Remember to Recover

I haven’t written an update about my workout program for a while but I’ve made some changes over the past few weeks.  The changes were to maximize recovery and improve mobility.  These changes will be particularly helpful for mature lifters.

I noticed my joints were getting tighter a few months ago.  For the past two years, I’ve primarily been following Kris Gethin’s programs.  The programs delivered great results.  However, Kris often favors training five days a week.  I found this level of volume to be a little too much for my recovery system at 48 years of age.

When you are young, you can neglect proper recovery.  It will only affect your rate of physical improvement and performance.  When you are nearing 50 and neglect recovery, you will experience tight joints and possible injury.


My daughter Caity and Me After Liverpool vs. AS Roma in St. Louis during Summer 2016

Whenever I contemplate a training change, I always go back and listen to Dorian Yates’ interviews.  Yates is the only non-U.S. based bodybuilder to win the Mr. Olympia ending up with 6 straight titles.

Dorian Yates also changed the way people trained in the 1990s.  I’ve used a version of Yates’ training program for 20 years before I started following Kris Gethin’s training programs.

Dorian Yates advocates four training days a week with three days off.  For some trainers, they may need more rest.  Dorian normally trained Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with the other three days off.  He also always tried to take a day off after Back and Leg Days.

I started employing this day off routine and noticed a difference in my joint tightness within two weeks.  I trained Shoulders and Triceps on Monday, Back and Abs on Tuesday, Chest and Biceps on Thursday and Thighs and Calves on Saturday.  I also added mobility exercises as part of my warm-up.

Directly after finishing my weight session, I take a Whey Protein shake and then perform cardio.  For cardio, I ride the recumbent bike for 20 minutes in the 65-75% MHR (maximum heart rate).  Depending on how long it takes me to get to 110 beats a minute, the cardio session could be 23-27 minutes with warm-up and cool down.

Because I teach Taekwondo for three hours on Thursday, my weight routine on that morning is one I don’t find too taxing.  I select Chest and Biceps or Triceps and Biceps, if I was doing a different body part split.

If you want to continue making progress in the gym as you age and not get injured, you have to make those slight adjustments.  I still follow Kris Gethin’s programs but will adapt them all to a four days a week split.  Listen to your body.

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