Why “men’s fitness” and single-sport “enthusiast” magazines kind of suck

As a 40+ guy seeking balanced fitness, smart nutrition, and the well-being and joy these things contribute to…I’ll take all the help I can get. So, I’m always scouting the media and blog landscape on these topics.

My conclusion: the “media” world (old and new) is failing to truly help 40+ guys seeking a lifelong mix of endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, solid nutrition, tranquility-of-mind, and joy-of-spirit.

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As a 40+ guy seeking balanced fitness, smart nutrition, and the well-being and joy these things contribute to…I’ll take all the help I can get.  So, I’m always scouting the media and blog landscape on these topics.

My conclusion:  the “media” world (old and new) is failing to truly help 40+ guys seeking a lifelong mix of endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, solid nutrition, tranquility-of-mind, and joy-of-spirit.

What “media” do I mean?

In the digital-only realm – blogs and specialized websites – 40+ guys have many fewer resources than women, or younger guys who are more “build muscles” or “single sport” focused.  For example, Google “40+ fitness blog” and you’ll see nearly all search results are blogs written by women, for women.   Or go on YouTube and you can find a large array of weightlifting-oriented enthusiast channels.

So, general-purpose men’s fitness- and health-oriented magazines are a big chunk of what’s out there – like Men’s Health and Men’s Journal.  Then there are narrower “enthusiast” ones – like Runner’s World and Bicycling.

How are these media sources failing us?

Topics include many that don’t resonate with the OlderBeast: The world’s finest cigars!New fall fashion looks!Three ways to get that girl at the office into bed with you this weekend!

Fitness advice is too muscle-building oriented and assumes you’re willing to spend all your time on that (Monster biceps in 28 days!). By the way…show me a 40+ guys with monster biceps, and often times that guy can’t touch his toes or run three miles.

Or, advice assumes you’re focused on just one primary fitness activity (10 great stretches for distance runners!)

There is a short-term, “follow this magic plan” orientation (Get ripped in 45 days!)

Articles have a “more is more” orientation that is the enemy of simplicity and actually reduces usefulness and likelihood you can consistently stick with a plan (1,476 tips for being a better man!)

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But as the saying goes, “it’s easier to be a critic than a craftsman.”  So, constructively, here’s what I hope to do about the shortcomings discussed above.

1. Keep improving OlderBeast.com as a resource for 40+ guys seeking a balanced, long-term approach. An OlderBeast wants to feel great, look (at least) pretty good for his age, keep getting happier, and live long. OlderBeast.com’s heartfelt mission is to help.

2. Inspire you to be “architect” of your own unique fitness and wellness plan for life. Use some of what you find at OlderBeast.com, the best of what you get out of magazines and other sources (which DO have a lot of great stuff)…what you learn from friends…and the personalized “what works?” wisdom you are best-qualified to have for yourself. This post might be a useful place to start.

3. Perhaps, over time, motivate existing media companies to focus more of their impressive, capable resources on the needs of the OlderBeast. If they do, we’ll be grateful.

“Everyday, everyday, everyday I write the book.” (Elvis Costello, song of the same title)

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Self-Image for 40+ Guys Should be About Looking YOUR Best

If you’ve read OlderBeast before, you’ve seen the mantra “feel great, look your best, keep getting happier, and live long.” That’s what I want out of fitness, nutrition and wellness. I hope it resonates with you too, man.

“Feel great” and “live long” are self-explanatory. But there are non-obvious aspects of “look your best” and “keep getting happier,” so it’s useful to discuss these. This post is about “look your best.”

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How to Overcome “That Sluggish Feeling” When It Threatens Your Workout Plan

There are a bunch of reasons why you might NOT work out today. Some are good, and many are not-so-good. Of all possible reasons, the one I really hate works like this.

1. You plan to work out that day. Then as the planned time nears, you start to feel a physical and/or mental sluggishness. Nothing dramatic, but you just don’t feel like working out. You start to flirt with the idea of taking the day off, considering various possible justifications.

2. But rather than explicitly, decisively declaring a day off – sometimes you need one, even if unplanned – you let minutes tick by without moving toward your workout OR deciding not to. Deep down, you might know what you’re doing, but you don’t admit it to yourself.

3. Then all of a sudden, voila, it’s “too late” for your workout. You missed the window of time you had before your next work, family or personal obligation. Even though you caused this, you don’t feel glad about the “can’t workout now” reality. You immediately feel like you’ve let yourself down.

This ever happen to you?  If so, you just fell victim to That Sluggish Feeling (“TSF”).  

I’ve devised a new response to TSF when it strikes. I don’t seek to move directly from sluggishness to exercise. Instead, I do a short, easy “bridge” activity in-between, to change my energy and get me into a better frame-of-mind to decide if I’m really, intentionally going to skip that workout. Here’s how it works.

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In defense (and praise) of the EASY workout

It’s important to keep physically challenging ourselves as we age. That’s why OlderBeast feature things like push-up challenges, exhortations to increase your weekly workout frequency, and calls to keep on running uphill.

But the name of the game is to do it thoughtfully, man — in a way we can sustain for years and hopefully decades. And on some days that calls for a game-time decision to do an EASY workout.

There’s the planned easy workout, to recover from intense effort yesterday or get ready to go hard tomorrow. But here, I want to talk about something different…a last-minute call to just do something “light” today.

Maybe a shorter and/or slower run. Or just some light body weight exercises and stretching. Or some lower-intensity cardio on a machine and then a short core routine.

The idea of switching to an easier workout is really about our relationship with motivation: having more than one response to call on when we feel unmotivated.

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