Till your 30s it’s still easy to gain strength through specific workouts and diets. But once you hit your forties strength gain is not that easy anymore. Your body goes through a lot of changes by the time you are done with the thirties. But you don’t need to be worry. There are ways that can help people past 40 to gain strength easily.
Perfecting strength gain requires perfecting form first. Faulty technique can do more harm than benefit. When you repeat a wrong technique over and over again it works ends up working on a muscle that’s not your actual target. Perfecting the proper movement is more important than simply lifting enormous weights. Also you need to take note of the fact that for a post 40 strength builder pushing too far is not advisable. Pushing too far can make your strength goals redundant, even if your technique is perfect.
Isolation moves can be a dicey affair post 40. Single joint movements can get risky and cause injury especially to shoulders, knees and elbows. The cartilage surrounding these areas is more prone to wear and tear than any other. It is thus suggested that the post 40 strength builders must stick to moderate weights.
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The key here is pace and intensity, it is using the specific muscles effectively. Focus more on pulls, squats and presses since they include bigger compound movements. Moves like lateral raises can be avoided and so can be cheat curls and fighting for building new personal records.
This is probably the most important of all things to remember. Warm is indispensable, especially past 40, since it has direct consequences. Prolonged harsh workouts over number of years may prone one to specific kind of injuries and flexibility issues. Overlooking warm up may further worsen the situation.We suggest a three phase warm up for better results. Begin with your usual warming up routine for some time.
This should be followed by some minutes of stretching routine that will open up the muscles. Now you can add warm sets as the third phase. The warm up should be gradually progressive. You may do two setsof Olympic bar (6 reps each with 45 pounds),three sets medium weights (5 reps with 135, 5 reps with 135 and 3 reps with 185 pounds) and three sets of heavier weights (1 rep each with 225, 265 and 295 pounds). Try to do clean reps. Such a gradual three phase warm up will help build up more movement skills, training volume and also keep you mentally prepared.
Strength building does not mean that you must exhaust yourself completely every single time. Post 40 you must bring some changes. You need to ‘deload’ on certain weeks and workouts. Deloading involves moving to a lighter workout week with lesser volume. Such a deload week should be taken up after three weeks of intense training. Such a deload week can be planned ahead for better execution.
Your deload week should be only 70 percent of your total training volumes. Number of sets and reps must be reduced and even the intensity of weight that you are using. The frequency of deload may vary depending upon training intensity and volume, trainee’s history of injuries and recuperative ability and various other factors. The deload weeks must not be blown off. They should rather be taken as the time to prioritize technique over intensity.
As you tread into your forties life is not the same anymore. You’re not super energetic all day long. At this point you must start laying importance on relaxation as much you do on training. Recovery is important if you are strength building and a sound sleep is the best recovery technique for the body. Your target should be at least 7 hours (8 hours would be even better) Attention must be paid to the quality of sleep. Look around bedroom and see if your surroundings are allowing you to sleep peacefully. It will be good if you have a sleep ritual. It helps to set your body into a routine of relaxation.
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