Moving into 40’s - what now?

Shibusa

My Third Post
Hi all

I turn 40 in a few months, and having trained with various modalities (compound barbell lifts, calisthenics, LSD running, sprinting) over the last 20 years I have decided to implement and stick with a program geared primarily towards health / heart health, especially in my later years.

My initial instinct is to opt for calisthenics, due to its low risk of injury, but then coaches like Rippetoe state that heavy squats and deadlifts are vital for bone density and overall physical health as the years stack on.

Is the barbell an indispensable tool in that regard? Or will body weight suffice?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Shibusa, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

This is not the place to discuss Mr. Rippetoe's recommendations - ask him directly or on an online forum in which he participates.

Over the course of a lifetime, I think most trainees will benefit from exploring all three basic modalities: kettlebell, barbell, and bodyweight. I don't think anyone needs to "stick with a program" forever, just long enough for it to yield positive results and for as long as it continues to do so.

You'll get a variety of opinions on this subject but, IMHO, it's all good. Speaking personally, if you gave me a choice of a single lift to do for the rest of my life, I'd choose a barbell deadlift because it has given me so much benefit in return for small amount of time I usually devote to it in my own training But that's just me.

I will disagree with your idea that bodyweight training somehow is lower risk. I don't think it is unless you content yourself with doing very easy types of bodyweight training, in which case you won't get very strong, and strength is the most important physical attribute there is, IMHO.

Again, my opinions as a member of StrongFirst, where we believe that our strength principles can be applied to multiple training modalities with results that are safe and effective.

-S-
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Hi all

I turn 40 in a few months, and having trained with various modalities (compound barbell lifts, calisthenics, LSD running, sprinting) over the last 20 years I have decided to implement and stick with a program geared primarily towards health / heart health, especially in my later years.

My initial instinct is to opt for calisthenics, due to its low risk of injury, but then coaches like Rippetoe state that heavy squats and deadlifts are vital for bone density and overall physical health as the years stack on.

Is the barbell an indispensable tool in that regard? Or will body weight suffice?
Welcome to SF, youth.
You are likely to get as many responses as there are people on this forum...

My two pennies worth is...
  • S&S
  • LED running
  • Some form of mobility like Flexible Steel or OS resets
And 40 is pretty young.

Again welcome...
 

Norville Barnes

Double-Digit Post Count
Welcome. In a few years you will not think 40 was old...

Seriously, I see no reason to abandon serious strength training at any age as long as you can move the weight properly and safely. Adjustment for recovery time starts to play a role after 50 in my experience, but otherwise I train hard, and smart and am as strong as ever.
 

Adam R Mundorf

More than 500 posts
Hi all

I turn 40 in a few months, and having trained with various modalities (compound barbell lifts, calisthenics, LSD running, sprinting) over the last 20 years I have decided to implement and stick with a program geared primarily towards health / heart health, especially in my later years.

My initial instinct is to opt for calisthenics, due to its low risk of injury, but then coaches like Rippetoe state that heavy squats and deadlifts are vital for bone density and overall physical health as the years stack on.

Is the barbell an indispensable tool in that regard? Or will body weight suffice?
I've spoken with Steve Maxwell at length about this stuff. All modalities work as long as form is at the forefront. Don't shoot for arbitrary numbers but shoot to move your body better. Honestly, any modality that you can be consistent with and not get injured will work. Keep your joints health, do mobility, strength train, eat well and walk.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
IDK about barbell being indispensable, but resistance training certainly is in my opinion. At 51 I have more mass and am stronger than I've been in about 20 years.

Sarcopenia is one of the major adversaries that you will contend with as you age, any external resistance tools will help with bone density and mass. Figure out what goals you have, make a plan to get there, don't let your age define how you "should" train.

It might influence recovery needs and you may have joint or soft tissue conditions that need to be accommodated, but that's as far as it goes.
 

Geoff Chafe

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I am asking myself the same questions at 38.

My plan is Easy Strength. Moderate to moderate heavy frequently for low reps. I like Wendler 5/3/1 as a general strength and longevity program also. The tool does not really matter, but the barbell is indispensable in my opinion.

Short and efficient practice fits my life. Resourses and responsibility don’t allow for gruelling training. I don’t have the fortitude for too much discomfort in my recreation any more.

I still work hard though.
 

Shibusa

My Third Post
"Aging is not nice, but all alternatives are worse" - Daniel Barenboim, free translated.

When I turn 40, I plan on turning 41.

Please carry on with the interesting discussion.
Not sure what the relevance is to my initial post but fine
 

Oscar

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Not sure what the relevance is to my initial post but fine
It isnt, I´m sorry.

About your OP, I´m 35, so I cant talk from experience. I pretty much agree with @Steve Freides post above.

I personally dont see the point in limiting myself to a training tool. Why would you, when you can have it all? Have you read the below article?

To Every Season: A Simple Way to Structure a Year of Training | StrongFirst

You can do different cycles depending on your goals. For instance, you can do a 12 week barbell cycle, then an easy strength kettlebell program as Simple and Sinister, then a 12 week cycle of double bells, then back to S&S, then snatches + push ups, and so on.
 

Steve A

Double-Digit Post Count
Hi all

I turn 40 in a few months, and having trained with various modalities (compound barbell lifts, calisthenics, LSD running, sprinting) over the last 20 years I have decided to implement and stick with a program geared primarily towards health / heart health, especially in my later years.

My initial instinct is to opt for calisthenics, due to its low risk of injury, but then coaches like Rippetoe state that heavy squats and deadlifts are vital for bone density and overall physical health as the years stack on.

Is the barbell an indispensable tool in that regard? Or will body weight suffice?
There is no reason to limit yourself to a single modality.

Overuse injuries happen in calisthenic programs.

For bone density even light squats and deads will do way more than any combination of calisthenics can do.
 

Jake Steinmann

Double-Digit Post Count
You’re not old until you start using age as an excuse.
Age can be an excuse, but it can also be a reason.

To the OP—at near 42, im not convinced that any methodology is “indispensable.” Plenty if folks have lived long, healthy lives without ever touching a barbell.

That said, there is no reason you have to stop using them either. It sounds like you’re familiar with the BB lifts—there’s no reason you have to give them up just because you’re 40, 50, or whatever.

On the flip side, the old saw that the best training program is the one you’ll do. If you want to focus primarily on body weight lifts, go for it. If you want to use a barbell, go for it.
 

Pantrolyx

Triple-Digit Post Count
Now what? You will keep progressing and learning new skills in your training, albeit you'll have the patience and experience to avoid silly injuries while doing so. :)
(I'm not 40 yet, but numerous empirical examples supports my claim).
 
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