Much really doesn’t change from weight training in our 20s to our 40s, the only differences are some of the symptoms experience with age, such as joint issues, lower energy levels and the fact that you can’t recover as fast, but that’s really it.
Don’t listen to some of the (slightly condescending) work out plans at the forefront of programmes for the older man. They are also likely not to be optimal for gaining muscle due to the recommended resistance being way too light.
If you’ve been training throughout your life those years of experience means you’ll have near perfect form on the movements that many think are compromised at a certain age. So it’s perfectly fine to keep doing them!
We sought insight from a range of older lifters and the overwhelming consensus is that nothing changes at all. Weight lifters report to lift heavier then ever and not need to compromise their routine at all.
The only compromise was for various injuries that have happened over the years. A more restricting factor than age was the responsibilities, as careers are distinguished, family obligations and other commitments all leave time for the gym limited.
With this in mind, here’s our recommendations for weight training in your forties:
Increase blood flow and prepare your body for exercise, heat the synovial fluid in your joints with a light warm up set or two before a heavier lift.
Never Train Through Pain
As you get older you are more susceptible to injuries. It’s important to push yourself but also to recognise when to stop. Pain will give you the best indication of when to stop an exercise and if it’s recurring, rule the movement out of your workout plan completely.
Switch To Dumbbells
Barbell exercises are restrictive since they don’t give you the full range of motion. This is more significant for the older lifters, being more susceptible to joint problems. You may experience an achy shoulder while bench pressing for example, something that can be avoided with dumbbells.
By now its likely you would’ve perfected your form for even the most technical exercises. But always ensure your form is as it should be, utilise the gym’s massive mirrors! Injruy can compromise even the most flawless form, causing you to lean on one side,