I recently turned 30. I’m very fortunate and (knock on wood) haven’t sustained any major injuries. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in and out of the gym over the years but that’s a separate post for the future! I’m proud to say that I’m the strongest I’ve ever been. I recently joked with a couple of colleagues that 30 year-old Demarco would kick 20 year-old Demarco’s ass. I’m very blessed to be around amazing people that have helped me grow physically and mentally.
Now, I may make a joke here and there but I don’t consider 30 to be particularly old. If anything, I feel like I’m just getting started in many ways. However, the last few years of my twenties taught me some very humbling lessons that I’d like to share with you.
Stop skipping your warmups and jumping right into your workout. Look, when we were eighteen we could do anything. You felt invincible. Your body would do anything you asked of it and more. From intense workouts to all-nighters to parties, our energy and endurance were at an all-time high. This changes as we age, things start to slow down. We get tight. If we don’t do anything about this, injuries will stack up and pain will be a result. When I was younger, I’d simply bang out a quick set of 10 reps with an unloaded bar and consider that my warmup. I’d then workout for about 2-2.5 hours, hitting heavy lifting, high reps, HIIT, cardio, you name it. I completely obliterated my body, only to return the next day. “Thank you Sir, may I have another?!” Now, I take about 25-30 minutes working on warm-up/movement prep and spend about 45-minutes training. I go in with a clear goal. Like robbing the bank, I go in, get what I need then get out. Remember what happened when Bodhi and the Ex-Presidents went into the vault, huge mistake… Here’s a warmup protocol that will get you ready to take on Thanos and his army:
Recovery is everything. The harder you train, the more time you’ll need to recover. After two consecutive days of training hard, take at least one day for active recovery (soft-tissue work, mobility, walking, swimming, etc…). Your body will thank you as you come back strong and ready. Remember that training is a stressor on the body, in addition to everything else going on in life. Going balls to the wall hard 5-6 days a week is a fools game. While it looks cool on Instagram, it will get you hurt. You’ll be looking like Batman after his first battle with Bane if you push too hard.
Supplements are overrated. Look, I’m not anti-supplements, but here’s the cold hard truth. Fuel, hydration and sleep are exponentially more effective than any fancy powder you can get over the counter. I haven’t taken a pre-workout, intra-workout, BCAA, protein shake or fat-burner in two years and I haven’t felt better. Take that money and spend it on better quality food or a better mattress. And don’t get me started on multi-level marketing companies, that’s a conversation for another day…
The basics are everything. In the world of Instagram, a lot of coaches are coming up with these crazy exercise combinations that are either ineffective, dangerous or both. If you want to get stronger, build muscle, burn fat, improve balance or (hopefully) a combination, the basics are still the best. They may not be the sexy new thing that’s being shared online, but these movements will give you much better results and are tested both in the lab as well as in the trenches:
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really tried to simplify things in my life. Training is no different. My coaches and I are very clear about my goals, and every single training session has one purpose; to get me closer to that goal. Don’t over complicate it. If you’re unsure where to start, hire a great coach like I did.
To your lifelong health and success,