So I got an email the other day from a prominent men’s magazine promoting a training program for men over 40 and apparently I have been going about this all wrong. Once you hit the magical age of 40 you can no longer perform the same exercises you did in your 20’s.
Here is what they want men over 40 to know, a lot of fitness plans out there can put your body at risk! They prescribe exercises that put your shoulders and knees in unsafe positions, heavy lifts that result in slow-healing injuries, and workout plans that strain your body. Instead of getting results you just get tired.
They promise if you buy their 12 week workout plan it will help you: Burn through belly fat! Build your arms, abs and chest! Strengthen every muscle! Get a better pump with minimal pain!
Promoting that guys after 40 have to train differently is complete bullshit. I started my fitness journey when I was 46 and I am now 53. Currently I squat, bench and deadlift. I perform the same exercises as any bodybuilder in their 20’s. I have competed in natural bodybuilding shows in 2012 and 2014 and plan to compete again in 2019 or 2020. I have worked with some of the top natural bodybuilding coaches out there and none of them have ever indicated I needed to train a different way due to my age.
Any exercise that puts your shoulders or knees in an unsafe position is bad exercises at any age.
You need to select the appropriate exercises based on your body’s ability to safely get into proper position and to be able to complete the movement through the full range of motion. If you lack the flexibility then you need to work on that first.
Beginners to weight training should first focus on mastering the movement pattern; hip hinge, squat, and pressing before adding weight to the bar. Once you are able to do that there should be no reason you can’t work up to training with heavier weights over time.
When you first start training you can lose some fat but for the most part losing fat comes from your diet and not from your training, especially weight training. In other words you can’t out train a bad diet.
I applaud this magazine for trying to encourage men over 40 to start training but implying they can’t lift heavy or use certain exercises anymore due to age is sending the wrong message in my opinion. Don’t let anyone set limits on what you are capable of.