Not as good as I once was: training in your 30s and beyond
I have been writing a lot lately about my experiences with weightlifting since I started competing again. A few months ago, I wrote a post called “The Best Way To Get Stronger” which described what worked well for me at the time.
Since then, I’ve had some great feedback from readers who were interested in learning more about getting stronger, so here it is!
My goal is to keep sharing these ideas because they are still useful even after all these years. I think it’s worth mentioning that this advice applies to most sports, not just weightlifting.
There will always be exceptions, but if you follow the general guidelines above, you’ll probably do fine!
The first thing you need to realize is that there isn’t one magic workout or program that works for everyone. You’re going to have to figure out what works best for you based on your goals and lifestyle.
You might want to skip ahead to the next section if you already know how to train, but I’m including it anyway because it may help explain why certain things work better than others. If you don’t care about that stuff, feel free to jump right in!
If you’re new here, welcome! If this is something new for you, let’s get started!
The first thing you need to know about getting stronger is this: it’s not supposed to be fun!
It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and mental focus. You have to push yourself in the gym and try your absolute best each and every time you train.
Most people will quit after a few weeks because it’s too much for them. This is fine; there’s no shame in that. Not everyone is meant to be a bodybuilder or powerlifter.
However, if you’re serious about getting stronger and you truly want it, you need to do two things:
1. Listen to your body.
Your body will tell you exactly what it needs, if you just listen to it. For example, if you’ve been following my Beginner Weightlifting Routine and you’re feeling sore for the first few weeks, that’s a good sign!
Your body is telling you that it’s responding well to the exercises. Add a little weight next time and keep going.
Conversely, if you’re following a program and you’re not feeling much of anything in the first few weeks, that’s OK too! Your body isn’t used to this sort of stimulus, so you need to ease into it.
Drop the weight a little and spend more time warming up before your sets. Listen to what your body is telling you and take heed!
2. Be patient and consistent!
This is probably the most important rule of all. You won’t see dramatic changes in your strength levels after just one month of training.
Realize that it’s going to take at least six months of dedicated training before you’re really going to see any sort of meaningful progress. Yes, there may be some changes as early as three months, but they will most likely be minimal. Keep at it and the results will come!
The following information applies mostly to those of you who are training for general health and well-being, or sports performance. If your goals are more physique oriented, what I’ve written below won’t necessarily apply to you.
You may need to work on different areas that I haven’t covered (such as diet), but you can still use this program in conjunction with whatever else you’re doing!
The key thing to remember is that in the grand scheme of things, strength training is really one of the easier things you can do. It’s really quite simple!
First of all, I’m going to give you a sample weekly routine. This isn’t set in stone so don’t think you need to do everything this says every week.
Sometimes you’ll be too busy to complete every exercise. That’s fine! Reduce the amount of exercises as needed and don’t sweat it. Also, this program is split up into three different types of workouts: Power, Strength, and Endurance. Please note that you don’t do all of them every week. Depending on your current goals, you’ll want to focus on just one of them each week.
These are the types of workouts and their definitions:
Power: This means you’re focusing on building power. This will help with sports that require a lot of quick movements and sprinting, such as football or hockey.
It’s also great for muscle building.
Strength: This means you’re focusing on building strength. This is great for people who want to build muscle, or even for people who just want to be healthy and strong.
It will also assist you in most sports.
Endurance: This means you’re focusing on increasing your endurance. This is good for people who play sports that require a lot of running, such as soccer or football.
M: Upper Body Power
T: Lower Body Power
T: Upper Body Strength
Th: Lower Body Strength
F: Off or Endurance
This is just a sample of one week. You won’t need to do this schedule for very long, unless you’re really focused on a certain area.
As I said earlier, if you’re focusing on a certain area, you can repeat the same week until you feel you need to move on. Also, over time you may find that you no longer need to do certain types of workouts. For example, once you reach a certain level of brute strength, you may no longer feel the need to continue with straight Strength workouts. Do what you feel is best for you.
Sources & references used in this article:
Your Body Beautiful: Clockstopping Secrets to Staying Healthy, Strong, and Sexy in Your 30s, 40s, and Beyond by OG Jennifer Ashton MD, C Rojo – 2012 – books.google.com
Beyond ‘NEET’and ‘tidy’pathways: considering the ‘missing middle’of youth transition studies by S Roberts – Journal of youth studies, 2011 – Taylor & Francis
Looking beyond nativity: The relation of age of immigration, length of residence, and birth cohorts to the risk of onset of psychiatric disorders for Latinos by M Alegría, W Sribney, M Woo, M Torres… – Research in human …, 2007 – Taylor & Francis