5 Training Considerations For As You Age

Now that I have entered in to my thirties, I can reflect that my approach to training is much different that what it was ten years ago. Even 5 years ago. Now, I’m not in the position that I can’t do the things I once did during that specific time, I’m just approaching it differently to being able to still do it. I’m not the only one, and it’s not due to any secret. Changes must be made if you intend to participate in activity, long term. Having a certain strategy in an atmosphere that is high-risk ( weight training, competition, etc.) will keep you doing what you love longer. Regardless of your chronological age, please keep this information in mind whether if your training age is young or even if you are carrying years of experience. It may be time to make some small adjustments.Some of these recommendations may be worth it if  may allow you the opportunity to achieve greater performances and possible save you some time. At the very least, these adjustments may renew your approach if you have been missing the mark.

  1. Adjust the Volume and Frequency of Your Training

This is very simple and an easy way to initiate the change in your training program. I think for some time, and it may be implemented today, we have this logic that more creates more. Consistency means more. Here’s a little bit on what I mean about that. There is nothing wrong with training four days a week, hard, long duration of training if you can recover from it. There’s nothing wrong with training six days per week under the same conditions or slightly less, if you can recover from it. The name of the game is recovery, and that promotes consistency, which will bring you more benefits.

Understand me here. Have great workouts, achieve the appropriate stimulation for the session, and push yourself. But, If you are putting yourself in the position of giving it all during a single training session and it puts you out of training for two or more days so you can recover, that can be problematic. Especially if you specific plans for training and competition. If not, get a plan.

Volume Average (4 Day Split)

This does not depict everyone's training. This is to show how volume could possibly be spread out if an individual was to chose a 4 day split and recover.

The graphs here are not to act as so literal. When you look at them, the main take away is that volume and frequency are to be thought out. Some individuals can handle more than others. That said, for most individuals it can be recommended that they appropriately spread out the total amount of sets through multiple days a week. For best achievement of stimuli and recovery, that volume can be directed to target muscle groups over multiple days. Yes, you can have more than one upper body day and lower body day. Plan for what you can recover from.

Volume Average (6 Day Split)

This does not depict everyone's training. This is to show how volume could possibly be spread out if an individual was to chose a 6 day split and recover.

2. Warm Up

Have you ever just watched some people (younger and older) come into the gym and go right to the rack, load the bar, and start lifting the weight? You start praying for them as well? Grab the popcorn and watch? It’s crazy. We have all done it at one time, maybe more. For sure when we were younger and probably just starting out at the beginning stages of our training age. When you’re younger you can get away with stuff like that, for lack of better words. Lifts that look like they could break your back, or something. Being younger and doing that, we don’t know any better, usually. With being younger, you have the ability to manipulate and sustain loads with poor form. You’re more resilient through that type of scenario. Take time to warm up, go through actual warm up sets to get acclimated to your progressive sets to reduce your chance of injury.

3. Recover Better

Sometimes the variables can be out of your control. Do the best you can to reduce stress. Easier said, right? If you can help it, get more sleep where you can. Achieving naps, or time for you to unwind can definitely reinforce your recovery. So aside from sleep, another great way to recover is nutrition. If you are looking to lose weight or gain weight, be sure to follow your caloric needs, especially if you are considering multiple training sessions in a given week. You need calories!

4. Get Support

For any additional needs, hire a coach. They can help create programs, monitor and make adjustments as needed. So, consider if you are sick or dealing with injury. A coach can help to keep you on track while monitoring the progress of your goals. Anything with nutrition, hire a Registered Dietitian. Anything from sport specificity or working with weight management, those are the professionals who will help you get it done right, and tailored to your needs. If you ever wanted to hire out a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, all are great options and resources to consider when you are wanting to stay as consistent as possible.

5. Exercise Variations

Consider what you are doing or the modalities of training you are performing in the gym. Make changes to your program based off of injury, imbalances. Training needs should be prioritized first. As we get older we want to hang on to what we may possibly continue to impress others with. With training needs, assess what you need in order to get better, not always just what you are comfortable with. Find exercises that will achieve purposeful stimuli to the muscle group, that allow the best range of motion, that propel you towards your goals in your plan.

Connor Brown