You won’t wake up on your 40th and suddenly need a stair-lift and mobility scooter.
But training in your 40s and beyond IS different.
Consider this recent client question:
“As a man approaching 50 that’s lifted for many years, do you feel that preserving hard-earned gains is best focused on injury prevention—rather than trying to keep loading the bar with more weight or extra volume?”
It’s actually a mix of BOTH.
At 50, avoiding injury & maintaining function are both top priorities.
But even with a “safety first” mindset, you can still make modest gains—you just have to adjust how you chase progress.
Instead of “I gotta add weight or reps no matter what” you could follow sub-max protocols like the sets-across method or various forms of cluster training.
Or you could structure training so that every other or every 3rd workout is a sub-max focus on smooth technique or different lifts that don’t load the joints or spine as much.
With apologies to the 19-year-old GymShark training gurus, all work that doesn’t chase progression is NOT “junk volume.”
This belief shows a limited understanding (or at least appreciation) of how individual the training STIMULUS–RECOVERY response is, especially in older and busier people.
Training individualization is EVERYTHING as you get older. Your days of “run it til it breaks down” are over, because your next injury could be the one that takes you out for good.
After that, the biggest factor is lifestyle management, which is NOT a bunch of ISOLATED activities like jumping in a cold tub or sitting in a sauna.
A cold plunge or morning sunlight won’t do shit if:
* your sleep is inconsistent
* you stare at a computer most of the day
* your diet is an inflammatory mess
* you drink more than one a day
* you have no deep, fulfilling relationships
* your internal self-talk sounds more like road rage
EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED—mind, body, diet, movement, recovery—and the older we get, the more dialed in it all has to be.
Don’t get sucked into dogma and the one-size-fits-all regimens that would still have broken you in your twenties.
Look at the bigger picture, train for the long term and chase different carrots.
– Coach Bryan