It’s not a secret that exercise helps you stay healthy, but it’s even more important to exercise as you get older.
Even so, there are still athletes that continue to improve and get better with age. If you’re an athlete that feels they are past their prime, consider the Tom Bradys or Jacinto Bonillas of the world.
How do seasoned athletes keep improving? What are the techniques or tricks that people use to continue performing at their highest levels?
If you’re looking for new methods to try out after hitting a plateau, keep reading below to see if you can learn about doing something different that may help!
Recognize When You Started to Hit the Plateau
While we will discuss methods to get past a plateau as a veteran athlete below, we also want to discuss how to tell when it’s happening to you.
If you’re an older athlete, it can be hard to tell what is a workout plateau and what is simply you getting older. They can feel like the same thing for some people.
A workout plateau happens when your body has adjusted to your exercise and it’s no longer being overloaded with the intensity as it once was. If you want your body to continue to get stronger and more powerful, you have to find an effective way to work through it.
Some athletes don’t know when they should change their routine to keep getting those exceptional results. Remember that it can take up to eight weeks for both the brain and body to get used to new exercises to maximize the results. The workouts get easier for you once your body and brain sync up and know what it is you’re trying to do with the new movements.
With this syncing of the brain and body, the exercise becomes more natural to you. You adapt, and eventually, you get used to the new movements just like you did with the old ones. This is when a plateau starts for many athletes.
What if It Isn’t a Plateau?
If you’re not seeing any new results from your workouts, it doesn’t always mean that you have hit a plateau.
You may also be experiencing the effects of not taking any time to recover after exercising or even an injury. Our bodies are resilient, but we have to take care of each part of it well before we can maximize our workouts.
Another thing that could be happening is burnout. Just like someone can get burnt out at their job, a person can get burnt out with overtraining. With this issue, you could experience fatigue, decreased performance, and frequent illnesses.
If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau, but it wouldn’t make sense for that to be the case, there may be something else going on that you should pay attention to first.
Use a Fitness Tracker
Athletes will still have to train hard as they get older to keep the same physique, but they also have to train often. Doing it too much, however, can be just as bad as not doing it at all.
It’s harder to come back after you’ve overtrained because it takes a lot for your body to heal from it after the damage is done. It also can cause issues like burnout or chronic pain, as we discussed previously. If you want to get into better shape from not training enough, this is much easier.
So, how are you able to tell how hard you’re training and whether it’s too much for your body to take? One thing to try is using a fitness tracker.
For a lot of professional or elite athletes, fitness trackers seem silly because you already know that you’re getting in a great workout. For older athletes, however, fitness trackers are handy because they give you data that you can use to plan your workouts and stay within a safe range.
You get to see a lot of the important things that you need to know to be sure you aren’t overtraining. This data will include your heart rate, oxygen consumption, mileage, and metabolic output. You may think your workout is going well, but having the actual data will tell you what’s going on.
What Do You Do With the Data?
Many people don’t have a whole staff of people waiting to help if some complex data comes back at strange levels as a professional athlete would. Even if you choose a fitness tracker that just counts steps and heart rate, that’s better than nothing at all.
Working at the maximum aerobic levels your body can tolerate is important if you want to stay in exceptional shape as an athlete.
Your maximum heart rate is 220 – your age. The maximum aerobic level for your body is that number x 85% of your max heart rate.
For example, if you’re 55 years old, your max heart rate should be about 165 bpm. Your maximum aerobic threshold would then be about 140 bpm.
This means that this person would want to limit their exercise above 140 bpm for too long at a time to avoid overtraining.
Only a small amount of the training you do should be intense – the rest should be easy to moderate. Fitness trackers will help you monitor where you are performing in every single workout you complete.
Focus on Your Legs More Than Your Arms
An important tip in any veteran athlete’s guide is to focus on building your legs more than your arms as you age.
The reason for this is that as we get older, our ligaments and tendons become a little weaker. Your maximum heart rate, testosterone, oxygen consumption levels, and endurance all get lower.
Although it’s not a pleasant thought, exercise is more difficult when you’re older because your body isn’t as receptive to it. So, while you’re not able to change any of this, you can decrease or delay the effects by taking your training seriously.
Aging athletes find it easy to be less intense in their workouts because they don’t want to risk an injury. Although this makes sense, it isn’t really necessary if you know what you’re doing.
You have to focus on your leg power more than your arm power. The reason for this is that your legs are what is doing most of the work in common exercises for older individuals. Think about squats, lunges, leg presses… all of these should become a focus for any workout that you do.
The direct part of your efforts to working on your core and maintaining upper body strength, but don’t make that the main focal point of your exercise.
You may not be able to jump as high as you once did or run as fast, but you can still get the work done with weights and lifting.
Horizontal vs Vertical Hip Work
One of the support structures that you have to focus on if you want to be an elite athlete is the hips.
Although people used to neglect this area, it’s now one of the most important parts to think about when you are training because the strength of your hips impacts how well you can move your lower half.
The hips help you to correct posture and mobility above and below them. Strong hips stabilize your knees and back, but they also work with your body to prevent injury.
When you’re younger, doing a lot of deep squats and deep lunges is enough for hip work. This counts as vertical hip work, however, and older athletes need to focus on horizontal hip work as well.
Actions that you can take for horizontal hip work might be hip raises with a barbell across the waist or lateral shuffles with another type of resistance to them.
Horizontal hip work can be safer for a seasoned athlete as well, especially if you struggle with balancing. Your center of balance is lower, so if you do lose your balance, you won’t fall as far or injure yourself.
It’s also a benefit to athletes that haven’t been doing it this way in the past because it changes the routine. Choosing to do things you’ve always done in a new way is an effective technique for enhancing a workout.
Improve Performance With Enhancing Supplements
Certain supplements are better than others for aged athletes or people that are trying to work past their plateau. Pay attention to the type of work that you want to do and what is more difficult for you at this stage in your life.
To improve general exercise benefits and your overall physical ability, you should look for supplements that have antioxidants and arginine. These both help to boost the natural capabilities of someone that is getting regular exercise.
Even veteran athletes need a little help sometimes because our body composition and chemicals change as we get older. To improve seasoned athlete performance and keep you at your peak, additional supplements to make up for where your body is lacking can be a huge help.
Chemyo is the leader in the industry of creating chemicals for people that can be used to improve physical ability, so buy Sarms products to give them a try. It may be just what you’ve needed all along!
Keep in mind that some supplements are better to take the day before your big workout instead of right before.
There are side effects to many ingredients in these kinds of supplements, like dizziness or dilation of the blood vessels, that could impact the effectiveness (or safety) of a workout.
Do Your Research on Different Techniques
Coming to terms with the fact that you’ve hit a plateau, that you’ve gotten older, or that your body can’t do what it once did without change is crucial to moving forward.
One thing that you should try to avoid is becoming lazy or complaining because you’re still stuck at a plateau. It’s easy to get discouraged, but that doesn’t mean you give up!
If you want to mix things up, an easy way to do that is to do things in a different way. Earlier, we discussed doing horizontal hip work instead of vertical work and how this change is good for your body because it’s a new method.
You can do this with other types of workouts as well! You may traditionally be a biker or a runner, but that means that your body might have become used to those types of workouts at this point.
If you’re looking for new ways of mixing up the exercises you enjoy, Google and YouTube are wonderful resources for you. You don’t have to buy exercise programs or hire someone to help you – this is something you can do on your own.
The same things that a trainer or coach could show you are things that you can find online as well. Doing a little homework and figuring out what will work best for you is an easy way to work past a plateau and improve overall performance at any age.
Are You Looking for New Methods to Improve Performance?
To keep your body young, you have to keep up your activity levels and continue moving every day.
With these new methods related to improving your performance as an athlete, you can potentially feel the effects of your workouts even more. Be intentional with all of your exercises, and don’t forget that you need to do both resistance and flexibility training as part of your routine.
Do you want to learn more about improving your physical abilities and moving past your plateau? If so, check out our Lifestyle and Health sections for more content like this.