I’m 43. The realization that these physical gifts I’m allowed won’t last forever is starting to set in.
I no longer feel the need to get into weightlifting wars with kids 15 years my junior, but I’ll still push to beat ’em in a good conditioning test.
My day to day training, loading & intensity has gotten smarter, I’m not laying on my back at the end of every workout, frothing at the mouth; and I feel better for it.
A typical week will look something like:
Monday – Max effort
Tuesday – 75-80%
Thursday – Recovery pace or rest
Friday – Hard effort
Saturday – Play with kids and maybe run
Sunday – Rest and relax
Previously, those would have all said Max effort.
The idea is this: exercise enough to feel good all of the time. If you’re constantly sore and beat up, ask yourself why. Why do you need to push to the point of failure – always. Is it a psychological need? If so, maybe there’s a way to meet that need at a lower intensity.
Instead of focusing on failure and falling on the floor, focus on breathing & technique. Take yourself to that same spot, but use a different skill set to get there. Use certain workouts as an opportunity to refine movements, to understand pace.Just breathe and get your heart rate up, get a little synovial fluid running through the old knees and elbows.
At the end of the day, my biggest concern for my gym members and myself is being able to move well for the long haul. I look at a few 70-80 year olds I know as examples. They eat well, they exercise regularly and they seem to enjoy life because of it.
It seems to me that the next 40-50 years will be all about the decisions I make now, and the consistency with which I implement them.
You may enjoy smashing yourself into the ground every day, and that’s ok for you…if that’s ok for you.
I have found better overall performance (MetCons, 5k’s, running with kids, playing tag and sports, etc.) from a little less volume, picking my battles and listening to my body.
I have also found better balance and a more fulfilling training week without having to compete every day.
I certainly still pick my spots, and likely always will…I just don’t try to over-pick or over-expect or over-exert.
This is my path.
Yours, of course, is up to you.