Weight training after 40 years of age
I recently received a mail from one of my readers, who is almost 40, asking me whether he could train with weights and get into good shape.
He can and he should, I would like to stress.
There are countless, well-documented researches the world-over that have time and gain stated that weight training can be done at any age and should be done as a person gets older.
This form of exercise will condition his cardiovascular system, circulatory system, rebuild or at least preserve cartilage, rejuvenate the body (by making it produce new muscle cells) and increase metabolism.
Weight training will keep the endocrine system in tip-top shape, making the person look fit and young.
There are some stories on this blog that talk about benefits of weight training.
I would like you to read all those as well.
However, before you begin, get a thorough medical check-up done.
Check all vital functions and get an ECG, BP test and sugar test done.
If you are 100 per cent normal, you can begin.
If you suffer from high BP or show signs of any abnormality, you will have to follow your physician’s advice. Certain exercises have to be avoided in some cases.
But, remember that weight training can be used even for cardiac rehabilitation. Weight training should be totally avoided only in certain cases where there has been serious damage to the heart.
Read about all that in other stories posted on this blog.
The routine I have given should be performed on three non-consecutive days a week.
Begin with mild cardio
Sit on the stationary cycle and pedal at a moderate intensity for 15 minutes.
(When you begin training for the first time, start with just 2-3 minutes. You can eventually increase the duration.)
As the weeks go by, your cardiovascular system and lungs will get well-conditioned. You may then start with 2 minutes of very casual cycling. The next 13 minutes should make you feel that you are exercising. This will increase blood circulation and slightly increase heart beat. But, don’t pedal so hard that you feel like your heart would just leap out of your body through your mouth.
After the short cycling session, perform warm-ups using exercises such as Front Raises, Lateral Raises, Shoulder Abductions, Internal Rotations, External Rotations and Triceps Pressdowns without any weight. You may even use ½ kg or 1 kg dumbbells, if needed.
(I will soon post an entire story on warm-ups.)
Sets and Reps
You are now ready to hit the weights.
Read the routine I have suggested below.
Week 1: Perform one set of 15 reps using a light weight on all exercises during the first week.
Week 2: Perform 2 sets on all exercises the second week. Use a light weight for the first set, like the previous week. For the second set, add a little more weight and perform 10 reps.
Week 3: You can perform the full routine with the number of sets and reps indicated from the third week.
You will be using the Pyramid Technique (Details on this can be found in another story on this blog).
At the end of each exercise for every muscle group, stretch the muscle trained for a few seconds. Rest for a minute between sets and go to the next set.
Remember that any muscle should not be held in stretched position for more than a few seconds. Only very well-conditioned sportsmen can hold stretches for 6-7 seconds. Hyper stretching can lead to severe muscle tears. Besides, stretching should never be part of your warm-up. If you try to stretch a cool muscle, you will not only decrease physical output but also injure yourself.
After the weights
At the end of the workout, sit on the stationary bike once again and bike at a moderate pace for 5 to 10 minutes. You can now call it a day!
Three other days
Perform cardiovascular training such as brisk walking or stationary cycling for a non-stop 30 to 60 minute session on the days you don’t train with weights.
Start with 10 minutes of moderate pace walking or cycling when you begin training. Add 2 to 5 minutes each week and eventually reach 30 minutes. After a few months, you can increase the duration by 5 minutes each week and touch 60 minutes.
Fine-tune your diet plan. Consume sufficient amount of complete proteins (egg whites, skimmed milk, grilled chicken breast, fish), moderate amount of complex carbohydrates (oats, whole wheat, fibrous vegetables and grains) and heart-healthy fats (fish oil, olive oil, nuts).
Have a piece or two of fruit (not juice) after workouts. If you struggle to lose fat, it is better to avoid fruits as they contain sugars.
Drink plenty of water. You can also consume coconut water and a small amount of buttermilk.
Eat 5 to 6 small meals day and not three huge, conventional meals. The last meal of the day should contain very less carbohydrates.
Try out this plan and your physique transformation will be amazing.
The benefits your internal organs receive will make the rest of your life the happiest phase.
Leg Extensions 3 x 15,12,10
Squats 3 x 15,12,10
Dumbbell or Machine Bench Press 3 x 15,12,10
Pulldowns 3 x 15,12,10
Alternate Dumbbell Press 3 x 15,12,10
Seated Dumbbell Curl 3 x 15, 12,10
Pressdowns 3 x 15, 12,10
Standing Calf Raises 3 x 15, 12,10
Seated Leg Tucks 3 x 15
_ C. Lakshmi Kumar