We tell you everything about training at 40
Interestingly enough, as we grow old, physical exercise and nutrition become more and more necessary for our health.
Far from what many actually think at the age of 40, it is one of the moments when we need to have a daily workout plan if we want to enjoy a good health.
Currently, there are many people who set themselves to do physical exercise and stay in shape at the age of 40. Specially after a period of inactivity and/or having a sedentary lifestyle, due to personal or professional changes…
Improving the energy levels and physical composition.
Strength Training at 40
There is more and more evidence that shows not only the physiological and psychological benefits of physical exercise. In addition, strength training (weightlifting) is the best medicine to improve our health.
Above all, the most important thing is to grow old while enjoying a good quality of life.
From the age of 40, women suffer a drop in the estrogen levels. Consequently, this leads to a loss of muscle and bone mass. Although box sexes experience a drop in their hormone levels.
Strength training becomes specially relevant when it comes to preventing osteopenia and osteoporosis.
How to start training at 40?
First of all, you will ask yourself: where do I even start?.
At the beginning, we will have to assess and evaluate the current situation in terms of physical condition:
- Cardiovascular system
- Movement control
- Deficiencies in basic movement patterns
Moreover, we will have to assess the health biomarkers as well.
That is why a good starting point would be a functional evaluation by a professional. That way, we will know how we are physically and we will start planning how we should proceed.
First steps for Training at 40
Adapting to a Workout Program
We need a period of adaptation and transition.
Therefore, we should start doing physical exercise progressively and without rushing.
The general advice is to do this adaptation for the first 4-5 weeks. You will start to experience the first change thanks to a physical conditioning plan that will help you take the next step.
It is important to do exercise at least 3-4 days a week. Figure out the best time to do it, adjusting the time you are going to spend to your daily routine.
This would be the first step. Set the days and time are you going to spend to take care of your health.
Look for metabolic and cardio-respiratory Muscle Adaptations
If you have been inactive for a while, it is time to start at the beginning, this should be clear.
The objective of this first 4 week period of physical conditioning. Then, your body will start adapting organically and physiologically thanks to the workout.
Do you want to learn 7 benefits of cardiovascular training?
General Physical Conditioning
It is a physical workout that has been made to improve your physical condition. Therefore, it will have to include cardio, weightlifting, motility and stretching.
The protein synthesis and muscle growth start to drop due to the hormone changes that occur at the age of 40. That is why following a healthy and balanced diet will be crucial.
In addition, protein and collagen will also become important when it comes to improving the muscle and joint health.
Start with simple movements, exercises using your own body weight that involve big muscle and joint groups. Do not go for complex exercises, that is not necessary at all.
My proposal is that the gym sessions should include exercises with natural movement patterns. For example, sitting-standing, gripping things, walking up and down stairs, pushing things… basic pushing motions, traction, flexing and extending…
As the first weeks go by and you start experiencing the first adaptations, you will start changing the intensity, frequency and volume.
Moreover, at the age of 40 it is harder to gain muscle mass due to the drop in estrogens and testosterone.
Intensity, Volume and Workout Frequency?
My advice, if you are going to start is to do exercise 3-4 times a week, in non-consecutive days.
Moreover, keep the same order and weight – intensity for the first two weeks.
- 3rd week: we can change a parameter, either the intensity (slightly increasing the weight of the exercises, or adding one more set…)
- 4th week: we can change one more parameter. For instance, we can increase the duration of the the cardiovascular workout sessions.
- 5th week: keep up the level of activity but do not add more intensity or weight. We are going to use this week to consolidate the workout of the last few weeks.
Let the body recover before the next phase.
Basic Guidelines to stay in shape at the age of 40
Always consult a professional trainer to advise you and to make a plan according to your needs and objectives.
Even though it would be ideal to have a custom workout program, here you have some key points to organize this first phase:
- Combine cardio, strength and motility.
- Do physical exercise, 45-60 minutes at least 4 days a week whenever you can.
- Make sure that you do not the cardio and strength workouts in a row. You can alternate them and leave the third day for a less demanding activity.
- Keep yourself hydrated and eat as healthily as you can to have plenty of energy and muscle mass.
- Enjoy each workout and your progress.
- Strength workout is a basic pillar for our health. Here you have the main points you need to take into account before starting.
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