The best way to feel and look old really quickly is to stop doing all the things that kept you healthy.
Too often we hit an age that we deem “old” and stop pushing ourselves the way we used to in our training.
Heck I even found an article on WebMD about exercises to avoid after 50 and it said…
“Lifting weights is a great way to build muscle strength, but when you’re over 50 there is no reason to push yourself too hard.”
While we can’t change our age, at any time we can make changes to move and feel our best.
And the best way NOT to see results is NOT to challenge yourself.
Use it or lose it.
Getting older doesn’t mean you now should stop pushing yourself to conquer new challenges or step outside your comfort zone.
Getting older actually makes it even more important that you do so that you stay healthy and strong till your final day on this planet!
That’s why in this video I want to refute 7 reasons I often hear people use as excuses not to push themselves outside their comfort zones when it comes to their strength training once they hit whatever age they believe to be “old.”
Myth #1: I shouldn’t push myself too hard.
I can’t even describe the spasms my face wants to go into stating that myth even for the 100th time.
No wonder we’re seeing more injuries, more cognitive decline…
No wonder we think aging just means gaining weight and getting out of shape?!
We’re promoting attitudes that perpetuate that!
I don’t care if you’re 20 or 90, you need to CHALLENGE yourself with your training to keep pushing your body to adapt and grow stronger and MAINTAIN your strength.
Sarcopenia, or muscle loss, is so prevalent because we’ve too easily adopted the belief that we don’t need to push ourselves with our training. That with age we deserve to be lazy.
But if you want to stay strong and fit and even mentally with it till your final day on this planet, you NEED to push yourself to feel worked in your workouts.
This doesn’t mean every session should slaughter you. But it shouldn’t be that way at any age.
But every single workout you do want to create that progressive overload and do something hard.
We build and retain lean muscle through pushing our bodies to do more than they could the previous session!
Myth #2: X Move Is Bad And Dangerous.
You can get hurt training at any age.
And as someone who has learned a lot since their early meathead days, I would say we actually end up being smarter in our training as we get older as we often appreciate the value of just moving well over letting ego dictate what we do.
BUT no matter our age we have to stop just demonizing exercises. Or blaming exercises for aches and pains.
Squats don’t hurt your knees.
Bad squats or recruitment patterns with loads you haven’t earned do.
And unless you don’t ever plan to sit down to a toilet again, it would be in your best interest to learn to really control and retrain that squat movement pattern as much as you can!
If you want to be able to do a movement or maintain your mobility, you need to train that movement pattern in the gym!
Regress to progress.
Training only leads to injury when we haven’t earned a move or misuse a move.
By doing a move that doesn’t match your needs and goals, you can get injured at ANY age.
Often the fact that we even did moves with ego when we were younger, is what has now led to the aches and pains we even have.
But training isn’t dangerous.
We need to even see the gym as an opportunity to PRACTICE proper movements so that we are at less risk for injury in everyday life.
The gym is a perfect place to learn to move well.
Just don’t be afraid to regress to progress and focus on intentionality with your movement to earn those advancements!
Because if you train smarter and not just harder, you put yourself at less risk for injury getting up and down of the ground or lifting that box!
Myth #3: I shouldn’t lift too heavy.
First off, what is too heavy?
A weight you can’t lift?
Something you can’t lift with proper form?
If that’s the case, you shouldn’t EVER lift too heavy.
But if you don’t challenge your muscles, you won’t create that stimulus for muscle growth.
And we want to do everything we can to promote that environment for growth as we will find it gets harder and harder to build muscle the older we get!
But especially as we get older we need to focus on maintaining maximal strength.
That means NOT shying away from lower rep, heavy weight work in our training.
Maximal strength work means we are better able to prevent falls and fractures and are not only stronger, but have more lean muscle mass which keeps our bones healthy and helps us look leaner.
So lift heavy for strong bones and a lean physique!
Stop defaulting to only doing 15-20 rep work with lighter loads.
Push those heavy weights as you earn them and build up to keep yourself strong and your metabolic rate higher!
Myth #4: I have (insert health concerns here).
We always want to address injuries and health concerns with our training routines.
But this should be the case at any age.
However, too often, as we get older and more health concerns may pop up, we see this as a reason to stop pushing hard in our workouts or train at all.
When often training will help us improve our health and can even combat many of our symptoms!
Strength work can help reduce chronic inflammation. It can reduce our risk for osteoporosis. It can improve our cognitive functioning.
It can help us sleep better to recover from illness faster.
It can help us maintain our bone health.
It can even help us retrain movements and strengthen muscles to overcome injuries.
It can help us move and feel a whole heck of a lot younger.
Overall, strength training is linked with a 10%–17% lower risk of heart disease, total cancer, diabetes, lung cancer and death from any cause. (According to a review study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2022; 56 ))
Yet so often we let health concerns stop us instead of finding a way to strengthen around them. And THAT is what makes us feel older so much faster!
Find ways to regress moves and address what you need to focus on feeling the correct muscles work.
Design workouts around your schedule based on the intensity you need. And start back slow.
But the key is to START and to focus on building, meeting yourself where you are at!
Myth #5: I shouldn’t do awkward moves.
As we get older, we are less willing to make ourselves feel uncomfortable or awkward or even bad at something.
When we’re young, we embrace it more as we encounter new things on almost a daily basis even.
But as we get older, we don’t like to push to do new things that feel awkward and uncomfortable.
The thing is…we need to.
Those awkward moves improve our mental health.
They also keep our mind-body connection strong which allows us to react more quickly in everyday life.
Many even improve our balance and core strength, especially if they are single sided moves!
And these moves help us even build muscle, creating progression in different ways, changing the range of motion, stability and even tempos.
They challenge not only our body but even our mind to keep us younger and healthy!
And ladies, studies have shown even greater benefits from physical activity in terms of our thinking speed as we get older!
Myth #6: I can’t build muscle.
Yup. It does get harder to build and retain lean muscle as we get older.
But trying to use this as an excuse to not even try?
It is even more reason to push hard and lift heavier!
It’s also a reason to cut back on the chronic cardio, which can not only cause more inflammation and joint issues, but lead to us struggling even more to build and retain lean muscle.
Instead we need to do everything we can to combat the fact that we don’t have the optimal hormone levels for muscle growth Any exercise we once did and we don’t utilize protein as efficiently.
We need to do everything we can to focus on lifting heavy, challenging ourselves and pushing hard in our training while including adequate recovery.
This is the only way we can build muscle and at least make sure we maintain what we already have as the more we lose through inactivity, the more we will struggle to get it back the older we get!
Myth #7: I can’t recover as quickly so I shouldn’t do as much.
We may find that our recovery does change as we get older, especially even during menopause when our sleep may be impacted more.
But this is all the more reason to train with purpose and design intentional workouts that we can be CONSISTENT with.
Because the more inconsistent we are, the harder we make it on ourselves to recover.
We don’t often realize that, as we’ve gotten older, we actually are less consistent in having that set gym training routine.
And that inconsistency can make every workout feel new to our body, so we are constantly getting sore.
Make sure to set a schedule you can be consistent with.
Then don’t randomly string together moves or workouts without a plan.
Create a set schedule you repeat for a few weeks so you can slowly progress and build each week.
This will help improve your recovery over always feeling beat down.
Plus, including mobility work and not feeling pressure to do wasted volume may not only help you recover faster but even build strength more efficiently from your training.
Often less is more and too often, when we’re younger, we do more just because we can or because we’re trying to out exercise our diet.
So see this as an opportunity to make some changes that lead to even better gains!
Define aging on your own terms.
Stay strong till your final day on this planet by never stopping to push yourself and challenge yourself.
Include those strength workouts that make you uncomfortable but that meet you where you are at to see fabulous muscle and strength gains at any and every age!
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