Weight Training 40 And Over

You know, when I was 20 years old, I never ever thought I'd get old.

Well, not old enough to stop training the way I was used to.

I mean, the only way that I knew how to weight train was to slap on the heaviest weights and simply lift as hard as I possibly could.

I could show up to the gym, slap on 315 pounds on the bench press and pretty much punch out some reps, cold.

Boy, how things have changed.

Being close to 38 years of age, I simply cannot show up to the gym and lift the heaviest weights anymore.

My joints and connective tissues have suffered quite a bit as a result of my lifting style back in my early days and there are some movements that I simply cannot do anymore.

Forget about doing the bench press, it seems the movement doesn't agree with me anymore. Barbell press' are very hard to do these days because, well, shoulder tendinitis prevents me from doing certain pressing movements. I tell you, I really miss those early days.

I've learned some pretty hard lessons over the last 5 years and I'd like to share some of these thoughts with you. Since you've come to this page to learn more about weight training, I'd also like to pass on some guidance to you as you go forward with your weight training programs. Now, I realize some of you are just starting out and looking for information about weight training programs, for fitness and building muscle.

What I'd like to do now is to go over some of the things you need to know about when you start weight training.

1) The first thing you need to do is check with your physician. I know, you hear this all the time but it's better to be on the side of caution before going forward with a weight training program.

2) Decide what you want to accomplish. As with any exercise program, you absolutely must ask yourself, “what is it that I want out of an exercise program?”. Do you simply want to lose a few pounds? Build muscle and power? Get more agile? Get into an overall better fitness shape? From here, you can decide what type of program and diet you need in order to accomplish your goals.

3) If you are just starting out, you need to make sure that you get the right guidance and instruction. Now, I'm sure that if you reading this now, your over 40 years of age and really want to get back into shape. Now, you have a couple of choices, you can either join a gym to train or you can set up a home gym.

Some folks are fine when it comes to training at a gym because they have all the equipment you need to meet your goals. You spend some money on a membership fee and you're pretty much good to go. You simply need the right training program to match that of your goals and objectives. However, that's not always so easy because if you have no clue how to do the exercises or what weight to use, than it can be pretty confusing.

Now, depending on what gym you go to, I would suggest you talk to the ownership or the people working at the desk and ask if they have a personal training program in place. Better yet, if they have a beginner's program, you may want to join that.

It'll probably cost you a couple of hundred dollars but it is well worth it because you get a one on one training program with a qualified professional. Also, make sure they are certified professional trainers.

The other option is to train at home. For a lot of people, this is something they would prefer to do because you don't have to travel or put up with crowds at the gym. However, you do have to get the necessary equipment in order to get a half decent workout. Now, if your simply looking to get into better cardiovascular shape, you really only need to get the body moving with an activity such as walking.

However, if you want to train in the house, try using an exercise bike, or treadmill. You can generally get a half decent exercise bike for about $500 and a half decent treadmill for about $900. Remember, you get what you pay for and that goes double for exercise equipment. Check out our exercise equipment reviews at this page.

Exercise Equipment Reviews

For those of you who want to weight train, you can get a half decent gym for about $500. All you really need is a multi purpose bench with a pair of dumbbells and a barbell with about 170 pounds of weights. You can generally get this equipment at your local Walmart or Sears. I set up my home gym with a simple Weider bench with a leg extension attachment. I bought about 350 pounds of cast iron plates, two dumbbells, one barbell, one curl bar, and one triceps bar. I've been using this for the past two months and it works great.

4) Personally, I can't train like I did when I was 20 years old. There are certain rules that you need to follow in order to go forward with a weight training program. Here are some of the things I have learned:

• Once you decide on a weight training program, you need to make sure you warm up thoroughly. I strongly suggest that you first warm up for 5 minutes on an aerobic exercise of your choice. For example, I sometimes use the treadmill or an elliptical when I go to the gym. Lately however, I've been working out at home and I've been using the jumping rope. This kind of warm up is used to get the blood flowing throughout the whole body which is very, very important.

• It is very important that you warm up all the connective tissues and joints prior to any kind of resistance training. As we get older, our connective tissues and joints don’t get as much blood flow as they used to. If you plan on using compound movements such as the bench press, leg press, squat, dead lifts, or any pressing movement, it is important to properly warm up the knee and shoulder joints. For example, if you plan on doing the leg press, make sure that you start your leg exercises with a warm up movement first, such as the leg extension.

If you plan on doing any upper body movements, make sure you properly warm up your rotator cuffs. These warm ups should take about 10 minutes to do but they are well worth it.

5) Once you decide on a weight training program, make sure you gently glide into the program. That is, take it easy for the first month or so. When I was younger, I could take two months off from training and than come back and train like wild fire without ever knowing that I’ve taken two months off. Today, it takes me a month to get back into the “groove”.

I think as we get older, we come to know the limitations of our bodies either through injuries or self awareness. For me, it was injuries from weight training. Now, I can’t rebound from injuries like I used to so I’m very, very cautious about certain movements and warm up very thoroughly before working out.

Before training any body part, I’ll do body specific warm ups. For example, If I’m going to be doing any upper body work, I make sure to perform 3 rotator cuff warm ups for my shoulders. I have more information about these exercise at the following page: Tendinitis Of The Rotator Cuff.

For those of you who have prior experience with weight training, you may want to listen up. You might have been able to bench press 315 pounds back in college when you were 20 years younger but your bodies recuperation powers have greatly diminished since you were 23 years old.

I'm not saying you'll never be able to bench that amount again, or even more, it's just that you have to approach things a little differently. Basically, what it comes to is time. You need to give your body more time to recuperate and recover.

Whereas you might have only needed a couple of days to recover when you were young and spry, you may need a week or more these days. Now, I'm not saying your over the hill because your not. You simply need to give your body a little more time to get into gear. You really need to listen to your body and when it tells you it's tired, you need to make sure you get rest.

6) If you have any prior injuries such as any tears, breaks, or tendinitis, you will have to get the ok from your doctor before commencing with any weight training program. Once you have that, you have to make sure that your old injury stays an old injury.

You don't want to re-injure it so make sure you follow “friendly exercises” that doesn't agitate that area. For example, it you used to have tendinitis in your shoulders, stay away from exercises that places pressure in that area. For example, full range bench press' place A LOT of pressure on the rotator cuffs because the movement overextends that region.

Stay away from that exercise. Instead, try doing 3/4 rep incline dumbbell press' with your palms facing in. This takes the pressure off the cuffs while effectively stimulating the targeted area without overextending your rotator cuffs.

If you have bad knees, stay away from exercises that place a lot of pressure on the knee joint. Stay away from squats. Instead, try doing 3/4 leg press'. The point is to make sure you stay away from exercises that can possibly aggravate old injuries because they take more time to heal as you get older.

7) You really need to make sure that your diet is healthy. If there is one thing that I have noticed as I've gotten older is that foods have a direct correlation to how your body moves and grows.

When you're younger, you can have cheeseburgers and fries, and still be on top of your game. You can't get away with this when you're hitting 40. I don't know what it is but when you get past 30 years of age, your body can't process the same foods as it used to.

So, you need to watch what you eat. I strongly suggest that you cut out all junk food and cut down on the booze and smokes. Start eating whole, clean foods and your body will slowly start to work as it once used to - Well not exactly but a whole lot better than it does now (That is, if your out of shape). I suggest that you start to eat 5 to 6 small meals per day at 2 to 3 hour intervals. This will get your body used to digesting quality foods again. At first, it may seem strange and your body will “revolt” but give it a week or two and you'll start to feel a heck of a lot better.

If your goal is to lose weight, than you need to adjust your daily eating habits to accomplish this new goal.

Now, you will have to start to cut down on the booze and smokes. I’m not going to get into all of the negative stuff that smokes and booze does because I think everyone knows it, but you need to get the message that you need to cut down.

8) Start drinking water. Water keeps the body moving the way it should be so try and get at least 8 cups a day. There are just too many benefits by drinking plenty of water so try to get the recommended amount of water into your body each and every day. For a complete explanation, see this page here:

Drinking Water And The Benefits

9) If you are thinking of taking supplements, the first thing you must understand is that food is the number one supplement that should be in place. Once you have your diet in place, than you can gradually add supplements such as vitamins/minerals, protein powders, creatine, and any other supplement you are thinking of taking. Once you have your diet in place and have been following if for about a month, than you can think of taking supplements.

Once you’ve decided that you want to take supplements, you need to decide what specific purpose you want the supplements to help with. Check the following page out for more information about supplements:

Weight Training Supplements

10) You may also want to think about hiring a personal trainer. If you have the budget, a personal trainer can come in real handy because, they can 1) Customize an entire fitness regime for you; 2) Work one on one with you to make sure you follow the routine and provide guidance when / where it's needed; And 3) Change the routine as necessary to keep up with your improvements.

The can also help customize a diet schedule as well. It's a worthwhile investment if you have the money.

Alright, I hope these points have helped you with your decision to get back into shape. Just remember that weight training over 40 doesn’t have to be confusing. You have to decide what it is you want to achieve from the fitness program and learn what kind of program is best for you. I know, it’s easier said than done, especially for those of you who haven’t done any kind of weight training prior, but if you are determined to get back into shape, you must be willing to learn.

If you want to start, simply type in something in the search box above for routines, diet and nutrition, supplements or other information that's needed.

I want to wish you good luck and all the best with your future endeavors.

Blake

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