Fit at 40


posted by on FITNESS


I love working out in the gym. It gives me my daily fix of adrenalin and a post exercise glow that lasts for hours afterwards. I don’t really mind what I’m doing either as it all seems to give me that buzz. Generally I feel pretty fit, toned and good about things. I do, however, sometimes feel that I’m stuck in a rut and favour the exercises that I’m competent with. Although I push myself fairly hard I think that my fitness levels are unchanging.

Added to this my 40th birthday is looming on the horizon (31st May 2013) and I want to celebrate it properly by getting in the best shape of my life. Not just in terms of looks either. I want to address the niggles in my ankles and neck, which although manageable don’t seem to get better. Time for a strategic month long plan using everything available to me to get me sorted and ready for the next decade of my life.

Aside from the standard gym ambition, to be the proud owner of the holy grail of fitness (a 6 pack), I also want to work on correcting my posture, improve my flexibility and work on some different techniques so that I can continue with my obsession well into my 40’s and beyond. A lot to ask in one month but working in a gym I have all the tools I could ever possibly need!


There is, of course, a twist…I want to achieve all of this without lifting any weight other than my own body!

Currently I can benchpress over 100kg, deadlift and squat 120-130kg, and do 4 sets of 10 pull ups without breaking down in tears on the floor. However, whilst looking for new videos to show on the gym TVs, I have been amazed at some of the feats of strength (not to mention the physiques) achieved using only bodyweight. As an example check out these men and women who seem to defy gravity and even trying some of those basic moves have rendered me feeling like the gym new guy.


Obviously, in order to get the six pack I have cried myself to sleep about at nights I am going to have to look into sorting my food out properly. I eat fairly well in my opinion following a 5,6 or 7 meals a day type plan based on many different food types. It seems to work for me in the main but obviously the lack of pack has made me think that perhaps something just isn’t quite right with my diet. Also whilst recently working on a diet plan for a client I thought I should take time to check my own food to see if it was as good as I thought. Shock Horror! Far too much sugar. Yes I had eaten a chocolate brownie that day but even with this taken into account I was way over the amount recommended for someone my size. The culprit, grapes, lots of fruit and strangely milk and other assorted dairy products. Maybe cutting this is the solution??!!

So, here’s my 5 point plan:

  1. Train using only bodyweight exercises, outdoor cardio (mainly running and cycling) and circuits to keep the metabolism high.
  2. Stretch properly and incorporate Foam Rolling  into my daily routine.
  3. Add in additional Yoga sessions to actively improve my flexibility and balance. Might need to sweet talk Gemma for some help with this.
  4. No Alcohol (I have a weakness for Gin and Tonic – always have, always will!)
  5. Reduce my intake of hidden sugar.

It all sounds fairly doable and for items 2, 3 and 4 I am certain that I can do it without really too much impact on my life. Item 1 worries me slightly in that I do not want to lose any volume in my muscles. It’s a body dismorphia thing, I know, but you get used to the look and feel so a reduction isn’t a good thing. The problem with item 1 in respect to this is…how do I work my chest, for example, in the same way as a 100Kg bench press will. Answers on a post card please.

Finally, and probably the most worrying thing for me, is item 5. In order to reduce my sugar intake I am going to have to either cut out grapes, bananas and apples or cut out dairy. Approx. 1100 calories of my daily intake for the last 5 years has come from porridge made with a pint of milk and served under lashings of delicious grapes. I am not sure if I can function correctly without it! I love the taste the experience of the hot milk and cold grapes and the constant energy this gives me for the first part of the day! Weird but then again we all have our little things we hold close to our hearts.

Current Breakfast

That’s it. Below are my body measurements and I will report back to let you know how it’s going, how I feel and if Denise has thrown me out for being a pain in the backside at meal times!

Weight 81.4Kg

Calf      366mm

Thigh  599mm

Hips   995mm

Waist 816mm

Chest 1060mm

Arms 370mm

Neck 370mm

Body Fat Percentage 10.8%



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  1. Yvonne Hurlow

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