Natural Bodybuilding FAQ – Training Over 40 by Hugo River
For the over 40 bodybuilder, and even over 30, I would recommend training smart. No longer are we teenage kids who load up the bar with 225-lbs and bench press it without a warm-up, living to tell about it. Our joints can no longer handle that. So here are some training recommendations that I want to share with the over 40 crowd:
Use The Right Training Routine: a well periodized training routine that alternates between periods of higher volume/higher repetition (10-15 reps) work with periods of lower repetition/heavier weights (5-8 reps) will work best. Active recovery phases where training volume is dramatically reduced should also be incorporated. The training routine should not be more than 60 minutes long and frequency of body part training will depend upon individual recovery. Generally, teens and those in their twenties can train a bodypart every 48-72 hours (so twice a week). Thirty year olds and those in their fourties benefit more from once every five days. Fifty year old and older, once every seven days.
Use Proper Warm-Ups: warming up is extremely important, and it becomes more important as we age. While in my opinion, we only need to thoroughly warm up for the first exercise of a body part, not doing so puts you at the risk for injury. To properly warm up, if you know you will be doing 225-lbs on the incline bench for 10 repetitions, the first set I would just do 135-lbs for ten controlled slow repetitions. Then I would increase the weight to 185 for ten reps and only after that second set I would go up to 225-lbs and that would be my first work set. However, if working out on a cold climate, besides wearing warm clothing, I may ride a stationary bike first for 6-10 minutes, not in search of aerobic conditioning but with the goal of increasing my core body temperature. Alternatively I’ve also used abdominal training as a way to increase my core body temperature as well.
Perform The Right Exercise Techniques With The Proper Weight: Proper execution of exercise and proper lifting speed is crucial. The exercise form should never be sacrificed in the name of adding weight. Nothing good has ever come out of that combination. In addition, jerking the weight up and down not only affects how much the muscle is actually stimulated (so your muscle building results will be less), but also puts much of the stress on the joints, leading to unnecessary micro-trauma. So always choose a weight that allows for full control of the weight and a lifting speed that is steady and controlled on the way up and slower on the way down. Contracting the muscles at the top position also helps to provide maximum stimulation without unnecessarily having to use super heavy weights.
Ensure Rotator Cuff Health: One of the most common injuries in weight training is that of the rotator cuff. The reason for this is that as the shoulder muscle gets stronger, the rotator cuff gets weaker unless you train it directly with 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions of rotator cuff exercises. Some external rotations at the end of your chest or back workout will do the trick.
the problem with me (50 years old) is that i have a very fast recovery time and i am used to really hard workouts and i am still as strong as before ... so need to be careful not to get over carried out and injure myself .....
my current routine is pretty tough , i am doing it for 3 months then i will slow down
day1_ chest, shoulders-triceps (70-90 mns)
day 2 back biceps (45 mns)
day3 legs-abs (30mns)
day 5- chest (only 6sets) shoulders or back + abs (30-40 mns)
day 6 : (30-40 mns)many possibilities here :Biceps or triceps or both (if i do triceps then on day 1 i do only 6 sets of triceps or just skip triceps)
or just back with dead lifts
day 7 abs only
i still go like that for maybe 2 months then i slow down to 4 days a week with more cardio. but anyways i do manage myself and won't go heavy every time i do switch between heavy , light , high rep, low rep etc,,,,
Thanks Prince.I am 40 this year and have been out of the gym a couple years.I entered the gym this time with a plan of lighter weights and increased reps to avoid injury.Along with a strict healthy protien loaded diet.I cant beleive the gains I have gotten by going about it this way.I have been back in the gym since Jan 1 and and have had a complete body transformation in 8 weeks.Thanks for posting.