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over 40

Fitness training for those of us past 40 years of age is more complicated.  Physical performance and recovery capacity are dramatically different.  If you need proof, look for the forty year olds in the NBA or NFL.  The good news is that with proper planning, consistent performance, and the wisdom that comes with age, we can stay fit and active for a lifetime.  I have compiled a collection of tips for the forty plus fitness client.  

Carry, Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Pull, Push– Every Week

005Most strength coaches divide human movement into 5-6 fundamental movement patterns.  These movements are what we are talking about when we call our training “functional.” Personally, I like to go with 6 patterns in the following order of importance: Carry, Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Pull, and Push.  These functional patterns include virtually all aspects of human movement.

The first two, carry and squat, are performed daily in real life while the other movement patterns are used less frequently.  Incorporating these movement patterns into your training program at least once per week will ensure that you develop a well-rounded physique, but more importantly, that your musculoskeletal system functions like the awesome machine it was made to be. Practicing these movement patterns should keep you free from asymmetry and injuries.  You will also become stronger and well balanced giving you the confidence to take on whatever life throws at you.  Just how frequently you train each pattern will depend on your current training status, movement quality, experience, and goals.  Following is a loose guide:
Carry: 3-5x/wk  (this can include traditional carries, crawls, Turkish Get Ups, or sleds)
Squat: 2-3x/wk
Lunge: 2-4x/wk
Hinge: 1-2x/wk, (Deadlifts, KB swings, or Good Mornings all fall into this category)
Pull: 3-5x/wk
Push: 2-4x/wk

-Jeff Tirrell, B.S., CSCS, Pn1

Fitness training for those of us past 40 years of age is more complicated.  Physical performance and recovery capacity are dramatically different.  If you need proof, look for the forty year olds in the NBA or NFL.  The good news is that with proper planning, consistent performance, and the wisdom that comes with age, we can stay fit and active for a lifetime.  I have compiled a collection of tips for the forty plus fitness client.

Reduce Sitting in Your Life and Never Sit Down and Exercise

trainingMost of us already spend too much time in a seated position.  The last thing you need in your fitness program is more sitting.  Movement happens in an upright, standing position.  “Seated exercise” is an oxymoron.  If you want to improve how your body functions, you must stand up and defy gravity.
Injuries happen in an upright position.  I have never treated someone with a recliner related anterior cruciate tear or an office chair induced ankle sprain.  Nearly every sport is performed in a standing position.  If the goal of your exercise program is to improve how your body functions and reduce the risk of an injury, then your exercise activity should be performed in a standing position.
“But Mike, what about all those fancy machines?”  Seated, prone, and supine exercises are devoid of core stabilization and balance demands.  Isolated muscles are trained and the remainder of the body is neurologically asleep.  Seated exercises also reinforce poor postural habits and diminish your capacity to move.   I call it the “illusion of exercise,” and it will always be highly visible in commercial gyms because it is easy to sell.
Researchers on health and longevity have labeled prolonged sitting “the cigarette smoking of fitness.”  Prolonged sitting produces all sorts of spinal and joint restrictions that contribute to the postural flaws that are rampant in offices across America.  The more worrisome issue is that those of us who spend more time sitting are statistically more likely to die earlier.  All things equal, the people who stand more are healthier.  They have better blood lipids, less hypertension, and fewer vascular problems.  Unfortunately, you cannot undo the ill effects of eight hours of daily sitting with two or three visits to the gym a week.
Make an effort to stand more during your day.  Ditch the ergonomic wonder chair in your office and throw out that recliner.  Try using a chair that physically reminds you it is time to stand up and move around every twenty minutes.  I am a big believer in stand up desks and have created many happy converts.
-Michael S. O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS

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