I’m a forty-something family guy, and I work my ass off at exercise because I love it. If you want to achieve lofty fitness goals, then so must you.
Age, gender, genetics, diet, chosen exercises and levels of intensity all play critical roles in what you can achieve. My genetics aren’t great but my diet is very good… most of the time.
If you’re interested to know what it takes for me to still be able to drink beer and sometimes eat pizza, ice cream and potato chips, then here you go:
(All of this is done at a fairly high intensity.)
April – September
- Total amount of running for each week averages 20-25 miles
- Total amount of cycling for each week averages 60 miles
- During three weeks in August we go to the coast and I average 10 hours per week in a sea kayak
- Monday: 10 minutes of kettlebells followed by 40 minutes of weights – chest, shoulders, triceps
- Tuesday: 10 minutes of kettlebells followed by 40 minutes of weights – legs
- Wednesday: 10 minutes of kettlebells followed by 40 minutes of weights – back, biceps and midsection
- Thursday: 10 minutes of kettlebells followed by 40 minutes of weights – chest, shoulders, triceps
- Friday: Off
- Saturday: 1 hour of weights – legs, back and midsection
- Sunday: Off
For the above weightlifting program, there are constant adaptations within the program in terms of weight, reps, tempo, type of exercise etc., but I pretty much stick to this general routine. I’m not completely faithful, as life does get in the way sometimes and I miss days here and there. Also, I don’t do any weights during the three weeks on the coast in August.
October – March
This is the same as above, with a couple of small differences:
- I don’t cycle in the winter, so running climbs to approximately 35 miles per week
- I go downhill skiing about 7-8 times a year. These are hardcore, open to close, blast every muscle fiber in my legs kind of days.
- I take ten days off weights during Christmas, but still run.
The above takes careful scheduling and it may look like a lot, but when exercise becomes a big part of your life it is all manageable. I often run when I’ve dropped my kids off for karate class, and my wife and I do tag-team parenting so she can do karate. Sometimes I’ll go for a run while my kids are on their bikes, and I’m yelling at them to slow down and wait for Daddy. On some weekends I’ll get up early and log 35 miles on my bike and be back home just as everyone else is crawling out of bed. When I used to work in an office my lunch hour was always spent at the gym.
When you develop a true passion for the exercises you engage in, you find the time.