WHAT IS THE T.H.O.R SYSTEM?
THE T.H.O.R SYSTEM - ‘The Total Hormone Optimisation & Rebuild System’ IS A SYSTEM DEVELOPED TO ‘REBUILD A SUPERHERO BODY’ FOR THE MALE OVER-40
Rebuilding the Superhero Body of our Younger Years is a Challenge once we have passed into our 40’s and beyond. Our Hormonal System is vastly different to what it was like in our 20’s and 30’s and therefore the requirements to get into Top Physical Condition is also hugely different;
We can no longer follow the same Exercise and Nutrition Plans that we followed in our younger years for a prolonged period of time without causing undue stress on our bodily systems and therefore preventing long term results and ultimately leading to poor health.
Therefore the ‘MAIN FOCUS’ of the T.H.O.R Strategy with each of its Diet, Nutrition and Exercise Protocols will be to
- Elevate Testosterone Levels - Elevate Growth Hormone Levels - Increase Leptin Release - Improve Thyroid Function - Lower Blood Sugar Levels and to
- LOWER CORTISOL LEVELS
T.H.O.R STRATEGY 1 - THE RECOVERY PHASE START
Unlike most ‘Fat-Loss’ Plans that enter Full-Steam into a combination of calorie restriction and largely increased Exercise Volume the T.H.O.R System realises that this will quickly cause too much Stress on an Over40 Body and ultimately cause elevated Cortisol levels, which as we now know is Enemy No.1 to our Goals
Rather than take the standard approach, instead we use the early weeks in the initial ‘Recovery Phase’ to prime the body to be in an Optimum state to Burn Fat as the Plan progresses.
During this Phase we utilise an ‘Exercise Less & Eat Less’ Philosophy;
We stipulate that only 3 Meals per day should be consumed during the initial 2-3 weeks with no Snacking to ensure that the body rests from all of the metabolic processes involved with digestion and food consumption.
Please Don’t suddenly turn away in horror with the thought that I am recommending starving you! Not at all. For many, they might even find that they feel that they are eating more. With the outlined recommendations provided within the specific Diet Plan and Recipe Book ensures that the client will have sufficient calories and nutrients for success. Do not worry, extreme calorie restriction is an enemy to our success that I will never recommend, however during this Initial Phase we do want to rest our body and rest its chemical processes as we prepare and Prime the body for what is ahead. Believe it or not even consuming food has a draining effect on the metabolism with all of the processes required and if we are in our 40’s with an already tired, sluggish metabolism this will be exacerbated.
Therefore whether you are an Athlete who normally eats 6 Highly nutritious meals each day or alternatively a habitual snacker, constantly grazing on naughty’s! ….. During the initial Recovery Phase clients are urged to only eat 3 times per day.
The client can consume more vegetables and a larger Protein serving if they find themselves really struggling with hunger but must try to stick to 3 designated Feeding times only … AND REST AND REPAIR THE BODY!
Most people who start to diet, simultaneously start to exercise more at the same time.
The human body being a clever machine sets in motion a series of adaptive processes with our metabolism to protect it from being ‘Overstressed’ and losing too much energy from this sudden 2-pronged attack that has been thrown at it. This is even more the case with an ‘Over40’ already tired, stressed, sluggish metabolism and hormonal system. The body therefore increases hunger hormones such as Ghrelin to convince you to eat more!...and put some energy back in. It also slows down the metabolism and decreases Leptin Levels to force your body to burn less energy and calories and it lowers your thyroid function therefore rendering you useless at burning fat efficiently.
This natural metabolic compensation is the reason that we do not fire all of our weapons at once! We tactically will not use every trick in the book from the start and put the body into defensive mode but instead we are strategically kind to the body in a gentle ‘Recovery Mode’ at first whilst slowly introducing our weapons until in several small doses later in the Plan as we use well-timed, strategic all out attacks for small periods of time
To further ensure that the body does not enter a Defensive Mode and deregulate your Hormones when Calories are decreased we therefore adopt an Exercise Less Plan at the same time and it is stipulated that in the first 2 weeks of the ‘Recovery Phase’ that the client should only exercise 3-4 times per week at a Light to moderate Intensity During the Recovery Phase we also initiate several strategies to Improve the clients Gut and Liver Health;
IMPROVING GUT HEALTH
In today’s busy society with our lifestyles, nutrition and environment we put a huge negative strain on most of our body’s systems including our Gut. Gut Health has been proven to have a very direct connection with the Stress Hormones.
A problematic Gut will cause inflammation, a Stress response and a chronic release of Cortisol which is an arch enemy to our Fat Loss success. Our gut prevents dangerous toxins and compounds getting in from the foods and water that we consume, however when our gut is not working optimally, or is in a state of distress, these dangerous compounds can enter our system and the body will not fully absorb key nutrients from food and our Gut bacteria will be damaged. If our microbiomes (essential gut bacteria) contained in the Gut are compromised from poor Gut Health then this will ultimately effect our Fat Loss with elevated Cortisol, a lowered metabolism and disruption of key hormones involved in the Fat Loss process.
There is no escaping the fact that if you wish to be Healthy enough to Look great then you need to take the strain away from your Gut to help it repair and be healthy. Without this then you will never be an ultimate Fat Burning machine.
None of these factors are an issue for your typical 20-30year old. However, we are now different machines and have placed many years of strain on our body’s systems and organs. WE MUST now pay attention to these factors if we want to look like we did in our younger years. Our Plan is specific to the needs of the ‘Over40’ Male body and even after the Initial Recovery Phase we will continue to utilize various techniques and supplements to focus on ensuring a Healthy Gut throughout the Program to ensure success.
IMPROVING LIVER HEALTH In addition to supporting the gut, during this Phase we are going to also be prioritizing the cleansing of the liver and giving it as much support as possible.
This is very different to most Fat Loss Plans which only serve to burden the Liver further. Your liver is the second largest organ in the body and is responsible for over 600 Metabolic Activities including a multitude of hormonal tasks.
It is also 'The Waste Management Plant' of the human body filtering and removing toxins from the system.
Quite simply if you wish to Be Healthy and Improve your Body-Composition then YOU NEED A HEALTHY LIVER. If your liver is tired and sluggish then you will be beating your head against a wall with no possibility of success.
As we go into our 40’s and beyond there is no escaping the fact that you have put your liver under strain from stress, toxic diet and your lifestyle over the years and that it will not be performing optimally. It will be drained and performing very sluggishly simply due to the amount of overwork that your body has required it to do over the years.
A sluggish liver will - Slow down your thyroid - Decrease your metabolism - Increase Fat storage rather than processing it to burn as energy - It will also cause increased oestrogen dominance;
Oestrogen is the primary female sex hormone but is also released and present in men. Oestrogen has a very direct correlation to Testosterone. As oestrogen increases, Testosterone decreases – as teenagers we have exceptionally high levels of Testosterone and we are in our Prime. As we enter into our 40’s our Testosterone levels fall as our oestrogen levels rise. We are no longer in our Prime and our physical shape deteriorates as we gain fat around our lower abdominals, hips and ‘man-boobs’!
When the Liver is overstressed its normal task of processing and removing oestrogens is slowed down, causing oestrogen levels to elevate in your body. A key to success for the ‘Over40’ Male is keeping oestrogen levels low and Testosterone levels high
- A sluggish Liver will also therefore decrease Testosterone levels
T.H.O.R STRATEGY 2 - THE REVERSE CALORIE RESTRICTION STRATEGY
Once again unlike the typical ‘Fat Loss’ Plans touted to the masses, which ordinarily has you cutting more and more calories as you progress further into the diet, the T.H.O.R system actually increases your food intake as the Plan progresses. The Over40 body can no longer tolerate the same level of stress as it could in earlier years. Increased Calorie restriction for prolonged periods causes a Massive Stress to the Over40 body and will cause complete Hormonal dysregulation. The Thyroid will slow down, Leptin Levels will be decreased, Cortisol Levels will increase and ultimately Testosterone and Growth Hormone levels will drop. You will be doomed to Failure
The T.H.O.R strategy understands that the prolonged demands of calorie restriction alongside an increased exercise demand will only serve to bring to an end any success of being in optimal physical condition for the Over40 Male after too long.
Even if you do find success from the typical Fat Loss methods in the short term your body will invariably fight back with its metabolic compensation methods and you will soon find yourself back to your starting point, possibly even gaining and storing Fat more than before and feeling more drained and sluggish at the same time.
As our Plan increases the exercise volume and Intensity week by week we also increase eating frequency, carbohydrate quantity and Total food consumption from the starting point in the Recovery Phase.
Each of these increased feedings are however very much strategically timed and placed within the clients day and around the designated exercise sessions to take full advantage of manipulating key hormonal responses and upregulating your metabolism.
In addition and as part of the Increased calorie consumption protocol, in later Phases of the T.H.O.R Strategy there will be an Introduction of
‘CHEAT WINDOWS’ TO REBOOT LEPTIN AND THYROID PRODUCTION
Alongside well timed and strategic increased Intensity of exercise periods and/or Fasting periods we will also Introduce - ‘Refeed Cheat Windows’. These planned time allocations will enable us to recover better and also cause the release of Leptin and T4 Thyroid production.
A big reason for failure with many diets and especially for the Over40’s is due to excessive calorie restriction for a too prolonged period of time. When the body senses that it is being placed in a ‘Starvation Mode’ it will increase the hormone Ghrelin to make you want to eat more whilst simultaneously decreasing your Leptin Levels. Maintaining high levels of the hormone Leptin throughout our diet is also essential for success due to the fact that it provides us with satiety. When levels are low it is very difficult to feel full or satisfied even after a meal that provides more than enough calories for our normal requirements. When placed into ‘Starvation Mode’ the body will also slow down the metabolism and slow down Thyroid production to conserve energy and rendering us unable to burn any further Fat successfully.
These strategic high calorie cheat windows and periods of increased calorie and carbohydrate consumption ‘when performed at the correct time’ will not only help alleviate this problem from happening but also keep us psychologically motivated throughout the Plan.
However Perform Cheat Days too frequent or at the wrong time and we won’t lose Fat. Perform Cheat Days too late and the body will already be slowing down its Fat Burning Process as it enters ‘Starvation Mode’
The T.H.O.R System will strategically have these windows at optimum times for optimisation of your hormones
T.H.O.R STRATEGY 3 - THE EXERCISE METABOLIC MANIPULATION STRATEGY
As we age it becomes more important than ever to vary our Exercise; To vary the types of exercise, the duration of the exercise and also the Intensity of the exercise sessions. This is a solid principle for everyone that wishes to be in Top Physical shape, however it is even more important for a body Over40.
As I have tried to make very clear, as we are now in our 40’s and beyond our bodies are now more ‘Stress-Sensitive’. Aside from being more prone to common overuse injuries if we continue to provide a repetitive stress, as our body’s become older and are slightly more fragile they also become more internally sensitive to any ‘Overload’ of Stress and if we are not cautious these ‘Stresses’ will play further havoc with our faltering Hormonal systems. Varying the Stresses and providing the appropriate recovery exercise and timings becomes of Increasing importance to the Over40 Body if you want to achieve Long Term Optimum Physical condition;
High-Intensity and Heavy Resistance Training (this is relative to everyone) is probably more important to an Over40 Male than ever before and is possibly one of the most beneficial ways to provide an anabolic response and help drive up and rebuild the Male Hormones Testosterone & Growth Hormone. However to an Over40 Body exercise in this manner ‘too frequently’ and with less recovery in-between than is needed and it will only serve to counteract these positive responses and in fact have an absolute reverse effect.
In contrast Steady State, longer duration cardio has it’s benefit to Burning Fat too. However this form of exercise when performed for too long and too frequently is known to have a very strong effect at releasing Cortisol and also diminishing the release of the anabolic Male Hormones that we need to rebuild and optimise.
Crossfit, HIIT, Steady Low Intensity Cardio, Heavy Resistance Training they all have their place in developing a Super-Hero Body but the problem arises for an Over40 individual when they perform any one of these exercise modals for too long or too frequently
The T.H.O.R ‘Exercise Metabolic Manipulation Strategy’ utilises constant variance and manipulation of the exercise stimulus and therefore the Hormonal Response ensuring that gains are made without ever over burdening the Over40 Body with too much overload of stress
It is a key protocol that as we progress through the Stages of the Plan to Rebuild the Superhero Body of the OVER40 MALE that we build complete Functional Capacity ensuring that the client is Stronger, Fitter and Healthier and with better Functional movement utilising all aspects of the fitness training continuum.
T.H.O.R STRATEGY 4 - THE METABOLIC FLEXIBILITY EATING STRATEGY
Too many diet plans these days focus on the elimination of a vital nutrient from our diets;
The Keto diet, Atkins Diet, Dukan Diet, Zero Carb Diet and many more with various different names all focus on the elimination of Carbohydrates from our eating plan. On the flip side doing combat with these diet plans are the publicised Low-Fat or Zero-Fat Diets. Eliminating a vital nutrient from our daily eating habits however is never a good idea. Avoiding the wrong types of Carbohydrates or Fats or learning the best time to consume them is the best way forward but avoidance of a ‘Macronutrient’ from our diet will only cause ‘Metabolic Inflexibility’. As our body ages our internal systems are less robust and become a little more faulty. This happens to a greater degree if we have placed a lot of stress on our systems. As we age our Metabolism becomes less efficient at partitioning the nutrients that we eat and using them for the physical tasks required within our body. Our cells become less receptive to receiving certain nutrients, our enzymes become less efficient breaking certain nutrients down and the internal signalling also becomes faulty in triggering the necessary reactions. This all leads to the food that we consume now, that in our younger years was used for energy production, physical repair and recovery now being stored much more readily as Fat. There is ‘NO GREATER WAY’ to cause Metabolic Inflexibility than to avoid a certain food type for a prolonged period of time. There is no greater way in an overstressed Over40 Body to cause it to ultimately store more fat than to avoid feeding it with a necessary macronutrient for too long. People with poor Metabolic Flexibility gain Fat more readily than others because they lose the ability to use certain nutrients for fuel or physical repair. If we eat a Low/Zero Carb diet for too long then when we do finally consume some carbohydrates the body can no longer partition this nutrient and signal it to the correct location or uptake it within the necessary cells for fuel or repair effectively …and so it is stored as fat. Likewise if we have a Low/Zero Fat diet for too long then when we do consume Fats again then the body will not be able to process it effectively and so it will be stored as Fat. This becomes more and more apparent as we age and more and more apparent in those that choose to eliminate a vital and necessary nutrient from their diet for too long.
This is not dissimilar to following an extreme Fasting protocol that is all the rage at the moment. Aside from the stress that this causes an Over40 Body if performed for too long or too frequently, then once again similar to the examples above, if we force our body to eat only within an 8 hour window and be starved of nutrients for an excessively long period and for an extended length of time then when we do finally eat more normally throughout the day it will have lost the ability to frequently partition nutrients and therefore you will become more prone to storing these foods as fat.
The T.H.O.R System trains the body for ‘Metabolic Flexibility’, it shuns the current approach of avoidance but instead insists that all essential macronutrients need to be consumed daily; Protein, Carbohydrates, Essential Fats and Green Vegetables should form the basis of the everyday diet. Our system teaches the correct timing of all of these nutrients whilst also strategically applying ‘very short periods’ of elimination to teach the body the ability to switch from one fuel source to another to supply energy and to respond to different and varying nutrient intake and energy demands.
The T.H.O.R system provides all of the required nutrients daily whilst also cleverly mixing and varying the timing of them. It strategically alternates Short High Intensity Exercise with Longer Duration Low Intensity workouts therefore enforcing different energy demands on the body. In later stages of the Plan after the body has been through the ‘Recovery Phase’ and is stronger, we will also apply several short bouts of Fasting to once again help the body switch its usage of fuels. Moving through the Stages of the Plan the client will go from time restricted feeding with only 3 meals per day at the start to Reverse Calorie Restriction with more frequent eating, onto later in the process Short Fasted sessions and then jump to Cheat window over-feeds. All of this nutritional manipulation performed alongside strategical exercise variety. This constant strategic variance is a key element to the T.H.O.R System and is what makes it unique and wholly specific for the Over40 Male Body. This process will allow the client to eat a wide range of nutritious food, benefit from carbohydrates, fats and Proteins that all support the Hormonal system whilst also training Metabolic Flexibility. It will Boost the Clients Hormonal system and Metabolism by never applying an over demanding single stress This will ultimately Improve Body composition whilst never Over stressing the system or causing it to become resistant to any one food type by applying any one protocol for too long.
This system will train the body to be able to react effectively, efficiently and quickly to High Carb – Low Carb changes and from Over – Feed to Fasting conditions and to transition easily between energy sources. It will prevent the body storing fuel sources that it is not familiar to receiving as Fat and will put the client in an optimum condition to Burn Body-Fat as energy. It will provide the body constantly with all essential nutrients to support the Hormonal system and will not Over-stress it from excessively long periods of elimination of any food source or calories.
FATS AND PROTEINS As made clear above the avoidance of any one nutrient is shunned within the T.H.O.R strategy. As well as not adhering to the Zero Carb approach we also ensure that the client is aware to include Essential Fats at every meal;
For many, they may well be thinking ‘Are you sure?’ ‘that doesn’t sound right does it?!’ … Consume Fat each meal to lose Fat ???? YES … especially if you are a ‘Male over 40’ -
Whilst many diets do focus on cutting Fats we will maintain our focus on ensuring essential Fats are consumed at every meal
As we are now in our 40’s and beyond our Hormonal levels will already be less than optimum and our Testosterone levels falling. Low Testosterone = Fat Storage and no chance of Losing Fat and looking great! Essential Fats such as those that are recommended help Boost our Testosterone levels In addition here are some more great benefits from including fat in our diet –
- Fat is a Great energy source
- Fat can keep you fuller for longer
- Fat is a key player in managing inflammation
- Fat will improve our hormonal profile
- Consuming Fats alongside Carbohydrates will help stabilize Blood Sugar levels
Within the T.H.O.R Eating Strategy we will also focus on an Increased Protein intake; The word protein means ‘of prime importance’ – and protein is certainly important to health. Its high thermic effect helps boost the metabolism, building lean muscle tissue and reducing body fat to make us look better. Despite it being a key nutrient for optimal body composition, many people are drastically under-eating protein. Especially the typical ‘OVER40 MALE’ As we enter into our 40’s and beyond our bodies are not as efficient at absorbing Protein, yet we need it more than ever to repair our bodies tissues and help maintain our hormonal system. The T.H.O.R system therefore stipulates a slightly larger daily Protein intake than standard at approximately 1g Protein per pound of bodyweight. This is accounted for in all of the recommended Meal Plans and food choices provided
T.H.O.R STRATEGY 5 - THE ‘DEEP SLEEP’ STRATEGY
If there was just one simple piece of advice that I could give to help improve your Body-Composition, help repair your hormonal system, improve your mental and physical health and wellbeing … and help you live longer – It would be to improve your ‘Deep Sleep Cycles’.
Poor sleep plays havoc with our hormonal system and unfortunately as we head into our 40’s Poor Sleep is a common problem for many of us for a number of reasons; https://www.paulhoskingscoaching.com/blog/sleep-deprivation-another-great-enemy-to-the-over-40-athlete-and-everyone
Studies have shown that sleeping only 4hours in one single night will - Drop your Testosterone levels by up to 60%
and sleeping less than only 6 hours will still - Increase Cortisol Levels dramatically - Elevate Blood Sugar & Insulin Levels - Decrease the ability to process carbs effectively therefore increasing their storage as fat - Increase the hunger hormone Ghrelin - Decrease the hormone leptin which is responsible for signalling satiety
Even if you believe that you are possibly sleeping ok, I am extremely confident after the personal studies that I have done that you will not be getting the necessary ‘Deep Sleep’ Cycles which in our younger years would comprise 30% of our Total Sleep time and is the period of time when all of the beneficial hormonal processes and physical repair takes place. Most ‘Over40’ clients that I work with before making the necessary changes to improve have been getting an average of 0-30minutes of ‘Deep Sleep’ per night.
THIS IS NOT ENOUGH TO PERFORM OPTIMALLY OR TO BE A FAT BURNING MACHINE!
The T.H.O.R system will provide lots of advice and nutritional tips and key strategies to improve the clients deep sleep cycles
The 5 Key T.H.O.R Strategies and each of its protocols are overlooked in most diets being recommended and followed today. At best this will lead an Over40 Male getting less than the results they deserve and at worse it will ultimately lead them to poor Health Pay attention to these strategies if you want long term results, health and a Super-Hero Body as you pass into your 40's and beyond