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   A Few Questions Concerning Fitness Over 50 Years Old

Here is an email that is often received from men and women seeking to lose the "spare tire" or weight around their hips, help reducing their blood pressure, and overall just get healthier.  It is a journey that can lead to many enjoyable future years if you can catch up with Mother Nature and Father Time before they catch you!   Here are a few questions posed by a gentleman in his early fifties:

Stew - I do appreciate your time and your website it has been a huge help to me personally. I do have a few questions for you.

1) I need to shed belly fat! I am on blood pressure medications and I hate it. I have no restrictions from my docs but I would rather not lift free weights. (Bodyweight at my age (52) I feel is better for me.)

I understand and agree - bodyweight exercises can help tremendously and not temporarily spike blood pressure like weight lifting can.  If you like body weight / calisthenics exercises, you came to the right place as I like to focus on physical fitness testing methods and most of them are calisthenics and some form of cardio vascular exercise.  Both will help you with weight loss (fat loss) and blood pressure reduction.  In fact, I have had many readers say that they were able to able to reduce the dose or completely get off prescription blood pressure medications (with Doctor's approval - of course) after a few months of starting the programs I am recommending to you below:

For some quick results which will help with water retention too, try the 10 Day Water Challenge.  This usually works best for those who neglect adequate amounts of daily water intake and you will see noticeable weight loss within a week by simply "adding water".

10 Day Water Intake Test

2) Equipment wise I have the following:  Sleds, rings, tires, sledge hammer, ropes, and a huge high school pool. Treadmills!

If your doctor recommends not lifting weights, I would not lift a tire, climb ropes, pull a sled, or even swing a sledgehammer until your blood pressure is really under control without medications, but ask your doctor to see if he agrees.  The rings are another issue.  I like them in TRX form but I would still avoid any position where your head is lower than your heart while exercising.  The rings are gymnasts rings and if you are overweight / not in shape using them can be painful or potentially injurious. Just take a look at the average gymnast - they are usually lightweight, ripped, with a pound for pound muscle strength and endurance that is highly uncommon and requires years of practice to build.  The rings CAN BE for beginners or those overweight, but you need to learn a few basic exercises with the rings or TRX that are great options to bodyweight exercises.  (See video on TRX page for more info) 

3) A suggestion on how to eat to lose body fat. I am up at 5:00 AM and in bed by 9:45PM. Any help you can give me is so very appreciated, My kids are having kids and I want to enjoy them.

You need to eat and drink through the day.  Not just when you wake up eat breakfast, lunch, then dinner, but a good addition to your diet requires a snack about every 2-3 hours after a regular meal.  This healthy snacking will help you with eating too much at meals and will keep your metabolism higher throughout the day.  I would recommend this:

Eat carbohydrates ONLY in the morning (fruits / vegetables) after lunch limit carbs to only a salad - just eat protein rich foods in the PM like lean meat, fish, chicken, and nuts for snacks.  Now the hard part - Eliminate sugar -If you can take out sweets, soda, white breads, and other processed foods, you will be amazed at how quickly the weight around the waist and hips recedes.  Replace with nuts, fruits, vegetables that contain fiber to help with the insulin response that causes the sugar stored as fat in your torso area.  Usually this is the "last stand" in the battle of the bulge as your torso is the last part of the body to lose the weight - so be patient and give this no sugar challenge 1-2 months for optimal results.  In a few short days, your cravings for sugar will dissipate and it will not be that difficult to do.

Also check out this link:

food plan for more idea ideas with plenty of options available

As far as workout - depends on your fitness level - I usually have people start here:

45 Day Plan - If this FREE starter plan is too easy, just add repetitions and increase the sets or cardio time per workout to add to the intensity of this workout plan. 

But there are other options like the 15 Day PFT challenge if you are an intermediate level and can handle some running and high repetition calisthenics.

Here are some other ideas for you to add to your daily fitness program

Lower Back Plann - Great for Torso Strength / Flexibility

Running Plans  - I would not run if you are more than 30-40 lbs overweight - YET.  Select a non impact cardio option.

Enjoy the next few months as they will be transformational if you can stick to the above recommendations.  Good luck and let me know how you do or if you have any questions by emailing me at

Beginner Guides to Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Diabetic Prevention Workout / Diet

The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD
The Pre-Habit Workout DVD Catalog for more ideas and great gift ideas too!!


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the
Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at



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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout

Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

Free SEAL Training Videos from Phil Black

TRX Train Like the Pros



Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format