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Rules for 40+ Lifters
1. Reduce Joint Stress
Drop the barbell if necessary. Dumbbells, kettlebells, cables, bodyweight, rings, machine, you've got a massive variety of implements to use. You assess movements based on how smoothly they work the muscle and kinetic chain you are training, NOT just how heavy you can load them.
Always hydrate before lifting. Dont ever train with "dry" tissues
Always start with LONG warmup and LIGHT weight. Never go directly into your working sets
For joints that take a long time to warmup up, start with isolation and muscle focused movements first before doing any kind of heavy compound. You will use lighter weights, but your injury risk will be lower.
5. No Ego Lifting
Get over your ego of how much you should be lifting. Always be training to get stronger and build muscle, but let go of taking stupid risks or wanting to test your strength unnecessarily
6. Long Rest Periods
Long rest periods are better than short rest periods for muscle growth. Rest 3 minutes between working sets
Your bloodflow and cardiovascular health depend on it. Do slow cardio for distance and intense cardio in bursts. 150 minutes total a week of cardio is a good amount to aim for.
8. Use supportive gear
Use a belt. Use wrist wraps. Use heat balm. Use straps. Use anything that keeps your joints healthy and protected.
9. 2-4 Days of Resistance training
Total body splits work, as do upper lower, push pull legs, or something else. Find a schedule you enjoy, and rest between sessions. Recovery becomes slower as you age
10. Productive Exercises
Use pain free exercises that you can do with a full ROM and allow you to add reps or weight over time.
11. Train for muscle mass
This heuristic applies to everyone. Always be striving to build and the very least, maintain muscularity.
12. Dont max out
Unless you are competing in powerlifting, this is a complete waste of time, and no one cares how strong you are.
13. Keep reps high.
8-20 is your rep range. Go lower if you want, but acknowledge the risk in doing so.
14. Balance Training is Real
But this does mean standing on a wobble board. A recreational sport that requires you to move front, back, and side to side will train your balance better than anything you can do in the gym. Tennis, Pickleball, whatever you enjoy doing.
15. Nutrition is Paramount
With recovery declining, you cannot afford to be lax with nutrition. High protein intake is essential. Consume whole foods for a full spectrum of macro and micro nutrients. Attempting to train hard with poor nutrition will not work.
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