Blog Motivation Training

Over 40 and New Fitness Tech

A student of mine recently approached me about training and wanted my opinion on a new fitness app he was contemplating using. He spoke on end about all the things this app could do to inevitably help him achieve his goals of more lean muscle. The app, he explained, tracked everything from reps and sets to calories and meals plans.

This eventually got me thinking about us over 40 types. Would we benefit from such detail-oriented technology to propel us forward in our physique pursuits? Are we at an age where technology is needed to gain that once all too important edge for building muscle on our aging frames?

One would easily think so.

The rise and root of tech

The influx of technology in every aspect of our lives is now the norm. Specifically, we wholeheartedly and blindly accept technology as the final missing piece in our seemingly forever struggle in the world of fitness. Almost every fitness facility (aside from a few choice and more personal-oriented places) has adopted some form of advanced technology offered to members.

From publicly displayed heart rate readings displayed on a “mega board” to integrative apps specific to your group complete with a social media component to keep you always plugged-in and connected. Every new advancement promises to be that missing piece. The final solution you’ve been searching for.

Arguments are made referring to testimonials galore relating the ease to our already established trust in technology. After all, technology always moves our lives forward. Right?

Is it rocket science?

Allow me digress for a moment and state that I am not against technology in general. And I am not against tech in fitness either. My big picture perspective hinges on the necessity of tech and not the novelty of it. If it has an important, necessary use then I will try it and possibly adopt it, but I refuse to fill my life with useless apps and other programs for the sheer reason that they exist or the fact that everyone seems to be using it.

Here is my take on the entire subject: No matter how old you are, fitness isn’t rocket science. The body still reacts to resistance no matter the source. It doesn’t know the difference from training in front of an expensive interactive control panel and flipping an old tractor tire down a dirt road.

Weight training, calories in calories out, cardiovascular training, protein intake, quality sleep, and every point in between requires no tech. The common principles to get going and progressing are discipline, consistency, and persistence. No tech needed.

Over 40 tech use

You may have contemplated the need for tech especially when you’re north of 40. You may feel like your days of slinging heavy weights around haphazardly are over.

In some ways they are, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find new ways to train for muscle growth–get in the gym and hammer away with intensity and ferocity. Those days are not behind us. Cranky shoulders and clicking knees will not stop us from training the way want to train.

I believe, however, that tech is not our savior. At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I believe we need to make a sound plan and forego all the cute little gadgets and just get to work. Leave the cell phone in the car, write down your plan, and get after it.

Practice the discipline to show up each day and train with purposeful intensity. Practice consistency to make every workout each day, week, and month. Practice persistence that you will succeed with every set and every rep.

Technology is a wonderful tool. It’s made a lot of aspects of our lives better, more convenient, and not to mention safer. But we can’t allow it to give us an excuse. An excuse that if we don’t have this new shiny thing we won’t succeed–that it’s the key to our goals.

Let’s get back to basics.


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Blog Nutrition

An Effective Diet Plan From a Reader

Nick, a long-time reader of the blog, recently communicated to me about looking at his diet plan. He had seen at a few diet plans of mine in other articles and needed a little advice about if he was on the right track or not.

At the risk of sounding overly simplistic I wrote back that I thought he was definitely on the right track. After ruminating on his plan I started to think about the why. Why his plan wasn’t in need of an overhaul.

Here is what he sent me:

Hey Brad,

Was wondering if you can take a look at my diet and let me know if I’m in the right track. Now, I’m 40yrs old, married, two kids and two jobs some of the items are out of convenience, but mostly I’m able to stay CONSISTENT with this approach.  I’ve tried eating 5-6 cooked meals per day but it’s just not practical given my lifestyle and I’m not a professional bodybuilder and my wife hates it….

Here it is,

1) 3/4 cup oats, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup egg whites, banana 

2) protein bar or 2oz of turkey jerkey,  1 oz almonds, apple

3) 2 whole wheat bread, 5 oz lunch meat, 1 slice lowfat cheese, banana 

4) 2 whole wheat bread,  2 tbsp PB , 1 scoop protein, apple

5) 5 oz chicken,  1 cup rice, 1 cup veggies 

6) 1 cup yogurt,  1/2cup granola, 1 tbsp PB, 1/2 scoop protein 

It’s based off of the diets I’ve seen you post in other articles.  Ive been told my lunch and snacks are not high quality but again it’s not practical for me to eat fish, chicken and beef 5 times per day … Although this works I just wanted your opinion on it. Should I be using chicken breasts on my sandwiches or is the lunch meat ok?

Thanks Brad. Still doing the 3 day split but saw the new push/pull/legs program you just posted. Definitely have to try that sometime. 🙂



Obviously, he read a few of my earlier diet plans and catered them to his own lifestyle. I couldn’t find much in his plan to adjust only the issue of the quality of lunch meat. I found a few commonalities and patterns that made this a good plan.

  1. It’s practical. He’s like me and probably you too: family, kids, job, and other obligations that can sometimes limit extensive cooking and prepping. He’s taken a real-world approach to his diet plan.
  2. It’s balanced. Sure, he’s not eating some sort of wild tuber from Central America that claims medicinal value, but he does include lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, and some good sources of fruits and vegetables.
  3. It’s simple. He includes easy to prepare foods, meals that are easy to transport, and enough meals throughout the day to stave off hunger. It isn’t some sort of extreme diet that promises miracles. In other words, a layman can see the value in it.
  4. Supplements are used sparingly. He distributes his supplements carefully to accommodate his workday and training. Supplements are just that: things that support an already solid diet. His diet focuses on real food first.
  5. It works for him. This is probably the most important point. Aside form a few adjustments over time (which is natural) he finds this fits his lifestyle and can easily adjust anything, if necessary, from there. And most-importantly he states he’s been consistent.

I just wanted to highlight Nick’s message and diet and drive home the point that you can have an effective diet plan that supports your training efforts and still be practical and realistic.


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Blog Training Workouts

New Leg Training Routine for My Bad Knee

My leg training has been mostly successful for the past few weeks. However, as with all things it can get a bit stale.

Always willing to change, I once again shifted gears and came up with another knee-friendly leg routine.

What’s different? I didn’t reinvent the wheel or anything, but I did throw in two important changes with my tweaked left knee in mind.

  • I went a bit heavier on most exercises. This lowered my rep range just slightly.
  • I included some unilateral (single limb) work.

Here we go:

Routine A (rest periods are 30-60 seconds)

Standing calf raise 3 x 10-16
Single leg seated calf raise 3 x 10-16

Bulgarian split squat 3 x 12
Leg extension 3 x 10-16
Leg press 3 x 10-20
Dumbbell Romanian deadlift 3 x 12

Routine B (rest periods are 30-60 seconds)

Seated calf raise 3 x 10-16
Standing calf raise 3 x 10-16

Leg curl 3 x 10-16
Leg extension 2 x 16
Single leg press 3 x 12
Walking lunge 2 lengths
Dumbbell Romanian deadlift 3 x 12


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Blog Training Workouts

What’s the Best Body Part Split if You’re Over 40?

If you’re like me you love training. Not “get in shape with step class” kind of training, but bodybuilding style training that puts muscle on your frame. (Nothing wrong with step class, just not my cup of tea). I love the pump from blood, I love pushing myself, and I love the discipline. But this love can, and has gotten me into trouble in the past.

Coming back before recovering, doing too much, and training too frequently are just a few of the traps that my love of training has thrown me into. I sometimes get too overzealous and end up over trained and risk injury. I’ve learned from my mistakes (which I’ll never take back) so you don’t have to.

I want to break down body part split training for us dudes over 40. Is it any different? Should some things remain the same? Are you getting all you can out of your split?

Blog Motivation Training

Can I Get Real Physique Results After 40?

I’ll get straight to it. You can make real over 40 physique results. At (currently) 45 I am living proof. Let’s go over a few things to consider when designing, or modifying a training program so you can stay or start on the road to progression after 40.

As I always say, the first thing is to adopt the right mindset. From here on out we’ll be talking only in the realm of possibility. No, the goal isn’t to build 50 pounds of muscle or get into 2% body fat type shape. It’s to get a little better each and every day, one small step at a time in our own over 40 world.