drastically. The lack of strength in adult men is negatively impacting the younger generation as well.
Strength Training is foreign territory to most men in their 40s. Gone are the Mom and Pop gyms where strength was earned. Gone are the hole in the wall YMCA weight rooms filled with old York Barbell equipment.
Who are the heroes of kids today?
In the 80s, your Hero was your Dad, The Hulk, Rambo, Rocky and Arnold films. You saw the pro athletes and they were strong and tough. Today, being strong is offensive. Heck, the word Strength in and of itself has a negative connotation for the majority of common folk out there.
I can't imagine a life without strength training. At age 46, I feel that strength and bodybuilding are the fountain of youth. You will look great and feel great. In your 40s you'll feel capable and strong. Your mind will feel young. Your confidence will be high.
In your 40s I recommend strength training 3 x week as a baseline.
On the other days you can perform calisthenics, go running, hiking / rucking or any other outdoors / recreational activity.
Keep the motto Eat Clean, Train Mean planted firmly in your mind.
Start every training session with a high rep warm up to get the blood flowing and to prime the mind and body for the work ahead. Below are a few sample warm ups from our latest program, Summer STRONG.
The goal of the program is to challenge you and push you to have your STRONGEST Summer ever. The common excuses for being too busy are gone. It's time to be relentless and attack all the bull shyt excuses that stand in your way.
Warm Up Sample #1:
PREP X 2 ROUNDS:
A) Sleds x 200 ft
B) Band Face Pull x 20
C) 1 Arm Band Triceps (Any Angle) x 20 / 20
D) KB Around Body pass x 10 / 10
E) KB Row x 10 / 10
F) Dead Bug x 5 / 5
Warm Up Sample #2:
1) Jumping Rope x 2 Minutes
2) Calisthenics Circuit:
2 Rounds of:
A) Recline Row x 10
B) Bulgarian Split Squat x 5 / 5 each leg
C) Hindu Push Ups x 10
D) V Ups x 10
E) Bird Dog x 3 / 3
F) Dead Bug x 3 / 3
G) 1 Arm KB Carries (overhead, rack, suitcase) x 50 ft
H) Sled Drags x 100 ft
3) Banded Hip Mobility:
The older you get, the more crucial it becomes to never be "too busy" for a thorough warm up / prep. The prep builds muscle, builds technique, and gets the mind and body dialed in for the ahead.
Below is a screen shot of a sample week from Summer STRONG.
During the Summer, we normally get busier with life, especially if you're a parent. Your kids have camps of all sorts, so you're driving them all around. It gets easy to come up with excuses but you must fight the excuses and lock down time to train.
As a man and especially a father, it is your obligation to be STRONG. Weakness and excuses are NOT an option. When I've got a busy day ahead, I know that it's going to be a 5 AM wake up and drive straight to the gym. If you don't have a gym membership, calisthenics will never let you down.
I've been doing a simple warm up in addition to everything else I do before hitting the weights. I perform a double push up burpee (2 push ups in the bottom of the burpee) and then pull ups. I'll do 5 x 5 or 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps. This tried and true superset gets you working and feeling ready to go!
Calisthenics are crucial. And, they are powerful. They don't get a lot of attention unless you're doing a back flip and some other crazy shyt. Herschel Walker knew best as do other men. Brilliance with the basics. Squats, Lunges, Push Ups, Pull Ups, Sprints and Jumping Rope.
There are also ZERO excuses to avoid calisthenics. You can do them anywhere and at anytime. When trying to add muscle and lean out, I recommend doing some extra calisthenics a few nights a week. I've done this and it works great. A few rounds of push ups and squats get the pump going and also improves the way my joints feel.
One day out of the week your training should be tough. A day of carries, calisthenics, bells and overall getting your heart pumping. Below is a sample CMB / Fat Bell Complex that I did for 5 rounds, coupled with sleds and calisthenics.
To build muscle requires moderate weights and high reps. Most adult men are lacking muscle and do not need to lift heavy. They need some moderately heavy weights and plenty of reps to build muscle. If you're an adult and new to strength training, then I suggest using dumbbells, calisthenics and bands for the first 4 weeks.
Everything will be sets of 10 - 20 reps for building muscle and starting over again. Don't worry about going heavy in the beginning. Use the exercises below:
Lying Triceps Extensions
Chest Support Row
Get GREAT at the dumbbell exercises above. Again, brilliance with the basics. After 4 weeks of dumbbell training, you can introduce basic barbell exercises for sets of 5.
Bent Over Row
Before AND after the basic barbell work should be high rep dumbbell and bodyweight work. This is a simple formula to reclaim strength, build NEW strength and put on muscle, even if you're in your 40s.
There is NO pride in being weak, fat and out of shape. It's time to Make Men STRONG Again!
Strength is a Choice. Make it happen.
Live The Code 365,