Resistance training with weights can seem intimidating, confusing, and exclusive. Especially when it pertains to aging. How much is too much? How much is not enough? Is range of motion (ROM) important? This article will answer those questions and more. Knowing how to train, according to your age, will ensure a healthy, in shape body that will be free of injury and last a long time.
The first age group starts around puberty and concludes at age 30. In this age bracket the body is fairly new and good musclebuilding hormones are flowing free. Due to this warmup can be cheated or eliminated – this is not a good idea but can be done with little to no adverse effects. People in this age group will see great response to strength and cardio training. The body will respond beautifully. Recovery time from workouts is substantially low. This is the time to learn the basics and gradually advance with particular moves and range of motion. Consistency now will guarantee and lifetime of health and fitness.
The next age group is 30-40. The body has begun to experience wear and tear. Therefore, warm up time is important. Warm up should be approximately 5-10 minutes. If you begin to strength train in this age group positive response to strength and cardio training are good. You may have to work a bit harder to achieve the same results as a person in the first age group, but still attainable. Recovery time is about average. It can be easy to over train in this age group. Remember ego lifting will lead to one place-extended recovery. When thinking about recovery time you must consider your joints. Check in with your muscles and joints before returning to the gym. If muscles are ready to go but joints are stiff, be smart-wait one more day. Consistency now will ensure improved immune system, it may retard some ill health issues one might be experiencing i.e., high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes.
Next, 40-60 years of age. This is where it gets tricky. Hormones are changing, unstable. The body is showing signs of life. You have to be smart. Make no mistake, gains can be achieved! You are never too old to begin training and reaping the benefits therefrom. Warm up is essential. Warm up time should be 10 minutes at least. Consider warming up not just the muscles but the Joints-flexibility now is very important. Starting strength training in this age group you will have a lower response to strength and cardio. This means it will take longer to reach the levels of younger folks. Conversely, you can still reach your strength, cardio, and hypertrophy goals. Recovery time is increased. Its just a fact of human biology-we age, breakdown, degenerate. So your body needs extra time to recover from the last kick-ass workout. And it will pay off in the end. I have experienced more gains and have increased my cardiovascular work just by taking an extra rest day. You should not strength train with heavy loads. It has nothing to do with muscle strength or ability, it is more about saving your joints from future hardships. Train with moderate weight and higher reps and extra sets. You will see results. NO EGO LIFTING! Let’s face reality. I am 53. If I go off and ego lift and get injured, I’m looking at a longer recovery time and I may or may not be able to train again. I love weight and cardio training so that’s not going to happen. I work out smart. Do the same.
The last age group is 60 and beyond. If you are in this age group and thinking about starting strength and cardio training know that it is never too late. And you can achieve your fitness goals. It will just take a little finesse. You should have a trainer. Knowing how to exercise is beneficial to staying injury free. Exercising at this age takes patience. Warm up time is crucial and must not be skipped. Warm up should be 15 minutes minimum, paying attention to joints. The positive reaction to the strength and cardio training will be somewhat slow but it will respond. Stay consistent! Recovery, rest times, rest days will have to be longer. This is very important. The reason is that if you are injured in the gym at an older age the recovery time will be longer if not forever. You may not fully recover from an injury enough to train again. The primary concern in the gym should be to not get injured.
The fact is that anyone, no matter the age, can start a strength and cardio program. Everyone will absolutely see results. If you are older, it may take longer but it will happen. The basics stand for all age groups:
Learn from a Certified Personal Trainer-learning the basics will keep you safe.
listen to your body-if you need an extra rest day take it!
Be smart about training-No Ego Training!
Be consistent-the positive results will rise exponentially!
Strength training for life-this will add quality and quantity.