10 Things Over 50 Weight Lifters Should Do Differently
As you get older, working out and lifting weights inevitably become much more difficult. It’s just how the human body is designed. However, this does not mean you cannot get results in the gym.
This does not mean by any means that you should stop working out. In fact, experts like the American Heart Association recommend regular cardio and muscle strengthening exercise for people over 50, 60, and 70.
What you should do is modify your training a bit. By doing these 10 things a bit differently than you did in the past, you can still see great results and be in the prime shape of your life without risking injury. This will keep you healthier and stronger, for longer.
1. Know Your Goals
Whether you’re into competitive bodybuilding, or working out to stay healthy, fit and strong, you need to know your goals, and make sure you structure your workout plan to meet them in a healthy and productive manner.
2. Adjust Intensity Levels
Along with your goals, be aware and realistic with the pace of your workouts as well. Higher intensity workouts that you thrived on in your 20s may result in more soreness and down time than you want as you age. This does not mean your workout cannot be challenging and satisfying though. Find a good pace and intensity level that works for you now, and feel free to experiment to find your optimal pace for your body now.
3. Lower The Weight
This is probably the most impactful change you can make to your workout routine to stay fit and minimize the risk for injuries. Once you know your goals, and identify the pace that works best for you, lower the weight you’re lifting and focus on building strength and taking care of your joints. Moreover, the decrease doesn’t have to be more than 20 or 30% so you’ll still be putting up impressive numbers if you were heavy lifting before.
4. Up the Reps
You can make up the loss in weight by increasing your reps. Stick with a minimum of 12, and focus on perfect form at a lower weight. You’ll still get results and keep your body strong.
5. Use Drop Down And Super Sets
In addition to lowering the weight and increasing your reps, you can pump up your muscles with drop downs and super sets to push your stamina and amp up your strength.
6. Rest A Little Longer
Your body may require a bit more rest between sets to make sure you can put your full strength into each exercise. Try adding an extra 20 or 30 seconds to your rest periods so you can get more out of each exercise.
7. Don’t Cut Cardio
Cardio becomes increasingly important for good physical health as you age, so make sure you’re doing cardio a least 3 times a week as part of your workout routine.
8. Drop Bad Health Habits
If you’re trying to lead the party lifestyle, now is the time to cut back on the bad habits you developed and enjoyed in your 20s and 30s. Your body does not have the same bounce back factor, and it will affect the results you can achieve in the gym.
9. Eat Your Vegetables
Make sure you are eating a healthy diet that includes veggies, and have at least 2 servings a day. French fries don’t count.
10. Get Enough Sleep Each Night
Sleep is vital to help your body rejuvenate, repair, and grow. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep to fuel your energy levels, and sleep in occasionally on days off.
Work hard, but work smart to keep your health and strength impressive and growing as you grow in years.