Workout Tips You (Probably) Haven’t Heard About

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

workout tips

No matter where you are in your workout journey, you've probably heard all of the typical workout tips.

You can click on pretty much any article online that claims to have the secrets to getting into the best shape of your life.

But chances are, you have read them all by now.

Be consistent, warm-up, cool down, eat right, use proper form.

All good tips, but if you really want to up your fitness game, it’s important to incorporate some lesser-known workout secrets.

These workout tips may not make the headlines, but they will certainly make a difference!

You already know you should be incorporating weight training and high-intensity workouts.

And it’s public knowledge that you should be eating healthy, getting high-quality protein, and taking time out for recovery.

But these lesser-known workout tips can help take you to the next level with your fitness.

While some may seem minor, taking even small steps to enhance your health will get you to that next step of being a Fit Father For Life!

Learn how to set up a home workout schedule that works for YOU!

The Greatest Workout Tips You (Probably) Haven’t Heard About

Dynamic Stretching

You already know that you should start out every workout with some light cardio and stretching to decrease the risk of injury and enhance your workout potential.

However, the static stretching that most guys learned in gym class can actually hinder your performance.

In fact, static stretching prior to a workout has been found to decrease power output.

A warm-up should actually include dynamic stretching.

This means actively moving your body as you stretch and not holding a position for more than a second or two.

This includes things like leg swings, arm reaches, torso twists, and butt kickers.

Dynamic stretching during a warm-up has been shown to increase power output when compared to static stretching.

This will improve your workout performance and lead to greater fitness gains.

Here are the best ways to warm up before a workout!

Pre-Fuel Your Workouts

Eating protein and carbs after a workout is a well-known fitness tip to help stimulate muscle growth and recovery.

But getting in some quick digesting carbs before your workout is just as important, especially if you are going to be doing some high-intensity exercise.

According to research published in Sports Medicine, carbs are your body’s primary energy source, and being properly fueled will allow you to get the most out of your workout without bonking halfway through.

Meet SuperFuel. The Delicious Protein Shake Packed With 40+ Energy-Boosting Vitamins & Superfoods (Designed For Busy Men)

As a busy guy, it’s challenging to stay consistent with healthy eating. That’s why we created SuperFuel… the delicious “all-in-one” nutrition shake for busy guys 40+ to give your body the protein + key nutrients you need for more energy, fat burning, and muscle building.

Don’t Neglect Your Feet

You’ve heard of leg day, arm day, or just a full-body circuit day.

But no one pays much attention to the muscles in the feet. Yet these small muscles play a huge role in mobility and fitness.

On a day-to-day basis, your feet take a major beating.

And when it comes down to it, your feet are the foundation where your body alignment starts.

So if you want to decrease your risk for injury and pain in the ankles, knees, and hips you need to keep your feet in tip-top shape.

You can strengthen the muscles in your feet with these simple exercises that can be done while sitting at home or even at your desk at work.

You should do these exercises in bare feet to get the best sensory input from your feet.

Foot Shortening

  • Start by sitting in a chair with your knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet directly under your knees.
  • Try to “shorten” your foot by bringing the balls of your feet toward your heel without scrunching your toes.
  • Hold for 8-10 seconds and aim for 10-15 reps.
  • This will take some practice but over time will strengthen the small intrinsic muscles in the feet.

Toe Splay

  • Sit or stand with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Spread your toes outward without curling them.
  • Hold for 8-10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.

Big Toe Press

  • Stand on the back of a stair or platform and let your heels drop down behind you.
  • You can hold onto a rail or the wall for balance.
  • Perform a calf raise by pressing up on your toes.
  • When you get to the top, press up only onto your big toe.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Focus on the Eccentric Phase of Lifts

If you really want to see strength gains, try to emphasize the lowering, or eccentric phase, of your lifts.

Eccentric strength training exercises have been found to increase muscle damage and boost hypertrophy.

You can accentuate the eccentric phase in basically any lift.

For example, with bicep curls bring the barbells up at a normal rate, but then slowly lower the weights for a slow 5-count instead of just letting the weights drop.

Or with a standard squat, instead of just bringing your butt down, come down slowly until your legs are parallel before exploding back up.

Single-Sided Exercises

Bench press, pulls ups, and squats are some of the top weight lifting moves that every guy should be doing.

But you should also be incorporating single-sided exercises to really hone in on any muscle imbalances and to strengthen smaller core muscles.

Some great single-sided moves include box step-ups, alternating dumbbell presses, lawnmower rows, and Bulgarian split squats.

Recover With A Tennis Ball

Foam rolling has become a go-to for recovery after a workout.

This form of self-myofascial release helps increase blood flow to your muscles while promoting recovery and increasing range of motion.

But you can still get the benefit without a foam roller. All you need is a tennis ball!

Similar to how you would use a foam roller, you can use a tennis ball to target specific areas of tense muscle tissue.

All you have to do is place the tennis ball between the targeted muscle group and a wall or the floor and roll back and forth, just like you would do with a foam roller.

Using a tennis ball can help you hit hard-to-reach spots of tension and pinpoint specific areas that often go overlooked when recovering after an intense workout.

Cool Down With Music

It’s pretty common for gyms to have music pumping through the speakers or to see guys wearing headphones while they exercise.

For anyone doing an intense workout, you know that this keeps you pumped up and motivated so that you can push to your limits.

But did you know that listening to some more relaxed music after an intense workout also has fitness benefits?

Studies have shown that this can actually help you recover faster.

A study from the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that individuals who listened to music after their workout recovered faster compared to people that skipped the tunes.

This is likely due to the fact that music can boost levels of serotonin and dopamine.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Push Yourself

It can be easy to get complacent with your workouts and continue to do the same exercises day in and day out.

However, if you really want to see fitness gains you have to increase the amount of weight you are lifting once you get to a point where the reps are feeling easy.

If you can do the maximum number of suggested reps during a session without feeling fatigued, add about 10-15% more weight.

If you can't complete the minimum number of suggested reps, reduce the weight by 10% until you can.

Your last 1 or 2 reps should always feel tough, but doable.

Remember, the workouts don’t get easier, you get stronger!

best exercise for men 40+

What Are The 5 Best Muscle Building Exercises For Men 40+?

best exercise for men 40+
The secret to building age-defying muscle in your in 40s, 50s, & 60s is to modify the best muscle building exercises (bench, squats, rows) to make them safe on your joints…

Have a Plan and Write Everything Down

It’s easy to say that you want to lose weight, lift heavier weights, or be able to run a certain distance.

But no matter what your goals are, you need to write down your objectives if you want to reach your full potential.

Having something concrete that you can aim for over a specified period of time allows you to make a solid plan to reach your goals.

Keep a journal and write down what you do every day, even if you have an off day or miss a workout.

This way you can clearly see how you are progressing in your journey and if you need to make any modifications along the way.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Holly Smith, M.D. B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

*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 workout tips you might not have heard of.

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

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Our Fit Father Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Father Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

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