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Determined to get as "ripped" as possible in my early forties.

I've never been obese, but I've drifted back and forth between average and overweight for most of my life. I'm currently only about 8 pounds over my goal weight, and I've been lifting weights very sporadically as my schedule allows. I can see new muscle definition nearly everywhere, but I always seem to hit a wall where progress stops.

I'm open to any suggestions that some of you in similar situations might have. Hit me with any diet/exercise/supplement tips you thing might be helpful. My biggest challenge is time - I work full time and have three kids at home ranging from 13 months old to 16 years old, so I tend to get VERY little "me" time.
 
When I consider the exercise required to burn 100 calories, or roughly a slice of bread, then I would prefer to simply not eat the bread. If you are overweight then losing a few pounds will increase muscle definition and I think it is true that most effective work for weight loss is done in the kitchen rather than the gym. You cannot exercise away a bad diet. Of course simply losing weight will not necessarily improve fitness. Good luck 👍
 
You cannot exercise away a bad diet.
This! No matter what your goal is - gain weight, lose weight - your diet has to be good.

I've been lifting weights very sporadically as my schedule allows...but I always seem to hit a wall where progress stops.
If you want any sort of gains you need to lift consistently. I'm slightly older than you (late 40s) and I was able to pack on about 25 pounds of muscle by lifting consistently and eating like it was my job (smoothies help). At our age I would focus on building strength rather than getting "ripped". To look "ripped" you need to have very, very low body fat. It's not worth it. If you focus on building strength your muscles will get larger and you'll see some definition.

Don't forget that muscle weighs more than fat, so as you increase muscle mass your weight will go up. But hopefully it's "good" weight as opposed to a tire around your middle.
 
Thanks guys. I feel like the diet is 90% under control. I don't drink soda. Haven't for decades. I don't eat added sugars. At all. Period. I only drink on the weekends, and only one to two drinks at that. The spare tire is gone.

But yeah, consistency is the biggest hurdle and I don't see that changing until my youngest child is in elementary school and my oldest is out of the house. Raising three kids and working full time just leaves me very, very little time to myself. I'm not complaining though. I love my kids.
 
First off
forget about the scale
it's just a number, it means nothing.
Judge your progress by the mirror, what you see in the mirror cannot be a lie.
I know this from experience, I was overweight as a child and teenager, in my late teens i turned things around and gained a lot of muscle, and lost a lot of fat.
The scale will throw you off, make you frustrated, and leave you confused. Judge your progress by the mirror, look at yourself on a daily basis, and take pictures on a weekly basis.
The most common mistake people make is that they over-diet, essentially they starve themselves, and then their body shuts down. the scale stops moving, so you starve yourself even more.
Now you feel like **** every single day, and you are making zero progress.
This is the best advice I can give, experience means a lot, and you need to try different stuff to see what works for you.
just like shaving YMMV, some people like low carb diets, others don't. try differenr things for a few months and then switch it up until you figure out what works for you.
Eventually you will be so in-tune with your body that you will know what works, what you can get away with, and what you can't get away with.
There is no magical diet or supplement that can do the work for you, always remember that too.
I would say good luck, but this is not about luck, but about working hard, and working smart.
 
First off
forget about the scale
it's just a number, it means nothing.
Judge your progress by the mirror, what you see in the mirror cannot be a lie.
I know this from experience, I was overweight as a child and teenager, in my late teens i turned things around and gained a lot of muscle, and lost a lot of fat.
The scale will throw you off, make you frustrated, and leave you confused. Judge your progress by the mirror, look at yourself on a daily basis, and take pictures on a weekly basis.
The most common mistake people make is that they over-diet, essentially they starve themselves, and then their body shuts down. the scale stops moving, so you starve yourself even more.
Now you feel like **** every single day, and you are making zero progress.
This is the best advice I can give, experience means a lot, and you need to try different stuff to see what works for you.
just like shaving YMMV, some people like low carb diets, others don't. try differenr things for a few months and then switch it up until you figure out what works for you.
Eventually you will be so in-tune with your body that you will know what works, what you can get away with, and what you can't get away with.
There is no magical diet or supplement that can do the work for you, always remember that too.
I would say good luck, but this is not about luck, but about working hard, and working smart.
I like this. I guess in a way I'm kind of already doing it, though I am still weighing in every morning. What I'm really setting a goal for is fitting into a few pairs of jeans and a few shirts that I really like and have kept around in case I ever lost weight again. The scale can definitely irritate you with daily fluctuations based on water weight/salt intake/etc.
 

It's Hedley

Contributor
If you want an easy to follow program, get the P90X videos. It is a great mash up of workouts and will get you in great shape and can be done in an hour in the comfort of your home. I did it in my mid-late 40's and still use some of the workouts (yoga, cardio, plyometrics etc). It is a challenge, for sure, but it gives you many different exercise options that best suit your need/ability. I don't lift weights as much as I once did, but the weight program in P90X is also very good. You could skip the weights and the other workouts will do a lot toward building muscle and getting you in shape. There is a food element to the program, but not necessary. The good thing about this program is it really mixes it up between weights, cardio and yoga while keeping it interesting. Like any workout routine, you have to make it routine (commitment).
 
I've never been obese, but I've drifted back and forth between average and overweight for most of my life. I'm currently only about 8 pounds over my goal weight, and I've been lifting weights very sporadically as my schedule allows. I can see new muscle definition nearly everywhere, but I always seem to hit a wall where progress stops.

I'm open to any suggestions that some of you in similar situations might have. Hit me with any diet/exercise/supplement tips you thing might be helpful. My biggest challenge is time - I work full time and have three kids at home ranging from 13 months old to 16 years old, so I tend to get VERY little "me" time.
Unfortunately, a wife, kids and full time job makes it nearly impossible to do what you are trying to do. Sure, some can do it but they ony way they can do that is to ignore one of the others. Unless you can function on very little sleep and do your workouts very early in the morning so the rest of your day can be devoted to wife, kids and job, it will be very difficult. In addition, your diet will play an immense role in you achieving that goal. You need to cut out carbs and sugar and count the calories. The only way to "see" the ripped muscle is by reducing body fat. Otherwise, your muscles will just be covered up by the fat. I know because at one point I was doing a fair amount of working out before my son was born and I could feel the ripples of my stomach muscles. But I couldn't see them. They were covered by the layer of belly fat I had. Talking with a colleague at work back then he asked me if I had a six pack and my response was, "Yes, but I have a one pack over it so you can't see the six pack."
 
Thanks guys. I feel like the diet is 90% under control. I don't drink soda. Haven't for decades. I don't eat added sugars. At all. Period. I only drink on the weekends, and only one to two drinks at that. The spare tire is gone.

But yeah, consistency is the biggest hurdle and I don't see that changing until my youngest child is in elementary school and my oldest is out of the house. Raising three kids and working full time just leaves me very, very little time to myself. I'm not complaining though. I love my kids.
Bring your oldest one with you to the gym! Depending on how old you middle one is, they can go to. Make it family time, or a special one-on-one time they have with you.
 
I've never been obese, but I've drifted back and forth between average and overweight for most of my life. I'm currently only about 8 pounds over my goal weight, and I've been lifting weights very sporadically as my schedule allows. I can see new muscle definition nearly everywhere, but I always seem to hit a wall where progress stops.

I'm open to any suggestions that some of you in similar situations might have. Hit me with any diet/exercise/supplement tips you thing might be helpful. My biggest challenge is time - I work full time and have three kids at home ranging from 13 months old to 16 years old, so I tend to get VERY little "me" time.
*I am not trained or educated in fitness, health, or nutrition.

That said, you cannot go wrong with eating less processed foods. Eat small, natural meals, multiple times per day.
For breakfast, I like to have scrambled eggs, salsa, black beans, a bit of pepper jack cheese, and a glass of milk. With that, I'll try to add in a kiwi (skin on...it's not that weird) or banana (skin off...that's just weird). For a snack later, I'll have a handful of mixed nuts, a few slices of salami, kalamata olives, and a protein shake. For my lunch, I'll have a homemade greek salad with white vinegar and olive oil (tomatoes, onions, cucumbers cut into larger chunks). For dinner, its whatever we're hungry for but we try to keep it healthy. There is no set time on when you should or shouldn't eat. I've never agreed with the don't eat before bed for caloric reasons; I do agree that interrupts sleep.
I have read post workout meals should start with eating the carbs first to resupply the body. Something about the stabilization of the glycemic properties. Before a workout, protein first. No clue if that's real but it doesn't hurt to try.

Also, try biking once a week. If you have a bike, go cycling for 10 miles or so on the weekend. If you don't, crank up the stationary bike to 13+ and go at a pace of 80-90 RPMs with the occasional 10-second all out pace at each new mile.

Cheers!
 
Being ripped is mostly about low body fat percentage, which is difficult to sustain. Consider that roughly 40% of adult American men are obese, about 70% either overweight or obese.

As you get older, health and functional fitness becomes much more valuable than appearance. Functional strength, flexibility and endurance are all important.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Moderator Emeritus
I'm open to any suggestions that some of you in similar situations might have. Hit me with any diet/exercise/supplement tips you thing might be helpful. My biggest challenge is time - I work full time and have three kids at home ranging from 13 months old to 16 years old, so I tend to get VERY little "me" time.
Exercise: instead of having time for a full workout try squeezing in micro-workouts of a few reps of something whenever you can. Oh, and toddlers make great training equipment.

Food ... I have had great results with keto and intermittent fasting.
 
You might look into isometric/isotonic exercises. You can do a few flexes while waiting for an elevator (or take the stairs instead if that's feasible). It's not going to change you overnight but t can help supplement your regular exercise program.
 
Thanks guys. I feel like the diet is 90% under control. I don't drink soda. Haven't for decades. I don't eat added sugars. At all. Period. I only drink on the weekends, and only one to two drinks at that. The spare tire is gone.

But yeah, consistency is the biggest hurdle and I don't see that changing until my youngest child is in elementary school and my oldest is out of the house. Raising three kids and working full time just leaves me very, very little time to myself. I'm not complaining though. I love my kids.
Im in same situation, (except for the overwheight part), Im 37 and have young kids and working full time. Restarted gym back in October now that younger reached 2yo but had to stop because of the covid the gym closed in March. I dont drink sodas neither desert. I drink some beer during weekends. For the rest I eat what I want and was adding iso (low fat) proteins when I was going to the gym. Like someonelese said you will gain weight as your muscles grows even if you lose fat. I was going to the gym during kids nap time or when they were in bed. So mid days the weekend and at night during the week. You need to find a routine with the life you have even if it's only twice a week to train. Take shorter pauses between youre sets so you will do cardio as you do weightlifting. You can altern between 2 excersices so you rest your muscle but still do cardio like chest/legs 15secs pause chest/legs 15s, chest/legs . You can do that for your whole body. You combine excersices that are not using the same muscles. Etc. Hope that helps. Enjoy life.
 
I prefer whole body workouts as opposed to back/biceps, chest/triceps, etc. days. I had a "small" and "big" workout. All of these were 3 reps of 8-10 each.

Small
Bench Press
Lat Pulldown
Dumbbell Press
Squats
Romanian Deadlifts
Tricep Press Down
Calf Raises
Core (these are 3x15)

Big
Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Lat Pulldown
Seated Row
Dumbbell Press
Squats
Leg Press or Leg Curls
Romanian Deadlifts
Tricep Press Down
Dips
Calf Raises
Core (3x15)
Core (3x15)

If you have trouble finding time to go to the gym, or you are worried about going because of the virus, think about getting some TRX-style ropes for your house. Amazon has a bunch of them. They don't even have to be TRX branded; the knockoff ones get good reviews.
 
When I was younger I would lift for 20-30 minutes before my 6:30 AM racquetball match. I also had a family and a tight schedule and getting up earlier was the only solution that worked for me.
 
Buy Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength." Learn the proper form of the compound lifts and follow Rippetoe's' 3 X 5 program. If you can't go to the gym, I recommend Al Kavadio's "Get Strong." You need to build enough muscle to burn the fat. Then, watch your diet. Intermittent fasting works well. Whatever program that you can stick to works well. Allow some cheat meals/days. If your joints are healthy, sprints will also deliver good results.
 
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I actually stopped wetshaving for years because I became addicted to fitness for a while (apparently I can only obsess over one thing at a time).

Last year after a health scare I was laying in a hospital bed and told myself, "If I ever make it out of this I want to get a six pack for the first time", so at 35 I spent the next six months doing so.

It was very rewarding and I learned a lot but ultimately unsustainable, at least the way I was doing it. I am lucky in that I have a fair amount of spare time and regular work hours. I did PSMF-lite (protein sparing modified fast) for about 3 months and got down to 12%ish bodyfat with a pretty decent six pack. I didn't do any direct ab work at all, just compound exercises and lots of kettlebell stuff. I actually became very focused while on that diet, you're essentially just eating chicken breast and some greens every day. I felt like a warrior monk. I didn't really socialize or pursue women during this time because it would inevitably lead to situations where I would end up eating carbs and interrupt my progress.

I went back to regular eating just before quarantine and puffed right back up to 18% even with exercise. Now I'm trying to get down to 10% eating like a normal person (2400cals a day) and just adding tons of cardio, namely bicycling and kettlebell swings, with a few days of compound exercises a week. I'm hoping to get there later in the fall.

I think something that gets overlooked is how important sleep is. Everything good comes after a proper sleep regimen. Your mindset, motivation, hormones levels, everything.

Keep in mind that us older guys need way more protein than younger guys. With every meal I think to myself, "How is this helping me reach my daily protein goals?". Thinking in these terms, snacking naturally falls to the wayside.

What bodyfat percentage are you now?
 
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