Beginner Weight Lifting Program for the over 40’s using the RAW approach
If you have little experience with weight training, are over forty years old, trying to lose fat, build muscle and strength can be daunting.
At RAW we have over a decade of experience at creating safe and effective personal training programs tailored to your specific level and goals.
RAW Founder – Jeremy Meyer’s account of Juerg’s journey through our Beginner’s Program
Juerg was referred to me by a long term client of mine. Initially, I could tell he was skeptical about our approach to strength training and nutrition. He had an open mind however, and was willing to listen to what I was telling him.
Juerg was in his forties when he started at the RAW strength and conditioning gym and had little strength training experience.
After 12 months of weight training for fat loss at RAW, he lost 12% body fat and gained 13kgs of lean mass. He is now also able to Deadlift 200kgs and squat 150kgs. The video below shows the results that Juerg has achieved.
Juerg’s Own Account of his journey from Beginner
I recently asked Juerg to share his experience of training with me at RAW by answering a few questions:
What motivated you to change in the first place?
I grew up playing ice hockey so I always considered myself to be quite athletic. I thought I had a good knowledge of both strength training and nutrition.
However, when I first came into RAW I was very surprised to learn that my body fat percentage was 24%!! As a man, if your body fat is 25% or more, you are considered obese. I was what is commonly called “skinny fat”, that is, a skinny body with high body fat percentage and very little muscle mass. I was determined to change this.
During my first evaluation, Jeremy also took me through a ‘movement screen’ to assess my overall mobility. This allowed Jeremy to determine if I had any imbalances, weakness or difficulty with any particular movements before going forward with training. This first session made me realize just how tight and immobile I really was.
It was a real wake up call. I really wanted to improve my mobility/flexibility, strength, power and body composition.
Since training at RAW, I have continued to play ice hockey, and have found strength training has greatly improved my game – I have much more power and speed on the ice.
Working in finance, you work very long hours, so how do you find the time to train?
Workouts are an integral part of my life, so I make it a priority by scheduling them just as I would schedule a meeting at work. I train 4 to 5 times per week, and I maintain this practice because I feel energized by it. I am more productive at work. My ability to concentrate, handle stress and work under pressure has improved greatly. I also don’t suffer from any back, neck or shoulder pain commonly afflicting my colleagues who work similarly long hours at a desk in front of the computer. I don’t know how I lived without it for so many years.
Being mentally and physically fit as a result of strength training has also improved my work-life balance. I continue to enjoy playing ice hockey, and I have recently started dirt bike riding.
How has training at RAW kept you motivated to train consistently?
At RAW, all clients are tested and re-tested on a regular basis. For example, Jeremy will test:
- Lower body and upper body maximum strength and power every 5 to 6 weeks.
- Body composition (Ratio of fat mass to lean mass) once per week
It is very motivating to see consistent progress. Also, every single workout I perform in the gym is monitored and recorded in details. All my workouts are tailor-made.
Every few weeks Jeremy will make changes to the following: Exercise selection, tempo, rest periods between sets and exercises. That way, my body is always being pushed to adapt. These regular tests and modifications keep me psychologically and physically motivated. They force my body to make steady progress and prevent me from getting bored and stale.
What have you learned about nutrition since you’ve started at RAW and how has it helped you get to where you are now?
Strength training and nutrition go hand-in-hand. At first, I felt like I was overfeeding myself but I was still getting leaner. However, as not all foods are equal, food choice is important. RAW helps with this too, and Jeremy gave me a detailed nutrition plan to follow. In the past three years training at RAW, I have personally experienced the visual transformation and felt the benefits of increasing in muscle mass. Increasing my strength and muscle mass has not only made it easier to burn fat and get leaner consistently, it has improved and enhanced my activity levels outside of the gym.
“It caught me off-guard to learn that my body fat was 24% a remarkable 20kg of “dead” mass I had been carrying around every day. This was my “spark” and I decided that something had to happen. The question was what. I am neither the “dieting” type, nor did I actually want to lose weight. This is where Jeremy came in: he dialed in my nutrition and structured a workout program that would allow me to systematically improve my body composition and turn that fat into lean mass. No Zumba classes or other voodoo involved; just a few lifestyle changes combined with honest and hard work at the gym. This is probably the second best investment into myself after getting a proper education.” – Juerg.