The Breakfast Club. Reality Bites. Singles. Slacker. Clerks.
If this list makes you long for the good ol’ days, congrats, you’re officially a Gen Xer. If you’re not aware of these movies, however, do yourself a favor and spend a few of these May Gray / June Gloom days on the couch (hey, everybody needs a rest day, just ask any of your La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers).
So last week, what started off as a guideline on Millennial workouts evolved into an introspective look at that generation’s views on health and fitness. It was actually pretty interesting, so check it out here if you haven’t already. This week, however, we’re going to actually get into some fitness tips for the Gen Xers.
First off, thank you, Gen X, for progressing the ideas of fitness. Before you came along, Jazzercise and Richard Simmons were known quantities, but not the fitness megastars they became. With the advent and proliferation of VCRs and As-Seen-On-TV advertising, Gen X could exercise in the comfort of their home, and whenever they wanted. This idea obviously exploded and created a national frenzy of fitness. These communities of people ended up creating a space for like-minded people, otherwise known as ‘the gym.’ No longer was working out for Arnold and his buddies in Venice Beach, it was for all of us! And with that booming popularity, classes started to appear and quickly evolve from the legwarmers and ‘1-2-1-2’ step-ups to the complex high intensity classes we see today.
But then something started to happen: Children. Inevitably, working out was replaced with soccer practice and piano lessons and helping kids navigate the wiles of school and, after a while, it got harder and harder to jump back into fitness. If you’re in this boat, we have some good news: You can get your fitness back. Even if you’ve been active this entire time, we’re guessing you can find some good ideas below.
Your New Routine
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), muscular strength peaks in women between ages 20 and 30 and then remains nearly unchanged for another 20 years beyond that. The goal of a 40+ year old woman should be to maintain the muscle mass that she has so it doesn’t decline as she ages.
Full-body resistance training should be done three times per week with cardio days in between. For your full-body workouts, aim for 8-12 repetitions per set, and for the love of bone density, put down those 3lb weights! You need to be pushing some weight around, ladies. And don’t worry, due to bodily differences in females and males, you are not going to ‘hulk out’ by lifting heavy. Unless of course you’re talking about your bones, in which case, that’s a good thing. Muscles stress tendons stress bones. And as we all get older, our bone density drops, so unless you want to walk around in a Michelin Man-inspired outfit, get lifting.
Benefits from weight training
- You will burn more fat than by doing cardio alone
- You will change the shape of your body
- You will boost your metabolism by retaining or building more muscle
- You will increase strength, becoming more functional
- You will build strong bones and combat osteoporosis
- You will improve joint stability and reduce the risk of injury
Sounds nice, right? While you’re knocking out those squats, keep in mind that your nutrition needs to follow suit. The fitness-industry cliche ‘You cannot out train a poor diet’ is absolutely true. Crushing a workout and burning 400 calories isn’t going to do you any good if you’re reaching for some Twinkies when you get home (in case you missed our nutrition blogs last month, go check them out, including the article on La Jolla Sports Club Nutritional Programming).
OK, so your ideal fitness week looks like this:
Mon: Full-body workout (three sets of each exercise at 8-12 reps; if you can do more weight or more reps, do more weight or more reps)
Tues: Cardio intervals (3:1 med:hard) for 30mins
Wed: Full-body workout
Thurs: Cardio intervals
Fri: Full-body workout
Sat: Go surf! Go hike! Yoga!
Sun: Watch Reality Bites
If you’re getting started after a long hiatus, getting started for the first time or need some help switching up your routine, La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers are always available (and were voted best in La Jolla). Our gym is a pretty fun place to be, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
OK, that’s it for this post, check back next week where we’ll break down ideal workouts for Baby Boomers.
Are you a Gen Xer with a killer routine to share? Have you had some kiddos and overcame the pitfalls of not working out? Leave a comment below!
‘At the beep, please leave your name, number, and a brief justification for the ontological necessity of modern man’s existential dilemma, and we’ll get back to you,’
// Your La Jolla Sports Club team