When you hit the big 4-0 there are a few unspoken issues that underpin your training regime. Your body starts to protest about doing the same things it used to take on with such ease in your 20’s.
It takes you longer to recover, and it feels like you have to work harder to get the results you want. More importantly, your priorities change. While going to the gym used to involve a warm-up, 3 to 5 sets of weights, and a follow-up protein shake four times per week, you now need to shift your mindset as well as your training to keep your body and health in tip top condition.
Around the 40 mark, you need to start adopting a more holistic approach to training. Begin to view your body as one whole unit rather than laying focus on particular ‘areas’ and then work on adopting your training to address the whole package.
These days, we have access to so many training methods that integrate whole body movements and activate small muscle groups. Working with these types of exercises allows us to perform better and be stronger.
My cardinal rules for your new post-40 training routine are as follows:
- Don’t stress out the body and put it through a rigorous routine all the time. Once you could constantly live by the ‘go hard or go home’ mantra, but take it a little easier on yourself now, and save your crazy workout days for special occasions.
- Spend less time training. It sounds contradictory, but you just need to train at a higher intensity and leave more time for recovery.
- Adapt, be efficient, and become body strong. These three elements will guarantee that it all comes together. Just by mixing it up, you will feel and look completely energised.
- Find a good balance between weights and movement training.
With this new holistic approach, look at your training options. Instead of writing off resistance training altogether, just look at other ways of working smarter rather than harder. I tell my clients to be comfortable by being uncomfortable and trying new things. My favourite tool of the trade is Power Plate whole body vibration. It’s integrated with movement systems such as Vipr, TRX, or Sandbells. There are plenty of awesome trainers out there that know their stuff and a lot that don’t.
Ask a ton of questions to determine the good from the dubious.
As we are getting older, injury prevention is key. Nobody needs training setbacks – aim for progression and results.