Training at 48, not like it used to be!

One of the things I like about the health and fitness magazines is that they document the workout routines of fit celebrities and athletes.   One of the drawbacks to this is that these programs are not always the most current, and frankly not customized to anyone but the person being profiled. Very rarely does the program describe the concepts behind the program design.  

At 48 years old, I find that I am training very differently than when I was 18 or 28 or even 38.   The results at this stage are not measured by how much weight I can move, or quick I can run. No, at this stage results are measured by things like:

ü  Ability to keep high levels of energy for family and work priorities.

ü  Ability to throw (including batting practice) with my 12 year old without my arm falling off.

ü  Ability to keep up with the 30-somethings in ice hockey without being sore the next day.

ü  Ability to go to the driving range and take 100 swings without feeling sore.

ü  Keeping my blood pressure low and manage stress.

These are the measures of an “old guy fitness program “– ha ha .

What prompted me to write about this are a couple of things.

  1. The number of questions I get about my ‘workouts”, mostly “for a guy my age”
  2. The results friends and fellow old guys have gotten from programs I designed for them.
  3. How my workout routine has changed over the years, including the tools I use and workout protocol.

First of all, let’s flush out one of the biggest fallacies there is in fitness. A workout routine should be as personal as the clothes you are comfortable in. A one size fits all is doomed to fail. Yes, there are common principles that each program should include.   Each program should include components of muscle activation, balance, mobility, strength, conditioning and recovery.   The tools you use, the variables you manipulate are endless.   These need to be customized to your situation, your lifestyle, your goals, your history, your preferences, your strengths and your weaknesses. We know thing deteriorate physically once over 30-35 years of age, so compensation is needed to slow down this process. At 48 starting a new program is different that someone who has trained their whole life. But the concepts are the similar.

So start with an assessment. It is worth the price of a membership or Personal training session to have a solid assessment of all the components above, and then re-assess every month. That helps keep people on track. A good assessment helped me a ton in the last year. Identifying areas of deterioration, such as balance and mobility (not uncommon as we get around 50!),   provided me a new motivation and sense of purpose to my workouts.

2nd of all, let’s shoot down the myth of “no pain, no gain”. This “Arnold” myth intimidates most people who even think about a fitness program – I am convinced. Regular workouts don’t have to be painful. In fact, one of my main goals is to avoid pain and soreness. I am a wimp that way!

So a workout program that is customized to you , strong assessment by a professional and not having to be sore are the 3 starting steps to any workout program.

Part 2 will look at some of my workout guidelines that help me slow down the aging process and stay energized!

Greg Lawlor

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