Getting fit at 40

The only time I ever felt really good about myself, was when I was a kid. I could run for a long time and run fast. I felt free. From 1986 to 1997, I lived at Knightsbridge in Richmond, B.C. I spent the majority of my youth riding my bike, climb the fences and walk on top of them. I even climbed some of the surrounding trees. All that changed when I went into high school for grade 7. From then on, besides our Physical Education class, I rarely did any other sport.

When Patrick and I reunited after high school, not that long after in 2003, he asked if I would like to try some trail riding or some light mountain biking. Note that in 1994, first day of school, I got into a bike accident, where a van hit me at an intersection. When I got out of the hospital and went home, I saw that my bike had been totaled. I hadn’t ridden a bike since my accident where I lost the sight in my right eye. Not that I had any PTSD or anything, but it just never occurred to me that I should or wanted to.

So in 2003, I bought myself an Iron Horse 02. It was and still is a really good bike that’s strong, sturdy and affordable. For some reason, every year after that, all of their bikes of the same class, weren’t as great. They felt cheap, even though they cost a wee bit less. I still have and ride that bike. The last time I brought in for a tune-up was about three years ago.

Anyway, what I am trying to get at is that the furthest I’ve been in sports throughout my entire life, was doing some trail riding and light mountain biking primarily with Patrick. Occasionally Jason Ding would come out with us. In the more uncommon times, Albert and Ryan also came. Besides that, I did quite a lot of hiking around Lynn Valley, the 5.5km trail up to Garibaldi Lake and down again… My god, that was grueling. Etc.

So I dabbled in weight training in my late 20’s and before it bored me to death, I was pressing around 80 pounds. My ‘one’ was around 95 pounds, but that came at a cost. My

Roughly a year ago, I tried getting physically fit by doing the following exercises three times a week:

CARDIO      
Type Reps Sets Duration
Step-ups 6 per leg 2 per leg  
Lunges 8 per leg 2 per leg  
Calf Raises 20 2  
       
STRENGTH      
Type Reps Sets  
Curls 12 3  
Benches 10 2  
Shoulders 10 2
Planks 2 20 seconds

 

Unfortunately, without any particular motivation, this became an on/off thing for about eleven months. Sometimes, I would get major inspiration and do it three times a week, but most of the time, I did it once or twice every week or two. Sometimes, I would skip entire weeks until I got fed up enough that I stopped completely.

In August 2019, I told my friend I had a major crush on her. She rejected me of course. You can read more about that here. This is an important part of this blog entry, because her rejection of me is what sparked off my desire to hit the gym. For those who are not familiar with my private life, you should really take a look at the blog entry I just mentioned. This way, you can stop wondering how a married man can confess to his friend about his sexual desires for her. 😉

So it was mid August 2019, that I devised a 5 day workout regimen for my wife and I. Since the first week of September 2019, we have kept to the 5 day workout regimen about 90% of the time, which is pretty good. So far, that’s over five weeks of following through with the training. In the 10% that we haven’t been able to follow through, it’s mainly because we had a lot of things to do that day or we were able to only do about 80% of that day’s workout. It’s still not bad considering all things.

Starting the first week of September 2019, my workout regimen consisted of the following:

Monday – Chest
Bench Press 2 Sets
Dumb Bell Press 2 Sets
Dumb Bell Fly 2 Sets
Squat To Side 3 Sets / 20 Secs
Side Lunge 3 Sets / 20 Secs
Step Ups 3 Sets / 20 Secs Per Leg
   
Tuesday – Back
Bent Over Rows 2 Sets
Dead Lift 2 Sets
Planks 3 Sets / 30 Secs Each
   
Wednesday – Legs
Wide Squats 4 Sets / 20 Secs Each
Standing Hamstring Curl 4 Sets / 20 Secs Per Leg
Squat To Side 2 Sets / 20 Secs Per Leg
Side Lunge 2 Sets / 20 Secs Per Leg
Step Ups 2 Sets / 20 Secs Per Leg
   
Thursday – Shoulders
Sitting Military Press 2 Sets
Upright Rows 2 Sets
Front Raises 2 Sets / Per Arm
Dumbbell Shrug 2 Sets
   
Friday – Arms
Barbell Curls 2 Sets
Dumbbell Curls 2 Sets
Twenty-Ones 2 Sets

 

Amber did her own thing for the first week. However, she decided to do my workout regimen, on top of the cardio she was doing.

Starting the last week of September 2019, our workout regimen for Amber (31) and I (40) consists of the following:

LEEMAN   AMBER
Monday – Chest Monday – Chest
Bench Press 5 Sets Bench Press 3 Sets
Dumb Bell Press 2 Sets Dumb Bell Press 2 Sets
Dumb Bell Fly 2 Sets Squats 100 Reps
Biking 15 min
       
Tuesday – Back Tuesday – Back
Bent Over Rows 5 Sets Bent Over Rows 3 Sets
Dead Lift 3 Sets Dead Lift 2 Sets
Single Arm Row 3 Sets Each Single Arm Row 3 Sets Each
Planks 2 Squats 100 Reps
Biking 15 min    
       
Wednesday – Arms Wednesday – Arms
Barbell Curls 3 Sets Barbell Curls 3 Sets
Dumbbell Curls 2 Sets Dumbbell Curls 2 Sets
Tricep Extensions 2 Sets Tricep Extensions 2 Sets
Side Raises 2 Sets Side Raises 2 Sets
Hammer Curls 2 Sets Hammer Curls 2 Sets
Biking 15 min Squats 100 Reps
       
Thursday – Shoulders Thursday – Shoulders
Sitting Military Press 3 Sets Sitting Military Press 3 Sets
Upright Rows 3 Sets Upright Rows 3 Sets
Front Raises 2 Sets Each Front Raises 2 Sets Each
Dumbbell Shrug 2 Sets Squats 100 Reps
Biking 15 min    
       
Friday – Legs Friday – Legs
Wide Squats 3 Sets Squats 100 Reps
Standing Hamstring Curl 3 Sets Standing Hamstring Curl 2 Sets
Step Ups 2 Sets Step Ups 2 Sets
Planks 2 Jump Squats 2 Sets
Biking 15 min Glute Bridges 2 Sets
    Leg Lifts 2 Sets

 

If you’re wondering about weights, a year ago, I was doing 31-41 pounds for bench pressing and a max of 21 pounds for barbell curls. In the first two weeks of September 2019, I was doing 41 pounds. The third week, I did 46. The fourth week, I did 51. Last week, I did 56. This week, I did 51, but felt like I could do more. Next week, I will do one set at 56, then see if I can do my second set at 61. If I can, then I will do the rest of my sets at 61. My weights for barbell curls so far is set at 26 pounds. My sitting military presses are set at 18 pounds each dumbbell. I know I can do more, but unfortunately, my wrists aren’t strong enough yet. So I need to work on my wrist strength for perhaps a couple of months or more, before I can increase the dumbbell weights.

Amber is doing 26-31 pounds for bench presses, and 13 pounds for sitting military presses.

Planks-wise, I am actually doing quite well. A month ago, I lasted 20 seconds. Two weeks ago, I lasted 45 seconds. Today, I lasted 60 seconds! In the moments I feel like I was about to give up, I refocus my mind to the music I am playing through my headphones. What I count in my brain passively, feels like 40 seconds or so, but my wife timed me at 1:00:33! Not bad at all! I was quite pleased actually. ^_^

So not only can I see improvements with myself physically, I can feel it. It’s quite motivating. Now, the only drawback with all of this, is the food I am eating. I want to eat badly. I want to drink sodas, eat candy and other shit, but I know 1) it’s really bad for my health, especially that I am going 40+ and 2) it will continue to make me feel subpar. So while I do treat myself to a piece of candy every now and then, it’s quite rare I do. Perhaps I eat a piece of candy once or twice a month. I might drink a small can of Pepsi once every two or three months. Though I still eat a burger once a week or two or a few slices of pizza every two or three weeks. These things keep my lifestyle sane. I need a little ‘badness’ to make me feel alive.

Every day, I am consuming from roughly 90g to 145g of protein. For example, by the end of today, I would have consumed 140g of protein. Yesterday, I consumed about 92g of protein. My daily meal plan consist roughly of the following:

  1. Whey protein smoothie (25g to 50g) that is a combination of frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries and coconut milk.
  2. One or two hard-boiled eggs (7g each egg).
  3. Meal replacement shake (9g to 15g).
  4. Chicken, salmon, trout, or tuna which comes out to be anywhere from 30g to 50g of protein for the servings I eat.
  5. Oatmeal with coconut milk as a pre-workout meal.

Along with what I eat above, I also eat a mix of leafy greens either as a salad or as a part of the dish. I also try to eat some fruit daily like half an apple pear, pear, orange or grapefruit. Occasionally, I will have green grapes, cantaloupe and papaya. I have limited sugar intake and actively check the sugar contents of a product before purchasing it. Avocado is something I am trying to add into my weekly diet. I try to limit my carb intake to no more than 50g per day.

Mind you, this meal plan is for five or six days out of the week. For the one or two days, usually Saturday and/or Sunday, I would treat myself to a teen burger with onion rings from A&W or a Baconator sandwich with poutine from Wendy’s. Otherwise, like I said, I will go crazy if I don’t. ^_^

My wife eats differently than I do, but I have tried to ease her into eating primarily protein-based meals with a picker-upper of carbs once during the day time. However, this comes down to will power on her end.

So anyway, that’s about it. I will continue to post about our progress every month or so. I hope this has given you an idea on how to start or restart your own workout regimen.

Note that we both workout at home. So no need to go to a gym. Of course, this doesn’t work for everyone. Every individual will have to find their own spark and drive.

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