Category Archives for "Motivation"
Need a little inspiration? Check out Matt.
He’s the guy pictured on deck this past summer, fishing for tuna off Gloucester, Ma. He’s got a great build. Check out those traps, delts and arms.
Would you believe he’s 68 years old and has only been training for a couple years? There’s even more to Matt’s story.
Three years ago, Matt had to undergo emergency surgery for internal bleeding. Wound up taking 2 operations and he was unable to eat solid food for 6 months, relying on a tube for survival. His weight dropped to 129 pounds.
But he recovered. As soon as he was able and on his feet again, he started working out and re-building muscle. Today, he’s 170 pounds and looking great.
Matt visits BoomerMuscle for ideas and inspiration. I think his story is very inspirational and wanted to share it with everybody.
Matt is living proof you can build muscle over adversity — at any age.
Stay strong, Matt!
Don’t give up on yourself. Easy to say, but how?
They say that mid January is the most depressing time of the year. Holiday fun was over, the bills started coming due and all the talk about looking back on life got us all a little down-hearted.
Those things are especially true for people our age, right? I mean, we really are older now — with a finite amount of shelf-life left. So, screw the past, let’s focus on how we’re going to spend our future.We have a future ahead of us and it can be what we want it to be.
To own it, one of the most important steps is to take charge of our own health. Proper diet and rest are essential. Most importantly, exercise — specifically building back the muscle that aging is robbing from us — is critically important.While our generation started off physically fit and active, we’ve slowed way down and gotten fat. In fact, we’re in much worse shape than our parents’ generation.
About 13 percent of Baby Boomers — the generation born in the two decades after World War Two — reported being in “excellent” health in middle age, compared to 32 percent of the previous generation who said the same thing at the same stage of life.
Overall, about 39 percent of Boomers were obese, compared to about 29 percent of the previous generation. Baby Boomers were also less likely to get regular exercise. – Journal of the American Medical Association – Internal Medicine.The Health Care industry is not going to ride to our rescue.
In my opinion, doctors today seem to work more like quick oil-change technicians than caring coaches. They seem to mainly prescribe drugs for just about everything. It’s not helping us. It may keep us around longer but it is not making us healthier.If you want to hear more on this subject, I wrote a rant in recent times that blows it all out. You can check it out here: They’re Keeping You Fat and Weak.
Strength training can work miracles for your health and well-being:- Regain lost muscle and bone density- Reverse Type2 Diabetes and reduce fat- Reverse aging at the genetic level. And contrary to the pain and suffering stereotype, the process of strength training actually releases dopamine and endorphins into your blood stream. These are nature’s feel-great hormones.
Also, as a result of working out, your body shape will improve. You will look and feel better. You’ll walk taller and be able to do simple tasks, like hauling groceries, with greater ease.Most importantly, you will safeguard yourself against the negative effects of aging and ensure that your remaining years are as health and happy as they can be.
If you haven’t already, please start working out. If you can’t afford a gym membership and don’t own equipment, you can do it with a simple set of inexpensive resistance bands. Check them out by reading this post.Make the comittment to a schedule and do that first rep each workout day.
The hardest part of this is just doing it.
What holds people back from working out?
Let’s talk about ourselves for a minute. Baby Boomers. It’s pretty well known that our generation went from the fittest ever to the flabbiest. We’re in worse shape now than our parents were at this age, and our parents didn’t often leave the couch.
Only 35% of us exercise on a regular basis. Check out this article from AARP for more on where we were back in the day and how we got where we are now.
The goal of BoomerMuscle is to help Baby Boomers build muscle in a way they can feel right away. Anyone who goes down the Boomer path can and should expect a transformation: from whatever state your muscles are in now to bigger and stronger than before. That goes for beginners and advanced. Whether you just want to be stronger and fitter or if you want to build up serious muscle, this program will help you get there.
There are plenty of academic studies out there that point to reasons why. Psychology Today once said the biggest reason was fear of discomfort. The idea that people naturally avoid anything that might cause discomfort, like: feeling sore, getting sweaty, breathing hard, etc.
That’s probably at the core of why most people avoid working out, especially muscle-building workouts. The BoomerMuscle Method is designed to make you feel a pump (some call it soreness). So if you’re super sensitive to something like and think of it as discomfort, you’d naturally struggle with a muscle-building workout.
Allow me to flesh out some other reasons. I’ve been at this for nearly 50 years now, and I still battle my own demons to stay on track. These are ones I struggle through each day.
Ok. The idea of doing repetitions is the definition of repetitive. Got it. Think of it more like meditation that will literally give you a feel-good high as you go. Focus on the Mind/Muscle Connection.
Crank up music that lifts you up and takes your mind to a different place. Learn to love the muscle pump as you dig into those reps. Feel those endorphins kick in and enjoy the natural high.
It’s only boring if you fail to get into it. If you’re thinking about it being boring, you’re not grooving into the Mind/Muscle Connection.
Stop thinking. Focus on the feeling.
We’re all too busy nowadays. And even when we’re idle, we’re staring at video screens large and small, occupying ourselves with Facebook and so on. It makes it seem like we’re on 24/7.
To fight this one, I’ve always relied on a realistic workout schedule and try to:
This is a tough one. It’s very easy to convince yourself you need a break, so you grab a glass of wine on the couch with your spouse. Very easy at our house.
With this one, I remind myself that I will feel differently just a few minutes into the first set of exercises.
Working out causes you to breath harder, and the extra oxygen helps wake you up. And I will sometimes have a glass of iced coffee before I start for a little jolt of caffeine.
As you progress, your body releases feel good hormones, like endorphins, that literally make you feel good.
All of a sudden, you will realize you weren’t so tired in the first place.
It’s a choice, really. Do you want the idea of working out to feel like drudgery? Or do you want to feel a sense of passion about it?
Sounds like a dumb question. But think about it. 99% of your success at this or anything else is all in your head and heart. You can do anything you really desire to do.
And frankly, if you can’t get into a positive, passionate state of mind, you’re going to struggle.
Researchers have shown that passion is a core element for success in working out, especially for us Baby Boomers. Think about the great thing you are doing for yourself. Get jealous about giving yourself the time to do it. You are becoming stronger, better looking, happier and more confident. Those are things worth feeling passionate about.
This one comes up when you’re down on yourself, noticing all your physical flaws vs. the progress you’ve made. In my case, I’ve always had to battle the bulge. My body was designed to store stuff, not burn it up. So, if I’m down, I can easily start listing all my less than perfect parts.
Well, this a time to be tough on your whiny self. Time to Shut-up and just do it. Failing to workout will only make your flaws worse. Working out will only increase your strong points.
So just do it
For more: There are additional articles on this site about motivation. Check out the posts directly below.
Feelings, not hardÂ facts, are the key toÂ getting motivated to workout – and even more importantly, they are the key toÂ stay motivated.
Knowing how to get motivated to workout is probably more important than the nature of the actual workout. Without motivation, people never start in the first place and without the ability to stay motivated, many will tend to simply give up at some point.Â
A workout program provides a gradual return. Without motivation and the ability to sustain it, there’s little chance for success. It’s why lots of home gym gear ends up as a coat rack or just gathers dust.
Getting motivated to workout and staying motivated is all about positive emotion. This article will give you some practical tips on how to generate those feelings and keep them going over the long term.
I could tsunami you with study after academic study proving the benefits of exercise, especially for people like Baby Boomers. In fact, recent studies have shown that resistance training in particular can:
In addition, the American Heart Association recently found that those who adopt heart healthy habits, like regular exercise and weight control, can dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack and trim the risk of cancer by 38%. And another study found that regular exercise can take decades of aging off our skin.
If you want to see more information on recent studies, please see my menu category Reverse Aging. There’s several articles there with links to reports and studies.
And I’ve included a variety of them at the bottom of this post, as well.
It’s powerful information! AndÂ those facts might motivate you to make a plan to exercise, but they’re not going to motivate you while you’re actually sweating it out in the gym. Right?
It’s hard to get pumped up with a mental mantra in your head about mortality stats.
Think about it fellas… right before the big game, does the coach have the team quietly study the chalkboard and stare at facts? Or does he try to whip up their emotionsÂ for God, country and good ol’ Wossamotta U?
I used to think thatÂ facts alone could and should motivate people, but it’s obvious that they don’t. Us Baby Boomers have gone from the healthiest generation to the least healthy in history. We are breaking records for obesity and heading for a health disaster as we age.
People are not stupid. They can read the facts here or anywhere else and understand what’s at stake. So, what is holding them back from taking action?
Why doesn’t everyone just grab a workout guide and hit the gym?
After all, us Boomers invented working out. The first gym chains, like Golds and L.A. Fitness, opened for us in the 70’s and 80’s. We jogged. Played racquet ball. Shot hoops. Softball Beer Leagues. Aerobicized with Jane and Jazzercized with Julie. We were all over it.
Then… middle age, kids, careers. What happened? We just kind of lost it. Got fat and gave up.
James Gavin, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal, investigated our emotional motivations for exercise, from looking good to having fun. He found that for the Baby Boom generation, passion is most important when it comes to staying motivated to exercise.
Gavin says a person will be more motivated to put in time on the treadmill if he or she knows it will help have more fun skiing in winter, versus viewing it as a tedious punishment.
But he says Baby Boomers are not feeling the joy in our workouts.Â He says we need to find “deep personal meaning in the physical activity” and thinks the answer lies in getting the fitness industry to make their gyms more fun and engaging.
Makes sense. But hold on, professor…
There is also a growing body of research that says most people prefer a workout routine done solo versus a group or class setting.
In an online survey conducted by Reuters, 77% of the 1,200 respondents said they prefer working out alone. Running and Resistance Training were their top two workout choices.
Let’s assume professor Gavin is absolutely correct about passion, but let’s also recognize that things like resistance training and running do not typically engage people in a ‘fun’ team activity.
How do those of us who choose resistance training as our focus, and prefer to workout alone, manage our motivations and emotions? It might be easy if we’re talking about joining a beach volley ball league, but what about the weight room?
Science has has thoroughly researched motivation in the work environment and other places. The general consensus is that we are human and it is all about how we feel regardless of the activity. So, I figure that applies to us in the workout room, as well.
We think to build a plan
But we rely on feelings to make it work
So what do we do? Can we get motivatedÂ outside of fun team sports?
Yes. Here’sÂ the proven formula for how motivation works on our feelings. AndÂ how we canÂ apply that to our workouts.
Many of us are overweight or obese. So, we’re starting off in a tough spot. You may be unhappy with yourself and how you look and feel.
The little devil that lives on your shoulder may be sabotaging you with negative thoughts. “This won’t work, why bother, I always give up…”
You’re not going to get anywhere with negative thoughts about yourself. Monitor your self talk and catch yourself going negative. Be your own cheerleader. Replace those with positive reviews ofÂ your goals:
If we were at work, praise from the boss can make us feel great and want to go the extra mile, so can special recognition among our peers or a raise in pay.
Rewards work. In this case, you’re the boss of you. So, be a good boss…
Luckily for me, she also works out and we occasionally even share our home gym space.
But more importantly, I have someone to talk to about what I’m doing and how it’s going. She gets it and gives me a pat on the back or a kick in the ass when I need it.
Care enough about yourself and those you love to really want this. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how experienced. You can realize tremendous benefits at any age or level.
To feel good. Look good. Live longer and better.
Before you start, make a plan: 4 – 5 days per week, 30 – 40 minutes per workout
I’ve been working out for nearly 50 years now. I confess that nearly every time, I still have to battle the devil on my left shoulder who tries to talk me out of it.
In my case, I focus on knowing that I’m going to feel better during and after the workout. The endorphins will flow and I’ll get that natural high.
I’ll feel good about myself for conquering the left-shoulder devil. I’ll feel good knowing that I’m burning calories and building muscle.
And every single time, I do feel good.
Some days, it’s a struggle to get started. It’s us vs the negative devils.
But we can win.
The key is, just get in the gym and do that first rep. Then the second and so on. Before you know it, you will be in the groove. Focus on the Mind/Muscle Connection and rock a great workout.
I have a ritual:
You can do it, with or without the gum. But definitely use music.
Start slowly at first. Your first goal is simply to follow through on showing up for each workout day. Don’t get hung up if you’re not killing it in the first couple of weeks. It’s gradual. Ramp up. You’ll get there soon enough.
You can do this!
“Why I hate baby boomers” is a declaration found frequently in blogs and other online essays these days, most of them written by our own kids — the dread and much maligned Millenials.
There are 75.4 million Millenials in the U.S., aged 19 – 35. And they have reasons to be angry at us.
According to Forbes, “The data is actually pretty scary: 44% of college grads in their 20s are stuck in low-wage, dead-end jobs, the highest rate in decades, andÂ the number of young people making less than $25,000 has also spiked to the highest level since the 1990s.”
One of the big reasons given for this backup? Baby Boomers are not retiring but hanging onto to their jobs due to economic uncertainty. So, the millenials are pissed off and see us as the problem. Of course, we are also blamed for the way we raised them. They are the everybody-gets-a-trophy generation. They may indeed feel entitled, but we did raise them that way.
For the record, I don’t hate Baby Boomers. I am one. But I do find it alarming that so many millenials hate our generation. So, while this site is devoted to helping Baby Boomers build muscle as we age, I wanted to take a time out to try and understand this phenomenon.
We of the Baby Boom were born in the years following World War II and are now between the ages of 53 and 71 years old. Because we’re starting to die off, Millenials recently passed us as the largest generation in terms of sheer population.
Wikipedia sums us up this way:
In Europe and North America, boomers are widely associated with privilege, as many grew up in a time of widespread government subsidies in post-war housing and education, and increasing affluence.
As a group, baby boomers were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived, and were amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. They were also the generation that received peak levels of income; they could therefore reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, apparel, retirement programs, and sometimes even “midlife crisis” products. The increased consumerism for this generation has been regularly criticized as excessive.
Meanwhile, our kids, the Millenials face pretty much the opposite scenario. Many of them are choked with college debt they may never get rid of. They can’t purchase cars or houses and struggle to get by as the world around them changes dramatically.
In addition to political upheaval, technology relentlessly searches for ways to eliminate low-paying human jobs with alternatives, like drones delivering packages.
Many Millenials see little hope in their futures. And they’re really ticked off at us. One blogger stated they were waiting for us to start dying off and as we do: “Good luck changing your own f**ing bedpans.”
Our parents — The Greatest Generation — could do no wrong in some ways. You have to give them props for saving all ofÂ Â humanity in World War II and all the selfless sacrifices they made doing it.
Of course, like any crop of spoiled kids, we didn’t give them a pass. They were also extremely lame in many ways. They could not begin to grasp the expanding consciousness and enlightened genius of our generation. They were an army of Archie Bunkers, hopelessly out of it: Vietnam. Women’s Rights. Civil Rights.
Many of them went to college nearly free on the G.I. Bill and bought inexpensive houses with government aid. Jobs were plentiful as the world rebuilt and the rise of unions made it so even manual labor paid well enough that an uneducated person could own a home and raise a family.
We were the kids who reaped the benefits of all that. The world would be our oyster. We have enjoyed the highest levels of success and peak incomes. We were the most physically fit generation in history, at least at one time. We believe there are no limits that can hold us back.
And perhaps we’ve taken all those things for granted. Our kids desire the same things but apparently cannot get there in many cases regardless of how much education they finance or how hard they work.
So, it’s no surprise really when our own kids look at us and see our glaring flaws and get ticked off. Â We at least had the advantage of opportunity and optimistic futures. The classic American Dream was attainable for us. We would be angry, too, if Hard Work and Education failed to realizeÂ opportunity.
I have no idea what to do about any of it. Except, perhaps to be a little more empathetic the next time an obviously over-qualified young person takes my order at a fast food place. They could have an advanced degree and a ton of ambition with nowhere to go.
The health benefits of weight training have been proven in study after study, yet people, especially Baby Boomers, continue to remain largely inactive and susceptible to a host of preventable diseases and conditions.
Before we get to the list of great benefits you will receive if you do it, we need to address the question of why you aren’t already.
Obesity has been at epidemic proportions for some time and is getting worse. Â Overall, 38 percent of Americans are now obese — 40% amongÂ women — and the crisis is growing among our children. Plus, another third of US adults are considered overweight. That’s the majority of the population.
Doctors don’t fare tons better than the rest of us. According to the Physicians Health Study (2007), 40% of doctors were overweight and 23% were obese. A majority.
Global Advances in Health and Medicine points out:
“While physicians are less likely than average Americans to be overweight or obese, they are not immune to our national obesogenic tendencies. Indeed, as a medical oncologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Edward Creagan, MD, so aptly put it, ‘More of us commit suicide with a fork than any other instrument.’ Physician obesity rates likely have radically important implications.”
Doctors are not properly trained in exercise or nutrition. Our medical system is built around a “fix it with a pill” approach that relies on medicating us when a health issue arises.
So our exercise health is pretty much left up to us to figure out. You can change your body and dramatically improve your health, but don’t expect your doctor to lead this effort for you.
And the fitness industry is filled with tons of conflicting information and baffle-gab sales pitches. It’s enough to discourage anyone.
It’s clear the problem stems from us eating too much and exercising too little. Genetics is often used as an easy excuse, but researchers say the fact that each new generationÂ has become progressively fatter than the last for the past 30 years rules out genetics as the cause.
It’s on us and how we live: staring into video screens all day, texting, gaming and posting as we eat too many of the wrong foods while sitting on the couch.
Heart disease, diabetes and cancer are among the diseases associated with obesity. Obesity-related diabetes alone “will break the bank of our healthcare system,” according to Dr. James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, as quoted by WebMD.
What could turn the tide?
Weight lifting. Strength training. Call it resistance training if you prefer. It’s all the same thing: using resistance against your muscles to make them stronger. It can be done with body weight, inexpensive resistance bands, free weights or machines, at home or in a gym.
Here are the benefits. This can change your life:
On that last point, it’s worth noting that many people are coping with anxiety and depression. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says 40 million people suffer from Anxiety and more than 15 people will experience clinical Depression annually.
Being overweight is no fun. Feeling strong and in better shape feels good. I realize that’s oversimplification, but honestly, if you are fighting those things, strength training can be anÂ avenue to a happier outlook. The goal isn’t to be perfect but to feel better about your health and appearance.
Â Consider these points from the Mayo Clinic:
Regular exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which may include:
Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:
Clearly, there are overwhelmingly positive reasons to take up strength training.
But studies have shown that some people are intimidated to join a gym, or can’t afford it. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend trying one of these gyms out.
If you can’t join a gym, here’s a post I wrote on how you can get started with a Simple Workouts at home using inexpensive Resistance Bands as your gym gear. The article also shows dumbbells and and a bench, but those aren’t necessary to get you started. You could follow this workout plan at the gym, too.
I hope, especially if you are dealing with overweight or obesity, that you will give this a try. It really can change your life.