Ex-'Survivor' contestant, celebrity doc talks fitness in your 40s
South Florida's Sean Kenniff seen here during his stint on "Survivor: Borneo," with fellow contestants Susan Hawk, left,and Kelly Wiglesworth. (Monty Brinton, CBS / December 20, 2001)
He keeps in shape by lifting weights and doing cardio workouts that include sprints.
"Sprinting gives me boyish energy," he says. And, he says, he especially needs that now that he is in his 40s and his metabolism is slowing down.
Why do you keep fit?
Primary reason is to fight off middle age. I always swam, boxed as a kid up to college. Nowadays, I keep it as intense as possible to fight those flabby 40s. Everyone told me things slow down after 40 due to your metabolism and, boy, that's true. I was good in my 30s.
What's your workout routine?
I work out seven days a week but I keep it varied, only because I like to change up the routine to prevent boredom.
Usually five days a week, I do 15 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes of weights. For weights, I alternate body parts, doing exercises that have real-world applications.
I like pullups and dips, so I can spring over a wall if I have to run away from rabid dogs. I sometimes even flat bench-press on a Hammer Strength machine with one hand, so I can give someone a muscular one-arm push — or football stiff arm — if I ever need to. I like to military-press, so if I need to lift a collapsed structure off of my head, I can do it.
I usually follow that with 15 minutes of StairMaster or treadmill. I do situps between [weight-lifting exercises for] shoulders and back. I make sure to bang out 100 situps.
A couple of days a week, I like to sprint, either after lifting weights or on the weekend. I'm jazzed up for sprint training. There's a school near me with football fields. I'll do 12, 100-yard sprints, end zone to end zone. I have sprinting shoes. Sprinting boosts your energy level like I've never seen before.
You were on the first season of "Survivor." What physically was the toughest thing about that show?
We had no food. The starvation was really hard to cope with. I lost 33 pounds and was voted off on Day 36. We were surviving on 400 to 500 calories a day.
You lose a lot of muscle mass. Out there I was trying to maintain what I had by doing pushups. Out there I remember trying to do 25 at the end and I couldn't. My whole life I could always do at least 50.
You mentioned swimming and boxing. Have you played other sports?
Swam through high school and I boxed and wrestled from fourth grade forward. Wrestled in college … but stopped after freshman year. I was a walk-on and got annihilated and hurt, and my studies were getting busy.
Does your family keep fit?
My father is a New York City firefighter, so he's a fit, tough, gruff, old Irish nut. We always had a heavy bag in the garage and a pullup bar. Very commonplace back in the day. A little bench press that my father used, and a chinup bar.
My mom never worked. My beautiful fiancee loves to do yoga and is actually skinny.