Staying in Shape the 45+ Way with Demmy James

Staying in Shape the 45+ Way with Demmy James
Staying in Shape the 45+ Way with Demmy James

Bio:

Demmy is a fitness buff who believes in paying it forward by always aiming to inspire others towards achieving their own health and fitness goals…

 

There is a common misconception across the health industry that as you get beyond the age of 40, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to get in shape. But I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you this; as you have probably heard it all before.

 

As you get older your metabolism starts to slow down”.

 

You literally cannot build muscle after 40, its physically impossible”.

 

There is no point weight training after 45, because it will wreck your joints”

 

Do you want to know the truly interesting thing about all of this?

 

It is all completely false.

 

Seriously.

 

While I will be the first to admit that you probably shouldn’t train the same way at age 50 as you did at age 25, that certainly isn’t to say that you don’t have the ability to lose fat, build muscle, and get stronger – it simply suggests that you need to approach it a little differently.

 

Which is exactly what I am talking about in today’s article.

 

Exercise after 45

 

After the age of 45, people do tend to see a small decline in the amount of muscle mass they hold on their body – which can actually cause a small reduction in their metabolism.

 

However, it is important to note that this doesn’t simply happen because of their age.

 

In fact, it is thought to happen because as people age, they tend to participate in less strenuous physical activity, which ultimately results in them losing muscle mass. Now this isn’t a particularly unique phenomenon – it will happen to anyone of any age, when they stop performing vigorous physical activity.

 

But this process does give us some insight into what type of exercise should be the priority after 45.

 

Weights training.

 

Yep, lifting heavy things and putting them back down again – who would have thought that something so simple in nature has the capacity to act as the much sought after “fountain of youth”.

 

The Benefits of Weight Training after 45

The first key benefit of weight training after the age of 45 is a rather obvious one – it allows you to not only maintain but also to build new, lean muscle mass.

 

And for those of you who genuinely believe that you cannot physically build muscle after the age of 40, let me state that there is a growing body of evidence clearly demonstrating that you can still build new muscle tissue well into your seventies.

 

So yeah, it is very possible.

 

Now, weight training is also going to help you build a high degree of muscle strength that will keep your body functioning at a high level for the rest of your life. As much as you don’t want to think about it, this is what ensures you maintain independence well into your golden years.

 

Something that most will agree is very damn important.

 

Finally, weight training also has the ability to help you lose fat and tone up. This is because it keeps your metabolism high by ensuring that you build more muscle tissue, and the act of weight training actually burns quite a bit of energy in the process as well.

 

Considerations for Weight Training after 45

While weight training has a number of key benefits for literally anyone (and everyone) after the age of 45, there are a couple of caveats that need to be considered to ensure that it is done as safely and as effectively as humanly possible.

 

First and foremost, as you age the ability of your connective tissue (think tendons and ligaments) to recover workout-to-workout does become a little bit impaired. While nothing major, it is something that needs to be considered when writing programs.

 

The best way to mitigate this is by reducing the frequency in which you perform heavy complex movements such as squats and deadlifts.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, these are still fantastic exercises – but they do place a large amount of physical stress on your joints. As a result, it is in your best interest to keep them to once per session.

 

With this in mind, single leg variations of these movements are great alternatives that can be used to elicit the same training response, albeit with less physical load placed on your body.

 

Secondly, full body workouts are your friend.

 

While many people swear by body part training splits (where you train a single muscle group on a dedicated day, once per week), I would argue that they really don’t maximize the potential of your body to build muscle and burn fat.

 

Alternatively, full body training splits can be performed 2-3 times per week, and revolve around exercises that target a heap of muscle mass; meaning that you can train every single body part in a single session.

 

This means that you will burn more energy and see better hormonal responses to your exercise session than you would otherwise.

 

A win-win if I have ever seen one!

 

Workouts after 45

Taking all of this into consideration, I have put together some full body programs that you can use at any age. Each of these sessions are full body in nature and can be performed 2-3 times per week easily and effectively.

 

These are the same for both genders, as in my mind workouts for men and workouts for women should really focus on the the same things – getting stronger, losing fat, and building lean, functional muscle.

 

Note: ‘A’ and ‘B’ exercises are performed in a superset fashion, where an ‘A’ exercise is followed immediately by a ‘B’ exercises. This reduces the time of the workout and increases the metabolic stress of the workout.

 

Workouts for 45-55

 

Fully             Body Workout 45-55 years: 2-3 times per week

 

 

Exercises

 

 

Sets             x Reps

 

 

1A:             Barbell Front Squat

 

 

4             x 6

 

 

1B:             Chin Ups (assisted if needed)

 

 

4             x 6

 

 

2A:             Dumbbell Bench Press

 

 

3             x 8

 

 

2B:             Single Leg Cable Deadlift

 

 

3             x 10 / side

 

 

3A:             Seated Row

 

 

3             x 10

 

 

3B:             Seated shoulder press

 

 

3             x 10

 

 

4A:             Bulgarian Split Squat (Dumbbells)

 

 

3             x 8 / side

 

 

4B:             Inverted row

 

 

3             x 12

 

 

4C:             Push Ups (hands elevated if needed)

 

 

3             x 12

 

 

Workouts for 55-65

 

 

Fully             Body Workout 55-65 years: 2-3 times per week

 

 

Exercises

 

 

Sets             x Reps

 

 

1A:             Romanian Deadlift

 

 

4             x 6

 

 

1B:             Lat Pull Down

 

 

4             x 6

 

 

2A:             Barbell Bench Press

 

 

3             x 8

 

 

2B:             Reverse Lunge (Dumbbells)

 

 

3             x 10 / side

 

 

3A:             Single arm DB row

 

 

3             x 10 / side

 

 

3B:             Arnold Press

 

 

3             x 10

 

 

4A:             Leg Press (single leg)

 

 

3             x 8 / side

 

 

4B:             Seated Row

 

 

3             x 12

 

 

4C:             Incline Push Up

 

 

3             x 12

 

 

Workouts for 65+

 

 

Fully             Body Workout 65+ years: 2-3 times per week

 

 

Exercises

 

 

Sets             x Reps

 

 

1A:             Goblet Squat (Dumbbell)

 

 

4             x 8

 

 

1B:             Lat Pull Down

 

 

4             x 8

 

 

2A:             Push Up (hands elevated)

 

 

3             x 8

 

 

2B:             Static Split Squat (Dumbbells)

 

 

3             x 10 / side

 

 

3A:             Bent over DB row (single arm)

 

 

3             x 10 / side

 

 

3B:             Single Arm DB Press

 

 

3             x 10 / side

 

 

4A:             Leg Press

 

 

3             x 12

 

 

4B:             Seated Row (cable machine)

 

 

3             x 12

 

 

4C:             Chest Press Machine

 

 

3             x 12

 

 

Diet after 45

In conjunction with all this training related information, I also wanted to make a note on diet.

 

While I believe that most key dietary principles should be the same at any age group (eat predominantly whole foods, with lots of lean meat and vegetables), there is a particular point that needs to be addressed for individuals above the age of 45.

 

As you get older, you actually need to consume more protein per serve to cause a significant increase in muscle protein synthesis (the process by which your body builds new muscle tissue) – and given that the maintenance and growth of muscle mass is imperative to health and function; this is pretty important.

 

With this in mind, it is in your best interest to aim for around 40 grams of protein 3-4 times per day to maximize your ability to enhance muscle health.

 

While this may sound like a lot, it could be something as simple as a few eggs for breakfast, a chicken salad for lunch, a protein shake as a post workout snack, and a nice piece of steak for dinner.

 

Simple and effective!

 

Take Home Message   

Staying in shape after the age of 45 is no easy feat – but it shouldn’t take any more effort than it would at any other time in your life.

 

In fact, by following the key principles outlined in this article, you may even find it easier!

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