In case you missed the first three things you should start doing after 30, you can check that out by clicking here. But for those of you that have already read that, let’s dive into the next three things, shall we?
#1. Train for power.
One of the most vital physical qualities that quickly diminishes as you age is power, or the ability to generate and express strength quickly. Sprinting, jumping, or anything that is explosive in nature requires power to do so.
Now you might be thinking to yourself that being explosive doesn’t apply to you… you’re just an average Joe or Jane who doesn’t need to be quick. You work a desk job and other than an occasional jog, you barely go past 2nd gear in your daily life. I mean, come on, you’re not LeBron James!
And that’s where you’re wrong!
Athletes need to be explosive on a daily basis as their livelihood depends on it. You and I, however, do not. BUT, we still should be able to be explosive should the situation call for it. Why?
Let’s say your dog unknowingly runs onto a busy street. Your kid trips near a high ledge. You take one misstep walking down stairs. If you can’t move quickly enough to intervene or rectify these situations… well, it probably won’t have a pleasant outcome.
Training for power allows you to recruit muscle fibers and contract your muscles quickly for when life unexpectedly throws emergency type situations at you. Power is like car insurance in the sense that you don’t really pay attention to it until you need it… and then you’re damn happy you have it!
Did you know the main reason that the elderly population break their hips is not because their bones are too brittle (though thats a factor), but because when they trip and fall, they’re too slow to react accordingly? They literally cannot contract their muscles fast enough to stop themselves from falling.
Training for power is insurance for your quality of life. Neglect it, and you’ll regret it when something unfortunate (and possibly preventable) happens.
#2. Learn To Love To Warmup
Listen, it goes without saying that as you age your body just isn’t naturally as resilient as it was in your teens and twenties. Jumping into a training session without giving your joints, muscles, and nervous system a little TLC beforehand is a surefire way to not feel so hot in the following day or two.
Just like you would probably never start your car and immediately floor it in the dead of a frigid winter, going from 0-60 in your workouts isn’t ideal either, especially as you get up there in age. More seasoned bodies need some time to ensure joints are lubricated, muscles are primed, and that they are overall more prepared for the vigors of training as it takes a bigger toll compared to younger bodies.
Some arm circles and a set of bodyweight squats might have passed as a doable warmup before, but it probably won’t cut it anymore. Older bodies are more at risk for muscle strains, re-aggravating older injuries, or even sustaining new ones if you push things too hard, too quick.
Here are few guidelines to follow when it comes to making sure you’re warming up like you should.
- Set aside 10-15 minutes for your warmup. This will include any sort of soft tissue work (foam rolling) you need to do.
- Break a sweat. We’re not saying you should be drenched, but you should be perspiring a bit by the end of your warmup.
- Take the time to address any specific mobility or stability concerns you may have. Tight ankles? Weak core? Give those spots some extra attention.
- Regardless of your specific needs, make sure to address mobility at ankles, hips and spine.
- Make sure to address stability at the hips, core, and shoulder (get that butt warmed up, make sure those abs and obliques are turned on).
- Include a variety of movement patterns (squat, hinge, push, pull).
- Make sure your warmup is specific to your proceeding training.
Still don’t know how to warmup? Steal this one!
#3. Leave your ego at the door.
We could assume this goes without saying, but then again we’re sure Winnebago companies assumed their customers knew ‘cruise control’ did not mean ‘autopilot’ right before they were slapped with lawsuits (sounds absurd, but it happened). So, yeah, we’ll just leave all assumptions alone.
When you enter the glorified age of 30 and beyond, training is generally no longer about chasing and setting personal records. Sure, you can absolutely still hit them, but those ‘glory days’ are probably behind you. Your new goal is more along the lines of feeling and moving better, with aesthetics as a secondary goal.
Now I can already hear some of you huffing in disagreement as you roll your eyes.
“I don’t care if I’m 30+, I still want to look good!”
And we hear you, trust us. But looks won’t mean a damn thing if you’re constantly tight, in pain, or dealing with nagging bodily issues on a day to day basis. The best way to avoid these issues is to train intelligently over the long haul. This means avoiding maxing out on a regular basis, listening to your body, and adjusting exercises to fit you, not fit yourself to an exercise. Leave every session feeling invigorated and recharged, not beat to hell and struggling to breathe.
If you’re not feeling it one day, lessen the volume or change the entire workout to something easier. Can’t conventional deadlift from the floor anymore? Switch to a trap bar or elevate the barbell’s starting point with blocks or a rack. Shoulder hurts when you bench press? Switch to pushups.