I recently celebrated my 47th birthday. Funny thing, I thought I was 47 all last year so I haven’t really aged. But my body tells me otherwise.
As we age, our hormone levels decline and this is one reason we gain body fat and lose muscle. But you can still transform your body even if you are in your 40s, 50s or 60s. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your best years are behind you.
So there are some things you need to keep in mind when strength training in your 40s and beyond:
Always warm up for at least 15 minutes before you lift weights. This increases your core temperature and helps the blood flow for the workout to come.
Use a combination of free weights and machines. As a youth, your body is able to use a lot more free-weight exercises but as you age your stabilizer muscles start to weaken which can leave your ligaments and tendons in danger of injury. Using a machine lowers this risk.
Your exercise form and posture needs to be perfect. Your body doesn’t have the forgiveness of youth anymore so using poor form can easily result in injury.
Recovery time is a little longer so rest and recovery is critical; fewer days in the gym is going to be a must.
You can still gain muscle after 40 but your risk of injury may be a bit higher, your recovery and recuperation time may be slower, and in general, you need to be smarter in how you train.
If you want to gain muscle you absolutely can. Just train smart. And this applies to any age.