I’ve recently been asked about how I exercise these days, so I thought I’d break it all down for you.
Before I get into the details, though, let me preface this by saying that I am not a beginner, I have been physically fit for a lot of years now, and I do not have a fat loss goal. Having said all of that, I don’t train in a fashion that is very different from how I prescribe exercise to my one-on-one clients (usually women with fat loss goals and little experience with lifting weights).
At the not-old-but-no-longer-young age of 44, I don’t have a desire to be the biggest, strongest, or fastest at anything anymore. I just want to feel fantastic, live with vitality, and keep my body in the kind of condition that allows me to participate in life rather than watch from the sidelines.
After almost 25 years of working out, I have no injuries, aches, or pains. This is because of constant attention to detail and never compromising my form just to beat somebody else at something or to show off. In my experience, when people get competitive in the gym, they will get hurt eventually.
I expect to be exercising in this exact same fashion when I’m 90. Sure, I might be using lighter weights and moving a bit slower, but I don’t do anything right now that I won’t be able to do then because I’m not training in a way that puts me in unnecessary risk of injury.
To say all of this in a different way, exercise is something that I do to make the rest of my life better. It’s not my hobby, my sport, or my means of proving my worth. I train with honest intensity, but I don’t care to “go hard or go home,” and I’m not interested in telling anyone that “your workout is my warm-up.”
As for what I actually do, my resistance training looks nearly identical to AltShift Lift. As I said before, I am not a beginner and I have many years of experience as a personal trainer, so I occasionally throw some other movements into the mix (like the cable rows in the photo above). I also lift 4 days a week (M, T, Th, F) using an upper/lower split – lower body on Mondays and Thursdays, upper body on Tuesdays and Fridays – which is exactly how AltShift Lift works for those advanced enough to train 4 days a week.
Right now, I am also adding something short and intense, like sprints, on 2 of those days, usually the lower body days, but I let my daily life alter that schedule if necessary. Besides just simply sprints, I might do things like bear crawls, kettlebell swings, or broad jumps. I shoot for 30-120 seconds of nonstop intensity, then I rest long enough to completely catch my breath, and this portion of my workout never lasts longer than 10 minutes including rests.
I always get at least 10,000 steps per day and walking is prioritized over all other exercise. In other words, if I am short on time on any given day, I will always choose to walk rather than lift.
I also always listen to my body, not my brain, when it comes to exercise. If I didn’t sleep well the night before, or if I’m getting sick, I never “power through” and do a workout anyway.
As for food, I simply do AltShift with no regard to meal timing. In my professional opinion, pre/post workout meal timing is for athletes, not for those of us just trying to be healthy and fit.
That about sums it up. I hope this was helpful to you. If you have any questions for me or anything at all to add to the conversation, please feel free to post in the comments.