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over 40's fitness

THE BENEFITS OF RESISTENCE TRAINING FOR OVER 40'S

OVER 40 AND NOT LIFTING WEIGHTS?

Being 47 myself I tend to talk to a lot of people over 40 about exercise. A trend I see is how many over 40’s stop or don’t perform resistance training. The reasons being '‘I don’t want to build muscle as i’m too old now'‘, ‘‘I just do cardio as I just want to burn fat these days’’ amongst many other reasons.

Are these people right? Of course they’re not and lets see the reasons why these women and men are making a big mistake leaving resistance training out of their exercise routines.

AGE RELATED LOSS OF MUSCLE AND STRENGTH

As we start to plough through our forties we can lose approximately 1 to 2 % of muscle mass every year and this can speed up as we get older, this is called sarcopenia. It doesn’t have to be like that! Remember that saying if you don’t use it you lose it? Well if you are pretty inactive you will lose muscle mass.

What is the solution? Resistance training of course! An increase in your muscle mass will help build your metabolic rate too, resulting in a leaner body. Muscle is metabolically active so more calories are used throughout the day. Two to three resistance workouts a week will not only maintain muscle mass it will increase it. You can build an awesome body in your forties, fifties and beyond! It’s not too late even if you have never trained before.

BONE DENSITY DECREASES AS WE AGE INCREASING THE RISK OF OSTEOPOROSIS

As we age our bone density decreases and we have a higher risk of osteoporosis. This can result in fractures as we start to get into old age. We all hear of ageing family members having a fall and fracturing a hip etc. It’s more common in women but still affects a large percentage of men too. Guess what? Yep, resistance training can slow down bone loss and in some cases increase the strength of your bones! Two to three weight sessions a week and you’ll have bones as strong a s steel..well a lot stronger than before anyway. Take a look at my client Karen, in her 50’s she has been training with weights for a few years now and she is fit, healthy and strong!

IMPROVED BODY IMAGE

As we age we tend to suffer from the middle age spread. We are less active, we eat and drink more and we put on weight. We can start to feel bad about ourselves because we don’t look like how we used to when we were younger, our confidence goes so we eat some more and drink some more for comfort. It doesn’t have to be like that at all! What can help? Weight training again! You can do all the cardio you want it won’t change the shape of your body at all apart from becoming a smaller version of what you was before. That isn’t knocking cardio at all as it is important but weight training sessions will change the shape of your body by adding muscle in the right places. A great strength training plan with a great nutrition plan can dramatically improve your body and how you see yourself, improving mental health.

My client Dave Ridgewell part way through his transformation. He’s 56 years young.

My client Dave Ridgewell part way through his transformation. He’s 56 years young.

INCREASED MOBILITY AND FUNCTIONALITY

As we age we do tend to ‘seize up’. Resistance training will increase the mobility in your joints making you much more functional in your day to day life.

So what are you waiting for all you over 40’s, get to the gym and start training! If you haven’t got the confidence to go to the gym on your own then please get in touch and enquire about personal training!

Peter


STARTING A NEW SPORT AT AGE 46, BMX RACING!

Since I stopped competing in Natural Bodybuilding I have always missed competition. As time went on, as-well as my age, I started to think it may be too late as any sport I enjoyed, athletics for example, wouldn’t really be possible due to knee and shoulder problems. I didn’t really want to believe that though, there must be a sport that I can compete in and be competitive!

Myself at Rom Skatepark 2017

Myself at Rom Skatepark 2017

I looked into various sports but I didn’t have any passion for them, when I have that passion for something then I know I will give it my all, 100%, no less. I had already got back into BMX riding 3 years ago, a sport I have always loved since the early 1980’s, even when bodybuilding I still followed the sport, although not riding much myself. I started riding skateparks and ramps again and i’ve loved every minute of it! The feeling of being on my bike is a feeling that I crave. The best thing though is that there’s a massive over 40’s riding scene. Freestyle BMX isn’t something that I’m amazingly good at though, but it’s something that I love immensely. An added bonus is the fitness side, it’s pretty much like interval training, you ride for a couple of minutes, have a short rest, then go again. But I needed that competition still….

Ever since I discovered BMX back in 1982 I have loved watching and reading about BMX racing. It’s fast, exciting and spectacular to watch. I was always too shy to start racing when I was younger as I didn’t know anyone that raced, everyone was into the freestyle side of things, which was fine and that’s what I done, spending most of my days riding over the very famous Rom skatepark in Essex. Fast forward many years to the present day and here I am, a big boy that can now do things on his own!

Late last year I bought a BMX race bike, a stunning piece of kit that I couldn’t wait to use. I contacted my nearest race club and they said they would put me on the mailing list to inform me of the training times. Well, I booked myself onto the INTRO TO BMX that everyone has to do. I was told there was a few over 40’s that race at the club so I would’t be the only one. I turned up and to be honest I was a bit nervous, not because of the riding but because I would’t know anyone! Well I needn’t have worried as everyone was really friendly and the first guy I spoke to was 50 years old, so I felt ok!

Well, the intro bit took all of 2 minutes as they could see that I could ride ok so I was straight into the training session. I had no idea what to expect! After a couple of laps to warm up and a few jumping jacks we had a short ‘core’ session, planks etc and then onto walking lunges and bodyweight squats, I now know how my clients feel when I train them!

What followed was some sprints on the bike, some starting gate practice and skill lessons on manualling (basically a wheelie without pedalling) over some jumps and some crash training. I loved it! Feedback was good as I was told that they would of never thought I’d never raced before so that really boosted my confidence and one of the guys there thought I was hiding something as I could ride my bike well lol. They are a really good crowd.

So after the training session I drove home with a big smile on my face knowing I had made the right decision, starting a sport that I know that i’m really going to enjoy. It’ll take time building my fitness and skills but I can’t wait for my first race!

My bike after just getting home form my first ever BMX racing training session.

My bike after just getting home form my first ever BMX racing training session.

I will continue a blog on here too as I know there are a few over 40 people that look at this site thinking that maybe the time has past to follow their passions. Well, it is never too late to follow a passion or to have fun! With some good training and healthy eating you can do whatever you want! Go on, go for it….

Peter Chown