Training your body over 40 is a different ball game to training when you’re younger. We’ve got a number of hormonal changes to deal with that mean we want to adapt our training and recovery to get the results we’re looking for.
If you’re looking to drop body fat and add some lean muscle then here are my 10 tips:
- Don’t skip the warm up – spend some time building a sweat, getting the blood pumping and the muscles warm. Perform a few reps of the first couple of exercises with lighter weights to prime the muscles for movement in order to avoid injury.
- Focus on form not ego – forget going for the biggest possible weight, focus on good form and your body and muscles will thank you for it. Swinging weights around with bad form won’t give you better results than working to your max with good form, and is more likely to injure you.
- Pay attention to the mind muscle connection – visualise your muscles working as you train and keep those controlled reps in mind. You shouldn’t be looking up at the TV, or down at your phone – this is your time – keep your mind focused on what you want to achieve from your workout.
- Don’t go heavy all the time – yes we want to lift heavy (with good form) for strength results, but also mix up lighter weights with a higher rep range. Working in different rep ranges will stimulate different muscle fibres and keep your body progressing.
- Get in some athletic training as well – don’t neglect your cardiovascular fitness and dynamic movement. If you just lift you risk getting stiff, mix up short bursts of hiit, functional circuits, stuff that gets you jumping, sweating and smiling.
- Don’t skip body parts – it’s tempting, but don’t just focus on those show body parts, work your whole body. Split your workout in different ways so you hit each muscle group twice a week.
- Don’t do long cardio – a run, swim or bike ride once a week is good, but don’t get caught in the trap of long cardio to try and lose body fat. You can end up over stressing your central nervous system, spiking cortisol and could be actually working against your body. The way to go is short bursts of cardio like 15 to 20 minutes of hiit, and/or bolting on finishers at the end of your weights.
- Don’t ignore your nutrition – yes a post workout energy boost of a cheeseburger and fries might have been fine in your 20s but it’s sadly not going to get you the results you’re looking for in your 40s and 50s. Focus on upping your lean protein and healthy fats and ensure your carbohydrates are from natural sources and not more than about 50% of your overall intake. Cut out processed food and sugar.
- Make time to stretch – our collagen levels are falling meaning tendons and ligaments are tighter, plus chances are you’re spending a lot more time sitting than you used to. Always stretch at the end of your workout.
- Ensure you have adequate recovery – smashing your body day after day might seem like it should work, but in our 40s and 50s we need more recovery time and we want to keep our stress hormone cortisol as low as we can (raised levels can lead to increased abdominal fat). So make sure you have downtime too.
I hope that helps, if you want to know more about how to put all this together, drop me a DM or book a no obligation call: