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As you get older, lifting weight isn't enough anymore (depends on your goals).

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

It is no secret that our bodies change, inside and out every decade, as I like to say, "mother nature always wins, its whether we put up a good fight or not". Your body in your 20's is very different then in your 30's and beyond, the most impactful change is your gradual decline in your overall muscle mass, bone density which results in a lost of strength and a decrease of your overall metabolic rate, which means you will build up fat rather easily and struggle quite a bit to get rid of it.

Thus what is the best way to manage all these changes? lifting weight is a solution but it is incomplete.

Gradual Muscle / Bone Density Loss: To combat those effects of aging you must of course lift weights, but heavy doesn't necessarily mean better, in fact too heavy isn't something I would recommend as it leaves you open to a higher risk of injuries due to a decline in your bone density. The solution is to practice smart progressive overload, what that means is to expose your body to systematic changes of stress to promote a change of intensity, either in terms of volume or weight, in this case it volume would be the better choice. For example instead of upping the weight, simply increase the rep range or incorporate a super set such as performing a push up immediately after a dumbbell chest press, same weight higher volume, same safety parameters.

Reduction in your metabolic rate: Your metabolic rate is the energy your body uses to just keep you alive, breathing, heart beats, any cellular activity. One Big myth is that a higher muscle mass means you burn more fat at rest. Well it isn't phrased correctly, because the metabolic rate of a muscle at rest is close to 0, BUT! the cellular requirement to upkeep a muscle is very high. Meaning that having a high muscle mass doesn't mean you will burn fat, but rather building your muscle mass consistently will equate to you maintaining a relativity high metabolic rate. So the luxury of going days or weeks without exercising or lifting weights become more and more non existent.

Gradual fat build up / difficulty losing fat: The combination of a declining muscle mass which results in a lowering of your metabolic rate means your body composition will change, fat will settle in. This is a hard one, but to lessen this effect, YOU must shift your style of training more towards fitness performance and A LOT less towards body building. The main difference between the 2 styles of training is that one has a much higher intensity than the other, simply because fitness performance uses a lot more muscles, at the same time, than the other, which shoots your heart rate up and requires much more energy out of you upping your overall caloric burn, during and after the exercise session.

At the end of the day it all comes down to what your goals are and what you are willing to work towards. As you age, your exercise volume needs to go up much higher then your weight numbers. It is safer, smarter but it is also much more complicated, but nothing a good educational research can solve.


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