The idea that equals hitting 40 to end of fitness- is passé. The 40-plus men are capable of flaunting six-packs just like the 20-somethings. To do that, you have to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your body first.
Let’s find out the top 10 ways to get ripped torso after 40 –
Do Core Work-Outs
Doing core-work-out is the number one prerequisite to get ripped abs after 40. When you are aiming for melting fat around tummy, keep it in mind that- the entire fat from the mid-section of your body has to go. Belly is just a part of it. You have to address the gluteal muscles as well. There is a simple core exercise technique that you can practice at home. First, set your body in a plank position, ensure that your shoulder blades, mid-section, butt form a straight line, and don’t sag.
Now stretch out your left hand first and simultaneously, raise the right foot. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then bring both of them down- in the previous position. Do the same with the right- hand-left-foot combo as well. Do it for 2-4 sets, each set containing 9-10 repeats.
Squat-to-stand and reverse lunge are other two core exercises that you can easily replicate inside your home, without the help of any equipment. Just make sure that you are following the right postures.
Do Warm-Up, Take It Slow
Whether you are bench-pressing, utilizing crunch machine or lifting weight- each abs exercise should be led by a warm-up session. Warming-up your body for 3-4 minutes is essential before you go head-on to the exercise zone. Warm-up activates your muscles by circulating blood, and rejuvenates your joints to make them get ready for- what is coming next.
There are some funny warm-up exercises such as- “Bear Crawl”, “Inchworm” or “Side-Lunge” that go well with six-pack abs training. Similarly, listen to your body and do everything in slow tempo. Being a 40-plus man means your body is not as agile as it was 20 years back. So don’t listen to those who preach powerful-yet-quick bursts of exercise are ideal for ripped abs.
Cut Back On Sugar
Sugar is the number one enemy that holds you back from getting that lean abs. This is all the more relevant for men beyond 40, whose bodies are not so capable of processing sugar found in colas and white breads or instant pastas. So bring an overhaul in your diet and promise yourself- from today onwards, you’d consume as minimum sugar as you can. Do it gradually, in case you find it hard- to go off-sugar all of a sudden.
Use stevia or honey in place of sugar- into your tea or pudding. Sugar activates insulin hormone in your body. Now when it comes to adding layers of fat around abdomen, guess which one is the main culprit behind? It’s certainly insulin. The more sugar you consume, the more insulin your body produces. So there is no alternative than to scoop sugar out of your system completely.
Get Enough Sleep
Poor sleep pattern does lead to obtaining muffin top or visceral fat in your abdomen area and make you look a sorrowful figure inside that tight tee-shirt. Apart from eating healthy and doing plenty of exercises, you should strive for a good night’s of sleep (that consists of minimum 7-8 hours) every day. Lack of sleep slows down the “male” hormone testosterone- thus making you feel sluggish and “old”.
Also, the stress hormone cortisol is directly related to sleep. When you sleep for 4 hours every day, the cortisol production increases in the body- thus making you crave for fatty foods all the time. This is indeed a circle that puts you right back into the center- with a fat mid-section, no matter how hard you strive in gym or keep a check on what you eat.
Create a good sleeping pattern for yourself. Stay away from fidgeting with any electronic gadget (logging into Facebook, reading book on Kindle or watching TV) for at least one hour before hitting the bed. Better read a paper-back instead. If you have acute sleep apnea or insomnia, consult to your physician without any delay.
Move A Lot
Many of the 40-above men in the world are doing some sedentary jobs that engage them in sitting at one place for too many hours. Our brain controls the appetite or hunger pangs we feel in every hour. When you are stuck to your computer for 8-9 hours at a stretch for 6 days a week, the brain receives poor signal that jeopardize your hunger/ sense of appetite.
That’s why we tend to over-eat at dinner, when, throughout the whole day we have practically eaten nothing. When you take a break from sitting at your desk and walk around- your brain’s appetite regulation center makes yourself aware of your own hunger needs time-to-time. Daily 30-45 minutes of movement (apart from the exercise) would prevent your brain to crave for calorie-rich foods.
Apart from it, moving around- whether you are walking down to the market to get things or taking your dog to a walk, would keep your back safe from ailments such as- back pains and stiff joint issues. You can take help of an inexpensive pedometer as well to keep a tab on-whether you are taking the ideal 10,000 steps per day (it might sound like a herculean effort at first but with discipline and practice, you will surely be able to achieve the mark on every day).
Create A Meal Plan
The role of sugar is mentioned in an above point elaborately. Do you know that when you eat carbs, they break into sugar in your blood stream? So this is like a vicious-loop. To stay away of it, don’t consume white bread, pasta, white rice and potatoes anymore. Replace them with healthier versions such as- brown rice, multi-grain bread, sweet potatoes among others. But here too, limit yourself from hogging onto the carbs.
Make sure that you eat carbohydrate post work-out. In this way, your body will be able to replenish the depleting level of glucose from the muscles, after a grueling work-out session.
Include foods that have fiber, zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. They have fat burning properties around tummy. That means you can have fish, avocado, roasted pumpkin/sunflower seeds, nuts, fruits and most importantly- dark, leafy vegetables in your everyday cooking.
Cardio Is Not For Six-Packs
Yes, it’s understandable that this is a hard fact to wrap your head around it. Cardio is by far- the most beloved form of exercise for busy, high-flying executives over 40. But when something is wildly popular, it doesn’t mean it would bring in the desired result, right? When you bounce up and down on treadmill, you might be aiming for fulfilling your daily quota of jogging and find it mentally-satisfying. However, don’t believe that it will give you ripped abs like Dwayne Johnson!
On the contrary, doing cardio intensely and on a regular basis- might unleash cortisol hormone in your blood-stream. Known as “stress” hormone otherwise, cortisol hormone’s excessive production would put enough stress on your body that back-fires the six-packs mission. What’s more, cortisol hormone ages your skin and produces more free-radicals in the body that would eventually destroy the skin cells.
Metabolism boosting, core-exercise is only way to go that would trigger off the fat loss in your abdomen area. Many gyms luring consumers with gibberish such as- belly-fat burning cardio boot-camp that would give you dream abs within 30-days. Just laugh them off and move on.
Drink Tones Of Water
Sometimes, we mix-up between hunger and dehydration. We reach out to the plate of fries while our bodies just asking for a glass of water and not a plate of calorie-laden food. According to a study carried out by “ Journal of American Dietetic Association” (in 2008), obese individuals who drink minimum 16-18 oz of water in the empty stomach in the morning, tend to consume less than 14% calorie in breakfast.
Not only before breakfast but also when you are digging into the main meal, drink minimum 2 cups of water beforehand. Be that as it may, remember, don’t intake water more than its necessary. 5-6 liters is enough per day if you are planning for 6-packs. More water in your body might dilute sodium count in your blood-sterm- causing mood swings and dizziness.
Train Your Mind
When you are on the wrong side of 40, you’ll find that your body doesn’t bounce back with the same vivacity like that of a 20-yeard old, after a bout of fatigue. You’ll find tones of supplements and exercise programs out there which focus on 40+ men and promise them with ripped abs in just 1 month! This is simply unscientific and would do more harm than any good to your body.
Train your mind to not to lose calm and keep patience, when you are on the rigorous journey of achieving washboard abs. It’s easier said than done- we know. What with all the guys in their 20s and 30s looking chiseled with open shirt buttons and you, on the other side, acting desperately to knock off the stubborn belly fat?
Well, make a plan first. To see any result, you have to stick around with your exercise and diet for 3-6 months at minimum. Keep a health journal where you will write down the progress you have made at the end of each week, regarding your body weight. Get to the contact of a nutritionist and a personal trainer (if you can afford them) and seek out for their counseling in acquiring the great body.
Sometimes, external help would motivate you a lot than shallow self-introspection. In the event it’s possible to squeeze some time out of your packed schedule, do 10 minutes of meditation in the morning.
Stay Away From “Exercise” Myths
There are lots of exercise myths floating around- regarding getting six-packs when you are above 40. To isolate the wheat from the chaff, it’s important to know what are they and why they are useless. First of all, for naïve six-packs enthusiasts, doing crunches daily is sacred. If you come across any of them, he might advise you to do the same. However, doing crunches every single day would do irreparable damage to your “abdominals”.
Instead, mix things up to keep it challenging. Do 3 set of crunches (10-12 reps for each) with oblique side-ups and reverse plunge for thrice-a-week. On the other days, do seated twists with dumbbell press and squat-to-stand. Follow this routine for one week and change it up in the next.
According to many fitness- gurus, without these devices, it’s impossible to attain a ripped torso. In reality, you can get your dream abs by doing much cheaper or free-of-cost exercises.
The above 10 ripped abs solutions just give you an outline. Depending upon your current physical state and lifestyle, tweak them here and there to make your mission happen. With a detailed plan and motivation in place, there is no reason why you won’t be rocking your chiseled mid-riff within a year.