Muscle Sport Magazine

Training As You Age – Turning Back Your Biological Clock

Just as children grow into teenagers and teenagers grow into adults. Adults, of course, become older adults. And with this coming of age, you need to train differently. People sometimes think that if you change something just because your age changes, that you’re admitting defeat or citing weakness. That’s not true. You train differently when you’re 21 than you do at 13, so there’s no reason to think any less of training differently at 51 than 21.


Older man who has been training consistently


If you’ve been working out for years you’re going to have some quirks. You’ll get wear and tear on the knees for example whether you workout or not. Sore elbows, sore joints, they happen. If you’ve been working out, you have an idea on how you can work around them. Maybe you’re taking things with a different approach than you used to. And, you already know that you’ll recuperate differently than 20 years ago.

If you’ve been training heavy, you’ve got to change that up. The risk of getting hurt is too great after years of abuse on the joints and ligaments. Even if you’ve never been injured, you are at an increasing risk. Train smarter now, not harder. When you’re younger you’re resilient, but when you’re older, you have to start using your head more.


I also recommend that older men gravitate more toward machines. I’m not saying you have to, but you may find it more comfortable (like I did). Some people don’t like the idea of machines, and if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t go to the gym, so that’s fine. “Free weights all the way” is your motto? Then use them. But you can still stimulate the muscle and isolate the muscle with a machine, while doing it more safely, than you can with a free weight.


Another thing that you have to take into consideration when weighing out whether or not to add some more machine work is how much you have used them in the past. We all know that the body adapts. If you’ve been training for 30 years hard and heavy using only free weights and compound movements, you need a change anyway. Machines will help you grow because they’re targeting the muscles differently. In this case, you’re not doing machines just because you’re less likely to get injured, you’re using machines because they’re betterfor you right now.


I know some guys are never going to agree with going to machines, something in their ego will tell them to be stubborn. I didn’t use to be a machine person, but with technology these days, isolation machines are available for everything.



As you age, you have to think more and more healthy. You’re not going to recuperate the same as a kid and your body isn’t going to process foods the same way. You can end upwith clogged arteries, your cholesterol might be rocketing up, your metabolism will slow down.


Help combat aging with cardiovascular exercise. It can be as simple as walking on the treadmill or taking your dog out for a jog. But you need to do this for yourself and for the people that care about you. If you’re training heavy, you’re naturally increasing your blood pressure already. Help yourself and get in some cardio.



Excerpt from “Essentials of Bodybuilding” by Gregg Valentino with Nathan Jendrick

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