Training methods don’t really change much despite your age. In fact, they don’t really differ between sexes either.
If you want to retain and build muscle, you need to engage in resistance training. To improve your stamina and endurance, you need cardio sessions twice or thrice a week. To lose weight, you need to be at a caloric deficit.
These are the basic principles that apply whether you’re 18 or 80. However, as one ages, the joints become less mobile and the muscles lose some flexibility. This is inevitable.
The only way to slow this aging process will be to start exercising while young and carry on being active right up to your golden years. There is a reason that action stars like Stallone and Dolph Lundgren still look so fit and tough while many men their age look flabby or like withered prunes.
It’s the constant exercise. They never let themselves go. To be active in your later years, you need to stay active all the way.
If you’re just getting started, cast your worries aside. It is never too late to improve. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make with consistency and determination.
This article will give you 7 tips that men above 40 should be aware of. While the principles may not change, your body does change and you must know how to compensate for any loss of flexibility or other limitations.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you absolutely need cardio. Cardio will boost your metabolic rate, increase your stamina and have a whole host of other benefits. As you age, very often you’ll find that you get winded more easily.
Do NOT push yourself to the point where you’re throwing up. The old adage of ‘Go hard or go home’ does not apply to you.
Take your time to make gradual improvements. It would be a good idea to get programs like P90X or Insanity to help you. These programs are structured and you can follow along.
You do not need to keep up if you’re gasping and totally exhausted. You just need to do your best, rest a bit and carry on.
Generally, men who are 40 and above, have lots of responsibilities such as their careers and families. You want your workouts to be short and effective.
The best way to go about this is to use the maximum amount of weight that you can move with good form. Aim for 6 to 8 reps. There is no need to do countless reps for volume. Just aim for 4 to 5 sets at 6 to 8 reps.
Give yourself adequate time to recover. Focus on compound movements instead of isolation exercises. Pull ups will always be better than preacher curls for you. If you have the time, then sure… go ahead and do the isolation exercises.
If not, stick to the exercises that work several muscle groups at once and use as much weight as you can.
Stretch and warm up well
Always stretch sufficiently after a workout. Before you do any resistance training, always engage in some light cardio for about 5 minutes just to warm up the muscles. Jumping jacks, light running on the treadmill, light skipping, etc. are good ways to warm up your muscles.
Do note that there is a difference between stretching and warming up. Do not stretch too much before a resistance training workout or your performance will suffer.
Longer rest periods
Rest sufficiently between sets and between workouts. If your muscles are in pain, give them a rest and wait till they heal. It takes longer as you age. So, be patient and gentle with your body.
More controlled and less explosive
Keep your resistance training more controlled and less explosive. Many men experience injuries such as strains and sprains because their movements are jerky and their bodies are not conditioned enough to handle the explosive movements.
Don’t try to do deadlifts fast and throw out your back. Have good form and train safely.
Since there will be some limitations as you age, your training will be affected. This is something you can’t control. What you can control however, is your diet. Eat clean and exercise good portion control.
If your diet is on point, you will look healthy and feel healthy. If your diet is haphazard, you will gain weight, have less energy and be opening yourself up to possible health issues.
You know what they say… “Your attitude determines your altitude.” This is very true. You must be positive and believe that you can do it.
Do not assume that you’re old just because you’re above forty. You can always reclaim your health and body if you put in the effort. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with consistency and time.
Many top bodybuilders peak in their forties. The actors in The Expendables are mostly above 40. They’re still fit and strong.
Keep your chin up, dig your heels in the dirt and tell yourself that you can be fit. It can be done… and you will start today.