30 Something Reasons to Get in Shape for 30 Something+ Year Olds……

Hi & Welcome back!!

I have put together a list of what I believe are the most compelling reasons for the over 30’s (not to mention over 40’s or my mob – the over 50’s) to get in shape and stay there.

In shape - but not for most of us mere mortals

Being in shape for me means that I have a low & age appropriate body Fat %, I feel strong and have muscular endurance, that I hold a reasonable cardio endurance, can touch my toes and have a good general flexibility. It is my firm belief that getting better in the these areas will see you able to live and enjoy a fuller life. (You’ll also LBN!!)

So to get or to stay in great shape her are 30 something reasons…


Let’s clear up LBN – LBN means Look Better Naked. With a lower fat percentage, some muscle and more importantly the confidence that comes with being in shape you can’t help but LBN!

Reduces Cholesterol

Increasing research is showing that this is not the bad boy it has been painted as for the last few decades, but nonetheless too much LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) is still not a good thing to have going on and regular exercise (especially Interval style – see earlier posts) has been proven to reduce LDL levels whilst increasing HDL ( High Density Lipoproteins) – the good cholesterol.

Not everyone can get in this shape - but we can improve our own!!

You’ll Sleep Better

Lack of sleep increases the release of cortisol and cortisol promotes fat storage especially around your belly. ( no cortisol is not bad – but too much of it is!) Regular challenging exercise helps you get to sleep quicker and to sleep longer and more deeply. It also reduces the release of stress related hormones like cortisol and promotes the release of HGH ( Human growth Hormone) This hormone is often called the ‘Fountain of Youth’ hormone due to its effect on your body’s fat stores ( it cuts them) your lean tissue (you get more muscular) and your over all health.

You’ll feel better about yourself

Just working out regularly and getting in shape makes you feel better about yourself. We can’t all look like Brad Pitt in Troy or Angelina in… (Well ladies insert your favourite here!) but we CAN make of ourselves the best we can. Doing this enables to feel more in control of our lives and being in shape for ourselves will give a confidence boost.

Physical appearance isn’t everything,  but by getting into better shape you’ll look better, and this will improve your confidence.

Your Blood Pressure will reduce

Stress, lack of sleep, poor diet – all contribute to high blood pressure – a recognised killer. Getting in shape not only reduces your blood pressure but can actually prevent it from either re-occurring or taking place in the first place!

Your won’t ache or hurt as much

One of the most common (and in many cases debilitating) complaints of the over 30’s ( & it sharply increases for each 5 year increment above this in the general population) is back pain – usually lower back pain. Years of sitting actually shortens certain muscles & tendons resulting in constant & additional pressure on our lumbar region. General lack of movement and no weight bearing exercise weaken muscles generally. This combines to the dreaded ‘throwing your back out’…

You won't need one of these if you are in shape...

Simply by lifting weights, moving more and sitting less can & does reduce this. Getting in shape with the strength & flexibility can eradicate it completely or at lest reduce it to more manageable levels. A large number of studies show that exercise is an effective treatment for recurrent low back pain.

You’ll suffer fewer injuries

Getting in shape & developing a strong, fit body will see your injury numbers decline severely. Not just back pain, but twisted ankles, stubbed toes, sore shoulders and neck pain – but general aches & pains all decrease the fitter and more in shape that you are.

You’ll be able to stand in the one spot longer (important in supermarkets, cinemas, at parades, in Church or just life in general…

You’ll reduce your chances of getting some types of Cancer

There are a number of studies that show regular exercise and low body fat equal a lesser chance of developing a number of cancers – particularly bowel, colon and breast cancers. In some cases the studies suggest being in shape & regularly exercising reduces some cancer risks by up to 40%.

You’ll have a faster Metabolism (my favourite)

By now you know that this blog is primarily about ways to recondition your metabolism so you shed fat, get fitter and enjoy much better health. I’m not going to labour the point here – by getting in shape will recondition your metabolism meaning that you heal faster and burn calories more efficiently & effectively. A faster metabolism carries a host of health benefits.

You’ll recapture some ‘lost’ Range of Motion

Getting in shape & working out with a strategic program will help you rediscover the joys of being able to

Range of motion - not everyone wants this much, but you can get more...

touch your toes, scratch your back and other many other  lost ranges of motion.

Nowhere else is it truer that if you don’t move it you’ll lose it as in the area of flexibility.

Becoming more flexible reduces joint stiffness, can assist with arthritis pain and also adds to reducing injury occurrence.

Your Functional Strength will improve

Functional strength is one of those terms that has become more of a marketing handle than a real descriptor of a real thing. However true functional strength means that you have the strength & power to do the things you need to each day in your life.

It can be carrying groceries, lifting a child, getting out of a chair, digging a garden bed, riding a bike, painting a ceiling, push starting a car or… you get the idea.

Being in shape improves your quality of life because you have the ability to do the things in your life.

You’ll improve your Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin sensitivity is the degree to which your body (primarily muscles) is able to receive and glucose from your bloodstream. Insulin resistance means that more & more insulin has to be released by the pancreas leading to increased fat storage, or in extreme cases (which are becoming less rare in these days of obesity) a loss of the ability to produce sufficient insulin at all. Yep – dose dependent diabetes…

Being in shape with a more efficient metabolism & lower body fat improves insulin sensitivity and can prevent the development of type 2 (often called adult onset) diabetes.

You can find a few out of the 168 hours each week to get in shape

With 168 hours each and every week we can all find 3 or 4 of these to use to get in and stay in shape. The benefits are too many to ignore and the results too important to miss out on because ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is on.

If you have to, make your workouts an appointment in a diary. Just find the time…

You’ll have a higher desire for Sex

No not enough that you’ll develop sex addiction, but being in shape & LBN certainly raises the sex drive of both males & females.

Part of it is better circulation, part of it is increased body awareness and feeling more in control of your body and a large part of it is improved hormone health. Regardless – getting or being in shape certainly improves the bedroom…

Heart Atack and more diseases either in progress or about to start...

You’ll Decrease your Risk of Heart Disease

Challenging exercise exercises the heart like any other muscle and like any other muscle regular exercise improves the hearts strength & responsiveness to the demands placed on it.

Contractile strength improves and with higher HDL & lower LDL your risk of heart disease drops. A lot.

You’ll get a kick out of exercise

Challenging exercise releases a number of ‘feel good’ hormones (think runners high) that elevate our mood, lift depression, decrease the effects of stress and poor sleep and have been proven to make us happier.

This effect is even more marked when you make at least a part of your exercise program an activity that you love to do. It can be ballroom dancing, squash, tennis, a martial art, yoga – whatever. When you have at least 1 regular activity of your exercise program as something you love you overall enjoy getting & staying in shape more. And you smile more – a lot more.

You’ll likely live longer

Folk who are in shape tend to live longer, have better health and less disease & injury. At the very least they experience a better quality of life.

You’ll develop (rediscover) better balance and Coordination

This sort of ties in with suffering less injuries if you are fit – but if you are in shape & working out regularly your kinaesthetic awareness (your mental awareness of your body’s place in the space around it) improves. You’ll trip less often, bump into less and find that you drop things less often.

Well maybe not this much more balance (unless you want to work for it!!)

Even better – for the older ones of us – you’ll be less likely to fall – and for anyone in their late 50’s on falls is a major health problem …

You’ll reduce your chance of Osteoarthritis

Weight bearing exercise coupled with moving more means stronger bones. Period. Calcium supplements have their place and so does diet but if you want strong bones move some weight and get stronger than you are today.

Your gut will work better

Getting in shape means more efficient processing of the food you eat. It means reduced risk of ‘over 40’s’ diseases such as diverticulitis, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, and inflammatory bowel disease; for everyone else it means a decreased incidence of constipation.

Getting in shape is not just for cosmetic external purposes – a reconditioned metabolism means everything works better.

Your weight will change

Getting in shape means dropping body fat and developing some muscle. Scales don’t count because muscle weighs more than fat, but the mirror, your partner’s reactions and how your clothes fit do.

Your body will use more fat as fuel

Regular exercise tends to improve your body’s ability to use fat as fuel. This is a good thing as is unfit folk our bodies have a tendency to store fat and breakdown muscle for fuel once glucose is depleted.

Even better – unhealthy fat stores like belly rolls and love handles, visceral (internal) fat can not only be prevented but heavily reduced if not wiped out by getting in shape.

You’ll get sick less often

Your entire Immune System will improve...

Being fit means a stronger immune systems and this translates into less illness – fewer colds, quicker recovery from the ‘flu and generally better health.

You’ll focus better

Another truth about moving into the above 30 age bracket – our ability to focus , concentrate and multitask begins to drop. A lot. By your 50’s it can be beginning to become a real issue.

A better supply of oxygen & nutrients to the brain due to improved circulation from regular exercise not only arrests this mental decline, but can on occasion reverse it.

You’ll have loads more energy

Exercising regularly improves your body’s utilisation of food and the performance of its various energy systems. Net result? A real increase in energy levels.

More energy means better quality of life and more engagement in living – to good to miss!!

You’ll reduce the chance of developing Alzheimer’s

Remeber when you had this much energy??!!

Although this is likely tied to improved circulation of oxygen & nutrients to the brain, getting in shape through challenging & regular exercise appears to keep your brain sharper and may reduce the chances of you developing not only Alzheimer’s disease but a number of other dementia type mental disorders.

It may be tied to the improved circulation and the increased amount of mental awareness required to partake of exercise or other physical activities. There is even some talk of the feel good hormones also playing a role…

In any case the research is ongoing but is too good to ignore.

You’ll feel like you are reaching your potential

Being out of shape, fat, flabby and out o breath with no strength means that you cannot possibly be at your best. The world is a nastier place when you are out of shape and your internal landscape can come to resemble your outer one. Not healthy – physically or mentally.

By getting in shape, reconditioning your metabolism and losing ft you transform into you Ver 2.0 – a better version of yourself.

The Greeks used to say ‘Healthy body, Healthy mind’ – and the more we learn about how our bodies work and how they integrate with our emotions and thought process the more correct the Greeks seem to be.

Undertaking a physical transformation will improve your mental, emotional, and spiritual state; and upgrade your quality of life.

From the appearance of your skin, to your overall body shape, to how well your metabolism works, how you think or shrug off illness – just about every physical attribute you posses gets better when you’re in shape.

Set them up for a better quality of life

You’ll set a good example for your kids (or grandkids, or…)

By taking charge of your shape & fitness and being committed to it you will also help your kids to develop similar habits. Being in shape has so many health benefits that if you can influence by example your children you could literally be reducing the amount of stress, pain & illnesses that they will suffer in their lives. A helluva a good reason to get & stay in shape as far as I am concerned…

(If you like this list and have sedentary friends then shoot them a copy of this blog – it just might get them moving.)

Please leave a comment below and I’ll see you next time…

Some Long Lasting Fatloss Exercise Myths – Taken Apart!!

Hi & Welcome back!

A few of you have been in touch with some questions about exercise & conditioning and where the truth lies so I though that I’d work our way through a few of the more common ones…

Myth #1 – Lifting weights will make Women look like a male Body Builder You’ll get big, bulky & ugly…

I wish that I had a $ for everytime that I have heard this one! It is a common concern of everywoman who joins a gym or reads about the importance of muscle in keeping fat levels down and metabolism high. Many believe that lifting challenging weights ( the best & only way to get quick & lasting results) will see them looking like a male bodybuilder in a few workouts time…

Not without 'Roids you won't...

Even worse it is a myth constantly reinforced and perpetrated by Aerobics, Spin, Tai Chi,Yoga, Zumba & Pilates instructors who should know better. A lot better.

Ladies – you DON’T have to worry about ending up looking like the Hulk! Seriously you don’t.

She doesn't look like Arnold... Nor would you


Well the truth is not only have female bodybuilders been training at elite levels for years but they have also ingested a large amount of anabolic steroids in order to increase their muscle mass. Non-steroid using women simply don’t have enough natural testerone to develop huge masses of muscle. You DO have sufficient naturally occurring testerone so that if you train intelligently you will develop strength, and curves.

Similarly for men – if you are not using steroids and you are past your teen years (the only time in a male’s life when his body has the perfect anabolic environment)  then you will have to train for years to build a lot of muscle mass – even with a man’s naturally higher levels of testerone. (although men’s T-levels are dropping in the Western world – but that’s a topic for another blog…)

Men & Women who are not drug assisted have to work damn hard for every ounce, every gram of additional muscle they gain through exercise. You don’t get leaner, curvier and stronger without working for it.

The benefits of anyone using a strategically sound workout regime are many, here are a few for women to consider:

  • Weight training increases bone density and is still the best way to avoid osteoarthritis
  • You become & stay leaner because your metabolism becomes  reconditioned and functions at a higher rate.
  • You get stronger and this carries over in everyday life and benefits everything from carrying groceries, hugging your kids, wresting your loved ones, lugging a TV to another room or just doing the necessary household chores. Research has also shown that becoming stronger reduces the incidence of falls in older women…
  • If you are a female athlete strength training reduces the incidence of injuries.
  • Your posture improves because the ‘anchoring’ muscles & tendons get stronger. You look more confident & alive, not stoped and old…

    Lift weights and you won't need to use one of these...

  • You become more selfconfident – few people in our comunity take the steps necessary to get in charge of their appearence & health but if you do not only do you feel more in charge of your life but you know that you are capable of things most folk can’t. My (much) better half Lynne is a 5’2″ Blonde who can deadlift 90+ kilos for reps and leg press a 150kg for a 100 reps. Not many men can do that (and you should see the looks on the faces of the males in the gym when she does…priceless) Now I am not suggesting that you want ot or have to move weights like Lynne does (she is competitve by nature), just that by using an intelligent strength training regime you will be able to do things most folk can’t and this will give your confidence a real boost!!
  • You look better and have a better shape. The usual path to fat loss for many women is long slow cardio and starvation diets which destroy muscle and leave you a smaller fat person. Strength training gives you curves and transform the composition of your body
  • You just look better dammit!!

Myth #2:  Long steady cardio in the ‘fat buring zone’ is what you have to do to burn fat

Think about this – everyday 1000’s of folk get in their car & drive to the gym to ride a bike walk a treadmill or climb some stairs…

Driving to the gym for a treadmill session is like this...

The issue here is not with the idea of using your aerobic energy system to stimulate fat loss. Cardio as in moving your body using large numbers of muscles, is a credible way to burn fat. The problem is that if you live in the real world long slow steady cardio takes a lot of time and is not that efficient. Plus its boring. If you have a life to live outside the gym then tradional slow cardio is not the best way to lose fat and get leaner.

The main issues with traditional cardio, often referrred to as ‘Chronic’ cardio by enlightened trainers) are:

  • It is time consuming and offers a poor return in terms of fat loss and health benefits for the time invested.
  • To burn 3500 claories (the amount in a pound of fat) you’d have to run at a 6 minute mile pace for 5 hours. So slow cardio can & does burn claories – but to burn a lot of calories you have to do it for a long time.
  • Then because you have been going steady as soon as you stop your metabolism drops right back to where it was before you hopped on the treadmill and you can forget about there being any significant post-exercise calorie burn.
  • Your body adapts to exercise induced stress. Very quickly. Particularly with long steady exercise. Just like water always travels downhill, your body is always looking for ways to conserve energy and making movement as efficient as possible is one way it does this.
  • Unless you subject your body to exercise which carries a high metabolic cost your body adjusts and becomes more efficient at any exercise  in short order.
  • When we want to lose fat we don’t want efficiency we want chaos and steep learning curves and inefficient body action. The more efficient your body becomes at any exercise the less energy it requirs to perform it. Less energy burned equals more fat retained!
  • Even HIIT training has to be changed around every few weeks as your body will adjust to it. With strength training it takes just 6 weeks for adaption & energy efficiency to occur…
  • So with traditional cardio in order to get the same results from the same exercise, you have to invest more time for longer & longer periods.
  • It just makes sense to use more using challenging cardio like sprints, bodyweight circuits or exercising using the Tabata protocol all work to keep your body off balance and raise the metabolic cost of exercise meaning more fat is burned.

    For Fat Loss this is NOT the best use of your time...

  • High injury rates – especially to the ankles, shins and knees. Any runner can attest to this, but so can any treadmill, stationary bike or stairclimber user. Long slow cardio promotes repetitive strain injuries – particulary on the weight bearing parts of our anatomy.
  • Research has shown that every foot fall when running creates the equivalent of 2.5 to 3 times our bodyweight on thelanding foot, arch, ankle, shin & knee. A slightly deviated gait can result in hip injuries.
  • Our bodies are designed to either move slowly over longdistances (like walking) or move rapidly over short ones (sprinting) – our joints, in our current historical times, seem to not be built to handle long periods of repetive running – especially on roads, pavements or treadmills. If you are carrying too much weight, the potential for injury just increases.
  • Did I mention steadt traditional cardio is boring?

Okay – I have just junked the idea of chronic, long, slow steady cardio – so what works? Metabolic conditioning, more specifically metabolic conditioning using a HIIT protocol.

Try these HIIT style for a real cardio workout...

The HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The metabolic conditioning refers to exercises that combine elements of strength training with cardio. Performed correctly this rsults in short, sharp & very time efficient workouts that burn fat and lots of it. The metabolic cost ( calories burnt)of HIITMC is huge and the ‘afterburn’ – where your body keeps burning calories for hours after exercise ceases –  is significantly high.

HIITMC when done properly will make your lungs  feel like they are on fire, your heart is trying to climb up your throat and your body will want to return to its ‘normal’ state ASAP. In order to do this your body has to clear the fatigue products, rebuild affected muscle, replenish glycogen stores and a lot more besides. The only way it can achieve this is by ramping your metabolism up. Way up. In fact studies have shown a significantly elevated metabolisn for up to 38+ hours after this type of exercise session.

This means a couple of things – greater fat loss in less time than traditional cardio with the added benefits of strength training. HIIT style metabolic conditioning results in overall fat loss up to 220% that of traditional cardio.

If HIITMC is so good then why isn’t everyone using it?

There are a number of reasons why more people are not using HIIT MC for their fat loss:

  • Most people still think that ‘Aerobics’ or traditional cardio is the best way to lose fat.
  • Many Gyms & Personal trainers are in the business of keeping you coming back and don’t want to either deliver results too quickly or to scare you off. (Plus once you know how to do it you don’t need them or even their machines any more except for a bit of variety…)
  • HIIT MC is hard work. Real hard work.
  • If you are using a HIIT protocol correctly you won’t be having a chat to your work out buddy, or be able to read a magazine or change the song on your iPod. usually with HIITMC your focus is on getting to the end of the current timed interval and trying to get enough breath into your lungs.

Using HIITMC – your lungs burn, your muscles strain and your will is challenged. You will sweat. A lot. More than a lot. These are all good things as they show that you are getting your body to do what you want not allowing it to take the path of least resistance (which it prefers!)

You don't need a gym for a HIITMC workout...

A HIITMC session can be a simple as:

  • Doing 5 rounds of 3 exercises with 1 minutes break between rounds – push ups followed by pull ups followed by bodyweight squats is the classic combo.
  • Using ‘Ladders’ for exercises like burpees – do 1, stop, do 2, stop, do 3, stop. do 4, stop, do 5 etc until you do 10 then reverse the process and do 9, stop, do 8, stop until you get back to zero.
  • Going to the beach, marking out 50 yards / metres and doing 10 sets of sprints with 1 minute (or less) break between sets.
  • Do 10 sets of hill runs, resting only as long as it takes to walk back down between each set.
  • Doing 200 kettlebell swings with a challenging weight only stopping long enough on the way to catch a few deep breaths.
  • Use a leg press machine with a challenging weight and stay on it until you have completed a 100 reps.
  • Do push presses with light dumb bells to a Tabata protocol (20 secs activity, 10 sec rest for 4 minutes straight – this is 1 set – do 3)
  • Do a barbell complex – a series of exercises with the one weight done  for set reps without putting the weight down or resting until completed. That is one set. Do 3 or 4sets . (eg 6 reps of each with a 20 kiol barbell – deadlift followed by clean followed by overhead press followed by rear squat followed by good morings. Rest 2 minutes repeat)

Stairs are just as good as hills...

All of these are simple to do but not easy to accomplish. You should start off slowy and work up to the times and numbers suggested above. With any running begin by just jogging a few sets as your warm up. Depending upon how fit you are even this can be challenging…Then do some hamstring & quadricep stretches, ankle & knee circle and some hip swings to ensure your legs are ready – then go for it. You’ll hate me for it during the session and the next day or 2 but after 4 or 5 sessions you’ll be seeing strong results.
The real key here is to start slow, get command of the movement(s) and then do what you can, striving to add reps or distance to timed intervals each session depending upon the activity you have chosen. But give each interval, each set, each round your all – go at it 100% once you have mastered the activity and the fat will go.

Because of the metabolic costs involved never use HIITMC for more than 20 to 25 minutes per session or do more than 4 sessions a week (2 is good, 3 ideal) – if you do, you will move into detrimental effects due to the demands that HIITMC puts on your body especially in the first 8 – 10 weeks.

Bottomline – to lose fat, recompose your body, to get lean, to look better naked – YOU’VE GOT TO EARN IT!!

For other myths & ideas – don’t forget to get your free report! It’s waiting at the top right hand side of the page…

I’ll be back next time with a couple of other myths that need a touch up.

Be well.