Weight Training 40 And Over
You know, when I was 20 years old, I never ever thought I'd get old.
Being close to 38 years of age, I simply cannot show up to the gym and lift the heaviest weights anymore.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Ive taken two months off. Today, it takes me a month to get back into the groove.
Before training any body part, Ill do body specific warm ups. For example, If Im 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.
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.
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.
Now, you will have to start to cut down on the booze and smokes. Im 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:
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 youve 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:
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.
I want to wish you good luck and all the best with your future endeavors.
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