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New Rules for Fitness Over 40!

Stew Smith forty and over mobility non-impact cardio over 40 running tactical fitness

 Consider this!  New Rules for Fitness Over 40

Are you over 40 years old with a burning desire to get started again and progressively build up your fitness from beginner to advanced levels? Do you want to be who you were yesterday (20 years ago) and not have to be in pain or experiencing the pain of failing?

Step 1: Drop what you're doing and read this tactical fitness article about the New Rules For The Person Over 40 right now!

Step 2: Get all the details you need in the four part series Tactical Fitness 40+ on how you can easily be who you were yesterday ... Read more about a few changes you need to know about Fitness Over 40 at

But First…

What is Tactical Fitness? Primarily the fitness required to get into and remain in the military, police, fire fighter, EMT services. The goal of tactical fitness is to create a strong and capable body to save yourself and others in an emergency situation. But we all should be strong and capable enough to save ourselves and others in such situations (accidents, fire, storms, etc).  Be an asset in an emergency situation.  Do you need to be saved?  Or can you take care of yourself and your loved one? 

Think about it...

The following rules are part of the programming used in the 52 week – four part training series: Tactical Fitness 40+.  From Rebuilding the Foundation to getting Ready to Compete, this series uses the following four rules religiously. 

Even well into your 50-60s, you can still do advanced level workouts with these rules, just make sure you actively pursue recovery methods like eating well, sleeping, hydrating, breathing deeply, taking rest days, as well as the following NEW RULES:

 NEW RULES for Fitness Over 40:

  1. You can no longer out work your diet – Focus on smaller portions, avoid junk food, sugar, even decreasing / eliminating sugar, do not avoid fruits /vegetables as these are good carbs that are high in nutrients you need for energy and recovery, and drink more water. This one takes discipline as the old habits of eating like we were highly active 20-year olds is a tough one to break, even if you are still highly active after 40 years old.

  2. Run every OTHER day – Unless you are still competing in races or under 200 lbs. of body weight, consider running every OTHER day instead of daily or 5-6 times a week.  Replace some of the running days with non-impact cardio options (bike, row, elliptical, swim) on the days in between running days.  You can still train hard 5-6 days a week, just give your body a break from the impact by doing challenging non-impact options. You can build up distance or speed as you prefer on your running days to help you maintain abilities in many tactical professions, keep weight down, especially if still taking military fitness tests.

  3. Lift But Differently - If you are an easy gainer and can quickly get strong and bulky with a lift cycle, you can still lift, but make sure you follow lift cycles with a good amount of cardio (run, bike, elliptical, swim). If you can keep off the extra weight that comes with increased strength during lift cycles, your next cycle of cardio / calisthenics (periodization) will be much easier.  Face it - losing weight is tough after 40.  Running heavy is even tougher.

  4. Don't Skip Mobility Day - Add a mobility day each week – You can either replace a typical challenging workout with this mobility or add it to a day off each week. It is simple but effective.  See routine options below:
  • Repeat 5 times 
    Bike, elliptical, row, or swim 5 minutes
    Foam roll, stretch, car buffer massage 5 minutes

    Regardless of your goals, the mobility day added to mid to late week will enhance the later workouts of the week or weekend and help you walk out of the gym feeling no pain! If you feel you need it, do the mobility day two times in a week.
  • Learn how to foam roll, stretch daily, car buffer – That is right!  A car buffer (small hand ORBITAL car buffer made by Ryobi for $30 at Home Depot) is what I use to get a deep vibration that is soothing to the muscles.  This must be an orbital / vibrating car buffer not a rotary (spinning) car buffer. Apply to joints, muscles, lower back for near immediate soothing effects.  But stretching and a foam roller should be the mandatory parts of this rule – DAILY.

  • 80% is the new 100% - When I look back at over 45 years of fitness training and athletics / military training, I can list my injuries to contact sports, accidental sprains, but most came when I ran too fast (sprinted not warmed up properly), ran too many miles, lifted too heavy, did too many reps, and neglected warmup/cooldowns. Just pulling back a little bit has helped me not get injured due to ego in the last 20 years as an injury can set you back way too long. Avoid injury in a nutshell. 

  • In conclusion, my final piece of advice is to get lighter – try not to gain too much weight, even during heavy lifting cycles. It is easy to gain a pound or two a year and in 5-10 years “suddenly” be 10-20 pounds overweight. Being lighter is just easier to move, less pressure on your joints, and typically means you have a healthy fat to body mass ratio. I have found that the heavier I am the worse my blood screening numbers are and it hurts more to run.


Part 1 - Foundation Building (12 weeks)

Part 2 - Taking it to the Next Level (12 weeks)

Part 3 - Ready to Compete (12 weeks)

Part 4 – Tactical Fitness For the Athlete Over 40 (16 weeks)


Another Option:
Build a Foundation of Fitness With Little to No Equipment (Cals and Cardio) 

Calisthenics and Cardio Program - If you are looking at making a change that requires less equipment and a focus on muscle stamina and endurance, there is a beginner program to build basic strength / endurance, an intermediate program that takes it to another level and and advanced training program that rivals my Navy SEAL type calisthenics and cardio programming (run, swim, bike, and cals).  This is an ideal plan if you are unsure where to start and want to see a progression of abilities this year!  One of my best creations is called the Calisthenics and Cardio - No Equipment Needed Guide For Body Weight Exercisers and maybe a good option for people of all fitness levels to stay home or get outside and train.

Book or EBOOK

Who is Stew Smith? Coach, Trainer, Author, PodcasterI'm the former Navy SEAL that military recruits, police/fire candidates, and special ops candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession.  See More at

List of Beginner, Intermediate, and Basic Military & PT Test Prep Guides

 Beginner / Intermediate Fitness Guides 

The Beginner / Intermediate Guide to Fitness
Reclaim Your Life  Erin O'Neill Story (beginner / intermediate)

Veterans Fitness  Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach 
Circuit Training 101  Beginner / Intermediate Guide to the Gym
The Busy Executive Workout Routine
NEW:   Calisthenics and Cardio (only) (Spring / Summer Cycle)
Tactical Fitness (40+) Phase 1, Phase 2



Basic Military Physical Fitness Workouts

Army PFT Workout (Prep For Rucking, OPAT, ACFT)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Boot Camp Workout
The PFT Bible: Pushups, Sit-ups, 1.5 Mile Run
 (Army, Navy, AF, CG PFT)


Online Coaching Options

Online PT CLUB - Weekly Workouts created personally for you.

New Member's Only Content / Services Program!

If you want access to years worth of workouts, many of the top eBOOKs, favorite workouts of the week, free fitness APP, closed Facebook Group, video / picture library of exercises, and more access to LIVE Q/A sessions check out the Stew Smith Fitness Members Section

The dashboard below has the links to all the information, archives, videos, and links to workouts, podcasts, live Q and A lessons. 

Consider this! - A Membership Program and Gain Access to Exclusive Content
(click for Fitness Club Dashboard - members only)

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