If You Are Over 40, Train Smarter, Not Harder!
One of the things I‘ve realized and have had to accept as I get older, is that this is a long-term journey – about health, fitness, and performance – in that order. With 50 just around the corner, the trade-off between chasing a bigger squat and having knees that don’t feel and sound like rusty gate hinges is an easy choice. Today, training becomes more about feeling good rather than the absolute levels I can attain.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t still train hard – far from it. I can still out train and out work most guys half my age thanks to years and years of training and living a healthy lifestyle.
But luckily for most of us over 40, we have the benefit of wisdom on our side. Wisdom is the combination of knowledge and experience that allows you to (hopefully) avoid dumb decisions.
You know the kind of thing I’m talking about. Like the time you hit a personal record in the benchpress, and then went back two days later and tried it again, and then your chest, shoulders and arms were sore for days afterward? Or in my case, “rolling” hard three or more days in a row, and then not having the energy for anything for the rest of the week? Wisdom tells us we can’t cope so well with training to the max every day.
I have found one of most challenging aspects about training is finding the balance between my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, my time in the weight room and giving my body adequate time to recover in order to do it all over again.
The older we get, the more challenging that equation is to balance, because our body becomes less and less able to absorb that intense training. The problem is that in our heads we still feel like we are 25, but then reality hits and we can barely get out of bed the next day.
Have the discipline to train light when you are supposed to. Resist the temptation to always try and keep up with your 25 year old training partner. And last but not least, listen to your body and be aware of the little clues that tell you to back off a little or when to take a break.
Following a proper and comprehensive training program will allow you to train consistently year round while requiring little time off for recovery as the recovery days are built into the plan.
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