Older men are beginning to realise the benefits of resistance training and switching on to weightlifting to improve their health and wellbeing. Check out The Midlife Man article Benefits of Weight Training for the Middle Aged Man
Yes, weight training is highly beneficial at just about any age, but it can also lead to injury if not done correctly. Middle aged and older men are also more susceptible to injury than younger men, it’s just a fact of life. Consequently, as a middle aged man you need to be vigilant for signs of overtraining or injury. You will need to learn the difference between good post-workout muscle soreness telling you your previous work was spot on, and pain symptomatic of muscle or joint damage. Older men are more susceptible to joint injuries.
Smooth, well performed weightlifting exercises are not likely to cause sudden injury, but you may notice persistent pain slowly building in some body parts. This is a sign to take it easy, and perhaps modify your program a little to reduce the load off the body part indicating pain. With the help of an instructor is generally possible to modify your routine so that you can safely keep training around an injury until it recovers.
Feeling tired all the time, with constant aches and pains are sure signs of overtraining. You may just need to take a break from lifting weights, or ease back on the weights or number of sets.
Also, some exercises are just not suitable for a middle aged man, for a lot of reasons. For example, if you have made it to middle age chances are you may have sustained some slight permanent impairment which may not be noticeable in day to day life, but is felt when the affected body part is loaded during a weights session. Don’t worry, your weightlifting career is not over, it is usually possible to find an alternate exercise that will load the muscle without impacting the injury too much. Squats for example can be difficult for an older man to accomplish without causing knee pain, switching to a leg press machine to train legs will give your quads just as good a work out as squats, with much lower stress to the knees.
Train smart to avoid over training and injury, and adjust your program to the first signs of either. Weight lifting should be fun, not painful.
And remember, keep strong
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