I am now in my Forties and the needle is verging ever closer to the forty mark. I have always liked to keep in shape over years, and have even returned to boxing at the end of my thirties. I have always ignored the naysayers who said you cant work out like you used to when you were a teenager.
There is definitely some wisdom in this advice but it does not mean you cannot train hard. I have been very fortunate to not sustain any serious injuries over the course of my years involved in fitness. I put this down to 2 reasons.
1. Training in short but intense sessions and focus on mobility.
2. Listening to my body, when it is tired I back off and let it rest. When I have loads of energy and vitality I push it a little harder.
3. Reading as much science backed information about exercise as I can.
So what do the experts say? Reduce workout sessions and focus on mobility exercises. When you do this you give the body what it needs. By doing HIIT style workouts you increase your heart rate and the body has to force extra blood and oxygen to the lungs and also directly to the muscle you are working.
This gets your body out of its normal state and places a demand on it that it has to cope with. The trick is to do this only for a short period of time. When in the gym this equates to 30-45 minute exercise sessions.
Any more time than this will only result in overtraining. When you do that the body will feed on itself and negate any gains you have made in the gym. This is essentially even truer as you age. You have to train smart and be wise.
If you are staying in the gym longer than this you are actually creating negative gains. Less work is more, as long as you push the body in intense sessions.
There is one more caveat that will supercharge your strength, weight loss and muscle building gains. Its called cycling the intensity. With this method you are still performing HIIT high intensity training style routines. But instead of building up to your max speed every week you do it in stages.
Week 1 you go lighter, and you add on an extra 10% in weight each week or speed if you ae on a bike or treadmill. You build this up for 4 weeks until you are about to top out at your max speed and strength. For the last 2 weeks you go full bore intensity.
Immediately following that you go back to 50% for the next 2 weeks. Then you build up another 6 week cycle. That is called cycling the intensity and it translates to a super-efficient workout program. One you can employ 3- 4 times per year before it gets static.
You can also do these HIIT style routines on manual or powered treadmills or incorporate them into outdoor walking and running.