If you’re someone who’s starting to get involved in fitness training and are at the age of 40 or beyond, there are a few adjustments that you’ll want to make to your program plan in order to ensure you see the best results.
While the overall way you train your body at or above 40 isn’t much different from how you train your body during your younger years, there are still notable differences that you should be aware of.
Failing to recognize these differences and just training the way you see younger individuals training or how you’ve trained in the past could lend to you quickly becoming overtrained.
Back in your younger years you may have been able to perform a very intense workout and be fine to go again the next day, but now that you are getting older, this won’t be quite as possible.
You may take more time after each individual session to fully heal the body once again so you feel ready to hit the gym for your next scheduled workout.
Fortunately, there are few things that you can keep in mind that will help you maximize your recovery so that you can get back into the gym sooner and feel a great deal better on a daily basis as well.
Let’s take a brief look at the best ways to maximize your recovery when you’re 40 years of age or older.
1) Keep Your Volume In Check
The very first and possibly most important tip to remember in order to maximize your recovery over 40 is to keep your total workout volume in check.
Think of it this way, you only have so large of a tank of ‘reserves’ of which you can recover each day. Recovery is a very intensive process and the more damage done to the body, the more you’ll drain that reserve tank.
If you go into the gym and are performing 50 sets per workout, you’re really going to be totally depleting that reserve take so it could take days to start feeling better again.
But, if you go to the gym and only perform 20-30 sets instead, you’re only half draining that reserve tank therefore you’ll recover in half the time.
Since one of the most important characteristics of a good workout program that will bring you progress is working out at a high enough frequency rate and by cutting down on the total rest time required you will see better overall progress.
So, two workouts at 25 sets per workout will be a lot better than one workout at 50 sets that takes you a whole week to recover from.
Mind your volume per session and you’ll not only feel better between workouts but perform better as well.
2) Be Sure You’re Sleeping Enough
The second important thing that you must do to promote better recovery is make sure that you’re sleeping well. Many people often find that as they grow older their sleep quality and quantity tends to decline.
You’ll find yourself getting up earlier and earlier in the morning, therefore reducing how much total rest you get.
Since sleep is so imperative in the recovery process, you have to find a way around this. Start going to bed earlier to be sure that you get at least seven hours each night. As older adults this may feel like a struggle at times and not something your body easily does, but if you can work at getting more sleep, you’ll adjust.
3) Practice Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is one of the best recovery techniques that more and more people are starting to get into and for the adult over 40 working out, it’s one of the best.
You’re more likely to experience a high degree of muscle tension after each workout you do as you’re starting to notice a slight loss in flexibility with age.
Foam rolling is perfect because not only will it help to relax this built-up tension, but it’s also going to help to relieve muscle pain and lengthen the tissues as you roll over the cylinder of foam.
Perform some foam rolling for 10 minutes each night, especially on those days you do a strength training session and you’ll notice a difference in how you’re recovering.
4) Know Your Body
Coming to learn your body is also imperative for success for those getting into fitness past 40. Learn the warning signs that you’ve had too much and when your body is telling you to back off.
While when you’re younger you may have been able to push past the point of fatigue and bounce back fairly quickly, that likely won’t be the case right now.
Instead, when your body is telling you that it needs rest, that means it’s time to relax and provide it. There’s a fine line between when you’re pushing hard to see progress and when you’re pushing so hard you’re risking overtraining, so learn what this line is for you specifically.
5) Get In Proper Nutrition
Finally, last but not least, make sure you’re getting in good nutrition. Many people over 40, particularly women who are worried about the weight gain that is much more common at this age, start dramatically reducing back on their calories.
Often this means going without proper post-workout meals. Don’t make this mistake. You absolutely must feed your body the nutrients that it requires after a workout so that it can build and repair itself again.
If you don’t, recovery will be extremely slow to take place. Make sure that you get both proteins and carbohydrates in during this post-workout period and you’ll be making far better progress over the long term basis.
So there you have the top things to note about recovery after the age of 40. As long as you take care to make a few simple adjustments to your program, this does not need to be something that gets you down.
For more workout advice to help you see fast success, please see the Fit Over 40 program.