Advice For Men Over 40
- Do shorter workouts more frequently. Forty-five (hard) minutes, six days a week is more tolerable than 80 (hard) minutes three days a week. A good rule of thumb: A few hours after you complete a workout, you feel as if you could repeat it.
- Avoid grinding reps, especially with heavy barbell work. Those recovery checks you’re writing keep getting bigger while your bank account is only getting smaller.
- Use variations of the patient lifter’s method. That is 8 sets of 3 crisp reps with your 5RM.
- Manage volume correctly. Volume is great for building muscle, but it can gas you too. Instead, push volume in waves. You could do a month of moderate volume, a second month of much higher volume, and a third month at a lower volume.
- Always bookend very intense or high volume phases with a de-loading phase. (Must be longer than one week.)
- Skip the barbells every now and then. Between serious volume or intensity “blocks,” skip the heavy barbell work for dumbbells or single-leg variations. Also add in steady-state cardio and mobility drills. It’ll be like adding oil to your lamp.
- Steady state cardio is an awesome recovery tool (as long as it isn’t a slog fest). It burns fat, improves mood and mental clarity, and boosts cardiovascular health—things all older guys need.
- Get more sleep. You know this, though. You’re surviving on five hours, not thriving. Here are 5 Ways to Sleep Better Every Night.
- Belly breathing. Most people take very short, shallow “half-breaths.” Get them to perform a few deep, full lung-filling breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) and watch their reaction. Three minutes, three times a day works wonders to get the parasympathetic nervous system back online.
- Slow down. How? Just do less. Yeah, right. A better answer: when overwhelm hits, do the deep breathing above and go for a 15-minute walk. Running through your mental to-do list won’t help. You need to re-set your brain.