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4 tips for training as you age

4 tips for training as you age

I’ll be turning 50 in 2016. As a personal trainer, I often hear the phrase ‘I’m too old for that’, or ‘I haven’t been able to do that in years’?

Chances are if you are on the way to turning 50 or have surpassed that milestone, it may have crossed your lips.

Here are 4 tips tips to help you get the most out of your training, as well as why you need to train, as you get older. Pushing yourself is not only beneficial for your health, but necessary for helping you to maintain the type of fitness level that you not only want as you age, but frankly the fitness level you deserve.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to training as you get older:

1. Hit the weight room

Weights can be intimidating at any age, but I always encourage males and females over the age of 50 to spend time pumping iron. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Building lean muscle mass is important to maintain your metabolism, and to maintain your current weight;
  • By challenging your body through resistance training, not only will you maintain a lean physique, but you will also maintain healthier joints and ligaments by challenging yourself through full ranges of motion (NB: if you are inexperienced in using weights, make sure a professional shows you correct technique to avoid injury and get the most out of your training);
  • Resistance training is a fabulous way to improve your heart health. The heart is a muscle like anything else, so the harder you make your heart work the stronger it will become.

2. Don’t count

If you tell yourself ‘I’ll do 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise’ that’s all you will ever do. Instead of psychologically limiting yourself to an even number, select a weight and see how many repetitions you can do with correct form (again, if you are inexperienced work with a pro to show you how its done).

If you can do more than 15 repetitions the weight is too light. Raise the weight to the point where you struggle to complete the last 3 repetitions (i.e. 12-15). Record the weight you lifted, and use that as your guideline for your next session. You will see yourself progress, but on the one condition that you always remember to go by form and not solely by the number you think you are capable of.

3. Use as many joints as possible

Bicep curls are all well and good, but when you are training use as many muscle groups (and therefore joints as possible). Exercises like press ups, squats, lunges, and bent rows all utilise multiple joints in their execution, meaning that you are using more of your body at the same time, and therefore making your workouts more efficient and more beneficial.

4. Don’t forget to stretch

Budget time at the end of your session to stretch fully. You will feel stiffness after weight training, but this stiffness (aka Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS) will be magnified without stretching post-workout. Also, by stretching you are realigning your various muscle groups, so make sure that when you weight train (or any training for that matter) allow time to stretch at the end.

I hope this information helps you, and if you have any questions please drop me an email at [email protected] .

If you are over 50 I’d love to work with you to help you improve your fitness and get the most out of life.  Click here to see what my clients say about working with me, and if you like what you see and hear, get in touch so we can discuss your fitness and how to get the most out of it!
To learn more about healthy eating habits to achieve your fitness goals, contact James Staring, a leading personal trainer in Clapham, London.


James StaringJames Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced that most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, which he runs with his partner, Ali Page – James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.

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