Training mistakes for the over 40s!
There are muscle gaining mistakes that can affect anyone of any age. Then there are those that are even worse when you get to be 40 years old. Here are 8 training mistakes that you can make and how they are amplified when you get to be a little older!
Warm-up. The first is the warm-up. This one is tricky since many people forget to warm-up at all when they are getting ready to lift weights. On the other hand, those that turn their warm-ups into workouts themselves are doing far too much! It will hold back the progress they should see on their workouts. Start with some light mobility work, leg swings, hip and shoulder rotations. Then a general body core temperature raiser like skipping, rowing or bike. This has the effect of raising muscle temperature as well as kicking the body into action. If you are doing compound lifts, then mimic those lifts with little to no weight and dial the movement in. Then build the weight up over a few sets to your training weight
Strength. When it comes to the actual training you should never forget to prioritise strength training. It doesn’t matter what age you are, training for strength on the big lifts should always be in your training plan. The issue comes when the pursuit of that strength comes at the expense of responsible training. Ensure that you ‘own’ the weight you’re lifting by incorporating paused and tempo lifting techniques.
Focus Points. Not including enough focus on developing your mind muscle connection (and maintaining it as you age) is an issue. This is because the ego tends to get in the way by focusing on lifting the weight. It becomes more important than focusing on the muscles you were trying to train!
Quality of Movement. With the focus on muscles rather than the weight we should also consider the quality of those movements. Good form is important for several reasons. First and foremost, that of injury prevention. Also, good form helps drill into what you are trying to achieve, rather than simply throwing a weight around.
Metabolic Training. Since we focus on quality of reps, the way to expand this out to the entire set and the whole workout is to include some metabolic training (lighter weight – higher reps) into your plan. This is actually important at all levels since metabolic stress is one of the three known drivers of muscle growth (along with eccentric muscle damage and progressive overload) but it is particularly so for men over 40. The reason this works so well is that it doesn’t leave you with the soreness that makes it tough to recover between workouts and the joints are given a break by the lighter weights.
Train like an athlete! This not only means taking a scientific interest in the type of training that you do but to actually get out there and include some athletic activities in your workouts. Things like running, jumping and doing agility work are all things that your body will lose if you don’t use them. The old phrase of use it or lose it has never been truer!
Cardio. How do you train cardio? Long endurance runs will add to wear and tear on the joints. We all been told that raising the heart rate is good for us, but you don’t have to smash your joints in the process. Activities like rowing, cycling take a lot of impact away from the joints. You can also train for short periods by using higher intensity interval training techniques. HIIT has proven to be more effective than low intensity steady state cardio for fat loss and performance.
Remedial Exercises. Things like banded rotor cuff efforts and band pull or step aparts’ may seem like small and unnecessary exercises but they are very necessary. Particularly when you get older, these exercises have a high value simply by making sure the smaller supportive muscles can their job.