Win At Fitness

How Smart Amateurs Over 40 Win At Fitness

Let’s take a look at health and fitness ie building lean muscle mass and stripping away unwanted fat whilst training our hearts to make them more efficient pumps.

Bringing common sense to bear on fitness and health.

This is not the same thing as evidence based which is essentially a term used to mock those who haven’t sworn allegiance to this particular training camp.

No, even from a non-scientific perspective this should make sense. The arguments should hold water.

But of course, they are just my ideas and they are tempered with my own personal biases, issues, hangups, and general pigheadedness.

I think we can all agree that physical activity has the ability to make you fitter and stronger but this may be the last point we agree on.

How much activity?

Duration of the activity?

How frequently should you perform this activity?

We are going to make a few assumptions and make a few generalisations. Just enough to vex those with opposing viewpoints.

To get fitter and faster at running then you’ll need a certain amount of miles under the belt.

To get stronger you’re going to need to have lifted a certain amount of poundage over the course of time.

These two are straight forward enough, right?

So far so good.

Now we are going to smash our training by running and lifting weights everyday, after all this is what the athletes do 🙄

But what about recovery?

From personal experience and from watching many of my clients this is possibly the critical missing piece that is neglected or paid lip service.

Most of my clients are over forty and I’ve noticed that they tend to have a strong work ethic and are able to focus intensely when it comes to training.

If they’ve been working late the night before or entertaining clients and have an early session booked in they still show up.

Juggling family commitments and late nights – They still show up.

Had a few too many beers the night before – They still show up.

But their recovery is total 🐕💩

Lose the battle, win the war‼️

This is not the time to push yourself, your programme may say you’ve got 5 x 5 squats at 85% but any good coach should be able to recognise the signs of fatigue / lack of recovery.


Because they’ve fu*ked up in the past and pushed their trainees too hard and learned from the experience. Ie mopped up the consequences 🤢🤮.

Without recovery you’ll keep doing the same weights, distance / times except that they’ll just seem harder.

Sure you’ll get that coveted endorphin post exercise high and feel righteous / worthy for an hour or two.

Perhaps your muscles will have a satisfactory ache the following day.

Hell, maybe you’ve hit your legs so hard that your knees buckled on the way out of the gym. (Quick take a selfie, can’t let the fans down 😉)

No pain, no gain, eh?

But progress?

Meh…, not so much.

So how can you influence recovery?

  1. Sleep
  2. Nutrition
  3. Training Plan / Frequency / Intensity / Volume

Rather than dissect each of these let’s just take a quick look at their interdependent relationship.

1. Sleep… get some ‼️(we could go deeper on this but I’ve gotta keep the trolls happy)

2. Nutrition… up your game it’s not as good as you think it is and NO! watching that Dr on BBC isn’t going to cut it. Knowing is not the same thing as doing even if he did accidentally recommend the right thing to do.

3.Training – as an overarching guide

  • Volume ⬆️ Intensity ⬇️
  • Volume ⬇️ Intensity ⬆️
  • Frequency ⬆️ Volume ⬇️ Intensity ⬇️

Are you with me?

How do you know if you’re getting things right?

  • Progress 💪
  • HRV – ♥️ Rate Variance – check out relevant apps
  • Resting ❤️rate, if elevated upon waking, possible sign of overtraining.
  • Muscle soreness – DOMS
  • Enthusiasm for training, ok possibly you never had this in the first place.

Just a few to get started with.

How do you know if you messed up?

  • All of the above plus…
  • Illness, injury or ⚰️

It’s all so simple, why isn’t everyone doing it?

The End…

About the Author Stephen Devine

Steve not just a skilled Crossfit Coach, but a top-tier CrossFit Competitor who's ranked in the top 1% worldwide in the 2023 Crossfit Open! And this is despite spending six weeks on crutches following surgery to fix a broken ankle just a year ago. He's Qualified as a Crossfit L1 Coach, Crossfit Gymnastics, and is also a qualified Olympic Weightlifting Coach.

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