In this article I’m going to teach you how to prevent middle age spread.
As men over 40 we tend to accept that “middle age spread” is a natural part of getting older. You’ll hear guys complaining to one another about their “metabolisms slowing down” almost inviting fat accumulation to be a natural part of aging and approaching it with a “giving up” attitude.
FACT: Gaining fat in your forties and beyond is mainly due to in-activity NOT because of age.
As we get older we lose muscle through in-activity, granted a small part of this is due to aging and diminishing hormonal system but for the most part, it can be prevented or even reversed!
When we lose muscle due to inactivity, what’s happening is our body composition is slowly altering. OUCH!
Muscle is diminishing and being replaced by fat, a gradual process that not only causes you to look unhealthy but has a whole host of health problems associated with it.
This is what many men accept as “middle aged spread” and complain to each other about it being a normal part of life.
But it’s only a normal part of life if you choose to do NOTHING about it. It’s simply a choice.
What causes middle age spread?
Middle age spread is caused by a loss of lean muscle tissue resulting in a down regulated metabolism and increase in fat storage.
That’s why I always recommend strength training as the foundation of my programs because lean muscle is responsible for keeping our metabolism running high and burning calories even at rest.
As we get older we’ll lose muscle and if we haven’t got a strength training program in place, body composition will start to alter. As we lose muscle, we’ll also gain fat, especially if calories are kept the same or increased.
This process can still happen even if scale weight hasn’t altered. It’s body composition that’s important, not just scale weight alone.
A steady gain of fat and muscle loss can occur without much fluctuation in scale weight. Keeping track of your body fat percentage will provide you with a much clearer picture of how much body fat you’re carrying.
Without knowing where you stand and where you’re heading, you’re simply guessing!
Aim to get leaner as you get older
As you get older you might be thinking your too old to get into the best shape of your life, but this is nonsense.
I didn’t reveal my abs until a was in my late thirties and didn’t step on stage with 6 pack abs until age 41!
Your goal might not be to get abs, but you might as well aim to get there for the quickest way to get lean. As men over 40, it’s up to us to tackle middle age spread, so refuse to join the “my metabolism is slowing” crowd.
Middle age spread doesn’t need to be a part of aging:
Lift weights using compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups in one hit. This will not only save time, but compound exercises have the most dramatic effect on the male hormonal system boosting testosterone and keeping body fat at bay.
Even if your goal isn’t to get “big” or bulky, lifting weights is still a crucial part of keeping your body burning fat, keeping you looking younger and giving you that lean, hard look.
Broad shoulders, wide back, defined arms, lean chest and narrow waist is the result of correctly applied strength training.
Use multiple sets of low reps
Doing too many light weight pumping exercises will fail to provide you with any benefits into your forties, you still need to challenge yourself and lift heavy weights but keep your form perfect.
Multiple sets of low reps allow you to recover a lot quicker
As men over 40 you want to lift weights with the greatest benefits to body composition and recovery in mind. This is where multiple sets of low reps come in, they are far safer, demand much less of the recovery machinery AND are far superior at altering body composition.
Eat a testosterone boosting diet
Once calories are set so that you’re consistently losing no more than 1-1½ lbs of fat per week, you’ll want to supply enough protein to support lean muscle tissue and enough carbs and fats to support hormonal health and supply energy requirements.
Some whole foods I recommend getting into your diet right away are eggs, salmon, extra virgin olive oil, spinach, dark berries and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage that eliminate estrogen compounds from the body.
Eliminating middle aged spread can be speeded up with cardio, but too much cardio interferes with healthy hormonal production.
A good rule of thumb is to include 1-2 steady-state cardio sessions of 30-40 minutes on non-weight training days, that will allow you to eat more calories and keep you burning fat.
Adding in some walks at the weekends is also a great, enjoyable and sustainable way of burning extra fat on your non-weight training days. Do not underestimate the power of walking!
Avoid crazy routines
A lot of men over 40 let body fat accumulate and then one day decide to tackle it by going “crazy” and over exerting themselves leading to frustration, injury and burnout.
Eating like a bird and doing excessive amounts of cardio, “classes” or “follow along at home” workouts is NOT the way to get and sustain and lean body for life.
Any new program needs to be enjoyable AND effective if you’re to see any improvements in body composition.
Here’s to your success!