Oct 30 2015

Five Guidelines For Training In Your 40’s

Not much is said about how people in the gym should be training after 30, let alone 40. It’s all split routines, HITT and Pilates – either for the ‘bros’ the broken or the old ladies! At Salecca the average age of our clients is 42, and as such we…

Not much is said about how people in the gym should be training after 30, let alone 40. It’s all split routines, HITT and Pilates – either for the ‘bros’ the broken or the old ladies! At Salecca the average age of our clients is 42, and as such we have to write programs that take this into consideration. The following guidelines are what we use, and you should too. I’d go even as far as to say that if you’re in your 30’s and not been a regular gym goer, follow these behaviors for a longevity and a better body.

  1. You have to warm up. I’m 33 and it takes me time to get my body ready for exercise, and I have an active job! I warm-up for at least 10 minutes – by the time your in your 40’s that should be closer to 20. When I say warm up, I don’t mean a few minutes in the cardio suite, I mean focused warm-ups. Foam rolling the muscles you’re going to use, stretching them and then going into some warm-up sets. You may complain that this is eating into your valuable WO time, but an injury will decimate it! Use you’re warm-up time to stop thinking about distractions such as work, focus, and bang out a productive session.
  1. You need to squat past parallel. Sitting in a chair for 30 years has crippled your mobility. You’ve lost the ability to control your hips without a chair under your bum. As a result your hips will be stiff and your back immobile. Working towards a decent depth squat will elevate many of the problems you have with your now grumbling back, whilst assisting you to regain your balance.
  1. You must take note of technique. When young you can get away with flinging weight all over the place and disregarding what muscles need to be turned on, and as importantly, turned off. Your body was robust enough to deal with it. Your joints are like your car, they only have a certain number of miles before they goes boom. You need to maintain them as long as possible. Movements that require heavy weight or load the spine need to be part of your routine, but as beneficial as they can be, they are equally damaging if done incorrectly.
  1. You need to reduce your cardio and increase your resistance training. As we age we lose muscle, and I’m not just talking about the ones you used to see in the mirror. The ones around your hips, back, knees – as these degenerate so will your quality of living. Want to walk with a stick? Have a stooped posture? Resistance training will cut your waistline and sure up your body. Without muscle you will literally fall apart. As importantly if you want to keep your testosterone levels up as you age, resistance training is the only way to elevate them naturally. A few benefits you’d experience are a reduction abdominal fat; increase in libido and elevated energy levels. Who doesn’t want all of those!?
  1. Take note of recovery. You may have had a few kids, manage a team or even gone through a divorce!? All these stressors need to be taken into account when working-out. You need to stop training heavy (below 5 reps), and spending all your time hammering your body. Periods of high activity need to be tempered with low impact work such as yoga or hiking. For every hour you spend in the gym, you need to spend half performing a physical activity that doesn’t shoot up your HR.

As we age we need to put as much importance into our fitness as we do our pension. Otherwise that leisurely stroll into your twilight years you’re hoping for, will be more of an assisted hobble from household to therapist and back again.

When You’re Ready To Get Serious

Sal

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Salman