I always had a busy schedule. In the 80’s I worked three jobs and in the 90’s worked as an Account Executive for a security company. I was determined to keep a weekly fitness schedule not only for my health but also because I am a competitive weightlifter. How do I keep my weekly schedule even today at age 57? I’ve spent over thirty years participating in weightlifting competitions. I set a California state record in my division. How do I stay motivated?

The Routine

I like mornings. I’m up at seven and in the gym. This is the best time for me. I get my exercise out of the way before the day begins.

First thing I hit is the treadmill for no less than 20 minutes at a speed setting of 3.2 and incline of 4. My heart rate rockets to a burn cycle of 112 beats per minute which is 65 % of my target rate for my age group. I alternate between walking and running; running at a speed of at least 5.

Next, I hit the weights. I lift heavy weights. My warm ups are 50% of my maximum lift and 10 repetitions for 4 sets for each body part. The higher the weight, the lower the repetitions. In my squats the single repetition can get over 350 pounds.

Cool down is 15 repetitions of 135 pounds for one set. When you exercise your heart rate accelerates. The harder you work out, the longer the cool down period.

Cool down includes Yoga stretches for 15 minutes. I enjoy the Downward Dog and the Warrior poses. This stretches the entire body.

I alternate between weight days and aerobic days and take off once or twice a week. I lost over 25 pounds and kept it off. I never exercise longer than an hour; this keeps the gym from becoming a social event.

Don’t Over Do It

If you can’t handle it, leave it alone. I understand my limitations. I never overdo my exercises therefore I never had an injury.

A solid routine disciplines the mind. Going to the gym might increase a few muscles but it’s the mind that constantly expands. Train the mind first and the body will follow.

Most people fail because they think it’s all about shaping the body. I have conditioned my mind to approach exercise as a wonderful event. If you hate working out, do you think you can ever convince yourself to get to the gym?

Change Up!

Change up the routine. If I’m weight lifting one week, next week I’ll concentrate on aerobics. I change up with the stationary bike for 40 minutes with levels up to 13. If I don’t feel up to weightlifting or aerobics, I go Yoga movements in a heated room for 45 minutes.

The mind needs variety or you will get bored and quit. Just switch up your routine!