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10 Steps to Building a Track Body for Mature Adults

Do you sometimes think that the best years of your physical health are behind you? Do you look in the mirror and wonder where the time has gone, wishing you could turn back the clock and regain the vitality and athleticism of when you were younger? You’re not alone. Many mature adults struggle with the idea that their bodies are no longer capable of achieving the same level of fitness they once enjoyed. But I have good news. You can become more fit. You can get the track body of your dreams and become significantly healthier by unleashing your inner athlete.

Below, I reveal what a track body is and how you can get one, no matter what your age.

What is a Track Body?

“Track body” is a phrase that is recently becoming more popular. It refers to a body type usually seen by those competing in track and field events.

The track body is typically lean and toned:

  • In heavy winter clothes, a person with a track body may be underestimated and appear thin.
  • But in more revealing workout gear, an athletic physique is revealed – with strong legs, six-pack abs, and well-defined arms.

People with a track body can often be seen around the monkey bars of your local neighborhood park. They tend to do a lot of calisthenics, jumping, and sprints. They are functionally fit and very healthy.

What is Functional Fitness?

A track body is built within the realm of functional fitness – a philosophy that transcends traditional workout paradigms to focus on practical, everyday movements, empowering individuals to perform daily tasks with ease and efficiency.

Being functionally fit means your body is not just a showcase of muscles but a finely tuned instrument, adept at handling real-world challenges – be it lifting a toddler, carrying groceries, or sprinting to catch a bus.

Healthy mature woman sprinting outdoors, building a track body.

This approach to fitness molds your body to be agile, strong, and resilient, emphasizing core stability, balance, and flexibility.

It’s about harmonizing muscle groups to work in concert, ensuring that you’re not just lifting weights in a gym but elevating your quality of life outside of it.

Functional fitness prepares you for life’s unpredictable symphony, turning mundane tasks into opportunities to engage your muscles in a dance of daily living.

So, when you embrace functional fitness, you’re not just training for the mirror or the scale; you’re sculpting a body that’s an adept, versatile tool, ready to tackle life’s myriad adventures with vigor and poise.

The end result of being functionally fit is having a track body.

A track body is the ultimate fusion of speed, strength, and agility, artistically sculpted through the relentless pursuit of track and field excellence.

This isn’t just a body type; it’s a testament to the sheer power and dynamism concealed beneath a deceptively lean silhouette.


Some people mistakenly think of marathoners or long-distance runners when they hear the term “track body.” But marathoners often look stringy and tired, while sprinters look muscled and invincible.

There is a good reason for this difference.

Why a Long-Distance Runner Doesn’t Have a Track Body

Sprinters and marathoners have different body types and muscle composition due to the specific demands of their respective events.

Here’s why sprinters appear stronger and more muscular than marathoners.

Sprinters are engaging a different type of muscle fiber.

Sprinters have a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are larger in size and capable of generating more powerful contractions:

  • These fibers are essential for explosive, short-duration activities like sprinting.
  • In contrast, marathoners have a higher percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are smaller and more efficient at using oxygen for prolonged endurance activities.

Sprinters have a different training focus.

Sprinters engage in high-intensity, short-duration training that emphasizes strength, power, and speed:

  • This type of training promotes muscle growth and development, resulting in a more muscular appearance.
  • Marathoners, on the other hand, focus on longer, lower-intensity training sessions to improve endurance and aerobic capacity, which does not lead to significant muscle hypertrophy (growth).

Sprinters utilize a different energy system.

Sprinting relies primarily on the anaerobic energy system, which does not require oxygen and can provide quick bursts of energy for short periods:

  • This system is fueled by stored adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and creatine phosphate in the muscles.
  • Marathoners, conversely, rely mainly on the aerobic energy system, which uses oxygen to break down carbohydrates and fats for sustained energy production over long distances.

Sprinters inspire a different hormonal response.

Mature adult man doing abdominal calisthenics outdoors to build a track body.

High-intensity, short-duration exercises like sprinting can trigger a greater release of anabolic hormones:

  • Track and Field events tend to release testosterone and human growth hormone, which promote muscle growth and development.
  • Endurance training, while beneficial for overall health, does not elicit the same hormonal response.

In summary, sprinters appear stronger and more muscular than marathoners due to their higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, focus on strength and power training, reliance on anaerobic energy systems, and the hormonal response to high-intensity exercise.

What Your New Track Body Will Look Like

When you start to train functionally, emphasizing compound movements that require real-life balance and agility – such as jumping, climbing, and sprinting – your body will start to change in positive ways.

Think of muscular legs, not just as limbs but as coiled springs ready to unleash explosive power.

Envision a six-pack not merely as a set of muscles but as the armor of a warrior, each segment a story of determination.

Picture well-defined arms not just as appendages but as the very wings that propel these athletes to soar beyond limits in sprints and leaps.

In a sense, having a track body is like carrying a badge of honor. You’re not merely participating in a style of exercise. You’re also being an architect of your own destiny. You’re mastering the art of the monkey bars and sprinting and the aerial ballet of jumping events.

Yet, here’s the twist in the tale: while others might underestimate them, a track body is a silent promise, a prelude to a spectacle of agility and speed that can outshine the brightest stars in the athletic cosmos.

So, when you see someone with a track body, remember, you’re not just looking at a person; you’re witnessing a living, breathing embodiment of the phrase, “Still waters run deep,” where every stride and leap is an act of resilience, passion, and a relentless pursuit of greatness.

Typical Excuses that Can Prevent You from Having a Track Body

As we age, it’s easy to fall into the trap of making excuses for declining health and fitness. We tell ourselves things like:

  1. “I’m too old to start exercising now.”
  2. “I don’t have time to work out with my busy schedule.”
  3. “I have too many aches and pains to exercise regularly.”
  4. “I’ve never been athletic, so why start now?”
  5. “I don’t have the energy to keep up with a fitness routine.”

These excuses may seem valid, but they’re holding you back from achieving the body and health you deserve.

A research review suggests that focusing on negative aspects – a phenomenon known as negativity bias – can significantly impact your decision-making and the achievement of your goals. Over-focusing on problems and personal excuses results in risk-avoidance behavior and can have a detrimental impact on your competitive advantage.

It’s time to break free from these limiting beliefs and embrace the possibility of a fitter, healthier you.

Challenges (and Growing Opportunities) Faced by Mature Adults

In addition to the excuses we make, there are real problems that specifically face mature adults when trying to improve their health and fitness.

If you happen to be over the age of 45, you might have noticed that you’re starting to have:

  1. Decreased muscle mass and bone density
  2. Slower metabolism and weight gain
  3. Reduced flexibility and mobility
  4. Chronic health conditions such as arthritis or heart disease
  5. Lack of motivation or support

While these challenges may seem daunting, they’re not insurmountable.

“No matter how old you are, no matter how much you weigh, you can still control the health of your body.”

–Harvey Cushing, M.D. / Neurosurgeon

With the right mindset, knowledge, and tools, you can overcome these obstacles and achieve the track body you’ve always wanted. Read on to see how.

Do This to Get a Track Body

So, what does it take to achieve a track body?

Here’s a simple 10-step guide to help you get started.

1. Commit to a Lifestyle Upgrade

The first and most crucial step is to make a commitment to your health and fitness. This isn’t a short-term fix or a fad diet; it’s a lifelong journey that requires dedication and persistence.

2. Set Realistic Goals

Start by setting achievable goals for yourself. Whether it’s losing a few pounds, running a 5k, or improving your flexibility, having a clear target will help you stay motivated and on track.

A study by Locke and Latham (1990) about human performance establishes the setting of feasible health goals as significantly beneficial. Additional research about action planning (2017) emphasizes the importance of setting realistic health goals to facilitate positive behavior change.

3. Consult with a Healthcare Pro

Before starting any new exercise or nutrition program, it’s wise to consult with your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional. They can help you identify any potential risks or limitations and provide guidance on how to proceed safely.

“The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life; the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.”

–Dr. William J. Mayo

I know seeing a doctor first is a step many would like to skip over, but, really, having your blood work done before starting a new regimen can be so helpful. For example, you’ll get such a better time-and-energy return on your workouts if you know what nutrients you’re deficient in, so you can solve that issue beforehand with diet improvements or supplementation.

4. Develop a Balanced Exercise Routine

A well-rounded fitness program should include a combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility work.

Mature male adult training outdoors to get a track body.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week, along with two to three strength training sessions.

In particular, to achieve a track body, you will want to integrate some functional fitness training moves. To help you get the ball rolling, you might give these workouts a try:

5. Focus on Proper Nutrition

To say that what you eat plays a crucial role in achieving a track body would be an extreme understatement.

If you want to gain muscle, eat 200 calories more a day than you’re burning. Use an online calorie calculator to figure that out.

If you want to lose fat, eat 200 calories less a day than you’re burning.

But having a track body is about more than just calories-in-and-calories-out.

The quality of those calories also matters.

You want your diet to be anti-inflammatory. That means emphasizing whole, minimally processed foods:

  • Basically, you want to eat a lot of vegetables.
  • Also, the more you exercise, the more beneficial lean protein becomes to replenish your muscles.
  • After that, you want a bit of healthy fat from olive oil, avocado, coconut, and nuts and seeds.
  • A little fruit is good every day.
  • And finally, consume some fermented foods, such as yogurt or sauerkraut.

Weight Gain Is All About Insulin

Insulin plays a central role in the regulation of body weight and fat storage. It’s a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body manage glucose levels in the blood.

When you consume carbs, they’re broken down into glucose, which triggers the release of insulin.

Insulin then facilitates the uptake of glucose by cells for energy or storage, primarily in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles or as fat in adipose tissue.

One of the primary reasons why insulin is linked to weight gain is its effect on fat storage.

Insulin promotes the storage of excess glucose as fat and inhibits the breakdown of stored fat for energy.

When insulin levels are consistently high, such as in individuals with insulin resistance or those consuming a diet high in refined carbohydrates, the body becomes more efficient at storing fat and less effective at burning it for fuel.

This can lead to weight gain over time, even if calorie intake remains relatively stable.

A study published in the journal “Diabetes” supports the link between insulin and weight gain.

The researchers found that individuals with insulin resistance, a condition characterized by high insulin levels and reduced insulin sensitivity, had a higher risk of weight gain compared to those with normal insulin sensitivity.

The study concluded that “insulin resistance is a strong predictor of weight gain in adults” and that “interventions that reduce insulin resistance may be effective in preventing weight gain and obesity” (Donga et al., 2010).

This research highlights the importance of maintaining healthy insulin levels and sensitivity for weight management and overall metabolic health.

If you really want a track body, avoid refined carbohydrates (especially sugar) and alcohol. If you must cheat, do it only one day a week.

6. Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining optimal health and fitness. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day, and more if you’re exercising or in a hot environment. But remember, hydration is about more than just water intake. It’s also about electrolytes.

7. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is vital for recovery, muscle growth, and overall well-being. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and establish a consistent sleep routine to promote better rest. It’s not just about duration, the quality of sleep matters, too.

8. Manage Stress

Chronic stress can sabotage your fitness efforts by increasing cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Incorporating stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing into your daily routine can make a big difference.

9. Find a Support System

Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your fitness goals. Join a running club, attend group fitness classes, or enlist the help of a personal trainer or accountability partner.

10. Track Your Progress

Regularly assess your progress and make adjustments as needed. Use any setback as an opportunity to learn.

Research indicates that it’s helpful to humans when they celebrate their successes or when they choose to see their setbacks as growing opportunities. For example, a study on goal-setting to promote a healthier lifestyle in later life (Clinical Gerontology, 2018) emphasizes the importance of setting personal targets, which can lead to positive outcomes and increased motivation.

Unlock Your Track Body: Fitness & Strength at Any Age

As you embark on this journey to achieve a track body, remember that age is just a number. You have the power to redefine what it means to be fit and healthy at any stage of life. Embrace your inner athlete and relish in the feeling of pushing your body to new limits.

Imagine the satisfaction of crossing the finish line of your first 5K, or the pride you’ll feel when you look in the mirror and see a toned, strong physique staring back at you. These moments are within your reach, but it’s up to you to take the first step.

Conclusion on Unleashing Your Inner Athlete and Achieving a Track Body as a Mature Adult

Achieving a track body after the age of 45 is not just about looking good; it’s about feeling your best and living life to the fullest.

By committing to a healthy lifestyle, setting realistic goals, and following a balanced exercise and nutrition plan, you can transform your body and mind in ways you never thought possible.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to shed those excuses, overcome the obstacles, and unleash your inner athlete.

The track body you’ve always dreamed of is within your reach.

All you have to do is take that first step and believe in yourself. You’ve got this!