Tips for Lifting in Your Forties
When you're forty, lifting heavy weights sounds like a hernia just waiting to happen. However, just because you're at the ripe age of “uncle,” doesn't mean that you can't still gain some mass. If you want to start lifting again, here are some considerations and things to know:
Longer Warm Up
It is crucial that you prepare your muscles before you attempt to carry any weights. Lifting will require you to fill the muscle groups and any other areas you will be exercising with blood. You want your joints to be ready for the weight. A longer warm-up will ensure that you are prepared for your workout and will enhance your performance throughout it. You will be more physically ready. Stretching will also reduce muscle pains from working out, during, before, and after it. Be sure to warm up so that you can exercise more and feel better afterwards. Longer warm-up times will bring huge benefits to you overall. Another way to warm up is a brisk walk or a short, light jog. And of course, don't forget to stretch!
Start Out Small
Learning how to lift with the right form will make a huge difference to your strength. Practicing will help you improve your technique. No matter how long you’ve been lifting, however, you will want to pay close attention to your form; it will make all the difference. Don't rush your progress. You will get better with time and will be able to carry more and more. You may very well see a large increase in strength and then experience no progress for a little bit. This is completely normal. Your body and nervous system are trying to adapt to a new type of stress. You should start out slow until your muscles are quite used to a certain weight, then you can increase as soon as you're comfortable.
Don't Forget Recovery
As you age, your metabolism will slow down. This may mean slower recovery times. Keep in mind that you will not be burning fat or gaining muscle as quickly as you did 10 or 20 years ago. Give yourself some time to recover and take it slow. Over time, you will start to gain strength and see a lot of progress in gaining muscle. You can improve your rate of recovery in time. It can be easy to overthink your workout schedule and forget to rest and continue to enjoy your social life. Reaching your goals, surpassing challenges, and making progress can make you overly confident. Don't forget about your life outside the gym. Make time to rest and see your family. Go hang out with friends; don't obsess over getting back into shape.
Most Importantly, Have Fun!
Over time, you may get bored of just lifting weights. Try to get creative and lift other things. Learn new techniques and figure out what is fun to you. Make it an activity or social event; get your friends to join you. Get your wife and kids to join you. You should be having fun while working out. Release those endorphins and feel all of the good things that come with exercising. If you're focusing on fitness for men over 40, we recommend these methods to help maintain a great physique.
About the Author
Jack of all trades... master of none! Father of 3 awesome boys, husband to 1 amazing wife! Obstacle racer, procrastinator, computer nerd, trying not to follow the herd!