I am 36 years of age, and I own a sports performance centre in Rockhampton. Sometimes I sit back and just look around when its busy and its like a “pinch me” moment where there might be 50 people all working to improve their performance in a place that I put together over years and thousands of hours of hard work, thought and not giving up the dream of helping the people I coach be the best at what they do and win every day.
It’s a funny progression from being a coach, where your life is somewhat yours to a business owner with more than just your clients to think about. Time gets away and I have found myself living a more and more sedentary lifestyle than ever before. I find myself making time for everyone but me, and there was a point in March 2015 this year, where I looked in the mirror and I was fat, and pretty pissed at myself for looking that way. I was not really doing anything to better myself physically apart from pretty inconsistent training sessions.
I hate exercise for the sake of exercising. Just part of who I am, but I have to have something to strive for, to motivate me otherwise I will put other things that I am striving for instead of training. Some people will criticize me for admitting this, but what’s the point of telling people lies. It is part of who I am. If you know yourself, you can change. If you don’t know, then its pretty damn hard to change.
So, why am I telling you this? Because it happens more and more to men aged between 30 and 39years of age, and it is the start of the decline of your health. If you are a bloke, between 30 and 39 years of age, know that this is THE most pivotal time in your life according to a few studies around Mens’ Health.
Once you stop exercising, playing sport or just going to the gym because it’s the thing to do when you are in your late teens and 20’s and choose instead going home to help raise a family, work that bit longer and get ahead in your job, studying extra courses to help your career progress, then it is really hard to get going again. WHY? Because what time are you going to give, to get exercise time?
So, I wanted to give you my way of getting enough exercise and making sure that it actually does something good for you.
I used to try to run, but found that every 6 weeks because I am tired, carry a bit of stress and don’t necessarily like running for the sake of it, I would either start to get a niggling injury, or something else would get in the way and I would get pulled away from it. My answer to training was then to train in the gym, in a controlled, even environment where I can set realistic and achievable strength goals for myself.
Strength or resistance training can be done two very basic ways. You can train to be really strong, or train for lean muscle gain. Strength training is high intensity, more rest between repetitions, and lean muscle gain training is generally more volume, less maximal intensity work and less rest between sets therefore you get more done in a shorter time frame. Everyone is different and so what suits someone else will NOT suit you, and that is completely fine!
There is so much science into what resistance training does, and I am not going into this in this piece, as its not the idea of the article today.
So, what is my message to you as a 30-39 year old man?
Please treat your body well now, so that people like me do not have to have conversations with you when you are 45 years of age and explain what diabetes is to you, or what gaining 25kg has done to your knees, back or just in general your fitness. The amount of benefits of strength training has been seen in so many research articles, but some of the benefits are:
- Better uptake of glucose (sugar) from your blood stream helping avoid conditions such as diabetes.
- Improved bone remodeling, reducing the risk of low bone density and osteoporosis (men are being diagnosed more and more!).
- Reduce the risk of many cancers
- Reduce the risk of cardiac disease by helping improve aerobic fitness.
These are some tangible long-term benefits, but the intangible benefits can be:
- If you work in a manual occupation, being able to keep your work rate high, and reduce risk of injury at work.
- Helping maintain your self-confidence by knowing you are stronger than you need to be.
- Improve your libido
My tips for maintaining your physique and not letting this slide happen through your 30’s is:
- Find a group to train with and stick with them
- Get a coach to mentor you and help you with programming, goals and accountability. It helps drive you to better yourself
- Get your family involved in active lifestyle pursuits early and keep that going. Spend time being active together rather than using the TV or media for babysitting tools.
- You do not have to be a weight lifter or some crazy person to get strong. You just have to start somewhere and keep going. The body will adapt and you will get stronger.
- Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Its your journey – keep it that way.
I hope this helps you take a really good look at what is happening and be honest with yourself. It’s the only way to succeed. Be honest, be accountable and then set and stick to a plan to get you successful.
If you would like help with getting started, I coach a few people face to face, in our centre I have some awesome coaches that do what I do and help people everyday, but I do coach a number of people online, where I help you set goals, be accountable to someone and stick to a plan to be stronger and keep your health in check. I can be contacted at email@example.com or via phone 4927 8190.