Many of you will have read me saying something to the tune of “Over 40 training is SMART training.”

And today, I want to give you a practical example of what that might mean for equipment choice and exercise selection.

To be clear, these equipment subs for classic exercises aren’t just great for older meatheads, but also for the younger, beat-up lifters too. And even some lifters who want to avoid becoming an older, beat-up meathead. Go figure.

SAFETY SQUAT BAR: This replaces the barbell in the back squat or good morning and is a game-changer for those that struggle with elbow pain and/or shoulder mobility that makes supporting a heavy barbell a net negative.

FOOTBALL BAR OR SWISS BAR: This bar replaces a traditional barbell for chest pressing. Now they’re all a little different, but the common trait is the multiple grip options, incl. parallel, neutral, and even angled grips. This allows for a neutral grip—which makes things a LOT easier on the wrists, elbows, and shoulders.

TRAP BAR: The trap bar provides an anatomically advantaged setup for the deadlift. Without the need to clear the knees on the way up, it allows for a more upright pull. You get all the benefits of a heavy hip–hinge that’s easier to set up, more “quaddy,” and a WHOLE lot safer. Plus no more bleeding shins.

LANDMINE: The landmine is a great replacement for DB or barbell shoulder pressing, and you’ll find these hanging off most racks nowadays. With the anchored fulcrum and single-arm focus, the landmine loads the shoulders while encouraging proper scapular function. You can even do heavy-ass rows too. Pretty sweet!

CABLE STATION: Yes expensive, but it’s also the most versatile and safest piece of equipment on this list. The cable station is great for everything from rows, presses, and pulldowns to every kind of curl and extension.

Not only does it offer excellent variety and range of motion, but the constant tension adds an entirely new dimension to your training. And unless you go out of your way to do something completely asinine like wrapping the cable around your throat to train the neck extensors, it’s really VERY hard to get injured.

– Coach Bryan