Like anything else in life, the way you work out evolves and changes over time, especially after you reach 40.Your body doesn’t care if you feel “young at heart”; 25 in your heart doesn’t translate to 25 in the gym. You can try to ignore any aches, pains, or injuries, but it’s probably just going to result in some new problems.
Like anything else in life, the way you work out evolves and changes over time, especially after you reach 40. But retiring all workouts and resigning to “dad bod” is NOT the answer; you should definitely keep your body in motion.
“I’m a firm believer that as long as the body can move in different directions and planes of motion, then your body should continue being trained for strength and functionality,” said Michael Bones, a personal trainer in New York.
With that in mind, here are four trainer tips to keep your gym trips productive and injury-free.
While it’s important for everyone, warming up is crucial for men as they age. Taking the time to generate heat in the areas you’re about to work out will help reduce the risk of injury, something that unfortunately becomes more likely over time.
ShowMe CrossFit owner and CrossFit level 2 trainer Joe Aiello said that 30 minutes of combined warm up and mobilization, making sure to involve all pertinent muscle groups for at least a few minutes, is a good rule of thumb.
Aiello said that foam rolling and stretching are a “fantastic combination to help increase your range-of-motion and ‘wake up’ those muscles.”
Proceed With Caution
“Complex, multi-joint movements give us the biggest bang for our buck, but we shouldn’t start to mimic the 20-something year old guys who just finished playing D-end.”Joe Aiello, CrossFit TrainerWithin your workout, there are no exercises that are completely blacklisted for everyone. Instead, it’s very personal. Think about any injuries or surgeries you have had, and simply use your head.
“Let’s say you were trail running, hit a root, fell, and slipped a disk in your back,” Aiello said. “I’m gonna go ahead and tell you that deadlifts aren’t the best thing for you for at least a few months, if you ever do them again.”
Additionally, Aiello said that some high-impact movements like box jumps, running stairs, and mountain climbers can be very detrimental to portions of the spine, glutes and hamstrings, if we’re not properly trained.
Bones said intensity would be one of the only ways he turns down the volume, so to speak, when he trains older guys. So take that advice and don’t overexert or overextend yourself, and don’t feel like a failure just because you’re getting tired at a lower intensity.
Aiello said to take things slowly if you’re trying out something new.
“Complex, multi-joint movements give us the biggest bang for our buck, but we shouldn’t start to mimic the 20-something year old guys who just finished playing D-end,” he said.