“Wait ’till you get to be my age!”
People used to say that to me all the time when I was in my teens, 20’s, and early 30’s.
Typically in response to me telling them about the latest fitness challenge or event or thing I was training for.
I call BS.
The “wait ’till you get to be my age” mentality is, quite frankly, an excuse.
You can absolutely continue to train hard, and get continued gains, in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
We have dozens of men and women at our studios, and hundreds that are loyal followers of my online newsletter, that are in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond, and that are still training at a high level, and are very fit.
There are many, many, many examples you could find doing a quick internet search too.
And so far, we can’t turn back the clock and get younger, so it’s something that’s out of your control anyway – so why waste time thinking or complaining about it?
HOWEVER… it’s not the same as when you were 18.
You need to take a different approach, for sure.
So here are 3 tips to help you keep training hard and stay very fit, in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond:
1 – Less time at higher intensity
Intensity refers to the amount of work required to achieve the activity, and is proportional to the mass of the weights being lifted.
This is expressed commonly as a percentage of 1 rep max (1RM).
So if you’re doing 3 sets of 5 reps at 75% of your one rep max on the deadlift, that would be an intensity prescription.
For older lifters, you need to make sure you’re not spending too much time at higher intensities.
You need more recovery, your body just can’t handle going in and trying to max out on the bench press every Monday.
You CAN get into that 85-90% intensity range for certain short bursts … you just have to be careful, and know what you are doing.
2 – Less frequency
Frequency refers to how many training sessions are performed per week.
This is individualized, and a lot of it depends on your training background.
But one thing is for sure, if you are over the age of 40, you very likely will do better on a little less frequency than more – three times per week seems to be perfect for most men and women.
3 – Less total training volume
Volume refers to the number of muscles worked, exercises, sets, and reps during a single session.
I know that when I was 18, I could train for 90 minutes, 5 days per week, and be fine. I’d recovery, stay injury-free, and make continued gains.
Now, if I attempted a program like that, I’d break myself in a matter of weeks 🙂
You might not be able to tolerate and recover from, and might do better on, less total training volume at a more advanced age.
You CAN keep training hard, and get GREAT results, in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
You just need to be smart about it, and realize that you need to adjust some variables.
The three tips I covered in today’s article are a great start.
I also have a full kettlebell training program for people over 50 – check it out at the link below:
And here’s to your continued success!
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Personal Trainer