No, for me, the problem was I simply couldn't resonate with that number. Though I don't feel 40, I find myself single, childless except for the one deeply rooted inside of me: `) yet having accomplished most of my dreams. I say most because, well… I’m nowhere near done yet. Got lots more dreams to fulfill and I aim on doing just that.
So here I am just a few weeks into my 40’s and low and behold I find myself saying, “If I only knew then what I know now”… indeed. I am definitely much, much richer from my experiences and have lived an uncanny life to date. Peaks and valleys for sure and when it peaked my friends…. It peaked at unbelievable altitudes and when I hit the valleys, well, to quote Guns & Roses, I was right next door to hell. But it seems I wouldn’t have it any other way, in my humble opinion, it is the only way to truly experience life, to live every moment at its maximum capacity cause we’ve only got 1 time around as ourselves. I much prefer to feel the exqusit intensities of the highs and lows of life than to numbingly live in the comfortable gray areas of life within a plateau of conditioned and manufactured emotions.
Truthfully, my health’s never been better. I have learned much in terms of clean eating, healthy choices (organics, alive foods etc.) and effortlessly maintaining a permanent dietary plan. (I used to go to McDonald’s and eat a Big Mac, a McChicken sandwich and a Filet o’ Fish 10 minutes before teaching a grueling workout. - If I did that today, I’d die and $h!t my spleen I swear, yes in that order).
Course, I am not as heavy as I once used to be (was nearly 190lbs at one point), I now weigh 165lbs but I have a size 30inch waist compared to my 32-34 I carried most of my 20’s and into my early 30’s. I sound like a woman :`) and I am at approx. 8% body fat. Compared to the usual 12 to 18% average I carried before.
My training has also dramatically changed in terms of fitness and strength training. I used to traditionally body build and I switched in 2001 when Team member Ian Hodgkinson introduced me to Functional Combative Strength training. I began learning Matt Furey’s core routines then through Ian who has personally worked with Furey.
From there I began researching various training methods using body-weight, as well as the old school “dinosaur or junkyard” training methods, Ross boxing, Origin of Energy and the like. My strength, my functional strength that is…. dramatically increased. Today, at 40, I could do things that bodybuilding friends of mine who outweigh me by literally 40 to 50 pounds can’t do. When we train together, it looks quite funny as there’s me at 165lbs literally lifting and using weights 50% to 60% heavier right next to these 2 massive dudes who are struggling with half my weights.
Of course, if it were a bench pressing competition they’d wipe the floor with me but my interest hasn’t been big, mirror muscles since I was 22 (though I still body built till my very late 20’s early 30’s, it was because I didn’t really know any better then in terms of differing training, I thought, like most everyone else back in the day and still some today actually, that if you cross trained body building with martial arts, you’d have a complete and complimenting training regimen.) No... I was interested in strength; real, useable functional strength along with explosiveness and speed.
Today my workouts are up to 5 days a week though I still get in a very light 15 to 20 minute sessions on the day I don’t work out intensely. My workouts vary greatly from day to day and week to week but generally encompass the following:
Mondays: Bodyweight day ghetto style: Using straps, rope, old T-shirts etc. for varying grips, chin up bars at various levels, parallel bars, monkey bars, and everything a child’s park can offer. This workout targets, as per Origin of Energy, a ‘push’-‘leg’-‘pull’ pattern. This workout consists of 3 sets of 9 differing exercises targeting a minimum of 3 body parts per exercise, super setting 3 exercises at a time, with a 3 minute break in between each completed set of 3 (got all that? :`). The reps work in pyramid format starting at 1, then 1,2, then 1,2,3 going to 10 for a total of 55 reps per exercise. Multiply that by 9 and by the end of the workout I’ve completed over 500 reps making this a highly aerobic and anaerobic workout.
Tuesdays: Heavy day Ross Enamait Training, same format as Monday in terms of sets, reps and amounts of actual exercises only (but very different exercises, rest between sets and workout all together) using slower movement, using heavy weights and targeting a minimum of 4 to 5 body parts per exercise.
Wednesdays: 15 minutes of bodyweight exercises followed by 30 min of cardio (variety of cardio exercises from bag work, light sparring, skip rope, running - running’s been the choice due to the weather lately).
Thursdays: I repeat Monday's routine with differing exercises.
Fridays: I repeat Tuesday’s routine, again with differing exercises.
Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I rest and don’t workout at all. Depends on how the body feels and how hard the week was. Otherwise, I usually target all the muscles that didn’t work during the week and create a 15 to 20 minute intense, minimum breaks session or I go for a run.
This is where I’m at in my fitness & strength training today. It changes and varies frequently as I continue to research various ways to kick my own ass. So…. here I am at 40, stronger, faster, more agile, leaner and healthier AND STILL…. wearing black, thinking to myself damn man… if only I knew then what I know now. :`)
Sincerely, a little older n' a little wiser...
Rich "Throckmorton" Dimitri