How to Keep Your Edge as You Get Older with Vic Verdier on The Art of Manliness

Check out Episode and Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Soft Suburban Dad Syndrome is when men over 40, get stuck in a rut and lose their edge
  • The sedentary lifestyle turns into a vicious cycle
  • Get outside your comfort zone and try new things which turn up multiple benefits:
    • Better mobility
    • More movement
    • Less pain
    • It becomes easier to learn new things
    • Fewer limitations
    • You get better at living!
    • Challenge your balance by walking barefoot or on uneven terrain
  • Modern men tend to live very artificial lives in an artificial environment
  • Three advantages of training/exercising in Nature:
    • 1. There is less safety – everything outdoors challenges the mind and body and therefore forces both to assess the situation every few minutes
    • 2. It’s not easy
    • 3. The outdoors ramps up your sense of creativity – it makes you choose your own path
  • It’s important to let your brain wander
  • Be unconventional – pick up a log, climb a tree
  • “Keeping weight down is not only a matter of diet, it is more a matter of lifestyle” – Vic Verdier

Intro

Vic Verdier (t:@MovNat) has served in the French navy, trained soldiers in close quarter combat, skydiving, long-range weapon shooting, first aid, and explosives, set a deep water scuba diving record. He currently owns a gym, teaches as a MovNat Master Instructor, and coaches men over forty in how to live better, stronger, and more vibrant lives. 

Helping Men Over 40

  • The typical trajectory for a man is to get a job, get married, have kids, move to the suburbs
  • As a result, men get stuck in a rut and lose their edge = “Soft suburban dad syndrome”
  • From an evolutionary standpoint, it was important for men to have a sense of achievement
  • This sense was mostly based on mastering skills and having a woman in the tribe
  • “Men are physical by nature -they identify with the ability to do things and be strong”- Vic Verdier
  • As men age and develop sedentary lifestyles, this drive diminishes
  • The sedentary lifestyle turns into a vicious cycle – older men are afraid to move and get hurt, so they move less and less, get more limitations, and more pain
  • Strength and mobility are vital for men to maintain as they get older
  • From a mental standpoint, men should keep having fun and staying physical

Move Every Day and Move with Others

  • Good movements for men:
    • Lifting – for strength
    • Squatting
    • Spend time on the ground – working on the computer or watching tv
  • Try a standing desk
  • Go outside and do a sport

Be a Physical Polymath

  • “The more things you do, the more different movements you learn and practice, then the more you expand your abilities of movement and the better you are as an athlete” – Vic Verdier
  • Get outside your comfort zone – crawl, climb, swim
  • Don’t get specialized! – Men specialize because they like to be good at what they do
  • Men work on their strong points and avoid their weaknesses
  • Trying new things has multiple benefits:
    • Better mobility
    • More movement
    • Less pain
    • It becomes easier to learn new things
    • Fewer limitations
    • You get better at living!

Strength Training and Cardio

  • As men age, strength is one of the first things to go as is muscle mass
  • “But it’s not part of the aging process. It’s not natural at all.” – Vic Verdier
  • Men should lift every day – it’s good for the muscles and bone density
  • Kettlebells are great because it trains for explosiveness: the ability to quickly generate power- and often neglected skill
    • Vic’s favorite is the kettlebell swing because it is safe and good for daily practice
    • Jumping and sprinting are also good exercises
  • The treadmill isn’t ideal for cardio workouts because it’s artificial
  • Go outside, explore nature – it’s easy, convenient, and social
    • Walking is good but it shouldn’t be the only thing you do

Balance

  • As men age, poor balance leads to falling, the consequences of which are critical
  • Older people in general start falling because they don’t challenge themselves enough with balance
  • Easy ways to challenge your balance:
    • Go barefoot
    • Walk on uneven terrain
    • Practice with your eyes closed
    • Climb stairs
    • Walk on 2×4 on the floor and then raise it over time

How To Eat As You Get Older

  • As men age, there is a drop in testosterone and this means body fat will increase
  • “Keeping weight down is not only a matter of diet, it is more a matter of lifestyle” – Vic Verdier Vic’s SEEDS philosophy:
    • S- sleep: lack of sleep will disturb the body’s ability to process food
    • E- exercise
    • E- environment: the more you are outside, the more vitamin D you get
    • D- diet: Use common sense. It’s good to fast at some point because, from an evolutionary standpoint, that’s what humans did
    • S – stress: Stop living in a constant state of stress; live a simple life so you have time to spend time in nature and listen to music

Learn How to Fight

  • Men are, historically speaking, the protectors
  • Fighting was important for men to defend themselves and their family
  • Learn combative skills, like martial arts or Thai boxing
    • It boosts confidence
    • It can change both posture and gait
  • It is useful for men to learn how to use weapons, too

Make a Connection with Nature

  • Modern men live very artificial lives in an artificial environment
  • Three advantages of training/exercising in Nature:
    • 1. There is less safety – everything outdoors challenges the mind and body and therefore forces both to assess the situation every few minutes
    • 2. It’s not easy
    • 3. The outdoors ramps up your sense of creativity – it makes you choose your own path
  • It’s important to let your brain wander
  • Be unconventional – pick up a log, climb a tree
  • It takes courage to be unconventional – mental courage

Keep Stuff to a Minimum

  • Everything Vic own fits in a travel bag
  • Vic’s theory – everything else you need, you can rent
  • Very often useless things accumulate and all that stuff weighs on a person
  • “If you don’t use it for one year, get rid of it – it keeps the stress down”- Vic Verdier

Don’t Get Too Comfortable

  • So many things are automated and make our lives easy
  • Don’t get comfortable – go outside, even when the weather is bad
  • Become comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Learn to live with nothing – it’s a great way to learn resilience

How Not To Become Stagnant as a Man

  • Read books about people who challenge themselves and get inspired!
  • Do weekly self-assessments: Don’t have ground-hog-days
  • Break your routines
  • Plan weekend adventures even if it’s just sleeping outside with your kids
Art of Manliness : , , , , ,
Notes By EWerbitsky

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 35,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks