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Fitness After 40

sandbag fitness equipment

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist (Co-creator of DVRT Restoration Certification, Shoulder & Pelvic Control Courses)

sandbag squat

When I turned forty something happened, I should say it happened a few years before I turned forty but it hit me hard this past year. I know you are all saying how could she even be close to forty!? Right? Well, all of a sudden my view of training completely changed. 

My time spent in the gym over the years was really only to lose weight and look better…little did I know I would chase that for half my life. I never really reached my ideal body no matter how hard I trained and that was because it was just unattainable. To be fair, my standard was a 16 year old version of myself that was a high level swimmer. Of course comparing myself to not only someone 24 years younger than I am now is unrealistic, but adding in I was at the height of my swimming career and training for hours upon hours a day makes it seem even more silly. Yet, I know many women that go through the same struggle, comparing themselves to a version of themselves that is not reasonable to who they are today.

When I was younger, I never really had the intent of getting stronger or healthier, it really was to make sure I fit in my jeans which is where I think so many people go wrong with their training, especially women. My whole view of training and why I train is so much different from when I was in my twenties or even in my thirties. Sadly, so many women are only taught to value how they look, not how they feel, perform, or even their health. Over the years I have began my journey to change that, at least for myself.

My intent or purpose behind training nowadays is really strength as well as to maintain my overall health, I don’t really even have the goal of weight loss or really esthetics any more, and that doesn’t mean I don’t care about those things, its just no longer the reason I train alone. Coming to terms that it is more important to life with healthy habits and not be consumed with the looks that come with it is very important for people, especially women, both mentally as well as physically. Considering 30 million Americans suffer from eating disorders, it is something that should be far more discussed in fitness. Cosmetic goals are good, but they aren’t when they become part of a disorder!

Instead, cosmetics alone are no longer a goal and that really has changed my whole outlook and perspective on training. Its really changed for the better and has allowed me to enjoy working out more. I see so many women my age doing daily cardio for hours on end, starving themselves, eating maybe once a day, punishing themselves for what they eat and it just doesn’t make sense. It makes me sad. It’s saddening that the new diets I see are basically starvation diets paired with endless cardio. For what? To damage your body? To maybe drop five pounds to change what? These are beautiful women, mothers, wives, successful business women. Why would five or ten pounds change anything substantial in their lives?

We are grateful to have a DVRT community of strongmen that support the right ideals of what fitness and health should represent!

Don’t get my wrong I understand there are so many underlying things when it comes to weight control and diet, but wouldn’t it be better if we just turned the focus to strength and health? Would’t that be much easier? That might change everyones approach to fitness. Placing an emphasis on our performance and what we can achieve would make us far more at peace with whatever physical changes come with such efforts. 

fitness after 40

Seeing women in our DVRTT community support strength as the goal, not weight loss is definitely a step in the right direction!

I know as long as maintain or improve upon my strength as well as focus on my overall health, my training will be something that I don’t use to punish myself but something I look forward to, and something that is positive and enriching vs just something I need to do to lose weight and get skinny. 

So why did this all of a sudden change for me? My access to better training principles changed. I used to spend hours in the gym on machines, cardio machines and weight machines, if I wasn’t there more than an hour, in my mind, I didn’t do enough. 

Creating challenges within my training places the focus on what I can do and not what I look like. In order to perform well I have to take care of my body, not punish it!

What DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training has afforded me is the ability to combine the two worlds of strength and cardio, in a way that doesn’t take hours on end. My workouts are no longer 60 minutes or 90 minutes, I don’t need a full gym full of machines. I can be more consistent with my workouts and they aren’t about just getting through them, I can actually feel in tune with what I am actually doing.

I have trained consistently for over a decade 4-5 times per week, 30 minute sessions and 100 percent DVRT. People always ask if Josh and I really use Ultimate Sandbags when we train, and that answer is yes. What using DVRT and our Ultimate Sandbag has allowed me to offer others is that you can find what strength and health mean for you! Instead of us telling you that you have to be “this strong” or “this exercise” is what you have to do, we give you direction and purpose that should speak to YOUR goals!

You can achieve what is important to you and find how strength and better movement positively impacts your life. People always ask if you can strong by using Ultimates Sandbags and that one usually makes me laugh because I always get comments on social media about my quads or other muscles showing through….yes its load, its weight, and it challenges you more than another weight in my opinion, so yes you can get strong, but you learn so much more about your body and become aware how our bodies are suppose to move with such strength, grace, and agility.

I have never been stronger than I am today which is amazing to say at forty, and amazing to say since I was an athlete that trained hard. I know its hard for people to stop focusing on the purely esthetic reasons for training but if you do switch your focus to health and strength you might find yourself enjoying your workouts a bit more and relief some of the stress you feel about working out. Don’t let others decide what you should be, or what being strong and healthy looks like. YOU determine that for yourself!

Don’t miss out on developing your best self with our great DVRT training tools and education. You can get both HERE for 30% off with code “holiday2020”