Do you dread hitting your big box budget gym during the Mid-term break, lycra invasion overload?

Why?

Because the younger generation (schoolies and college goers) are a lot more into their vanity, their body image than us oldies, and that can only mean two things.

A lot of posing in front of the mirror, can of Monster energy drink in hand and EXTRA figure hugging lycra, carefully manufactured so there is enough skin showing, to nearly be too much, just so you know they have abs, a booty and/or guns.

Some don’t, ok most don’t get it quite right!

Being 40 myself, I would class myself in the older generation, although I feel I can hang with the younger generation in terms of lifting (actually I lift a lot more, it’s a thing called old man strength), I certainly don’t quite match up on the rippling 6 pack front I’m afraid.

I’ve maybe only had one once or twice in my life, and really isn’t worth the sacrifices that go with it. I’m a large 6’5 and 18 stone + gent who struggles, just like everyone else, weight goes up and it goes down. I can assure you, nothing comes naturally in terms of results and the body type I was dealt.

I know it can make me feel a little self-conscious at weak moments, so I dread to think how the novice gym goer who has plucked up enough courage to go, then feels terrible when making comparisons and think how they once felt and looked. Suddenly feeling frumpy, self-conscious and intimidated. Not a good recipe for coming back to the gym the next day, let alone the next weeks or months.

It’s important to remember, my body doesn’t look or feel like it did 5 years ago, let alone 20 years ago and I’m the professional, so you too making that comparison to that 19 year old, feeling guilty and sadness, that you should still look that way is silly, right?

Always remember what your body has been through, how it has served you, and that you are on your own journey, no two bodies are the same and should never be compared, especially 20 years apart.

It’s simple human genetics, you are going to age, you are going to find it a little harder to keep in shape, ironically, this is the time when you need to keep in shape, not just for aesthetic reasons, like you did when you were 19, but to keep your heart, brain and body healthy. A side note, resistance training i.e. lifting weights is crucial over the age of 40 to prevent osteoporosis.

A common pre conception, is that your metabolism slows down as you get older, the truth is (based on the latest research), that your calorie output goes down, because you are moving less and lifting less resistance, so your muscle mass drops, and a combination of these two things leads to a slower metabolism, not necessarily a natural drop of metabolic rate with no explanation.

One of the main things I hear from clients in our Dalkey studio Transformation Consultation process is

“It’s my metabolism slowing down”

“I’ve an under active thyroid”

When in reality they are simply eating more and not moving as much as they used to.

Maybe small contributors, but at the end of the day, it comes down to quantity and quality of calories consumed that’s gonna make you over weight or not and ultimately have you feeling confident strutting your stuff in your lycra.

From my near 20 years’ experience in the industry, we have had members who have been with is for over a few months before they felt comfortable enough to actually don the lycra. Instead they would attend class in baggy t-shirts and track pants.  When they did finally feel ready to wear more figure hugging gear, that younger generation feel is ‘the norm’, we made sure to make them feel good about themselves and reassure them.

Would you feel better training with your peer group, people who experience your daily struggles too?  A group of people who can relate to your body image issues, help ease your insecurities, can support your goals and dreams, encourage your progress and suppress your doubts?

I’m happy to tell you that this place exists, and even more importantly, it exists on your door step in the shape of Complete Personal Training designed specifically for the over 40, we even have our Fit At 50 Programme for our 50 and 60 year old members to hang out and workout.

My Advice

My first bit of advice is as above, go somewhere where they have a community of people just like you, who just want to feel fitter, stronger, more empowered and be more confident when stepping in front of the mirror after hopping out of the shower.

My second bit of advice is, go to the said budget gyms a wee bit earlier, as the younger generation don’t go anywhere early.

Then you will be lycra, chiselled abs and gun free!

For a little while anyway

Damian

Dalkey Fitpro

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