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Respect for your age

I have been pushing some pretty intense workouts the in recent weeks, training hard with weights, and I notice how when I really work my muscles hard, it now takes me at least 3 days to stop aching and fully recover. I don’t mind pain, I could train after 1 day or 2 no problem, but I will get progressively weaker. In order to train and get progressively stronger, I now need 3 days between really heavy, intense workouts.

It’s an age thing

This is an age thing. You guys aged between 16 and 26 have no idea! It gets way harder as you get older, and you have to put your macho ego to one side and train slower, smarter, take your time and eat clean. When I was 21 I could train heavy every day. It’s easy when you are young, you still live at home with your parents and they look after you – you can sleep 8 or 9 hours at night. Lucky you!

It’s a lot harder when you get older and have more responsibilities and less sleep. I have young children, I am the wage earner for a family of 5, I own a company and have many responsibilities. These things take up my time and deny me from sleep. As we get older, testosterone production slows down and [frustratingly] we have to pace ourselves better. I could try to be macho and train heavy every day, but I would end up losing muscle and feeling exhausted all the time, so instead I now settle for training heavy just twice a week and only training lighter on the other days, or hitting other body parts, or hitting my cardio work.

Listen to your body

I am only telling you this to help you think about YOUR training/exercise routine and what works best for your body. Don’t over-train. Not with weights or on your cardio. I made the same mistake when I was running…I got myself ‘marathon fit’ early in 2010, and then held it at that level for too long, running a marathon or further approximately every 7 or 8 weeks for about 22 months non-stop. I was getting fitter and faster, but my body had no down time to recuperate, and eventually I was picking up injuries, and finally it cost me a trashed knee. The price I have paid for that trashed knee was surgery and one full year off running. Not so smart in the end.

As we get older we must pace our training. I have struggled to learn this lesson, I am a typical ego-driven macho man, trying to ‘go hard or go home’ all the time. It’s great to train hard all the time if you are 23 years old and you sleep 8 or 9 hours a night and your mum still cooks your dinner, but if you are in your late 30’s, your 40’s or your 50’s, and you have responsibilities to your family and career which stop you getting lots of sleep, then you need to ease back on your training, go hard once or twice per week, but balance the hard training with as much sleep, rest and good clean nutrition as you can.

Common sense, as always, wins the day. It has taken me a long time to learn this. I know a few of my friends (Hi Bill mate…) who will be pleased to read this post!!

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