Training After 40
We all know that exercise as we get older is an integral part of a long & healthy life. If you’re looking to slow down the ageing process and stay young through your 40s, 50s, 60s and well beyond, weight training is the answer. But unfortunately the 40 something body doesn’t function the same as a 20 something body. As we enter the middle ages, guys want to feel better not just look better. Strength, mobility, energy & overall health become the focus. Here are things to consider when looking to get your health & body back after 40:
- Mobility & Stretching: focusing on mobility & flexibility as you age will pay massive dividends. Spend 10 mins before you workout warming up with various mobility drills & if you’ve got the time, try incorporating a Yoga session into your training schedule every week.
- Stay injury free: There are no easy injuries to bounce back from or work through. The days of gritting your teeth and fighting through aches and pains are behind you. The 40 year old body doesn’t heal like a 20 year old body so picking up a niggle can keep you out of the gym for longer, so keeping healthy is essential. Consistency trumps intensity so frequent training is a priority for the 40 year old. Warm up properly & don’t over exert yourself.
- Favor more reps over more weight: No need to focus on 1 rep max lifts, the risk of injury is too great. Instead work on sets with lower weight & higher reps. That being said there should be a focus on quality over quantity – do more reps but ensure they are quality reps with good form.
- Variety: Your connective tissues have already started to lose some of their elasticity, which means your joints will be less mobile. That’s why your exercise choices are critical. This loops back to staying injury free – avoid doing too much of the same exercises to reduce the risk of joint niggles.
- Stay active: I always set my clients step goals but this becomes increasingly important as we age. A daily walk or regular game of golf can provide huge health benefits.
- Get blood work done: seeing what your low or deficient in can fast track your results. HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is some what still quite controversial but I have no doubt with 5 years it will become mainstream. Low testosterone in men can cause long term health implications and HRT is the answer.
- Add conditioning work: Improving your cardiovascular fitness will improve your heart health, lower blood press & increase your muscle. Incorporate sled pushing/dragging & intervals on the rower, bike & SkiErg.