I caught up with 2 of my old training buddies a few weeks ago. We used to train together when we were in our early 30’s. Back then we were fairly competitive on who could be stronger and fitter.
I would like to say we were all in pretty good shape. We felt young and invincible. Each week we seemed to be getting stronger and stronger.
The amazing thing is, back then none of us really knew what we were doing. One of my mates was into body building and had a huge collection of body building magazines with workouts in it from all the celebrity body builders at the time.
So basically, our workouts consisted of grabbing a magazine and randomly pick a workout. And at the time it seemed to work. We all got more muscle and stronger.
Life, family, work commitments… fast forward 10+ years and I am now sitting in a café with them chatting about the good old days and training.
My first mate, who was into the body building and I would probably say the strongest of us all told me this…
“my training these days is almost non-existent. I have had a shoulder operation and the surgeon told me if I keep lifting weights I will need surgery on the other shoulder. My knees are busted, so I can’t squat. I have no cartilage lets from knees of pounding them with heavy weights and I am still recovery from my hernia operation”
This came as a complete shock. I remember him in his 30’s… strong and invincible. I can’t believe what I hear, because I don’t have any injuries or pain and feel great. I think to myself what happened… how did this happen…
My other mate then went on to say…
“I feel smaller, weaker and fatter than ever. I train 3-4 times a week, but nothing seems to be working for me”
What happened? 10+ years ago we were all pretty well equal, in strength, fitness and health.
Through work and family we all moved away from each other, so we started training on our own.
My first mate continued down the body building path and following the celebrity workouts in his magazine. This continued working for him for a few more years, until a little pain crept in and then finally injury and surgery. Even after surgery he went back to the same old ways again until something else broke in his body. This cycle repeated itself many times over the 10 years, until now where he is that injured and broken he can no longer train in strength and the doctors have told him to not do much more than just walking.
My other mate initially continued with what he remembered from when we were all training together, but as time went on and his gains stopped, he starting looking elsewhere. He turned to Facebook and Instagram to find workouts, hoping this would help him over come his plateau and he would start to see gains again. Unfortunately, the opposite happened, and he actually started going backwards, even though he increased his training.
I, too was a little lost initially as I used to do just whatever my body building friend said to do. But I wanted to learn this properly and I wanted to learn the best way to get fit & strong. So I went back to school and became a Personal Trainer. Only to discover that is the tip of the iceberg. There was still so much more to learn.
I continued studying… I read books from professionals that had science to back up their claims, I attend workshops and courses.
There are a lot of bad personal trainers out there. They lack skill and experience. I keep telling myself, I did not want to be one of them.
I knew in the back of my mind, that my body needed to be functional and athletic. I should be strong, but also feel fit. But most importantly my training should help prevent injuries, not cause them. I should not be feeling pain or niggles.
Along the way I did occasionally feel pain or niggles. But this gave me the opportunity to step back, throw my ego out and ask myself, what am I doing wrong. What is out of alignment. What needs to change.
In my quest to build a Functional and athletic body I discovered StrongFirst. StrongFirst is a global educator when it comes to Strength training and the gold standard when it come to Kettlebell training.
The skills, knowledge and principle I have learnt through StrongFirst and my mentors, is what I believe has made all the difference in my training.
And, why I am now in my 40’s feeling stronger than ever, pain free and feel fit and athletic. To be honest I feel better now than I did in my 30s.
It really comes down to Training Smarter as we get older. We still train hard, but we have a plan in place. A system and guiding principles to ensure longevity.
Here are a few things I have learn along the way and the typical mistakes many people make especially those over 40:
• Too much frequency
• Too much volume
• Too many reps
• Too many exercises
• Too much variety
• Too much intensity
And the list goes on.
None of that works.
To get strong without wrecking your joints and sapping your energy and zest for life you have to DO THE OPPOSITE of what’s cool and trendy these days.
You need to focus on the Foundations – the major movement patterns – keep the rep range low so you can focus with intent and lift relatively heavy.
Spend time addressing movement limitations and restrictions and take time to recover.
But most importantly, have a well thought out program create specifically for you. This is not a series of random workouts, this is a plan. It addresses your weaknesses and limitation and builds on your strengths. Designed to create a well rounded and balanced body.
So, if you want to get strong, fit, healthy and have plenty of energy to crush the day then book a quick chat with one of our coaches, so we can explain how we can help you.
The last thing you want is to end up like my friends in their 40’s.. One is injured and broken and then other is going backward, losing strength and getting fatter.
Book a call today and start building a strong athletic body.