At the risk of offending anyone, my tip to personal trainers working with adults over 30 would be to become better listeners. In my 30’s I hired two personal trainers, both with the specific goal of losing weight.
Both trainers took one look at me and set out to help me re-capture my youthful athletic build from my early 20’s.
While they were focused on building muscle, at the end of the day my weight was not changing. When I questioned my trainers, they often replied that muscle weighed more than fat so it was only natural that as I built muscle I wouldn’t see any weight loss.
They also spent very little time talking about what I was doing away from the gym, specifically eating.
At 40 following a heart attack scare, I set out on my own to change my daily focus from losing weight to becoming heart healthy. It just seemed like common sense that if I did something good for my heart every day and ate less processed foods, that my body would respond favorably.
Boy did it ever! At 47, I am 50lbs lighter and have adapted to a heart healthy lifestyle that includes swimming, biking and running as my core training activities.
Tip #1. Get Heart Healthy
Do a minimum of 45 minutes of heart-healthy training 6 days a week and eat clean foods. I don’t believe in Spartan diets, I believe in eating very well.
Tip #2. Get up Early
Get up early to train. Invest in yourself first because there will be less for you to give at the end of the day, and all of those firing neurons in your brain will be wasted while you are sleeping.
Tip #3. Concentrate on Healthy Living
Change your mindset from losing weight to living heart-healthy. When you change your focus from weight loss to living heart healthy, you change your experience from living life, to enjoying life. Exercising becomes training. Exercise is just that- randomly moving body parts. Training is purposeful and powerful.
Training connects today’s workout to tomorrow’s. The secret of an Ironman’s success is not determined by what you do on race day, but what you do in the 12 months leading up to race day. Every training session builds on the next and serves the purpose of helping you enjoy and experience life living heart healthy.
Tip #4. Know What and How to Track
Not all sweat is created equal. Ask yourself these simple questions: Do you know what your aerobic target heart rate is? Do you know the signs of going anaerobic? Do you understand when your body is burning fat for fuel and when it is burning glycogen (sugar) in your blood stream for fuel?
You need to make sure you know how to track calories consumed verses calories expended. Do you know how many calories were in the last meal you ate?
Tip #5. Monitor Your Heart Rate
Throw away your scale and buy a heart rate monitor. Scales will disappoint you, while a heart rate monitor will give you the immediate positive feedback you crave to tackle the day knowing you are healthier and stronger than you were the day before.