If you’re reading this, then the chances are you’ve made it to 30 and beyond.
Too many people are concerned with reaching the scary milestone of 30 and don’t realise that it’s actually a blessing.
Some people don’t make it this far and now you’re in the prime of your life.
Let’s make the most of it.
Training in your 20s is different to training in your 30s. Just as training in your 30s is different than training in your 40s and 50s.
Whether you like it or not, you’re now in a different phase of your life and certain things have to be considered to get the most out of your training.
Let’s take a look at how you can get the most out of your training in your 30s
You’re now at the point where you need to start thinking about how you can train smarter, not harder.
Your body will naturally be less forgiving than it was 5 or 10 years ago, so you need to work with your body not against it
The mindset of pushing your body to the brink needs to change and you need to start developing a mindset for longevity
A question you can continuously pose to yourself is how you can get the most out of your training?
What exercises, training modalities, programme and level of intensity provides you with the most bang for your buck?
How can you train in a way that’s both safe and effective, minimising the risks associated with training?
The safety element of training is often overlooked (more so in your 20’s), and now with a bunch of responsibilities you’ll want to ensure that training doesn’t cause any hinderances to your life.
Especially when 40 is the next milestone…
Training smarter is also looking at how you can refine your training and assigning a purpose to each thing that you do.
What can you take out?
Do you NEED to do that exercise?
Are you training your core the way it should be trained? Or just doing endless crunches?
Are you working the 6 foundational movement patterns multiple times across your programme?
Another thing to start taking more seriously is your recovery.
Recovery isn’t separate to training, for me it’s a part of it.
Depending on your experience, and other stressors in your life; your ability to recover will most likely slowly start to decrease from here on in, so don’t fight it.
Give your body the time it needs to recover and ensure that anytime you do spend in the gym is used effectively and not wasted.
Adaptations don’t occur during training; they occur when you’re recovering.
And now, with less time to recover than in your 20’s, you should be starting to think of it as part of your training.
Training For Strength
Training for strength applies to any age really, as being strong will translate positively into anything you do in life.
But now, in your 30s, you’re physically in your prime
There’s no better time to take advantage of your natural peak in strength and prepare your body for the road of life ahead.
Training for strength doesn’t have to be absolute strength (i.e., the raw amount that you can lift)
Training for strength should be relative (i.e., the amount you can lift relative to your bodyweight)
The stronger you are as an individual, the more equipped your body will be to resist injury, function optimally and carry you through life, allowing you to thrive not just survive.
Resting longer feeds into the recovery aspect of training.
This can be between training days, between exercises or between sets.
Resting a little longer gives your body the time to recovery and ensure that you approach the next session, exercise or set; primed to do so.
You’ll probably find that your body naturally wants a little longer between exercises or sets anyway, so listen to your body.
Now, this doesn’t have to be a huge amount added.
But even another 15-30 seconds in between sets will only benefit you, especially if you’re training for strength as mentioned.
The key here is also not to just unnecessarily increase your rest. If you feel fine with your current rest periods then great, keep those.
It’s just something to take into consideration.
You should still push your body as (contrary to belief) you’re still young and able to do so.
The point here is to make each set, exercise and training sessions as effective as you can. Sometimes have a little bit more rest can help you do this, especially in your 30’s.
In your 30’s, a generic warmup for every workout just won’t cut it anymore.
You’re going to need to start being more specific with your warmup and match it with the workout you’re about to do.
Your warmup should match the training day ahead and take into consideration the biggest lift of the day, as well as the scope of the session.
If you don’t prep your body accordingly you’re increasing your chance of injury and inhibiting your performance.
If you do prepare your body, then you’re minimising the risks involved with lifting weight, whilst also increasing your performance.
Deadlift the biggest lift of the day for you?
Warm up with a few minutes of soft tissue work around any problem areas (i.e., adductors), followed by mobility work in the same applicable areas.
Move on to activation of key areas such as the glutes and core, before priming the movement with some neuromuscular drills and activation of the CNS.
Your warmup should take no longer than 10-15 mins in total.
Lift With Intent
Once again, this is something that I preach no matter someone’s age.
But in your 30’s and beyond, this is especially true.
Lifting with intent means lifting each rep intentionally, focusing on the where you should be feeling it, the muscles involved and performing damn near perfect reps each time
Each rep should look like the last and you should go into each exercise fully focused on that exercise
There’s no room for half-assing it anymore, lift with intent and know what you’re about to do
Focus On Movement
Focusing on movement mechanics is something that all beginners should do when first starting out
However, unless you started with a Personal Trainer (Or I should say a good personal trainer), chances are you just jumped straight in throwing weights around.
No shame in that, it’s what most people do.
However, there needs to be a certain respect that comes with movement and how complex some movements actually are.
Big movements such as the squat and deadlift are an orchestra of muscles working together to provide a symphony of precise and calculated movement.
We often take this for granted and focus more on the movement of the bar, rather than the movement of our body.
As reiterated throughout, your body is less forgiving in your 30’s, and no more than ever you need to prepare your body for long road ahead.
Perfecting your movement mechanics will go a long way in protecting your body, enhancing your performance, improving your life and helping you to thrive, inside of the gym and out.
Listen To Your Body
Your body is a continuous state of breakdown and repair, not just from training but from life.
It is inevitable that something will go wrong for us eventually.
The point is not to exacerbate these issues when things do go wrong.
The concept of no pain no gain is dead.
Pain is not ok, soreness is ok, but pain isn’t.
If you feel pains and niggles from training, or just from life, then address them.
Training should be therapeutic to the body, exercise is medicine after all.
If you are feeling pain from training that isn’t the general soreness associated with it, then your training is no longer therapeutic.
Instead of training through it in fear of looking weak, either train around it or even better; address the issue.
If you don’t know the issue (which you probably won’t), then seek out the help of someone who can give you that information.
Risks in your 30’s need to be minimised, and training into pain is only going to increase the risks that you do yourself lasting damage.
If you are injured, then seek out the help of a professional.
Approach your training in your 30’s as a way to launch yourself into your 40’s and 50’s.
Life really does start at 30.
Most of us spend our 20’s wandering into life as the newbies, finding out how all of these adult things work.
Once your reach the big three-o, you’ll probably have a firmer footing in life (not all of us will and that’s fine), realising that life is here and it’s very real.
Regardless, your body has reached its physical peak and will now slowly start to age throughout life.
The best thing you can do?
Slow this process down and prepare your body for the long road ahead.
Train Better With Me As Your Coach
Online coaching with me is reserved for those who do have at least some experience with movement and exercise. If you’re unsure if you fit this criteria, you can contact me to find out!
If you want some further guidance for free whilst working from home, you can read my tips on staying healthy and fit at home here