Episode 7 of the Fit Father Project Podcast is all about the four principles of effective exercise for men over 40 and how to make them work for you!
Are you a man over 40 who’s wondering why any exercise you do isn’t reaping the same rewards that it once did?
If you are, don’t worry!
Firstly, you are not alone, and secondly, what Dr. A shares in this podcast episode will get you back on track and help you understand what exercise is most effective as you age … and why!
In Episode 7 of the Fit Father Project Podcast, Dr. A discusses the 4 key principles of effective exercise for men over 40.
- How to make sure you’re being kind to your body and joints.
- How to hit a consistent plan and build sustainability.
- When to do exercise and physical activity so it’s the most effective.
- How to cover all the bases of strength, mobility, and cardiovascular fitness.
If you want to get the most from your exercise and make sure it works for you, listen to this episode on the four principles of effective exercise for men over 40, and check out our free meal plan and workout or our full FF30X program!
What is FF30X?
FF30X is a simple, sustainable, and specific weight loss program that is designed especially for busy men over 40. With short metabolic training workouts, an easy-to-follow meal plan, and an accountability team that is there for you at every step, FF30X can help you lose 30, 40, or even 50+ lbs — even if you’ve never picked up a weight in your life.
Click here to see what you get when you join the FF30X program today!
Here’s How Busy Guys 40+ Are Finally Losing Weight…
If you’re in your 40s, 50s, & 60s, you need to eat and exercise differently to lose weight & actually keep it off…
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Principles of Effective Exercise: Full Episode 7 Transcript
We'll start to get you feeling better. And the way to do that is to carve some time in your schedule to commit 30 minutes, pick the days throughout the week, schedule it like a meeting, know exactly what you're gonna do. And if you aren't interested in doing an MRT workout and you simply want to ride your bike or swim, that's fine to schedule that stuff and get your butt moving — the benefits go far beyond muscle and metabolism.
It's your brain health. It's your energy. It's your testosterone levels. It's your overall vigor because the truth is, as you get older, you use it or you lose it.
Alright, my friends, welcome back to another episode here on the Fit Father Project Podcast. Again, my name is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi and I'm the founder and CEO here at the Fit Father Project and the host of the Fit Father Project Podcast. And I am pumped up for today's episode, literally and figuratively, because today we're going to talk about the foundations of effective exercise for men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.
And it's no secret as we age, our bodies are changing. And what that means is that we need to actually change the types of exercise we do to match where our bodies are at today. The kinds of exercises that work for guys in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are different than the kinds of exercise that guys need to be doing in their 20s and 30s because our bodies are changing, right?
Whether it's years of old injuries that you've accumulated from sports or from work stuff, we need to have exercises that feel good on your joints. Whether it's the fact that you've realized that your metabolism is slowed and you've been losing some muscle mass, we need to have exercises that help reverse those things, build muscle, and get your metabolism working better. Whether you felt like your clarity of your mind and your energy levels are not the same as they once were, we need to have exercises that help reverse those things because here's what happens if we don't have the right kinds of exercise.
And this is the trap that most guys in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are stuck in today. Our bodies naturally lose muscle mass with age. This starts happening around age 30, where we slowly start losing our muscle mass, scientifically they call this sarcopenia, which means age-related muscle. We get weaker.
We lose muscle mass with age if we do nothing. And the problem with this is not just that we don't look as good and we don't feel as strong — muscle is also our metabolic engine; muscle burns calories. So as we lose our muscle mass, our metabolic rate slows down even further, which makes it easier for us to gain weight and gain fat, which makes us more sluggish, less motivated.
Then we lose more muscle in these vicious cycles, repeating itself, and many guys are trapped in this, right. And we pair this with the fact that men's testosterone levels naturally decline with age as well, which again, we lose testosterone. We're losing our energy, our vigor, our ability to put on muscle.
It's harder to lose fat. This is the vicious cycle. Now the good news is that this is not all bad news. The good news is with the right kinds of exercise, you can actually reverse this aging process. This is proven by science, the right kinds of exercise can actually activate these anti-aging genes and enzymes.
It actually reverses the aging process, extends and repairs DNA, and helps you feel amazing. So you can actually be better in 10 years than you are today. If you start exercising. And this almost begs the question … what is the proper kind of exercise? We're going to talk about that on today's podcast specifically, I'm going to share with you one of my Fit Father team, and I have figured out the No.1 best form of exercise for guys in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, the best form in terms of the exercise that fits your busy schedule, boosts your metabolism, builds muscle, and activates you.
And it's just a really, really engaging and powerful type of exercise. We're going to cover that in today's pod. And I also want to point out if you're a guy right now, or someone in your family has any kind of issues with cholesterol, with blood pressure, with blood sugar issues, you have high insulin levels, your immune system is not as good — exercise truly helps improve all of those parameters in conjunction with a healthy diet. And I'm going to say this too, right now, as a caveat, if you have not listened to our nutrition episode, which we recently recorded, that goes into the foundation of nutrition, you need to listen to that in addition to this podcast because nutrition accounts for 80% of your results.
And if you're a guy thinking right now that you going to out-exercise a bad diet, it simply doesn't work that way. There is a foundation and a hierarchy of important things. When you're looking at improving your health, getting the right mindset, making good choices, making sure you're getting a baseline level of sleep, having good neutral … and then we add in exercise and I think this is a really key foundational point before we get into the specifics. There's a lot of guys when they come to me and they say, Dr. A, I want to lose some weight, build some muscle. What kind of workout should I be doing? I say that's the wrong question.
It's do you have these foundations of nutrition and mindset in there first? Because you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. And when you're in your 40s, 50s, and 60s, gone are the days where you can exercise off the calendar. And you think that, let's just say you go running or jogging for an hour, you burn 400 to 500 calories and that's like, basically you have a large fry and McDonald's, you've had all those calories back and then some, you just don't have the time for that.
That'll hurt your joints too much. It's just not going to work. We need to start thinking about exercise in our 40s, 50s, and 60s as a metabolic investment, we do exercise strategically sprinkled throughout the world. So we do actually as a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, when we get this metabolic lift an hour after exercise and it can extend for 24 hours.
So you have an elevated metabolism constantly. So the key idea here to kick this off is exercise is not about burning calories. It's about investing in your metabolism and strategically pulsing this throughout. And one of the common excuses I hear guys say all the time when it comes to exercises, Dr. A I just don't have the time, man.
I'm so busy. I can't fit exercise into my schedule. And the first thing I have is is that really true? I think if we're honest with ourselves and we look at our schedules, all of us have at least 30 minutes throughout the day to get some kind of exercise. Even the most busy guys — they were actually researched, I used that — literally show that the difference if you actually cut out 30 minutes of sleep. So the difference if you got seven hours of sleep versus seven and a half, and you take those 30 minutes of sleep. So instead of seven and a half hours, you go down to seven and you have 30 minutes. You get tremendous health benefits.
So we want to make sure we're getting a baseline level of sleep, but we have the time to exercise. In fact, we have a seven-minute metabolism-boosting workout on our YouTube Channel. It has over a million views, and this is a phenomenally research-proven type of exercise that you can do. It takes seven minutes in the morning and you're going to get this metabolic benefit.
So we do have the time, it's a matter of creating the route. It's about having clarity on the types of workouts to do and developing the habit in the system to get exercise in. And I also want to say this, if you're a guy who's very heavy, you have over 100 pounds to lose, or your body really hurts and right now you're like, I want to start making health changes, but I just don't even feel like exercising is on the table and in the cards for me right now. We'll guess this, here is the good news, getting your baseline sleep. So you're getting at least six and a half, seven hours of sleep. Getting on the proper nutrition plan and doing some daily walking is enough to start losing weight.
In fact, when I started the Fit Father Project, one of my earliest clients was a guy named VJ. He ended up losing 55 pounds by doing nutrition and just walking every single day. He would walk every day to get a sandwich he had for lunch. Yes, he had a sandwich every day. He lost 55 pounds, never touched a dumbbell, never hopped on a treadmill.
Daily walking and daily movement are more important than workouts. So it's important to start getting your mind around what are the priorities, and I'm gonna say it one more time, getting your mindset right on why health matters to you, making sure you're getting baseline sleep, being on a sustainable nutrition plan, getting daily movement in, and finally formal workouts. If you're missing any of these key foundations, throwing exercise on top of the thing is not going to work for you. It's just not going to be nearly as effective. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet if you're not sleeping well enough, then adding more stress to your body through exercise is not the key or the answer, but for the purpose of this conversation, moving forward, we're going to assume that you have some of those foundations in place.
And we're going to talk about what kind of exercise that you can and should be. And I, and if you've listened to this podcast for a while, then you know that we love here at the Fit Father Project to think about things in terms of principles, not fads, not gimmicks, not fly by night kind of things, but foundational principles.
And when it comes to guys over 40, there are four foundational principles to good exercise. The first one is exercise needs to be joint-friendly. You need to build exercise around stuff that feels good for your body. I don't know what's happened to you over the last 20, 30 years of your life. I don't know what kind of injuries you've accumulated, the aches and pains you have in certain joints.
What I do know is the key for you to be sustainable with your exercise is to start doing exercise that feels good on your body. And oftentimes what guys find is when they start doing some kind of movement, their joints start feeling better. You start eating right. You start sleeping more, you start drinking more water, and moving your body.
The inflammation, the joints, well, let's say that you do have some problems. So you have some shoulder problems and back problems, some knee problems. You need to build the right kinds of exercise to ground that. So the kinds of strength training exercises you might've done in your 20s and 30s aren't the same ones you might want to do now.
This is why we're huge advocates — and we're going to talk about this in future episodes — of doing work with dumbbells and cables over maybe let's just say a barbell. You don't need to be doing heavy barbell deadlifts anymore. Not to say that you shouldn't if it feels good on you, but we need to leave the ego at the door.
When we're in our 40s, 50s, and 60s and do stuff that feels good on our bodies — because exercise should be a building-up process — it should be something we look forward to, not something that creates nagging injuries. And we're going to talk about specific kinds of exercise that we do here at the Fit Father Project.
You've probably heard if you've listened to some of the interviews of our fellow program members, they referenced this workout called the Apex 10, which is an MRT fat-burning workout. I'm gonna explain a little bit; the most important thing is that you find an exercise that you love. There are guys who are incredibly healthy and strong in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who love to ride their bikes. Other guys who love to run, other guys who like to lift weights … any of these are great and they offer amazing benefits, but you got to find something that you do love. Now, the second principle here is that we need to have an exercise plan that is consistent and engaging. You want to make sure that what you're doing fits into your schedule.
And you have to have a plan for approaching this. So we've got to think about this when we're in the mindset of how do we be more consistent? Well, it's how do we remove the barriers that are preventing us from exercising? So one key thing that our most successful Fit Fathers do is every day, every week on Sunday looking at the week ahead, they plan their workouts like their meetings.
So we know on Sunday, they're going to work out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Some guys get as granular as knowing exactly when it's going to be. They schedule it into their calendar, like a meeting. This is my time for exercise. This is so, so important because that's going to help you get your structure ahead of time.
So when you do hit Wednesday, you know, I have a workout plan at 7:00 AM before I have breakfast, or maybe for you, it's more convenient for you to exercise after work before dinner. It doesn't matter what time you work out, it matters that it fits your schedule and that you've prepared. And maybe your schedule is pretty variable and you just simply commit to knowing that these are the days that I work out and I'm gonna slide it in when I have time.
The key thing is that it's pre-planned, you're not leaving it to the wind to see when you're going to get your workouts in this stuff is so important. Schedule and preplan your workouts, treat them like meetings. And if they get missed like a meal, they get rescheduled. So, so important. Other ideas here to be more consistent.
What are the things that are required for you to exercise? Well, maybe you need to get some workout gear. Maybe you need the tank top and the shorts and you lay that out at the foot of your bed so when you get up in the morning, the first thing you see is your socks, your gym shoes, and your workout gear.
So you put that stuff on and that starting this, it's like a cue to start this routine to get your workout habit. Maybe if you work out after you go to work or later in the day, you've prepacked a gym bag, and all of your stuff's right in there. So it's a visual cue. You grab your stuff or you're out the door.
The key thing is we need to establish this exercise routine into our daily rhythms. You know, when you're working out and you also have the clarity of what kinds of things you're doing. So when it comes to the kinds of exercise, principle number three is we believe the most effective exercise hits something that we call the trifecta.
It incorporates stress. So that you're building muscle mass and strength, which as we mentioned is key to your metabolism. You're feeling stronger, the key to increasing testosterone levels. We need strength. We also need cardio. The heart is a muscle too. And the number one reason that men over 40 die is heart disease.
So we got to work the heart with cardio, and we also need flexibility because we look at our parents. We look and a lot of them are stiff. They're immobile. They're hunched over and ultimately we're making sure that we maintain our flexibility and mobility. These end up being the quality of our lives. Our ability to have a spine that doesn't hurt, our ability to squat down, press overhead, pull things to our body, hinge it, our hips, these flexibility and mobility aspects are key to your longevity.
So we need strength, cardio, and mobility/flexibility, all combined into one. So before we get into the specific kinds of exercise, principle number four is that your exercise needs to give you this idea of progressive overload, where you're striving to be a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, a little bit better every single time.
Those are the four principles. So again, to repeat, number one, joints. Number two, consistent and engaging. Meaning you have the habits and structures in your life to make it easy for you to exercise. Number three, we hit the trifecta, the combination of strength, cardio, and flexibility. Ideally, all in one is what we're going to talk about in just a second. And number four is that it's challenging and gives you a progressive overload. You're striving to just be 1% better, every workout.
And if you stack that up, you're a completely new man. And if you're listening to some of our interviews here on the podcast as well, you're hearing our guys start slow, but they do progressive overload and they start off using the five-pound dumbbells, but they work their way up to the 15s, the 20, the 25s.
This stuff takes time. We leave the ego at the door. We get a little bit better. Now to cut right to the chase. If your goal right now, and you're in your 40s, 50s, and 60s, if your goal is to lose fat and build muscle, the most effective kind of exercise you can do is a type of workout called metabolic resistance training (MRT). It's a combination of strength training, cardio, and flexibility. And if you heard some of our Fit Father interviews, you maybe heard guys refer to this type of workout called the Apex 10. This is a metabolic resistance training workout, an MRT workout that involves foundational strength training motions, like squats, rows, shoulder press, pushups, and we string them together into a circuit.
So you're getting strength training, cardio, and flexibility mobility, all in one. These workouts take 20 to 45 minutes, meaning you can fit them into your schedule. And if you sprinkle them throughout your week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for example, that is 90 minutes of exercise per week. And you've invested in a faster metabolism.
You've invested in a body that's full of more energy and you're building muscle while losing weight. This is incredible. The promise of just thinking of this is an investment in sprinkling it throughout your week. And why is this combination of these MRT workouts, which again are these classic strain training moves, why is that more effective than other kinds of exercises? If you go into any kind of commercial gym, see a lot of guys over 40 hanging out on the cardio machines. They're going away on the elliptical machines.
They're on the treadmill. They're riding the bike. And look, you do that for an hour, you maybe burned 400 to 550 calories. Which is cool. But again, the easiest way is just to not eat 500 calories, to have the nutrition structure in place that you don't have the chips. You don't have the fries from McDonald's. It's a lot easier to not eat those calories.
And they think you're going to need to do cardio to burn those off because that cardio though, it's good for your heart and we do recommend guys do the cardiovascular exercise, it's not as effective as combining cardio with stress. With a problem with most guys, how they used to approach strength training in their 20s and 30s is you do a set of bench presses and you rest for two minutes.
Then you do a set of bash brash. And over the course of maybe an hour, you've done some work for sure. You've gotten some sets in, but you're not getting the cardio benefits and you didn't activate the body in as deep of a way as if you get these combined workouts. So imagine if you do a workout like this — when you start off with let's just say 10 reps of squats and you immediately go after your 10 reps of squats holding dumbbells let's say racked on your shoulders. You move into 10 shoulder presses, so your legs are getting active rest while your shoulders are. And after you finished the 10 reps of shoulder press, you hinge your hip and you do 10 rows. So now you're back at your biceps are working while your legs and your shoulders are getting active recovery.
And then you switch down and you hop on the floor and you do some pushups as a very simple example of an MRT workout. You might string those together. And then after you complete it, You'll rest for a minute and do another circuit of those exercises. If you want a step-by-step metabolic resistance training workout, check out the show notes.
We have a free 24-minute workout, which is like a pared-down version of this Apex 10 workout you hear program members talk about, which, again, if you want the full Fit Father workout system for fat loss, you get our Fit Father 30X program. We're going to give you that Apex 10 metabolic resistance training workout.
It is the most effective type of exercise for guys over 40. We show you how to do this MRT workout, and really you can do it in 30 minutes. Boosting your metabolism for over 24 hours after a single session is absolutely incredible. And of course, if you want to just try this stuff out, we have our free 24-minute workout.
That'll be linked in the description and the show notes of this episode. But the idea here is we don't have to separate cardio and strength. Because then we have to do an hour over here, an hour over here, we can slam it together into a time-efficient workout that activates your body in a dramatic way.
And what I love about the human body, particularly when we're in our 40s, 50s, and 60s, is you start doing this exercise and the gains and the changes that you can make are wild. You can improve your fitness and your shape. In one month, you can go from being exhausted during a workout to absolutely dry.
Your body is so strong and so adaptive. If you start giving it the right kinds of inputs with these MRTs. Now, if your goal right now is building muscle specifically, and you are at your goal weight, and you do not need to lose any more fat, then you need to do some classic strength training. So these MRT workouts we're talking about, are effective for both losing fat and building muscle.
They give you this hybrid approach. They're the No. 1 kind of exercise we recommend. But if you do not need to lose any fat, then classic, full-body strength training is one of our biggest recommendations. We cover that in our Old School Muscle program where you do full-body workouts, two to three times per week. This is key because one of the big changes that happened is as we age, our recovery capacity goes down.
When we're in our 20s, we could do a workout and feel good to go the next day. When you're in your 40s, you do a workout and you're sore longer. The 50s, you're sore a little bit longer. So we want to sprinkle this stuff and actually prioritize a little more recovery in between workouts, absolutely central.
And if you want help with figuring out the right kinds of strength training exercises that feel good on your body and get a muscle-building specific plan, check out our Old School Muscle program. There are going to be links in the description in the show notes. And we also have a free Five Best Muscle Builders video as well that will be linked in the description. The key point here is to think of exercise as a metabolic investment to start doing metabolic resistance training exercises. If you don't know what to do right now, we'll give you the exact downloadable printout, PDFs, the exact videos you can follow along with me and we'll start to get you feeling better.
And the way to do that is to carve some time in your schedule to commit 30 minutes, pick the days throughout the week, schedule it like a meeting, know exactly what you're gonna do. And if you aren't interested in doing an MRT workout and you simply want to ride your bike or swim, that's fine to schedule that stuff and get your butt moving.
The benefits go far beyond muscle and metabolism. It's your brain health. It's your energy. It's your testosterone levels. It's your overall vigor because the truth is, as you get older, you use it or lose it. And if you do start using it, you can start aging backward and you can dissociate your chronological age. How many times you've been around the sun from your biological age, which is how old you are on a cellular level.
Because we have guys who really have been very unhealthy in their 50s, who start doing our MRT workouts, start following a sensible nutrition plan, and they get in the best shape of their life. Within a year, better shape than they were in their 20.
So you need different strategies. You need joint-friendly exercises. You need to be consistent with your routine, which means you need a little planning. You need to pick the times you exercise. You need to hit the trifecta of strength training, cardio, and flexibility. All in one, we recommend MRT workouts, but whatever you love is going to be fine because it's going to keep you engaged and be consistent.
And then we leave the ego at the door and we work on being 1% better. Every single day. We trust the process. We invest in ourselves and we make these kinds of workouts just a foundation of how we treat our bodies, because we know we're worth it. And in 10 years you can be better than you are today. And I want you to check out the resources and descriptions here on this episode, go to the show notes right now, check out the Fit Father 30X fat-loss program.
We give you the meal plan, the workouts, and me and my team personally, coaching. And we also have free resources there. We have our Old School Muscle program because let's face it on a podcast listening to me is not going to be the same as you watching a video of doing these exact workouts, we have them for you go there right now, download those.
And in future episodes, we're going to do a deep dive, specifically into muscle building for guys in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. We're also going to talk about the importance of sleep and recovery and how that affects your overall health. So, so important as you're in your 40s, 50s, and 60s.
So thank you for being here. Check out those resources in the show notes, I'll see you on the future episodes, and make sure you listen to these stories in the Fit Father Project podcast of guys who started doing these MRT workouts. And you can hear from them how is absolutely challenging at first, but how dramatically their health and their strength improved.
In fact, one episode I recommend you check out if you haven't is an episode with Glen Page. Glen is in his late 50s and he went from being a total couch potato, letting himself go, gained a lot of weight, to now Glen is running marathons and doing Spartan races knocking on the door of 60 years. He is the fittest guy — he's a teacher at school — he's the fittest guy in school because he invested in himself and smarter ways to train. You are not over the hill. You just need better strategies.
All right, everyone. We'll catch you on the next episode. Thanks for listening to this week's episode of the Fit Father Project Podcast. If you love what you heard, please rate and review our podcast on Apple Podcasts. It really helps spread the show to more men who need this valuable info. To watch full video episodes of this podcast and other motivational videos to inspire your training and more, visit our Fit Father Project YouTube Channel. It's free and everything's made for busy guys over 40 like you. Visit youtube.com/fitfatherproject to get access to our entire video library. And finally, if you or someone in your life is interested in becoming a Fit Father or needs help losing weight, building muscle, or living healthier after age 40, visit fitfatherproject.com, where you can see our proven programs for guys 40 plus, and free meal plans and workouts to get you started. This is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi signing off. I'll see you in the next episode.
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the four principles of effective exercise.