PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.


The X Gym Resolution Revolution

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Did you know that over 90% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions fail? It’s actually more like 95%, but about 5% of the ones counted in the “success group” are lying about it because they are too ashamed to come to grips with the fact that they failed, or they “tweaked” their original resolution along the way to make it more achievable. I call the 95% who fail, “Resolutionaries” because they tend to make the same unrealistic resolution over and over, year after year and keep failing. Maybe this is where Ben Franklin’s quote came from: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Are you tired of being a Resolutionary? Are you ready to revolutionize your resolutions and try something new, instead of that same old thing that hasn’t been working for you? (more…)

Fit Past Forty (or Fifty or Further!)

People often use age as an excuse for why they aren’t as fit as they were in their 20s, but did you know that from a purely physiological standpoint, your metabolism shouldn’t slow down more than 3% per decade after turning 30 years old? This means that when you’re 40, your metabolism should still be 97% of what it was when you were 30. When you’re 70, it should still be 89% of what it was when you were 30.

Why is the decline usually faster than that? The answer is simple: We become more sedentary and/or exercise wrong.

Most people also think that muscle is harder to acquire as we age, but that’s not the case either. Numerous studies have shown that people who keep exercising, lose little to no muscle past the age of 40, even up to the age of 80! Hard to believe, right? Don’t take my word for it. Google it for yourself. It’s astonishing.

People who want to be fit past 40 should however, change some of the ways they are exercising. There are certain things people can get away with in their 20s that aren’t such good ideas past 40, like long-duration cardio for instance, or heavy, ballistic weight training. Instead of long-duration cardio (like running) that is usually high-impact and breaks down joints over time, shorter duration High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great alternative and also saves a ton of time, which is another important factor for people past 40. Instead of heavy, ballistic weight training, methods like those found at the X Gym are ideal because they are much safer, yet even more effective at building strength and muscle tone than traditional strength training.

Cardio may fight fat in younger years, but it can have the opposite effect as we age, especially as we acquire more and more stress in our lives with more responsibilities and more pressures in our careers. Yes, I said it: Cardio can actually turn into a fattening activity as we age, due to its unique ability to increase cortisol and other hormones, in addition to a high-stress life. IT can even shrink muscle mass and speed aging! The HIIT training I mentioned above and strength training (especially X Gym style) is particularly effective at reducing stress and belly fat, increasing strength, endurance and the metabolism.

Strength training is especially important for people past 40, because they are generally less active as they are more involved in the sedentary workforce than they were when they were younger. People passed 40 also are more prone to accumulating visceral fat (belly fat), which is the most dangerous type of fat. Strength training is particularly effective at keeping visceral fat in check.

Sure, there are certainly hormonal shifts that take place in the body as we age, along with other changes that warrant modifications in the way we exercise and the X Gym workout is already perfectly suited for all those changes. RachelMcLish

You can see Herschel Walker at 53 years old in the picture top left, who is in better shape than 99.9% of the 20 year olds out there. Sure, he’s genetically gifted too, but he also doesn’t touch heavy weights or long duration cardio. And then there’s Rachel McLish, who many people think looks even better over 40 than she did in her “prime” in her 20’s as you can see pictured right. And she doesn’t touch heavy weights or long duration cardio either. It’s not just Rachel either. Heck, if I had a dime for every woman who told me they want “Madonna arms,” who showed off her best guns after she turned 40…

Rewiring the Brain for Better Health and Fitness

Why do I keep talking about rewiring the brain to achieve health and fitness? Because without that process, it’s HARD! Plus, any progress towards improved health and fitness is temporary at best. And then there’s the weight loss yo-yo that so many are familiar with. To solve all these problems, the brain must be rewired. This infographic below explains that process and how we help people at the X Gym to achieve their goals faster, easier and more permanently. To learn more about training your brain at the X Gym, just contact me through pj@xgym.com.

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