Hey guys, this is Cori from Redefining Strength. Welcome to the Fitness Hacks Podcast. This is the show where I share all my free workout and nutrition tips. I’m not going to ever fill this episode with sponsorships or ask you to buy anything. All I ask in return is if you’re enjoying the podcast to leave a review or leave a five star rating or even better share with somebody you think it might help. This will only take a few minutes and would mean the world to me and possibly change the life of someone. So let’s jump right in.

Age is just the number. Fitness is about ability. So I’m not here to deny that there are changes that happen with getting older, but I am here to help you define how you get older because that is something that we can control. We can’t change that number going up unless we do something dramatic and not so positive. But we can define how we feel at any and every age, and we can focus on controlling what we can control. There are challenges at every phase of life. There are things at every phase of life that we are doing that are moving us forward and that will ultimately add up and hold us back. So the sooner we recognize how our practices are impacting us, the better we can really make our whole life now, but also help ourselves move better as we get older. So I do want to talk about defining how you age versus denying that changes are occurring.

And I wanted to go into what’s actually happening with specific things we often blame on age and what you can do to really control what you can control and move forward. Because I think so often too, we blame things on age and it’s not truly that number. We’ll say, oh, I’m 70 now, I can’t do this, or I’m 60 now, I can’t do this. Or, oh, I’m 80 now. I can’t do this. I’ve had people say the same thing at 30 even, but we say X age and now I can’t do this. When really it’s like, okay, well what have I done previously in my life that might not make this right for me now? But it’s not because of that number, it’s because of improper dieting practices, improper workout practices, and I do say improper because it’s something that either A, does not meet us where we’re at right now, or B, potentially did work but wasn’t really done in a way that set us up for long-term success.

It was a fad diet. It was a quick fix. It was a means to an end right then to try and out exercise or out diet time. And ultimately what that really did was lead to a lot of buildup that we’re just now recognizing, I call it the leaky ceiling effect. We don’t realize that there’s a pipe leaking into the ceiling until it finally collapses, but it’s been going on for a while and that’s why it finally collapses. But then we blame the collapse on, oh, it’s this age or this one thing, but really it’s the accumulation over time that we just didn’t address that now is adding up. So talking about this, I wanted to go over a few things where I feel like people let themselves go or blame age especially, and we stopped doing what made us better. But growth is always possible, and I bring this up too because sure, what you had in your twenties might not look the same as what you have in your seventies.

Things do change at the same time. You can be 70 and fabulous just like you were 20 and fabulous. We can always move forward from where we’re at. There can always be growth. And the second we don’t keep striving for growth is the second that we start to lose all the progress we’ve had and we go backwards and we see all the negative things that we don’t want, whether it’s more aches and pains, not being as functionally fit, not looking the way we want. So again, we’re not denying the changes happen with age, we’re just defining how we age. So first I wanted to talk about muscle gains. Does it get harder to gain muscle as we get older? Yes, but not as much as we blame on our age. A lot of times it is harder to gain muscle because we’ve done a lot of weight loss practices that have impacted our muscle mass retention and our metabolic rate.

We have trained for longer. So as we get more advanced and more experienced, we’re able to handle more progression, more loads. So it does become harder to then build off of that because we have to create a greater stimulus for muscle growth to continue to see growth also, because a lot of times we’ve done more dieting down than really trying to build, we have a lot of cardio practices, a lot of dietary practices that work for fat loss but are the opposite of what we need to do to gain muscle. And so what happens is we’re stuck in these practices and we don’t then evolve because what worked to reach one goal is not what’s going to work to reach the next. So as we get older, again, going back to we’re not denying aging, we are less able to build muscle as efficiently because we aren’t as able to use protein as efficiently to build muscle.

We potentially have trained for longer. So we have to create a greater stimulus for muscle growth. Our recovery potentially is a little bit slower. Also on top of this, a lot of times we do have more aches and pains and we don’t have that optimal hormonal environment for growth, especially going through menopause and even into post menopause where the hormones might have settled. We don’t have the same optimal environment we did when we were younger where we could look at a weight and potentially gain a little bit muscle. It’s why when those studies are done on young men, it’s very different than what we might need as we get older. But this just means that we have to address what our body needs. Now knowing that you aren’t able to protein as efficiently, knowing that you might have to create a stimulus for muscle growth in different ways, knowing that you don’t have this optimal hormonal environment that you once did, you just have to plan for it.

Increasing your protein helps you get the same muscle building response. You just have to eat more of it. Knowing that you have to create progression in different ways instead of just adding loads or if you can’t add loads using different training techniques to still take muscles to failure, to still challenge yourself because that creates the change. Knowing that you don’t have the same hormonal environment aren’t recovering in the same way. You’ve got to change potentially your training volume or your training frequency or how you’re really creating that fatigue and even the recovery that you’re doing. Because a lot of times when we’re younger, I got away with not warming up. But you can’t do that now, and part of why you’re even seeing the ramifications of that now, which you’re blaming on age are because you just didn’t do it before. So the earlier you can catch that, the better.

But again, none of these things limit us from seeing growth. We can still gain muscle. We just have to address what is actually realistic for our body right now. And the thing is too is if you are getting older and you’re just starting back, you can have those newbie gains. But if you’re in a more advanced exerciser who’s been training consistently, you’re not, and what you might’ve gotten away with when you were younger, when you had the optimal hormonal environment of doing more steady state cardio now might not work. So you might have to adjust and address that. I do also want to touch on cortisol because I’ve heard it demonized a lot, especially when it comes to high intensity interval training and just tough training in general. You can only train as hard as you can recover from end of story, but too often we then turn to saying, oh, I have to do less of my workouts.

No, you have to do better in your recovery. You have to stop undereating. You have to make sure you’re getting the protein that you need. You have to focus on your sleep, you have to focus on your hydration, you need to do these other things so you can train just as hard because it’s user to lose it. Going off of this, I want to talk a little bit even about meal timing because I think that’s another thing we don’t address is that what we did to lose fat or maybe even the meal timing we did at one phase does not necessarily work when we move to another. If it’s harder to build muscle, you might have to change the carb timing that you have. You might have to change how many carbs you eat. You might have to change the meal timings that you have or fasting you used to work, but now it doesn’t because you have to increase the food that you get to make sure that you’re building in retain lean muscle because it’s harder to maintain it.

So you have to assess all the systems and how they’re working together off of this injuries. I know it can feel like we get older and now we’re just getting injured more often. A, our body gets wear and tear. Over the years things have happened. You do have degeneration. As we get older, our body is breaking down. That is the aging process. However, we just say, well, I’m this age now. I can’t do these things. So many injuries happen because we stop using the movement pattern. We stop working on the mobility, we stop building stability and strength through it. We can’t stop jumping. We can’t stop the power work. We can’t stop lifting heavy because when we stop doing these things, we are instantly going to see decline in all the things in our body that allow us to do those things. So injuries and what we often say, oh, I’m this age, I can’t do these things.

Yes, we have to meet ourselves where we’re at. We have to address our fitness level. And injuries are one of those things that often have built up over time. We’ve had imbalances, we have other previous injuries that we rehabbed and stopped doing what made us better. But we have these compensations that over time lead to overload and injury. And often the more advanced we are, the more experienced we are, the more we hide these compensations because we know how to mimic proper form. And in trying to mimic proper form, we overuse muscle groups, we overuse areas, or we try and do a movement variation we haven’t earned or in trying to progress week over week, we push past, we let ego get in the way instead of backing you off and taking things back to basics. And in that we create that injury. But I can tell you so often when we even blame as, oh, a deadlift hurt my back, I see people all the time getting more injured lifting or picking a pencil up off the ground or sitting down to something or getting up off the couch and they really do getting injured in the gym.

But getting into the gym is so key because it’s a perfect opportunity to train those movements that you need for everyday life unless you don’t plan on squatting down to a toilet, unless you don’t plan on getting up and down off the ground, you need to train to be able to lunge, squat, twist, turn, all these different things. So see your workouts as a chance to avoid more injuries and really retrain those movement patterns. So with injuries and with aging, seeing that wear and tear, you do have to address anything that you have previously. You have to really address any wear and tear you have. But that doesn’t mean stopping to use things. It means meeting your body where it’s at. It means including the prehab work. It means adjusting movement variations to work around. Maybe that barbell deadlift isn’t right for you anymore, but you can do kettlebell deadlift or a single leg deadlift to be able to work on that balance.

But you need to find ways to meet yourself where you’re at. And this goes for injuries at any age. And I will tell you the younger you are and the more you can do the prehab and keeping that rehab as prehab even after, because you can never stop doing what made you better, the better off you’re going to be. But injuries occur because of cumulation and overload, not just because of age. Yes, again, not denying aging. There is wear and tear, there is slower recovery, but there’s so much we can do in terms of the prehab work in terms of using our strength moves to strengthen through the full range of motion. Instead of going heavier and doing a half squat, go a little bit lighter, sit your butt down to even a lower box than you usually go to help with that security maybe in that range of motion, but try and increase that range of motion to strengthen through it.

Get moving more even outside of your workouts so that you’re not constantly sitting because I think that’s another thing we do. We sit more, we just become more inactive and we sit in these postures for hours on end and then we don’t move, and then we wonder why our body doesn’t move in specific ways. Well, we’ve spent all this time hunched over, so then we go into a workout, we get injured doing an overhead press where we’re requiring our body to do thoracic extension. We don’t have that. So addressing our daily postures and how those have added up over the years is so important. And then regress progress and even pay attention to your nutrition. What is your nutrition looking like in terms of your recovery? Are you getting enough protein to help yourself repair and rebuild? Are you even increasing potentially your collagen intake to help with those connected tissues?

Staying strong, focus on what you can control to make yourself move and feel better. Focus on even the omega threes to help reduce inflammation, but know that injuries are an accumulation of things over the years. And yes, wear and tear happens, but so often what we blame on age is just improper workout practices, training practices, adding up, and we can do so much about them to move better. And if we don’t do anything, we’re going to lose even more movement and we’re going to potentially hold ourselves back from being functionally fit all our final day on this planet. Now going into metabolism, our metabolism does slow down as we get older, and it actually slows down a lot earlier on than we give it credit for, yet we blame it when we’re in potentially our thirties, forties and fifties. But really what’s happening here is hormonal changes, improper dieting practices, adding up and lifestyle factors.

We become more and more inactive and we stay more and more inactive for longer. And that’s why these things happen. We potentially lose more muscle, especially with dieting practices. We’re trying to lose weight faster on the scale and all these things hurt our metabolism. Not to mention part of your metabolic rate is just your daily activity, fidgeting, moving, all those different things. And we move a lot less. We become a lot less active, especially when we’re even doing some of those extreme dieting practices where we’re starving ourself and our bodies like, holy moly, I have to learn how to conserve energy to function off of what you’re giving me. So we then fidget less, move less. We downregulate functions to function better off of what we’re getting, but we do all these practices and it’s not our age. It’s all these practices and lifestyle factors adding up.

So in way that it’s our age, it’s that we’ve allotted to happen for years on end. That’s what causes our metabolism to potentially adapt and change. However, it’s not broken at any point. You can change it, and that’s a great part. You can retrain your body to eat more. You can building muscle, which will help it. You can start by even just moving more. And this is not working out intensely. This is just getting up from your desk a little bit more to fidget, to walk around to do those different things. But all these things can help your metabolism. So often what we blame on age really is just all those other lifestyle factors. It does not slow down enough to say that your X age and now your metabolism is slow and you can’t eat more and you can’t do these different things. Honestly, if you’re feeling like your metabolism is slow and you’re trying to lose weight, you might be undereating.

That might be the first thing you even need to address. And yes, are you going to see the scale increase? Potentially yes, but you’ve got to retrain your body to eat more so you can build the muscles so that you can see that metabolic rate improve so that the hormones and all the bodily functions regulate back to what they should be at. And then you’re going to see that metabolic rate increase, but it’s not broken. It’s adapted, but you can reverse those adaptations at any and every age, starting earlier and implementing proper dieting practice as soon as you can can really help and training practices as well. But even focusing on building that lean muscle will help your fat loss and help your metabolic grade. Now I want to go into skin. So this is probably the thing that you have the least amount of control on as you get older.

At the same time, I’m a control freak. And so often we just write ourselves off or we feel like we can’t do improvements, but we can. So our skin does change with age. Our genetics really impact it. If we’ve lost weight faster, we might see more loose skin add up, but our fueling has an impact and so does our training. So if you’re not eating high protein, if you’re not focusing on that strength work, you’re not doing everything that you can to really improve your skin elasticity and even tighten up any loose skin that you have. And a lot of times it just takes more time. It is slower to adjust than even the scale changing or the fat loss results we see takes time for everything to tighten up. That’s a very scientific way of explaining it, but focus on building muscle. Give things time.

Focus on your protein, focus on your hydration, focus on your micronutrients. This is where that can all impact your skin health. And this is even a time where despite not being deficient in anything, despite you being very conscious of your quality fueling, sometimes we have nutritional gaps and they can actually increase as we get older because we aren’t able to utilize things as efficiently. And also our appetite does downregulate as we get older. So we have to be conscious of that and realize that even though we feel full, we might not be fueling enough or eating enough to help our metabolic rate to building muscle or even to get our skin and our body all the things that it needs. And this is where supplements can come into play and things like collagen have been shown to be potentially more beneficial as we get older.

But you want to pay attention to controlling what you can control. And this is where you do want to track and dive into those micros a little bit more, get into more of the nitty gritty details. But so often we just say, oh, I’m getting older and my skin isn’t going to be as healthy. It isn’t going to bounce back the way it did. And no, it’s not. We’re not denying aging, but we’re defining how we age and this is why we’re going to control what we can’t control with those things. The last thing I to touch on, and it goes back to muscle building, but workouts in general and the feeling of I can’t train as hard or I need to take it easier or I shouldn’t lift as heavy. We do recover at a different pace. The hormone environment is not as optimal to be able to push as hard sometimes and what our fitness level is now, how active we have been, all impact what we can do in our workouts, but you can always meet yourself at where you’re at to move forward.

So if you’ve been out with injury, if you’ve had to go back to basics, if you had to take out the intensity, you can still go back and doing that power work, doing that explosive work. All those things are so important because they improve our MINDBODY connection. And it’s not one size fits all, not every move and every form is going to be right for every person, but you want to think about how you can build back as closely to everything as possible because that means you’re controlling the movement pattern. The more powerful you are, the more you’re able to jump and explode, the more your landing mechanics are correct and the better your mind body connection. So no, you might not add in a ton of high impact because of joint issues, but the more you can build back that explosive power and that ability to control and decelerate movement, the better off you’re going to be.

Because if you want to go out and hike, if you want to go out and do things in everyday life, you’re going to have other forces acting on you. And the last thing you want to do is have something sort of shove you and not be able to decelerate from the impact or control the impact. And that’s where we end up getting injured and falling and fracturing things. So you want to think, how can I train hard in my workouts? I mentioned the fear of cortisol levels rising, but we need that challenge, that stress in our workouts. We cannot demonize that stress in our workouts. No, we don’t want to just do hours and hours of high intensity interval training. It’s why the techniques have to be utilized strategically. We want to design for the time we have. We want to design with our goal in mind.

We don’t want to just do more, but we need to focus on our recovery. We need to think, use it or lose it. There are no bad moves. What moves can I control? What moves can I earn? What moves match my needs and goals based on even my mobility restrictions and compensations? Right now, we need to think what techniques match what I need right now? But we can’t demonize hard. We can’t demonize challenge. We need those things. We then just need to focus on how we can recover better to be able to train harder. So in summary, as you get older, things are going to change, but by just saying, I’m too old. What are you really doing? You’re just writing yourself off. The second you say, I’m too old. You are too old for it because you’re not allowing yourself growth. You’re not allowing yourself opportunity to improve.

Because the thing is, if you are not doing something to move forward, you’re going backwards. And what do you really want out of life? I always want to strive to improve, to see what else is possible for myself, because I know in that growth, I’m going to feel and move the best that I can know. It might not look like exactly what I envisioned, but it’s going to be better than the alternative. And I think that’s something key that we focus on. So stop blaming your age instead. We’re not denying aging. We’re defining how we age. What are you keeping in? How are you pushing yourself forward? How are you proving that age is just a number and fitness and health and wellness and being fabulous at every age is really something that you can define. Thanks for listening to the Fitness Hacks Podcast.

Again, this is the place where I share all my free work, workout, nutrition tips. I’m never going to run sponsorships or ask you to buy anything. All I ask in return is if you’re enjoying the podcast to leave a rating, review or share it with someone you think it might help. This will only take a few minutes and it would mean the world to me and possibly change life with someone.


*Please Note: this transcript is auto-generated and there may be some errors in the transcript