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Articles > Weight Training > Working Out After 40
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The media constantly praises the virtues of exercise for reducing the chances of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The solution to a winning fitness routine after the age of 40 is easy. You must admit that your body is changing. Baby boomers transformed the perception of youth in the 1960s and many in this group are at it again, trying to redefine the ageing process.

The thought of controlling the body's release of natural hormones through exercise and diet should be pretty exciting for those older, natural bodybuilders out there. The body's natural production declines as we age, so being able to take maximum advantage of these is necessary if you want to make big gains. Hard work on the big, compound movements, particularly those where the body actually moves up and down, such as the squat and dead lift, can boost the body's natural production of testosterone.

If you've been training since your teens or twenties and you're now over 40, you may find that the most daunting foe in the course of advancing years is conventional wisdom. According to conventional wisdom, decreasing muscle response and increasing skin elasticity take their toll; so don't expect to make gains. What it does not tell you is that a more positive and strong-minded approach holds a valid promise for improving your physique, even on the other side of 40.

No matter what you do, you have to learn to train correctly for your age and body makeup, and diet according to a sound nutrition program. Do your research and if you can afford it, pay a good personal trainer to set you in the right direction. You can gain strength and muscle at any age, and it's easier if you have a professional to guide you.

Youth can afford to make blunders such as too many exercises for each muscle group, too many reps, and too many sets. Fifteen years ago you could have jumped right into a powerful workout and lift hundreds of pounds without the slightest warm up. At 40, before you begin your weight lifting workout you'd better do 10 to 20 minutes of brisk walking on the treadmill, or use a stationary bike, stair stepper or other aerobic machine.

Basic Bodybuilding Routine
Bodybuilding, or even just showing up at a fitness center can be scary for a beginner.
Seek advice – there is no sense in trying to learn everything yourself when you're just starting out.
Sleep – when working out for the first time it is essential to make sure that your body is getting the rest that it needs.
Diet – just as important as sleep – it's important to ensure that your diet is in keeping with your exercise routine. Ease into your training program with a healthy nutritional plan – proper food, order and amount of consumption.
Set goals – make sure these goals are realistic.
Make a plan – plan a systematic routine to train your whole body.
Commit – make a promise to follow your routine for 4-5 weeks so you can start to see changes and benefits, build up resolve and form a habit.
Visualize success – it's imperative that you see yourself accomplishing something before you even begin working out.
Get excited – eagerness for training must be acknowledged as the chief and driving force to perform successfully.

You can use this routine for the first six months or so to get your feet wet. Do it three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays) and try to use as much weight as possible without straining. Don't feel restricted to these exercises, experiment until you find the ones that are comfortable to you.

Workout
SET#1
SET#2
SET#3
SET#4
Bench Press (chest)
12 reps
10 reps
10 reps
8 reps
Barbell Curl (biceps)
12 reps
10 reps
10 reps
 
French Press (triceps)
12 reps
10 reps
10 reps
 
Bent Over Row (lats)
12 reps
10 reps
10 reps
8 reps
Military Press (shoulders)
12 reps
10 reps
10 reps
 
Shrugs (trapezius)
12 reps
10 reps
10 reps
 
Squats (thigh)
12 reps
10 reps
10 reps
8 reps

Beware of Boomeritis
As described by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Boomeritis refers to sports related injuries experienced by baby boomers. Each age bracket has its share of sports related injuries, but the boomers are famous for their reluctance to allow injury related downtime. Because of the "no pain, no gain" attitude, weak links such as old injuries, age related structural changes and genetic predisposition are exposed to overuse and can lead to chronic problems.

Even though 40 may be past prime time in one sense, it is still just a number. To protect and ensure the longevity of your joints as you continue lifting:
1. Warm up before each lifting session.
2. Wrap up your weak areas: knees, back, etc., when lifting heavy.
3. Use slow progressive weights, with proper form.

The movements you select and how you perform them not only decide how big, strong and flexible you are, but also have an effect on how your body functions and whether or not you experience aches, pains and injuries. The exercises that create the most problems and are most likely to lead to back pain are:
1. Bench press
2. Leg extensions

For best results, keep your routine simple and be consistent with your eating and training habits. Success in bodybuilding is all about sticking with your routine and making small improvements over time.

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