Personal trainer James Crossley reveals his top tips for fighting fat at 40

  • Former Gladiator James Crossley advises on fighting the flab past 40
  • Says that age is no barrier when it comes to fitness and everyone can do it
  • Uses techniques such as setting high stake goals and managing stress 

A milestone birthday such as 40 is the ideal time to get into peak physical health and fitness – and who better to show you to best way to fight the flab than with a former Gladiator? 

James Crossley, who starred as Hunter in the hugely popular TV show, now works as a personal trainer in London and thinks that age should not determine fitness.

He says that factors such as work commitments, family life and low energy should not prevent people from being at the peak of physicality at 40. 

Here, James dispels myths and shows you exactly how you can fight fat at 40…

James Crossley, a personal trainer and former Gladiator, thinks that a ge should not determine fitness, and that factors such as work commitments, family life and low energy should not prevent people from being at the peak of physicality at forty

James Crossley, a personal trainer and former Gladiator, thinks that a ge should not determine fitness, and that factors such as work commitments, family life and low energy should not prevent people from being at the peak of physicality at forty

1. PREPARE YOUR FOOD

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Be careful of eating as you go: sandwiches, fast food and soft drinks are not going to keep you lean.

Be aware of some simple rules, don’t skip breakfast and try to have a protein AND fat based breakfast. This is better for your energy and sets you up for the day e.g. Scrambled eggs with salmon and avocado. 

Eat three to four meals a day with a good source of low fat protein, lots of green vegetables and moderate carbohydrate. Avoid processed foods and hidden sugars. Always read the label.

2. DRINK WATER 

Water is often forgotten about or traded for coffee and tea, but our body is 65 per cent water. For it to work efficiently we must drink to stay hydrated. 

Aim for two to three litres a day, but slow down after 6pm so you don’t have to get up in the night. This can help increase your energy, relieve fatigue and help you to concentrate better.

The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn! As you age the muscles will start to shrink and postures will start to sag

The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn! As you age the muscles will start to shrink and postures will start to sag

3. DO SOME WEIGHT TRAINING 

The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn! As you age the muscles will start to shrink and postures will start to sag. 

A combination of strength and hypertrophy training will help you burn more fat, straighten your posture and combat stress.

4. MANAGE YOUR STRESS 

Stress is a killer and as you get older and have more commitments and family you tend to build a lot more stress.

Aim for seven to nine hours sleep and try taking a magnesium salt bath to relax you and help you sleep. 

Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake as this can keep you awake. Some yoga and meditation techniques will help relax you and clear the brain clutter.

Set goals that are relevant to you and linked to what you want to achieve. This is best way to keep you focused, motivated and get the best results

Set goals that are relevant to you and linked to what you want to achieve. This is best way to keep you focused, motivated and get the best results

5. SET HIGH-STAKES GOALS

Set goals that are relevant to you and linked to what you want to achieve. This is best way to keep you focused, motivated and get the best results. 

This could be training for an event or a competition to losing 2 dress sizes or fitting in a pair of trousers you wore five years ago. 

Make sure they are important to you, write them down and plan what you need to do to achieve them.

6. FASTED CARDIO 

Doing some cardio before breakfast is a great way to torch body fat. As you have an empty stomach you use more fat for fuel. I like to use steady state cardio here. I have black coffee to kick start the metabolism then 20-30 minutes speed walk or light jog.

You could also use HIIT training if you prefer.

High intensity intervals are a great fat burner. The workouts are short but hard so you may have to build up to them if you haven't done much exercise

High intensity intervals are a great fat burner. The workouts are short but hard so you may have to build up to them if you haven’t done much exercise

7. HIIT TRAINING 

High intensity intervals are a great fat burner. The workouts are short but hard so you may have to build up to them if you haven’t done much exercise. 

The key is to spike you heat rate to 85-90 per cent of your maximum heart rate then rest for the low interval. 

My favourite example is 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds rest. You do this eight times then rest for 60 seconds and it can be repeated up to eight times. 

The nature of the intervals and and the way HIIT works means that your body will not just burn calories for the session, but will carry on burning calories for hours afterwards as it fights to restore your body to homeostasis.

If you make someone else accountable for your sessions you are more likely to turn up, rather than listen to the little voice in your head list excuses not to

If you make someone else accountable for your sessions you are more likely to turn up, rather than listen to the little voice in your head list excuses not to

8. WATCH THE BOOZE 

A pint has 200 calories, a mojito has 240 calories and vodka or gin and tonic has 110 calories. 

Just remember that to lose 1lb of body fat in a week, you have to consume 500 calories a day less than your maintenance eating plan. 

Four or five drinks on a Friday night could be your downfall if you’re not careful. 

Yoga is a very important addition to your program as an over 40. Muscles get short and tight especially the hip flexors and pectorals and back

Yoga is a very important addition to your program as an over 40. Muscles get short and tight especially the hip flexors and pectorals and back

9. FIND TRAINING PARTNERS 

Find friends or colleagues that you can train with. 

If you make someone else accountable for your sessions you are more likely to turn up, rather than listen to the little voice in your head list excuses not to. 

The sessions can be more fun, you will work harder and often bring in the element of competition.

It also can help you push out the extra rep and if doing weights it will help you to train more safely.

10. YOGA 

Not the first exercise you would look to for fighting fat, but you will still burn calories.

Plus it’s a very important addition to your program as an over 40. Muscles get short and tight especially the hip flexors and pectorals and back. 

It’s time to lengthen shortened muscles and improve your range and posture. Yoga will help your flexibility your strength, posture and also help combat stress. 

Health | Mail Online