Many individuals fear they are too old to get into weight training, but this is not the case at all. With some proper information and planning, it is perfectly possible for you to make dramatic increases in your fitness level, improving the way you look at feel at the same time.
Weight training has the power to change your body faster than any other type of exercise, therefore including it as a regular part of your fitness program is an incredibly smart move. Not only that, but as we grow older we are at an increased risk of muscle-mass loss and weight training is basically the solution to that program.
Finally, weight training also helps to speed the metabolic rate and strengthen the bones, two major issues that older adults deal with as time goes on.
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Weight Training Has The Power To Change Your
Body Faster Than Any Other Type Of Exercise.
So, as you can see, making the decision to start weight training is potentially the absolute smartest thing you could do at this point. Here is what you need to know in order to get started on the right foot.
1. Start Slowly
As with any new activity, it's important that you start into it slowly, giving your body time to accommodate to the new stress being placed upon it. Weight training is no exception to this rule, in fact, it's applies even more so than other exercises.
As weight training is a very intense activity by nature, if you jump in too quickly, there is a very high chance you will wind up hurt or burned out.
If you are not new to weight lifting and are someone who has just taken a break from their usual workout program, still start back in slowly. Giving your body that little bit of extra time to adjust to the stress will be well worth it in the long run.
2. See A Trainer
Another must is seeing a personal trainer. Unless you're someone who has been training for years and is now just increasing in age, it's important that you get started using the correct form.
While you can certainly research about the different types of exercises online, this is not going to have the same effects as having someone there with you watching you while you perform the exercises, so get that trainer in there for at least your first few sessions.
You don't need to continue seeing them once you have your program set-up (apart from the odd check-up perhaps), but getting the guidance from the start is important.
3. Weight Train Three To Four Times A Week Max
Regardless of whether you're new to weight lifting or are already quite experienced, as someone who is over 40 you really want to consider the total number of days you're hitting the gym for weight training.
While you might have been able to handle a five day workout program without any issues during your 20's and 30's, as you get older your recovery process starts to slow, necessitating that you provide your body more rest between sessions.
Keeping your training at three to four days a week will ensure you're getting enough time off to actually experience the results you're going for. Remember, muscle grows while at rest, not while in the gym. Going into the gym before you're recovered is going to significantly hinder your progress.
4. Be Sure You're Eating Right
Don't ever think that your work is done after you leave the gym. The foods you put into your body to fuel your workout with and recover from each session are going to have a big impact on the results you see.
Sometimes individuals who are over 40 tend to let their total caloric intake fall by the wayside out of fear they will gain weight. This is not atypical, especially if they have not been that active for the last few years as their metabolism is likely slow and they would gain weight on a higher calorie intake.
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The Foods You Put Into Your Body Are Going To
Have A Big Impact On The Results You See.
What's important to realize is that now that you're weight training again, your calorie needs are going to be much higher. Therefore, you must supply this energy to the body if you hope to get stronger and grow new muscle tissue.
Even if you don't have the goal to build new muscle tissue, putting quality nutrients into your system is going to improve your recovery rates so you can have more energy with each gym session you complete.
5. Don't Forget To Stretch
While younger individuals are often advised to include regular stretching as part of their program, this advice doubles for adults over 40. At this point in your life you are going to find that your muscles and ligaments are starting to tighten up to a larger degree than normal, therefore you need to be doing what you can to stay nice and limber.
Remember that the greater the range of motion you're able to move through, the better results you'll get from the weight lifting movements you perform, therefore this is one thing you definitely do not want to neglect.
6. Watch Your Total Volume
Finally, the last thing you must take into account is the total volume of your workouts. This somewhat goes along with the principle of only working out three to four days a week, but expands upon it. You also must be sure you're not performing too many sets per workout, as that too will make it incredibly hard to recover from.
Ideally you should be aiming for between 20-30 sets total each workout, which should be easily accomplished if you utilize the main core lifts and remove out isolated exercises that aren't offering as many benefits.
So, don't think being over 40 makes you too old to weight train. This is anything but the truth; however, there are some important factors that must be kept in mind as you go about your program planning in order to experience optimal results.