Happy New Year!
Since this is the first day of the new year I figured I would share one more article from 2018 today when I went into the archives. The original publishing date of today’s article was back on July 3, 2018.
Whether you like it or not today is the day that many people start setting New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you do that or not I figured that today’s article may help guide you even if you decided it’s time for you to “tweak” your training looking at the new year. Read and apply!
- Are you continuing to win your war on strength beyond your 30’s?
- Are you currently trying to lift and train the same now as you did in your 20’s?
- Are you battling with ailments and injury more often?
- Are you still trying to blast out record PR’s every 6 to 8 weeks in your 30’s?
If you’re looking to keep crushing your strength gains for the long haul then you’ve got to change up your strength and conditioning approach as you ease into your 30’s, 40’s, and beyond. Sure you can still blast some new PR’s and blow up the heavy weight, but I would strongly recommend going about doing it intelligently and with an eye for experience.
Strategies For Crushing Your Strength Gains And Maintaining Health
1) Go Higher Reps: Despite always wanting to hit the power rep range from 1 to 5 reps during your major lifts it is also acceptable to go higher on your reps. Now with this being said just because you’re dealing with lighter loads and more reps this doesn’t mean you need to shift the focus of the day’s lifting to getting the lifts done faster and with setting up a race against the clock.
Steady your pace and focus on executing the reps with a high degree of quality. With lighter loads you can still shift your focus from maximum force production to fine tuning your technique and maximizing control and muscular tension. This is a tried and true way you can still preserve your joints and connective tissue while still building significant lean muscle. These benefits are huge if you’re looking to develop strength and optimal health throughout your lifetime.
2) Use Different Exercise Selection: The barbell is a hell of tool when it comes to banging out the heavy weight and crushing your strength gains, however as you get older it’s a good idea to look at other exercises to challenge your body in different ways. Once again super heavy lifts can really pound on your joints over time and I’m a firm believer in stressing the neuromuscular system with different modalities of physical stress to allow for joint preservation while still building strength and lean muscle.
Kettlebells, HIIT workouts, and bodyweight are always tried and true options for developing real world strength that lasts no matter what age we’re approaching. By leaning on other exercises you’ll also challenge your body to move and develop strength in a very different way compared to the usual powerlifting approach.
3) Create More Resistance Without Heavier Weight: I know you’re probably sitting there scratching your head over this one, but you can create greater resistance without necessarily adding more weight to the bar. If you’re still itching to hit that set of deadlifts, but understand that you need to pull back on the super heavy weight then shift your focus from having to add more weight to the bar to simply creating more muscular tension.
You can do this by changing up the speed at which you lift the bar. You can pull a deadlift and emphasize the pause at the top of the movement to intensify grip strength and to create more total body tension. You can also slow your descent emphasizing the negative (or eccentric) portion of the lift. You can also utilize accommodating resistance by attaching a chain, or resistance band to the bar during the deadlift pull.
4) Test Your Max Effort Less Often: If you’ve been lifting heavy for at least a solid decade or more then you should be pretty in tune with your body and what you’re capable of doing. With that being said you can cut down on testing your max effort lifts. I mean I’m not going to be the strength coach to sit here and tell you stop, but I would suggest limiting the super heavy tests to maybe a couple times a year at most.
I mean with your seasoned muscles having ample lifting experience through your 30’s, 40’s, and beyond you know what your body is capable of producing. Sure I’m a big believer in you testing yourself, but there are other ways you can go about doing it to create a heavy lifting strategy for yourself that will last late into your life. The whole point here is health and lifting longevity.
Crushing Strength Gains Beyond Your 30’s: The Takeaway
At the end of the day, or at the end of the decade in this case, you want to be open to changing your approach to pursuing your strength gains to maximize both your performance and your health. I don’t view this as having to give anything up, but rather altering the approach over a lifetime.
What changes have you made to pursuing your strength gains in your 30’s and 40’s?
What heavy lifting do you still include in your strength program?
Post up and share here in the comments below.
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