Training Smart: Age appropriate training is the key to fitness, not just lifting things up and putting them down.
In my 40 years of being a fitness trainer,I have trained major Hollywood actors for roles,the everyday athlete,weekend athletes and just those that want to be fit. My findings are that almost all men,sorry guys,in fitness training over extend their capabilities because they can. The amount of knee replacements, hip replacements, knee surgeries and shoulder surgeries is staggering. Once you get those surgeries you are never the same.
Why not train smarter now? It is a little like financial planning: put away today what will serve you later on. Train with balance. Balance by working the muscles in a balanced manner side to side and front to back. If you work the quadriceps(the front of the thighs) then in turn, work the hamstrings(back of the thigh) equally. Also,working the lateral thigh muscles and adductors(inner thighs) equally. If you do a ton of ab work, then work your back equally.
I trained with very heavy weights because I was training for the fire department. As a result, I was the first woman to pass the fire test in three cities (my claim to fame). My body always hurt. Yes, I was able to achieve the result I was looking for but later on my body no longer liked weights. I changed my regime and began working with Pilates. By the way, Pilates was a man who was a body builder and designed the system for soldiers originally. Anyway, I immediately felt better and also stronger; but stronger in an all over manner. My whole body was involved.
I have been a trainer through my 20’,30’s,40’s,50’s, and now my 60’s. I have all my own joints and no structure surgeries unlike my much younger trainer friends. None of my clients have knee replacements or surgeries. I get it, it feels good at the moment to train strong but just look ahead and be aware of the outcome later in life.
Get an age-appropriate trainer! Too often when you go to a gym they assign you a 23 year old trainer when you are 51 years old. That trainer has no clue what it is like to be in your body!
I train a famous actor,and we have been together going on twenty- three years. We are the same age! He does travel often,but each time he comes back I know where his body is at that moment and can train appropriately. We train with Pilates.
I love cardio work. I have transitioned age-appropriately through my years. In my 30’s I competed in marathons, triathlons and then called biathlons. I finished age-group second in every race I competed in. The first place was always elusive but I’m pretty OK with that. Looking back, I can look at my medals and be happy I put myself out there. Through my 40’s and 50’s I trail ran,which saves the knees. Now,I love just mountain biking or hiking for fitness and it saves the joints to see another day of fitness training.
Just assess your goals age appropriately and train smarter. Be your own advocate. If a trainer asks you to do something you feel is not right,say something and demand they train you smarter!
Photo Credit: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet/flickr