Weight training is a lifetime sport. We have members in the gyms from 12 years old to late 80’s and every age in between. Here are some tips if you are over 50 and just getting started.
Start easy. Weight training is a very intense efficient way to get in shape and stay in shape. It will also make you incredibly sore if you are just getting started and have not been active for awhile. Even if you are in shape, weight training is different than most forms of exercise. It is intense. Spend the first few workouts focusing on the exercise execution, form and getting the feel for the movements. After a few workouts start to gradually increase the intensity by more mental focus, adding more weight or doing more reps.
If an exercise hurts or just does not feel right don’t do it. There are literally hundreds of exercises for each body part. If a movement does not feel right on a joint or muscle that is your bodies way of telling you to change it. The more injury free you are the more variation you can get in your workouts. If you are over 50 and injury free do whatever it takes to stay that way.
Assess your current level of fitness and, after the initial break in period, your schedule should suit the shape you are in. Over fifty training can be hard, heavy and intense for someone who has trained all their life. Takes awhile if you are just starting, but the results that you can achieve are amazing-life changing.
There are no “must do” exercises. It is myth that you cannot get in shape without bench press, squats, deadlifts or any other exercise. I personally have not benched in over ten years as it is a movement that just is not for me. Does not mean that I cannot train chest hard. Lots of dips, inclines, push ups, pullovers etc. get the job done nicely. I have trained many people who cannot squat or do chins because the exercises cause pain or just do not work for that persons build.
Nutrition and recovery are important. If you are 50 plus you may find it a little more difficult to stay lean. Watch the carbohydrate intake. Take in enough quality carbohydrates to keep your energy where it should be and no more. Get your 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Stay motivated. Keep the fire alive. Get excited over your workouts like a teenager would when they first join a gym. Train smart, but give it hell. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool in your fitness goals. If you stay hungry and passionate about your training you will get far better results. Should be one of the highlights of your day. If you find it mundane it is because of your thought process about it. Getting healthy, fit and at your best should be exciting.
Train with a friend. If you are lucky enough to hook up with someone who has been at it for years and knows what they are doing, jump in and soak up the knowledge that that person can teach you. No better way to learn. Get one or two of your friends involved in your training. One of the best favours you will ever do for them. Will also make you better friends. Incredible amount of respect built between people who train hard together and push each other day in and day out.
Be patient, be consistent, be smart, be excited, be relentless. You are healthy enough to still train. You are blessed.