When you are in your 40s and 50s strength training is crucial to halt the loss of muscle mass that naturally occurs.
You have various options when it comes to strength training. Lifting weights is what many people immediately think of, but bodyweight training, such as calisthenics, can produce amazing results and might just be the better option for people over 40.
In this article we explain what body weight training is, what results you can expect and how to get started.
What is body weight training?
Bodyweight training is a strength and flexibility focused exercise regime which uses only the participants own weight to create the resistance needed for a workout.
If that conjures the image of grey haired people doing tai chi in the garden, think again! Using your body’s mass as a replacement for gym equipment is definitely not the easy option. You can generate a lot of resistance with your weight and fully exercise all of your muscles.
For example, Calisthenics is a specific bodyweight training program that is designed to build strength and flexibility. It consist of exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats and many others that build muscle mass and improve flexibility and balance.
Exercises can be done in such a way that the load on individual muscles or muscle groups varies and provides beginners or seasoned practitioners with the appropriate level of resistance to ensure a a beneficial workout is achieved.
What are the benefits of bodyweight training?
Some forms of exercise lend themselves to specifics groups of people. Bodyweight training on the other hand is suitable for pretty much anyone and is ideal if you are in you 40s or 50s.
There is a program of exercises to suit everyone, whatever their starting point or end goals.
The following lists some of the main benefits you will want to consider when choosing a fitness program to get you where you want to be.
#1 A natural form of exercise
Using your body weight rather than free-weights or machines favours compound exercises that work muscle groups in a way that is natural.
Bodyweight training builds strength and improves cardiovascular fitness because it naturally elevates heart rate.
When practiced sensibly, you need to worry less about over training a specific muscle and are less likely to injure your self, which is a key consideration if you are over 40.
The result is balanced workout which in turn leads to a more balanced physique.rlally
#2 Building muscle
As a method of building muscle, it’s really effective. For example, the slower, more deliberate movements involved in calisthenics exercises build muscle and strengthen your core.
By increasing time under tension, by slowing down the movements try can increase the amount of time your muscles are under strain, which promotes muscle growth.
#3 Adapts as you progress
Bodyweight programs necessarily start with more basic routines based on simple exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups, etc. Each exercise can be modified to make it easier or harder.
As you progress you can increase difficulty to ensure you maintain a level of challenge. For example, the push-up can be modified to make it easier by balancing on your knees rather than extending your legs.
Adding more advanced exercises like pull-up, the planche and muscle-up will present a challenge to regular bodyweight practitioners.
#4 Kinder to you body
Any exercise program should be conducted with care – If you are determined to hurt yourself, you will manage it regardless of the type of program you choose!
However, bodyweight based plans tend to be kinder to your body. Your starting level of fitness and strength constain what you can do so, to some extent, there is a built-in limit.
Bodyweight exercises tend to put less stress on your joints and promotes exercising with a full range of motion (good form), which leads fewer injuries – That is an important consideration as you age.
#5 Little or no equipment needed
As the name implies, the primary means of generating resistance is gravity acting on the mass of your body. That means no dumbbells, barbells, benches or anything else!
You can use some items to modify exercises, but it’s not essential. For example, a resistance band can be used to make a pull-up easier to execute by effectively reducing the load on your arms as you pull yourself up.
#6 Convenient and you don’t have to go to the gym
You can do bodyweight exercises wherever and whenever you like, which is seriously good news if you are not so keen on spending time at the gym.
Nobody is going to charge you a monthly subscription fee to use your body as gym equipment either.
The convenience of flexibility and non-existent cost of bodyweight training means that, for most people, it’s the easiest fitness regime to start and maintain.
How do I get started with bodyweight training?
It couldn’t be simpler to start bodyweight training. Begin by establishing your goals and then selecting a program that best suits you.
If your objective is to build muscle, a calisthenics based program would be best. If, on the other hand, you want to tone and build core strength, pilates might be more suitable.
Gather the resources you need to create an exercise routine that fits your goals and the time you have available. We have lots of resources and recommendations for you to think about, so check out our site to kick off your training journey.
Although bodyweight training is safe for almost anyone, we recommend you check with a medical professional before embarking on any program to reduce the risk of injury.
Bodyweight training is an great program of exercise for anyone who wants to improve their strength, fitness and overall health.
There are different programs to suit different objectives such as calisthenics, yoga and pilates. Its convenient and is less stressful for the body, yet offers progression and fantastic results
Bodyweight base training plans are particularly good for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility and fitness for people in their 40s and 50s. It’s also a great way to keep your body in shape to prevent the ageing that can result from a sedentary lifestyle.
There really is nothing stopping you from getting into the best shape you have ever been in!