A Time for Training

By: Sandra Prior

If you were physically active in your youth, it will be easier to start bodybuilding in midlife. Bodybuilders who may have stopped training for 10 years, return to it and recover their former condition, often within 6 months. Your body has a memory. You never forget how to swim or ride a bicycle.

Training is analogous to money. Each workout is like a deposit in an interest bearing account. With steady training you accumulate a fortune in physical benefits and appearance. When you stop training, it's like transferring your investment to a safe-deposit box. It no longer accrues interest. Nevertheless, it is still there a decade later.

An older person just starting bodybuilding training, interested in competition, should get some kind of evaluation of his or her possibilities. Your previous activities, past injuries, and current condition must be considered in designing your workout.

Exercise done in poor form with heavy weights can cause injury. Shoulders, elbows, neck, back and knees are vulnerable areas. Experienced mature bodybuilders tend to reduce their exercise poundages. Perhaps we could use the same poundages we did 20 years ago, but why take the risk when we can maintain and improve using lighter, safer poundages? The veteran lives on the interest from his previous training investments.

The midlife beginner must learn to listen to his body and proceed with caution. Make haste slowly. When things hurt, seek therapy: heat, massage, ultrasound, etc. Warm up with light weights and also stretch after each exercise. If an area hurts after training, apply ice for half an hour.

The key to aging and training is improving the blood circulation. As you age, body cells do die, perhaps mainly from lack of nutrients. The more you train, the more widespread the capillary development, and the better the circulation and transport of nutrients. A good blood supply dissipates injuries faster as well.

When your muscles get sore from training, the best thing to do is stretching, along with light exercise and high reps. For example, if you get sore from a workout, do your next workout with light weights. That will keep the blood flowing to the sore muscles, which helps dissipate the soreness. For persistent pain, see your physician.

Looking Good at any Age

You must strive to look good regardless of age. The challenge for any bodybuilder is to look good. You can turn limitations into advantages. Ten years ago I was stricken with diabetes mellitus, and I learned to use the high blood sugar to fuel my workouts. Although my doctors diagnosed certain death, I was determined not only to live, but to improve myself. I learned a lot about the healing process and what it was like to start training from square one again. I became an authority on rehabilitation.

Training is not one single thing. The combination of exercise, nutrition, relaxation, visualization, and attitude followed to the best of your ability is the key to success. Visualization means seeing your body in your mind the way you want it look. Seeing this image on a regular basis establishes a blueprint for your development. What you see, is what you get. It's important to look at the pictures in bodybuilding magazines. The pictures show what is possible.

When you get older, don't try to be a superman. How much weights you can lift doesn't make a bit of difference. It's how it feels to your muscles. Listen to your body and proceed with caution.

Top Searches on
Bodybuilding Guide
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Bodybuilding Guide