I’m No Spring Chicken. What’s the Best Way For Me To Lift? Light or Heavy?
No, not many Autumn or Winter Chickens running around these parts that still have any real fight left in ’em. Most have gone the way of the dinosaurs…
Lets try to give you an answer that is at the same time both realistic and of some potential value. The particulars, or tactics, themselves require another post…or perhaps book.
Any previous training, fitness experience and self knowledge will come in mighty handy here.
Ask yourself some questions, like the following:
- Assuming some previous weight training experience, what type of resistance training have you responded to well in the past, i.e. high volume, lower weight or heavy weight, low rep, or a combination of these?
- Goal(s), what do you want to achieve?
- What resources are available to you and how ready are you to allocate them to achieving your goal(s)? Resources include time, motivation, facilities, tools, opportunity, energy, health status (injuries, etc.), expertise, research assets, and so on.
Acquiring muscle hypertrophy, strength, power and endurance are actually separate issues and do not, for a variety of reasons, necessarily go hand-in-hand. These qualities will often evolve at surprisingly different rates. Training design, genetics, health status, previous experience and, yes sorry age, all have significant bearing on outcomes.
When it come to matters touching on the body, it’ll be a surprise to nobody that age isn’t going to be your best mate. The possibility of injury becomes more likely in relation to heavier weights and prolongs recovery times with every tick on the calendar. The trick is to train intensely (this is not the same as heavy) and consistently without winding up in the ER. So yeah, age is going to be a factor, not a full stop. Perhaps for you, not even a yield sign. But it’s certainly gonna ghost you.
If you haven’t had a lot of experience with resistance training or the lifting side of things in general to refer back to, DNA testing is available and relatively cheap. With informed interpretation, the resulting data is sometimes invaluable in shedding light onto the type of training that is likely to make sense and be most responsive to you. In addition, reasonable strategies can be crafted which are more likely to be applicable to issues involving recovery and injury prevention.
Issues that after 40 or so, pardon the pun, do take on a grave importance.