Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Ep 180: The New Over 50 Roadmap to Lifelong Strength, Health, Muscle, and Longevity

June 11, 2024 Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer Episode 180
Ep 180: The New Over 50 Roadmap to Lifelong Strength, Health, Muscle, and Longevity
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Ep 180: The New Over 50 Roadmap to Lifelong Strength, Health, Muscle, and Longevity
Jun 11, 2024 Episode 180
Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer

Are you over 50 and wondering how to keep your muscles strong as you age? Are you curious about how your eating habits affect your health? Want to discover the secret to living a vibrant life in your 50s and beyond?

In this episode, Philip (@witsandweights) provides a practical guide to optimizing health and strength for individuals over 50. He highlights strength training as a key strategy in preventing muscle loss and increasing longevity. Philip also talks about nutrition and gut health, including the recommended protein intake and suggested protein sources, as well as the benefit of consuming a variety of fiber-rich and fermented foods. He also touches on how having a positive mindset and staying connected with others are keys to aging well, highlighting the role of support networks in helping you stay on track. So, whether you’re over 50 or planning for your future, this episode has practical tips for living a full and healthy life.

Today, you’ll learn all about:

3:45 How to avoid sarcopenia and dynapenia
7:39 Strength training tips for individuals over 50
11:02 Recommended protein intake and sources for older adults
14:59 The importance of social connection and mindset for longevity
21:03 The connection between gut health and age
25:37 Fixed vs. growth mindset
29:33 Five fundamental principles to create your fitness roadmap
41:19 Outro

Related Episode: 

Episode resources:

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you over 50 and wondering how to keep your muscles strong as you age? Are you curious about how your eating habits affect your health? Want to discover the secret to living a vibrant life in your 50s and beyond?

In this episode, Philip (@witsandweights) provides a practical guide to optimizing health and strength for individuals over 50. He highlights strength training as a key strategy in preventing muscle loss and increasing longevity. Philip also talks about nutrition and gut health, including the recommended protein intake and suggested protein sources, as well as the benefit of consuming a variety of fiber-rich and fermented foods. He also touches on how having a positive mindset and staying connected with others are keys to aging well, highlighting the role of support networks in helping you stay on track. So, whether you’re over 50 or planning for your future, this episode has practical tips for living a full and healthy life.

Today, you’ll learn all about:

3:45 How to avoid sarcopenia and dynapenia
7:39 Strength training tips for individuals over 50
11:02 Recommended protein intake and sources for older adults
14:59 The importance of social connection and mindset for longevity
21:03 The connection between gut health and age
25:37 Fixed vs. growth mindset
29:33 Five fundamental principles to create your fitness roadmap
41:19 Outro

Related Episode: 

Episode resources:

📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Speaker 1:

If you're over 50 and want to optimize your health, strength and longevity, or you're wondering how to get a head start for your later years, this episode is a must-listen. We are going beyond the typical advice and diving into the surprising science of what really moves the needle to prevent muscle loss, increase your lifespan and choose how you want to age. Whether you're in your 50s, 60s, 70s or beyond. This episode will give you a practical roadmap to defy aging and live your strongest, healthiest, most vibrant life. Welcome to the Wits and Weights podcast. I'm your host, philip Pape, and this twice-a-week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self-mastery by getting stronger, optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition. We'll uncover science-backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset, with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry, so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. Wits and Weights community.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to another solo episode of the Wits and Weights podcast. In our last episode, 179, real reasons your scale weight fluctuates. It's not always fat gain. With Louise Digby, you learned about all the reasons the scale weight fluctuates, the dangers of scale obsession and the importance of non-scale victories. We discussed the role of hormones in weight management, the problem with restrictive dieting and the emotional and psychological side of fat loss and body image, plus lots of tips for sustainable fat loss. Today, for episode 180, the new over-50 roadmap to lifelong strength, health, muscle and longevity, we are going to put together your new roadmap for optimizing your physical and mental health in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. As always, we're about sustainable, practical changes here that deliver real results, not quick fixes. Not being impatient, not just giving up when things start to get a little hard, because oftentimes hard things done now make everything else easier later. So whether you're over 50 yourself or you just want to set yourself up to thrive in the second half of life, this episode is for you.

Speaker 1:

But before we dive in, I want to give a special shout out to Bruce and Jan. At Bruce and Jan Train on Instagram. As it says on their bio, bruce is 72, jan younger and they are absolutely crushing their health, their fitness. They post videos about their training. Their Instagram bio says they are attempting managed decline, naturally, so I love the way kind of very conservative way they put it, but it says a lot in there. It's very profound and Bruce reached out recently over Instagram suggesting that we make an episode specifically for listeners over 50 and how their biggest challenge is trying to change a lifetime of habits all at once. And I agree.

Speaker 1:

As much as the principles apply to everyone of any age, there are specific things that are unique to different age groups and different demographics, and one of those is that, yes, you've lived so many decades doing things a certain way. You've heard different influences over the years than maybe younger generations have heard. You didn't grow up with the internet and all the stuff we have now, and trying to change those habits maybe have more friction in front of them than maybe someone who's younger would. So, bruce and Jan, this episode is for you Now. I know many of you in the over 50 crowd may feel like your best years are behind you or it's too late to get in the best shape of your life, but, as we're going to make crystal clear today, nothing could be further from the truth, because, with the right approach, you can build strength, vitality, resilience at any age. You'll vastly improve your physical capability and appearance as well, and it's never too late to start. And the research is unequivocal that we can slow down and even reverse certain aspects of aging simply by changing our lifestyle. So let's get into it. Today. We have a lot to cover with the new over 50 roadmap to lifelong strength, health, muscle and longevity and of course, the first thing we must start with here is the importance of strength training.

Speaker 1:

One of the most important things that happens as we age is a condition called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of muscle mass. It starts at around the age of 30, around that age, I mean, it's starting fairly young if you're just not using your muscles, but it really starts to pick up then and it accelerates after 50. And by 70, you can lose, or have lost up to 30 to 50% of your muscle mass if you don't just take steps to prevent it. And it's okay if you're already there, because we've seen that you can add new muscle tissue up to any age. We've seen it in 80s and 90-year-olds. Now it's not just about the muscle size. I mean as much as we think muscle mass itself is important for size. Obviously it's important for physique things like that.

Speaker 1:

There's something called dynopenia, which is the age-related loss of muscle strength. Right, and if you haven't heard that word before, it's not thrown around very often. Even in this space we talk about sarcopenia, but not necessarily dynopenia, and studies show that muscle strength declines two to five times faster than muscle size man. That's an incredible statistic. Let that sink in. Not only are you losing tons of muscle from the age of 30 to 70, you're losing even more relative strength. So you could be maintaining some of the muscle but still be getting significantly weaker over time.

Speaker 1:

And why does that matter? It's probably obvious if you're over 50 already over time. And why does that matter? It's probably obvious if you're over 50 already. But sarcopenia and dynopenia are linked to a whole host of problems like increased risk of falls, fractures, disability, even premature death. And I think I mentioned in a previous show how falling is the number one cause. I don't know if it's the number one cause of death over a certain age, because I know heart disease is number one as well, but I think a lot of people who have died off of heart disease, then they die off of falls because they're weak. The good news is we can prevent and even reverse these conditions with one thing strength training. This is why I am so passionate that everybody on the planet should be strength training one way or the other, and the older you are, the more important. It is, not less.

Speaker 1:

Lifting weights is, hands down, the most effective way to build and maintain muscle and strength as you age period. Okay, I did a quick wits recently, I think. Well, I don't know if it came out yet, but it was about the advice that gets thrown around in these newspapers and these listicles that say just move more. Most people are sedentary, you just got to move more and that'll do it. That's not going to do it. That is not going to do it as you age. You've got to lift weights, you've got to put load on your muscles and bones. You just have to do it. Yes, moving is better than not moving, but not much better compared to strength training. That is a life changing difference, all right, and it doesn't have have to be complicated.

Speaker 1:

That's what I want to share in this episode. Just two sessions a week usually for somebody who's over 70, is going to make a massive difference and it can reduce sarcopenia risk by I think there was a study that said by up to 30%. Right, and honestly I don't care what it reduces, but I know, we all know, that lifting weights is going to build new muscle tissue. So just do it. Don't worry about the percentages and all that. Just you are avoiding the massive sarcopenia your peers are going to be facing who are not lifting weights right, just like Bruce and Jan are. I mean, they're a living example of this. Now the key here is if I were to sum it up in like one sentence is to focus on compound movements like squats, deadlifts, rows, presses, and then gradually increase the weight and the reps over time. That's like the overarching principle of lifting heavy and progressive overload over time, and then doing that at least two to three times a week, just so you get enough frequency in there.

Speaker 1:

But I want to give you some specifics for older adults. I promised that I would give you some different things in this episode, specific to you. So the first thing is, especially if you're new to this or you haven't trained in a long time, you're going to be a little bit more. It's going to be harder for you to warm up and recover right. You're going to have your joints, your connective tissue are just not what they were when you were younger, and so you may need to do a little more warmup. You may need to ease into not only the session but whatever weights you're trying to start with when you first start lifting. You don't have to go all out and chances are you're probably not in a position where you want to do that anyway, but it's just worth mentioning. The second thing is that I firmly strongly believe in this Compound lifts, which are ideal for building strength anyway.

Speaker 1:

Compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, anything with multiple joints, with free weights, barbells, dumbbells yeah, maybe cables and machines, but mainly barbells and free weights are going to build so much balance and so much coordination and make you an independent person who's better at life, using the full range of motion, using your entire system. It's how you function in the real world and for the over 50 population, I think that almost becomes the top priority over anything. Yeah, even if you want to lose some weight and look good and whatever, I'm guessing by the time you're 60, 70, 80, you really just want to be able to be strong and if you get hit by a slow moving car, you're going to get up and be fine, as opposed to having your hip shattered into a million pieces. These are really life-changing things because once those things happen, it leads to going into the hospital, being on medication, getting pneumonia, polypharmacy all the things that we associate with quote, unquote old people and you are taking control of your age by being a strong MF-er for the rest of your life, right. But you know, don't just start with any old hypertrophy bodybuilding program. Like, really consider using compound lifts early on, and that, yes, includes barbells, and I think that's one of the best tools for older folks, right, and it might sound like the opposite of what a lot of people think. Oh, is that safe? Are you going to hurt your back? No, no, that's how you get strong, all right.

Speaker 1:

The next thing is recovery time and kind of the how you spread your workouts across the week. Older folks take longer to recover. I'm in my forties and I already can see that compared to when I was in my thirties or twenties and so this might mean you need to stretch out your program. So if you're following a four day a week program, you might stretch it out over six days or seven days, or a three-day-a-week program. You do it two days a week and you stretch it. Things like that.

Speaker 1:

Having shorter sessions Maybe you want a couple sessions a day that are really short. There's a lot of different ways to slice it and you're going to have to make it work for you. The next one I have for you is as much as you want to progressively overload. So, session to session, you want to add weight to the bar, to the dumbbells, whatever. It has to be appropriate. It has to be just the right amount to push you, but not too much. I feel like there's a propensity to try to wanting to jump too much and that's one of the biggest reasons people fail the reps and feel like they're stalling out, so increased by the appropriate load. And then the last thing is just don't be stupid. I mean, in your 50s, you're in your 60s, you're in your 70s, you don't have the same tolerance for getting injured and for the time that it takes to rehab from an injury as you did when you were an idiot 20-year-old. Okay, so you're not an idiot 20-year-old, you're a very wise over 50-year-old. So don't be stupid. So that's strength training Now.

Speaker 1:

Strength training provides the stimulus for building and maintaining muscle. It is a non-negotiable. But to actually build new muscle tissue, you need the raw materials for that. And that's where protein comes in. All right, protein is made up of amino acids. These are the building blocks of muscle.

Speaker 1:

When you eat protein, your body then breaks it down and uses those amino acids to repair and build new muscle fibers, but as you age, your body becomes less efficient at doing that. It's called muscle protein synthesis, and the phenomenon of it getting less efficient is called anabolic resistance. We see this in women getting older. We see this just in general as we get older, and anabolic resistance means you need more protein to get the same effect as a younger person. You're just less efficient with it and the current RDA for protein is abysmally low.

Speaker 1:

It's like 0.8 grams per kilogram, which would be like 0.4 grams per pound. But for anybody, let alone older adults who are active, who are lifting, this is woefully inadequate. That's just survival level. There's actually position stands and plenty of studies related to aging populations for older adults that are in line with what I always recommend anyway for most people, and that is around the one gram per pound, right. So like 0.7 to one grams per pound of body weight, or that's like 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, that's anywhere from like 100 to 150, you know in that range, chances are you're far below that and if not, if you've been paying attention to this for any length of time, then you've probably gotten into where you need to be and if you are let's say you're very overweight just go by your target body weight, your ideal body weight. That's total protein.

Speaker 1:

Then we also have to consider how protein is distributed, and the more science we've discovered on this shows us that what's more important is that you get a certain minimum when you eat, but not necessarily a maximum, and you don't have to necessarily spread it out. You don't have to force spread it out throughout the day. Two, three meals a day with protein is good enough for most people, as long as you get the total right. You don't have to eat six times, seven times. Just try to get around 20 to 30 grams or more protein per meal and don't worry about the other stuff, the leucine threshold and all that stuff. So, total protein 0.7 to1 gram per pound.

Speaker 1:

Eat it across anywhere from like two to five meals a day, and focus on high quality protein. Really, I mean protein from anywhere, but I'm saying not all collagen protein, for example. You want sources like eggs, dairy meat, fish, poultry and then all the plant sources of protein as well. And of course, whey protein is a great way to supplement if you're having trouble getting enough of it and with my experience with older adults, appetite seems to be lower as we age, right, you might have trouble eating as much, and so using liquid forms, using, you know, pre-digested, processed forms of some foods actually could be helpful. And it's perfectly fine, right? So whey, casein, things like that. Making a smoothie, making a shake, so that's protein. Protein is massive.

Speaker 1:

If you're not getting enough, start tracking your food so you can see how much you get and then set the target. My favorite app for this is called Macrofactor all one word Macrofactor. Yes, it's a food logging app, but it also tells you what your metabolism is, so you know if you need to eat more or less for your goal and if you're trying to build muscle, if you're trying to do what Bruce and Jan are doing, it helps to be tracking so that you know you're eating enough, you've got enough energy, you've got enough protein right that you're not selling yourself short, that you've got enough carbs to support this muscle building process. So, macrofactor, download it. Use my code WITSANDWEIGHTS. I'll throw it in the show notes, so you have it. My code, witsandweights all one word, will get you two-week free trial. It is a paid app, but all the best apps, of course, are going to be paid and it's more affordable than you can imagine, so use that to track.

Speaker 1:

The next thing I want to talk about is so we talked about food. We talked about building muscle. I want to talk about social connection, longevity, purpose, things like a little bit more on the mindset side that really come into play as we get older, and I'm seeing this now in my 40s and I can definitely see it among my parents, my in-laws. We all know that relationships are important, but you might be surprised to learn from the data how critical social connection is for healthy aging. Maybe you won't be surprised you hear it a lot these days but the research shows that lacking social connection is a big risk factor, and as big a risk factor for premature death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. That's how important social connection is. There was a meta-analysis from 2015 that looked at 70 studies with over three and a half million participants, and it found that loneliness, social isolation and living alone all significantly increased the risk of early mortality, and the effect size was comparable to obesity. So I'm not trying to scare you. I'm trying to iterate that or reiterate that social connection are vital as we age and Relationships then influence our health, and this is about health.

Speaker 1:

This is about longevity. Right, people with strong social networks have healthier lifestyle habits. They tend to go hand in hand, like when you're friends, when you're loved ones, when you're Group that you hang out with. When they eat, eat well, when they train, when they avoid risky behaviors, you're more likely to do the same and maybe you're an influence on them. And this is a way that you can change the family tree of people in your peer group, of your friends and family.

Speaker 1:

Here's the other thing, another side, tangent. I know that the generations that are currently over 50 come from a time when exercise was just not as much a thing. Come from a time when exercise was just not as much a thing. Right, and it's slowly starting to shift, but we need to make it more of a thing. So, spread the message, share this episode as we, you know. Reach out to Bruce and Jen and follow them. Follow me at Wits and Weights so we can get this message out.

Speaker 1:

Right, and the other thing is that I wanted to talk about with social connection is it provides a sense of meaning and purpose, right, when you feel like you matter to others, when you're in this like web or a cocoon of support, and we'll say accountability and obligation right, because when you're with other people who are trying to do the same thing, you almost feel obligated to them to do it in a good way, like you don't want to let them down. Right, and that provides a reason to take care of yourself. I have friends like that. I have colleagues, acquaintances, other coaches just feeding off of each other's energy. We're like, oh, you're doing that, all right, I need to step it up, right, and that's a good thing. As we get older, we want to have that positive push to keep improving. You'll, you'll never stop improving and you'll take care of yourself and you'll show up for the people who depend on you, and then they will do the same for you. And then you and all your other strong friends you know, who are far healthier and stronger than most people your age, are going to be the ones that are able to help and stand up and show up and make a difference, and that's huge. When it comes to meaning and purpose, and we know how important it is to have purpose in our lives. From a health standpoint and a mental health standpoint, right Now, the quality of your relationships is more important than the quantity, and I'm sure you know this, I'm sure you know that you can have a thousand friends on social media and you hardly talk to them and it's all often.

Speaker 1:

I don't want to say negative, but they're not your quote unquote real friends necessarily, except for maybe a handful of them. And it's usually better to have a few close, supportive connections than this huge social network of superficial links and a kind of a mix of people, right? A mix of friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, people who share your hobbies, your interests, all that kind of good stuff. Especially if you're retired, for example, you're no longer kind of artificially immersed in an environment where there are lots of other people. But even hey, I work from home. I understand the importance of needing to reach out and avoid neglecting relationships. I'm thinking of a couple of people already as I record this, that I should reach out to by text or phone afterward to reconnect because it's been a while. So consider this right now, this episode, as you're listening to me, your sign to reach out to an old friend, maybe join a club, so many clubs or take a class to meet new people, volunteering huge way to find meaning and expand your social circle. It's kind of two birds with one stone. The bottom line here is investing in your relationship is investing in your health and longevity, and I thought it was important to include in an episode about your over 50 roadmap. Hey, this is Philip, and I hope you're enjoying this episode of Wits and Weights.

Speaker 1:

I started Wits and Weights to help ambitious individuals in their 30s, 40s and beyond who want to build muscle, lose fat and finally look like they lift. I've noticed that when people transform their physique, they not only look and feel better, but they also experience incredible changes in their health, confidence and overall quality of life. If you're listening to this podcast, I assume you want the same thing to build your ultimate physique and unlock your full potential, whether you're just starting out or looking to take your progress to the next level. That's why I created Wits and Weights Physique University, a semi-private group coaching experience designed to help you achieve your best physique ever. With a personalized, done-for-you nutrition plan, custom-designed courses, new workout programs each month, live coaching calls and a supportive community, you'll have access to everything you need to succeed. If you're ready to shatter your plateaus and transform your body and life, head over to witsandweightscom slash physique or click the link in the show notes to enroll today. Again, that's witsandweightscom slash physique. I can't wait to welcome you to the community and help you become the strongest, leanest and healthiest version of yourself. Now back to the community and help you become the strongest, leanest and healthiest version of yourself. Now back to the show, all right.

Speaker 1:

So the next one I want to talk about is another. It's starting to get talked about a lot more. It is something that people seem to overhype and yet it actually deserves the hype and it's extremely important when you're older, and that is gut health. You're like, oh, here we go again, gut health. But here's the thing your gut, inside your GI tract, which is the entire tube from your mouth to the other end, is a huge, complex ecosystem of trillions of bacteria known as your gut microbiome. The makeup of that family of bacteria has a profound impact on every aspect of your life. We tend to label bacteria as good or bad. Right, like the good bacteria, keep the bad bacteria in check. The good ones are the ones that digest your food, they produce nutrients, they regulate your immune system, they protect against infection.

Speaker 1:

But here's the thing where age comes into play as we are aging, the diversity of that. Gut bacteria declines, right, and it starts from when you're a baby, of all the experiences, of whether you have pets, of whether you had a vaginal birth, whether you had breastfeeding, all of those things. It starts that early. Then it's like, okay, do you play outside or are you in a sterile environment, things like that, and it progresses. But it also depends on what you eat.

Speaker 1:

And if you've been eating the same foods for decades, the older you are, the less and less and less diverse your gut bacteria becomes because of that limited diet, or let's just say that routine, boring diet that we get used to. And then the quote unquote bad guys start to outnumber the good and that's when you run into problems and you get an imbalanced microbiome. Now they call this dysbiosis, right, which is kind of the extreme increase. You get a lot of increased inflammation, but it is associated with diseases like diabetes and heart disease and Alzheimer's. It could be confounded by the lifestyle as well, right, I don't want to kind of overblow that piece of it, but having a healthy, diverse microbiome becomes increasingly important over 50. And it's just important in general for the fiber, for the overall health, for all the impacts that it has your metabolism, on your hormones, on everything. I'm going to simplify what you do about it, because that's where people get all wonky and complicated.

Speaker 1:

The number one thing you can do to support your gut bacteria is just feed them fiber. Fiber is the preferred fuel source for most of the beneficial gut bacteria. When they feast on fermentable fibers, they produce what what they call short chain fatty acids that heal your gut, your gut lining. It reduces inflammation, it supports your healthy metabolic rate, and all you got to do is aim for a certain amount of fiber each day. It's usually around 25, 30 grams of fiber, right, a little bit more for men, a little bit less for women. It depends on your size, how much you're eating, but let's say, 30 grams of fiber from a variety of whole food sources vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains.

Speaker 1:

And what I learned from Justin Cottle, who was on episode what was that? 177, okay, he's the anatomy and cadaver guy is not only eat like apples, but eat three or four different types of apples, because of the different pectin compounds in the skin. That will give different sources of food to your bacteria. And some of the most gut-friendly, fiber-rich foods are leafy greens, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas, apples, oats, flaxseed all this delicious food that you should have in your diet. There's always talk about fermented foods as well, which are super helpful, like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, those kinds of things, and these are naturally probiotic rich foods and they boost the beneficial bacteria right.

Speaker 1:

But if you've gotten to a point where it's pretty depleted and pretty out of balance, you may also need some supplementation. So definitely consider that. But overall, my point here is the gut is important and having a diverse diet full of fiber is important as well. And, by the way, fiber has some side benefits. It helps with gas, with your bowel movements, and it also helps with satiety, keeping you full. So protein and fiber keep you full. So when you're, let's say, you're trying to lose a little bit of fat and the calories are a little tighter, they help keep you full. So fiber is a good one. And then the next one is I guess this is the last big category I wanted to cover on.

Speaker 1:

This roadmap is back to the mental side. Because no matter how well you eat, how much you train, or how well you train, how many supplements you take, how much fiber, protein, you're not going to stop the clock. That's the reality of it. Things are going to change. As you age. You're going to face new challenges physical challenges, mental challenges, I mean. Think about what your friends are going to start passing away. That's the reality of it. We acknowledge it, right, I'm only in my 40s and I see people starting to pass away. Right, and as you get older, that accelerates. That's just one of many things. Right, you might lose friends. Your situations change. I know how older people, if they don't have that social connection, they can feel a little bit lonely and neglected. Right, it's just different. Things change. You're not working anymore. Most likely, you're retired and you're trying to find a new way to live your life. The financial situation is different sources of stress, and how you review and respond to those is what matters more than anything, not they exist, it's how you respond to them.

Speaker 1:

So you may have heard of psychologist Carol Dweck, and in her research she identified the two mindsets that shape how people approach their lives. The first is a fixed mindset. With a fixed mindset, you believe that your abilities, your intelligence, your talents are fixed. Right, that they can't change. Like that is who you are and you might know, you might have made statements throughout your life that I am this, or you talk about other people like my daughter. Is this right? Those are fixed mindset statements, and, whether we intentionally do it or not, they usually lead to avoiding challenges, giving up easily and often feeling threatened by other people's success.

Speaker 1:

On the other hand, if you have a growth mindset which I'm a huge fan of having a growth mindset and cultivating it you believe your abilities can be developed, and all it takes is two things dedication and hard work. And dedication is kind of a loose term. It could refer to persistence, perseverance, grit not so much willpower. It's more of a long-term dedication. Right Like? You're committed, you keep being consistent. You're not perfect. You keep being consistent and pushing through, and people with growth mindsets embrace challenges. They persist in the face of setbacks. They find inspiration in the success of others. What a different perspective, isn't it?

Speaker 1:

And it turns out that this growth mindset becomes increasingly important as you age and as you navigate the challenges of aging. There's a study from 2021 found that adults over 60 with a growth mindset had significantly greater resilience, well-being and sense of purpose than those with a fixed mindset. They were also more open to learning new technologies that could improve their quality of life, and so think about how that might apply to what we're talking about today. Strength training. Maybe you haven't trained. Maybe you think, look, none of my friends are doing it. Older people just don't do that. That's a fixed mindset.

Speaker 1:

A growth mindset is yeah, this is a brand new area I get to explore, I get to test the theory that you can build new muscle at any age. Isn't that exciting, right? So how can you cultivate that mindset? Because some of you just may not, you may be stuck in your ways, and that's kind of a fixed mindset statement I just made. But let's be honest, some of us are stubborn, right, and we have to notice those fixed mindset triggers.

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Like let's say something new, something new comes your way, like this podcast episode might be a trigger, right, I'm asking you to try all these different things, and you're like God, that's that's no, that's too much, right? So, when you hear this, what I'm telling you are you focusing more on the potential to fail or the opportunity to learn and to grow? Right, and so I want you to embrace the power of yet, the word. Yet You're not too old to get fit. You're just not fit yet. You can't do a pull-up yet, but every attempt gets you stronger toward that pull-up right. Use the word yet and see what it does for you.

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And I want you to celebrate. I think I mentioned this in a Saturday bonus episode where I talked about my insecurities. I want you to celebrate effort. It's great to celebrate wins when they happen. It's great to celebrate results, but I want you to celebrate effort so that you get into the process right. And this is a lot of fun new stuff you get to try here. You know, just lifting weights if you've never done before can be invigorating. It's just all this new stuff you get to learn, you know. Think of it as a fun hobby that also gets you amazing results at the end Not at the end, it gets you amazing results every day along the way. Right, because we're celebrating the process and the effort. So I want you to reframe failures as a chance to learn and surround yourself with people who inspire you to push your limits right.

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You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. Does that make sense? Like you don't have to be an old person? Again, bruce and Jan, you go, look at them and you're like. You know they may be a certain age, right, but they're not like typical old people at all. They're strong, they're capable, they're resilient. It's amazing. It's inspiring and embracing the growth mindset like they have, and they did it late in life. That is the key to aging gracefully and resiliently and strongly. So I've thrown a lot at you today a little bit of science, a little bit of strategy.

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I didn't necessarily cover every single principle I would talk about when it comes to, say, fat loss or building muscle, because you can find those in the rest of my podcast and they apply to you as well. I wanted to cover the things specifically that are unique to those over 50. And you might be hearing this and saying, okay, I'm a half hour into this podcast, I'm not sure where to start. And even though there's no one size fits all approach and you are at a different point than someone else because if you're 60, I don't know you could have been lifting for a lot, you could have been active in your earlier years, you might've been an athlete, maybe you are already active and you want to find something different, maybe you've been sedentary, maybe you have all sorts of health issues right, there's a lot of different things, but there are principles that will help you create your personal roadmap. So this is the new over 50 roadmap and these are the principles I'm going to give you, five right now, five key principles.

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Principle number one start small and focus on consistency. Right. Start where you are at Today is your baseline, doesn't matter what happened in the past, doesn't matter what the person. Start where you are at Today is your baseline, doesn't matter what happened in the past, doesn't matter what the person next to you can do. If you try to overhaul your entire lifestyle overnight, you're going to get burned out and you're going to fail. Period Right.

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This is exactly why clients come to me all the time. They've tried this over and over. Try to change everything. New Year's resolution change everything Doesn't work. Choose one small change you can make this week. That's it. That's all I want you to do. There's no rush, all right. It took you this many decades. What's another day or week? All right? So one small change.

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Maybe it's doing your first strength-based workout and I can recommend programs to you. And in fact, I would say go get the book. Actually, here you go, the Barbell Prescription by John Sullivan. Okay, it's based on the starting strength model, but it's specifically for people. It's targeted at people over 40, but it's all about being an athlete of aging that's the term we use an athlete of aging, taking control. So go buy the Barbell Prescription and that's going to change your mind and your life forever when it comes to this stuff, when it comes to strength and muscle. So buy that book and then do your first workout. Like, read the book and plan to do your first workout.

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Another thing you can do, just again one thing. I'm not telling you to do all this. One thing Add protein to a meal that currently doesn't have protein. For many people that's breakfast, but it might be some other meal during the day. Simply add protein, right. Another thing you can do, again one thing call up an old friend. I mentioned this earlier about social connections. Think about an old friend that you haven't talked to in a while. Call them up right after the show, right after you follow the show, so you get the next episode All right. So that's number one.

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Start small, focus on consistency. Number two I want you to use something called habit stacking. Maybe you heard about this. It's a way to make new behaviors stick, and the way it works is you tie a new habit that you want to develop to an existing routine that you already have, so it's kind of coming along for the ride. So I mean, the protein thing is an easy one, right? Like you already have you already eat, so you already eat breakfast, so go ahead and add in the protein, right?

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Or you like to listen to podcasts. Why don't you go for a walk after lunch while listening to the podcast? You're basically just doing two things in one. You're sticking something that you don't quite do regularly yet to something you do already do. So if you already listen to your podcast and you're doing it while sitting down, you can now do it while walking. That's just an example. I'm sure you can come up with many more. There's all sorts of things that you know. I think in some of the research they said well, what do people? What does almost everybody do? Well, they sit and watch TV. Everybody watches, like, at least an hour of TV a day, some people much more. Well, can you just do that? Can you set for yourself a rule that I'm only gonna watch that Netflix show that I wanna binge if I do it while I'm on my assault bike or on my treadmill? That's just one example. Right, I like to listen to podcasts while I'm lifting weights not when I'm actually doing the set, but in between. So that's habit stacking. It's just combining something you already do with something you want to do.

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The third thing is the third principle. Look for ways to make the healthier choices more convenient. Okay, one of the excuses that people make is there's too much friction, there's too much stopping them from doing it, like, oh, I forgot to do, or that was too much, or by the time my alarm went off and I had to go to the gym but I felt like sleeping. So, food-wise, right. Prepping food, meal prep, meal planning on the weekend, so you have your food ready for the week when you make dinner. Don't just make dinner for two or four, make it for 12 and use leftovers right. Buy things that are a little more convenient if needed, like pre-cut veggies or whatnot. Again, it depends on your budget and things like that. You know convenience can still be healthy, right?

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The big one I like for strength training is keeping your workout clothes and your squat shoes and your bag and your blender bottle and all that like getting it all ready the night before so you have no excuse but to go to the gym. In fact, it's more work to take it all apart than to just go to the gym. So you're just trying to remove friction wherever possible and again, this is a principle. So you need to evaluate in your life where the friction points are. What is it that you're telling yourself? It's an excuse, yes, it is an excuse, but it's there. How can we eliminate that thing? So it can't even be an excuse.

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All right, principle number four and I alluded to this already but it's focus on the process over the outcome. Right, it's nice to say, okay, I want to lose 20 pounds, but that's a one and done thing. It's going to happen if you do it right. But it doesn't help focusing on it the whole time. You're making it happen. What really matters is developing the way that you eat, the way that you move, that feels sustainable, that you can do forever, and then, by the way, it happens to get you that 20 pounds. And then eventually you get the 20 pounds and you're like, okay, I got my 20 pounds, but really I enjoyed the process to get there, right? Instead of fixating on what the scale says on any given day, why don't we instead think about how much more energy we have, how much more we're sleeping? How much stronger you're feeling in your workouts? Did you get five pounds more on the deadlift? Those are things that are process related and you could argue that they're still outcomes, but they're micro outcomes. They're outcomes that occur on a frequent, daily basis.

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All right, and then the last principle is to get support. Reach out for help, please. You know, I used to. When I first started in this with my own personal transformation, I was very much like I'm going to do this myself. I read books, I listened to podcasts and I started doing things myself. But then I would constantly step back or I'd get tripped up or I couldn't be consistent. And then I started to join some free Facebook groups. I joined, you know, I got a coach at my gym I mean today I have like 10 different coaches for different things because I realized every time I would get support whether it was paid free, as long as it was somebody else in that same circle my progress would accelerate. But I would also have a safety net that wouldn't allow me to step back too far. Right, like, not only did it push me forward more quickly, whenever I got I took a step back. Somebody was there to kind of prop me up and then let me keep going. It's like, yeah, you take a little step back, but then you get to keep going.

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You know, hiring a coach, getting an accountability partner, a training partner, joining any sort of community I don't care if it's a physical community like a club or with a gym, with people that you go train with, whether it's like a Facebook group, social group, like a club where you do things together. It doesn't even have to be related to fitness per se. But I guess where I'm going at here is it's got to be people that are going after the same goals. It could be a paid community or group coaching program, like Woods and Weights Physique University that I run. Just there's so many ways to do it right. The more you invest in yourself, the more that you get the help, the faster you're going to get the results and have the safety net so that you don't fall back, and then that behavior change then becomes a lot easier. That's the thing You're removing. Not only are you removing friction on the front end, you're also removing friction on the back end, if that makes sense. And again, bruce and Jen, the couple I mentioned at the beginning they are great examples of what's possible with mutual support and encouragement. I mean, they've got a ton of followers on Instagram and I know they are constantly reaching out and commenting and sharing things with people and they're telling people hey, go listen to Whits and Weights and go listen to this person, because they are trying to help.

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So, whatever your age is, whatever your current fitness level, you have an incredible capacity to get stronger, to get healthier and more resilient. You do, I don't care what age you are. Is it going to be easy? No, it's not going to be easy. Is it going to be worth it? Absolutely. And you know what's harder Not doing it. There's actually no easy in life, unless you just die.

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Okay, you either do the hard thing so that life feels great and you're strong and capable, or you don't do the hard thing so that life feels great and you're strong and capable, or you don't do the hard thing, and then life is even harder because it hits back. It hits back at you in so many ways that are often unexpected as well. All right, so it's worth it. Start small, stack your habits, focus on the process, get support. That's the real secret to aging gracefully and vibrantly. All right, we've covered a lot of ground, from practical tips to build strength and muscle to protein, to social connections, purpose, mindset shifts, all of that good stuff and what I hope for you is that you are walking away with a renewed sense of possibility and purpose. I hope just my positivity, I hope it's infectious for you guys Because, if anything, just the way I like to communicate on this podcast is with a hopefulness right that anything is possible.

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Getting older is inevitable, but how we age is a choice. That's powerful, right. And if you have the right roadmap and you have the right mindset, your 50s, your 60s, your 70s and beyond can be your best years ever. Best years ever. I know it for sure. I've seen it with my parents, I've seen it with lots of other folks in their 60s and 70s who were sedentary their whole life. They start to have health issues, they start to have joint pain, they're on medications and then they start lifting weights and, one by one, these issues start to go away, they start to feel better, they get off medications. It's just an amazing transformation.

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And then now you can have years and years and years where not only do you have a lifespan, you have a health span filled with strength, vitality, growth joy right. You can play with your grandkids, your great grandkids, whatever people of any age. You can volunteer. So, no matter what your age is, you have the power. You have the power to build your strongest, healthiest, best self ever. You know one habit at a time and I believe in you and I'm honored that yet to be part of this journey with you, and I hope that any something I said here is going to change you in some small way and ultimately change your life and potentially change the lives of others.

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All right, so I did say that when it comes to support, if you want to go to the next level, if you want to defy conventional wisdom about aging, I definitely urge you to check out and join us inside Wits and Weights Physique University. That is our semi-private group coaching program, where you get access to a custom nutrition plan, monthly workout programs, including ones that are perfectly appropriate Whatever age you are. We give you form checks. We help you figure out how to do them safely and properly. There are courses on all this stuff. There's live coaching calls where you can ask questions, private community of like-minded individuals all on a mission to optimize their health and vitality, and it is designed for folks in their 30s, 40s, 50s and above. So you are in good company and we take all the guesswork out of the process. We give you the science-backed tools and support you need to build strength, to shed fat, to fill your best at any age.

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It's not quick fixes, it's not fad diets. It's the sustainable, evidence-based practices that we talk about here. But I do warn you, it is not for people who are impatient to jump right into a diet or get a quick result. This is for those serious about choosing how they want to age and making it last. So just go to witsandweightscom slash physique or click the link in my show notes to learn more and enroll. That's witsandweightscom slash physique. Okay, in our next episode 181, how not to be skinny, fat and weak with Adrian McDonald, you'll learn the real reasons you might be skinny, fat and weak right now what to do to get strong, feel energized, nourish your training and your body and build that lean, well-muscled physique you're going for. Adrian will also share his personal journey with body dysmorphia so you can come away with strategies for a healthier, more positive self-image.

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Make sure to hit follow right now in your podcast app to get notified when that episode comes out and support the show and if this episode resonated with you, if you got value from this episode, the best way to support us is just share it with a friend or family member who needs to hear this message.

Speaker 1:

Share it in your book club, share it at the gym. All your friends If you're 65, 75, 90, and you're listening to this and you're like that is a helpful message that others need to hear Just tell people. Tell them go check out Wits and Weights. Show them how to use a podcast you know. Show them how to click, follow, do all the things. All right, as always, stay strong and I'll talk to you next time here on the Wits and Weights podcast. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits and Weights. If you found value in today's episode and know someone else who's looking to level up their wits or weights, please take a moment to share this episode with them and make sure to hit the follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong.

Optimizing Health and Longevity Over 50
Strength Training, Protein, and Social Connection
The Importance of Aging and Mindset
Cultivating a Growth Mindset
The Power of Support in Aging
Promote Wits and Weights

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