You can skip the reading and watch or skip the video and go right to the reading. These three commonly made mistakes could give you insight about why you might currently be “stuck” and how to tweak your program to get better results.
Underestimating Protein Needs
The recommendations for protein for thriving vs. for disease prevention are very different. Recently researchers have been quoted as stating “the RDA is too low to be a minimum for anyone.” Yet, too many don’t even reach the RDA for protein.
If you’ve ever thought protein powders are just something body builders use, you’re not alone. You’re also missing a potentially convenient way to overcome the obstacle of making time for breakfast or beginning a habit if you’ve skipped or skimped on breakfast in the past. Given the high carb, low protein breakfasts most common in the US, protein shakes make it simple and easy to add servings of greens, fruit, protein, fat and fiber in seconds.
The truth is, your gender and age don’t change protein need. Your activity level may, but not in the way you think. Those who are less active synthesize the protein they ingest less effectively than do athletes (and yes, I’m talking about you if you’re a very active woman!)
Get my protein checklist for at-a-glance support.
You want results yesterday. You start exercising and feel good! You like the way you feel more tight and toned so naturally you want rinse and repeat! Unfortunately, lifting weights 4-5 times a week decreases results. In fact, doing high intensity intervals alternately with heavy weight training can be deceptive in that you may believe you’re getting variety. Both contribute to a need for recovery.
If you’re using the same muscle groups every day or two days in a row – particularly if you’re weight training – you’re doing more breakdown of the muscle than you are enhancing it.
Each time you exercise moderately or harder you create more micro-tears in the muscles involved. That’s a natural part of the exercise process. The rest and recovery between exercise sessions allows you to repair and rebuild that tissue so it overcompensates. That’s how you get stronger and create greater endurance with the right combination of exercise and rest. Without the rest, there’s constant breakdown.
Textbooks recommend rest periods are a minimum of 48-hours between intense workouts or those working the same muscle groups. For some adults over 50 there is evidence that longer recovery, 72-hours, can improve results.
If you’re suffering from chronic soreness or not seeing results from exercise it may be you’re doing too much. You may think, spurred by memes on social media, you’re not doing enough or want change to occur faster. Be patient. Balance your rest and your exercise with a strategy. Track it, test it, and then adjust as needed.
If you’re experiencing undue fatigue as you workout, read this.
Shopping For Exercise
With the influx of videos on YouTube and annual reports on trending exercise coming out soon, it’s easy to go shopping for exercise without thinking about what you personally need. That, however, would be like going grocery-shopping hungry, without a list: never a good idea.
Simply because you have a suspension tool, or a trampoline, or a friend is doing Crossfit, is not enough reason to do something. Think about what you need, how you move, what feels tight, what’s weak and from there you can best determine what your exercise needs are and go shopping for things that fit you, pun intended.
In a proprietary method I use for Flipping 50 programs, I take clients, online and offline, through a program to determine first what’s happening now, the gap between that and where they want to be, then look at individual body mechanics, preference for home or gym exercise, and realistic scheduling. Combine your ideal movement with optimal rest and fuel and you have a recipe for success.
You naturally self-select activity that feels good. Now, don’t confuse that with choosing activities you love! You absolutely should do that. You do, however, want to look at whether you need a corrective exercise or two to help balance your body now. You want to look not at creating a balanced exercise program (or fitting into someone else’s), but creating a balanced body for you. For example, do you need more pulling exercises in your fitness routine compared to pushing exercises since you already have rounded shoulders and posture? Do you need more strength on your left leg than on your right at this moment in time?
These three common mistakes come from years of mental conditioning. If you’ve believed something for a long time, changing the six inches between your ears can be the hardest part! If you’re a prove-it-to-me gal, I understand that. I’m a science-driven, proven-strategy girl myself. Applying 32 years of working with older adults and reliance on research to create exercise programs and lasting change is a must. Taking science and making it simple so you benefit is my job.
Thoughtful consideration of your exercises and how you do them, as well as the fuel you use, will put you in the best condition of your life no matter what your age is!
American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41:1510- 1530, 2009. P 1518.
Astrup, A. et al. 2014. The role of higher protein diets in weight control and obesity-related co-morbidities. International Journal of Obesity 39: 721-726
Bishop, P.A., Jones, E. and Woods, A.K. (2008). Recovery from training: A brief review. Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, 22, 1015–1024.
Paddon-Jones, Douglas, et al. 2008. Protein, weight management, and satiety. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 87(5): 15585-1615