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The Fitness Collective

  • Nik Gibbons


It's a well-known feeling as we get older that life gets in the way of looking after our health and wellbeing. You find yourself juggling your career and family life, enjoying a few beers and a weekend takeaway with friends, and doing those DIY jobs you put off week after week.

That once strong exercise routine has dropped off and your diet isn’t quite what it could be and if you're honest, the things you used to do to drop a few lbs just don’t seem to be working anymore. it’s all started to take its toll on your metabolism and at what point do you call time on life and make a change?

Maybe you've already started to make changes? Joined a gym, and cut down on weekend excesses but still the quick fitness fix of your 20s just doesn't cut it anymore. A short run leaves you feeling like you've run a marathon and even the thought of picking up a weight you used to lift leaves you filled with anxiety about the aftereffects! Recovery is now a real need rather than something you just powered through!!

Sound Familiar?

Good news... at the Fitness Collective, we know just how that feels which is why we’ve created a condensed guide to help you bounce back into shape and reclaim the physique you thought you'd lost or the body you've always wanted!! It's time to turn the beginnings of 'middle-aged spread' around, start to build lean muscle, and turn heads once again by following our definitive 6-step guide.

  • Lift weights, but let's keep it real.

Consistently trying to lift heavy weights in the lower rep ranges (1-5) can lead to joint issues and fatigue. While younger guys in their 20s might power through this, as we get older, recovery takes longer and we need to focus on training for longevity. Aim to lifting weights in varied rep ranges from 6-15 reps, focus on good form and never train your ego.

Transitioning from sitting in an office all day to lifting heavy in the gym is a fast track to injury. Listen to your body, some days you will feel great and want to lift more, other days poor diet, lack of sleep, and a stressful day will mean lifting heavy weights or pushing yourself to the max isn't the best idea. Listen to your body and switch up your training plan accordingly.

  • Build Muscle

In addition to great strength training, it's important to focus on building lean muscle mass. This doesn’t mean turning into a bodybuilder, but it does mean you will increase your muscle mass and boost your metabolism. Increasing your muscle mass leads to a higher resting metabolism, meaning you burn more calories even when resting, which will allow you to enjoy more good food without gaining weight.

After the age of 30, you can lose between 2-5% muscle mass each year. This loss of muscle can mean you're unable to engage in the activities or exercises you used to enjoy and elevate your risk of injury. By increasing your muscle mass, you'll become stronger and more resilient.

  • Avoid Training To Failure

A common misconception in the training world is that you must train to your maximum every workout to make progress. Pushing every exercise to failure and crawling out of the gym every session might leave you feeling as if you have just had an effective workout but it's not necessary for achieving results. People often reward themselves for training hard by increasing their food intake or allowing extra rest which can impact progress.

Work smart. Many people train hard but struggle to make progress despite their efforts. By avoiding training to failure and focusing on a balanced approach, you can achieve better results without burning out.

  • Get Mobile

In this day and age, we know we spend too much time sitting down, hunched over a desk, which leads to poor posture and tight, weak muscles, often accompanied by aches and pains. Bringing a tight, weak body straight into the gym training under heavy loads without addressing mobility issues may cause more harm than good.

Our experienced Fitness Collective coaches know just how important it is to incorporate mobility exercises into a training plan if you want to see results and prevent injury.

  • Warm Up

Have you ever just walked straight into the gym, done a few push-ups, maybe a few star jumps then just jumped straight into your weight training?

At almost any age, even more so at 35+, not performing a good warm-up increases the likelihood of you picking up an injury or niggle. Warm-ups need to be effective, concise, and simple. Address the key areas, get a bit of a sweat on, and prepare yourself for your session with some specific movement prep.

  • Build Your stamina

Basic stamina can decrease by 1% every year after 25. Staying physically active helps to slow age-related declines. There are many ways you can improve aerobic capacity, and it’s good to mix up the energy systems being worked.

While there's been a sustained trend to focus on interval training as opposed to longer aerobic training; however, we feel it is important to include both in your routine.

  • Follow A Structured Program

One of the most overlooked aspects of recovery is properly structured exercise programming.

Simply ‘doing a bunch of exercises and training hard’, is highly unlikely to yield the longer-term results you are looking for. Training without a structured program we tend to do what we like and are good at and neglect the things we don’t like or find difficult. These neglected exercises are often the things we need to do more to avoid a fast ticket to injury and extended time off exercise.

  • Recovery

One thing that separates the 40-somethings from the 20-somethings is the need for recovery time. There is a direct correlation between how well you recover and how hard you can train. Your training plan should be structured to exercise to the level at which you can recover easily. Recovery is not just about resting or stretching, getting better sleep, good nutrition and taking in some outdoor exercise with a gentle walk are all hugely beneficial for your overall wellbeing.


So, what's the plan now? Reset, reevaluate, and begin to make a change. The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

Talk to your Fitness Collective coach, be the change you want to see in yourself. If you're not already a member, click here to book a free taster session, give us a call, drop us a DM, or pop into our West Bridgford personal training gym.


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