Question 1: I always find myself craving something before bedtime.  What can I eat that will keep me satisfied all night and is healthy?” –Fidel Cervantes

Fidel, the answer is dependent upon how intense your training session was and what your food choices were throughout the day. If you limited your carbs during the day and are following an intermittent fasting or carb back-loading protocol, some healthy carbs at night will not have a negative impact on your body fat levels and will help your recovery. 

If you’re eating 4-6 smaller, balanced meals during the day, I typically recommend a high protein snack, like protein pudding, with some almonds mixed in.   

Check out my good friend Sean Hyson, group training director for Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness magazines, detailing how to easily make a healthy protein pudding snack with your favorite protein powder.


Question 2: I'm 40, and I’ve done weights for 3.5 years with okay results. In the last year or so, I haven’t been making gains. I’ve been trying different routines like GVT and 5×5. Is it my age or what? –Paul Burbidge


The key for an older lifter is to train with great intensity and adhere to the Principle of Progressive Overload

First off, I speak from experience when I say that a good warm-up will make the difference in how hard you can train and how well you recover. Making foam rolling, dynamic mobility exercises and activation drills staples in your pre-workout routine, will be HUGE for everything you do in the gym, allow you to train hard, and keep you injury free.

Next, whatever you do in the gym, do it with great intensity and strict adherence to good form on every exercise. For you to continue making gains, you have to push yourself. This means doing one more rep on a set than your last workout or taking shorter rest periods between sets. Lifting heavier weights for an exercise than you’ve used before or varying your rep ranges for your main lifts, are two more example. Drop sets, slow negatives, and rest-pause training are three more great options. The key is to challenge your body to avoid plateaus and to keep making gains. This is the foundation of the Principle of Progressive Overload. Whatever program you follow, whether it be GVT or 5×5, put everything you’ve got into it. Just because you’re 40 doesn’t mean you can’t keep making gains and achieve your goals in the gym. 

Meet the Lift Doctor

Jim Smith is a highly respected, world-renowned strength and conditioning coach. A member of the Fitness Advisory Board, Jim has been called one of the most "innovative strength coaches" in the fitness industry. Training athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors, Jim has dedicated himself to helping them reach "beyond their potential." He is also the owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning in Elmira, NY.