“I think I’m just getting old”
This is maybe the biggest misconception in fitness – that getting old means things have to start hurting. Sure, getting old means a lot of things. Your skin wrinkles, you lose hair, the space between your vertebrate shrink etc etc. NOT cool! With that being said, none of the natural processes of aging should cause pain or limit the way you live your life.
So here the good news – things are not hurting in the gym simply because you’re getting old. This is good news because you can’t control or reverse aging. What you can control is your flexibility, mobility, strength balance, work:recovery ratio, sleep, diet, and stress management. These are the things you need to address if you want to live a full, pain free life where you can climb a mountain at 90 like a badass.
Okay, so how do you start improving these things while aging. It is true that you will not recover as fast, improve mobility/flexibility, or increase strength as quickly as you age. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You simply need to be smart about it. Step one is figuring out where you currently sit on the fitness spectrum.
Training Age, Chronological Age, and Biological Age
Two of the most important factors in figuring out how to structure exercise as we age are training age and biological age. Chronological age simply refers to the time you’ve been alive. Nothing can change this. If you were born 50 years ago, you are chronologically 50. However, biological age takes into consideration lifestyle and habits. If you have been crushing these (sleep,diet,exercise,stress). Someone who is biologically younger will be able to handle more exercise than someone who is older and it has nothing to do with how long you’ve lived, but rather how well you have lived.
Training age is the second piece of this. It is simply how long you have been training. The way you break up training days, (full body, movement patterns, body parts) will change depending on your training age.
Maybe most importantly, the amount of rest between sessions will change based on training AND biological age. Once we figure out training and biological age, we can help you figure out a training schedule that is best suited for you. Again, as you age you will rest more. Maybe it’s 2 days on 1 day off. That will change based on the person.
Remember that you only get fitter and stronger if you recover from the exercise you did, and as you age, recovery slows down.
You figured out where you sit on the fitness spectrum, now what?
Now it is no different than someone who is 25 who is dealing with pain. We have to assess, figure out where you are limited or out of balance and go from there. Once we have that, we apply the minimum effective dose of the exercises you need to improve your situation. These are specific to YOU. That’s why you see so many people in the gym doing customized programming and 1 on 1 training. They know their limitations will not fix themselves and they are committing to correcting them so they can live full, pain free lives and do the things they love.
There are a lot of reasons why you might have pain when exercising, but age is not one of them. If you’re someone who says “I think i’m just getting old” its time to stop using an excuse that you can’t do anything about and start addressing the real reasons why things hurt!
Don’t believe me? Google “90 year old deadlifts 405 for reps” and watch the video. Age is not hurting you – your mindset around your age might be.
Want to start living pain free? Contact us at email@example.com to set up your free consult and get a full analysis and plan for correction.