Lifting weights and strength training is something that many of us started at a young age. Some of you started pounding away at the weights for sports while others, like me, just wanted to get bigger.
We know the rules shift a little as we age. So this post is catered to strength training over 40.
Age vs Strength
I’d like to think we’re like fine wine as we age. But let’s be honest. The joints can’t always handle hundreds of pounds on the bar. And some of us may have prior injuries that prevent us from doing certain exercises.
Does that mean we should give up on strength training over 40?
My answer is no. Actually, hell no!
It’s true that there are some limitations that come upon us as we age. And there may indeed be a cut-off at some point as to how much stronger you can get. However, it doesn’t mean we can’t be a better version, and stronger version of ourselves. And I’m going to share some tips on how you can do that.
Why We Get Weaker
My belief, through personal experience, is that we get weaker simply because we stop doing what we know we need to do. As we get older, we accumulate more responsibilities. And it’s easy to put everything else before the gym. Aka, we make excuses not to workout.
Maybe you’ve been working more hours, or this is the only day you had to mow the lawn, or you had to take the kids here and the wife there, etc. The bottom line is you have to make strength training a priority.
Workout Consistency with Phases
I’m a firm believer in consistency when it comes to working out. This goes with anything in life, but especially strength training. I’m also a heavy metal musician and recording artist, and I’ve been playing guitar for over 25 years. But if I lay it down for more than a couple of weeks, I can tell a huge difference when I pick it back up. It takes a little time to get back up to speed.
Strength training over 40 is the same. In fact, at our age we need to be even more consistent. We don’t have that natural boost of testosterone we did in our 20s. So we have to stay on top of our game. And that means staying in the gym.
Now I mentioned phases above. And this is part of that rule-change as we age. You can train hard and heavy, but not all the time. I believe we need to split our training up into phases.
The best way to go about this is by listening to your body. Thats what I do. If I feel good and I know I’m 100%, I’m all-in for lifting heavy that day. But if I’m not, I’ll drop the weight down and do more reps or overall volume rather than going heavy. This seems to work well for me and allows me to progressively get stronger without injury.
Boosting Test Over 40
I mentioned how our testosterone decreases at this age, and it does indeed. That’s actually one of the many benefits of training heavy; you get a natural test-boost.
Another way to boost our testosterone is through supplements. I’m getting back on Prime Male this week, which is a testosterone booster I’ve been taking for the past couple of years. I’ve found it to be beneficial for explosive power and increasing strength. So I’m pretty excited to jump back on it starting tomorrow.
You can read my review and experience with Prime Male here.
Going Heavy – Don’t Give Up
The bottom line is DO NOT give up on strength training over 40. Yes, we have to be aware of our limitations and cautious if we’re prone to injuries. But you can still go hard and heavy in phases. Listen to your body and be in tune with yourself.
You may not be able to go heavy on every exercise. For example, squats and deadlifts are out for me due to my lower back issues. But I can go heavy on rows for back and leg press for quads instead. And I can still bench heavy. So do what you can, train smart, and don’t make excuses!
Train with Passion,