Training Through The Decades
If one thing sticks in my mind throughout the last twenty-one years of regular weight training and participation in sports, while living an active life style it is this; longevity is the key and what you do currently & did in the past may not be what you need to do in the future to maintain your current level of mind and muscle function.
This leads me to my new concept; train and set goals in terms of decades rather than months or years. Training in decade blocks is a great way to maintain health, mobility, flexibility, metabolism, and muscular function. It will also go a long way in preventing injury, over-training, strains, sprains, or plateaus.
Let me explain. First you should already understand that training super hard and super heavy all of the time will eventually lead to a plateau or injury. Many bodybuilders or professionals believe in a form of periodization or micro cycles where you do a certain protocol for a certain period of time. These principles can apply whether in the gym or working out at home, with the right equipment!
Example of a micro cycle:
3 months of Bulking (Building Muscle)
3 months of Cutting (Reducing Body-fat)
3 months of Functional Training (Improving Balance, Flexibility and Mobility)
3 months of Maintenance
A micro cycle will also adhere to changes in dietary requirements as well. Bulking will require more calories, cutting will require less calories, and functional training and maintenance will require ‘maintenance’ calories to not gain or lose muscle or fat generally.
There is certainly nothing wrong with this approach but I think there may be a better way. Think age 20-30, 40-50, 70-80; each of these decades will require a different approach but there may be an optimal method.
What if you could break a decade down into ‘macro cycles’ instead of the traditional micro cycle?
The most important things as you age in our opinion would be maintaining metabolism, balance, muscular function, & brain function. What if you can mix those all into a well rounded decade approach to training?
Year 1: Build Muscle while maintaining body fat percentages, learning a new skill, working on maintaining muscle function and working on balance. While still maintaining baseline layers of all other function (good nutrition, daily activity, good sleep, minimal stress & enough water.) *You may gain small amounts of fat this year but with appropriate diet it would be minimal.
Year 2: Burn body fat while maintaining muscle percentages, increase aerobic function, focusing on some power movements. While still maintaining baseline layers or all other function (good nutrition, daily activity, good sleep, minimal stress & enough water.) *You may lose small amounts of muscle this year but with appropriate diet it would be minimal.
Year 3: Maintain while continuing to do the activities you love the most.
Year 4 & 7: Repeat year one
Year 5 & 8: Repeat year two
Year 6 & 9: Repeat year three
Year 10: Focus on the goal you want to achieve the most while planning and considering what the next decade of your life will look like and what fitness & health related goals you want to accomplish.
The primary focus of this blog is to open your mind to the long term approach to fitness. There are far to many twenty-one day fixes, thirty day shreds, ninety days to a six-pack programs out there. Truth is fitness and health needs to be a daily pursuit. Just like finances, relationships, success & happiness. Nothing that is good, quality or is worth its weight in butter comes from a get there quick approach. You must keep working onward throughout your life and then when you get towards the end of the road you must FIGHT LIKE HELL to maintain it and focus on maintaining your independence.
Dedicated to the improvement of myself and you always!
Relentlessly Onward and Upward,
CEO Formal Fitness Training