Over 40 training and joint pain – what to do?
Click here to watch video “Over 40 Ultimate guide for dealing with join pains”
This is very familiar territory for every over 40 guy. We nearly all struggle with joint and tendon pains.
Some of us accept defeat and enter potbelly territory. Well if are you like me, then we refuse to accept even the word “defeat”. It is not in our vocabulary.
But we cannot ignore the aches and pains. So how do we deal with it?
First, the fact is, it IS good, very good, for the over 40 body to be involved in resistance training. That has been proven beyond any doubt by many science studies.
We must just find a way of dealing with the “problem” and not too simply, give up! Dealing with it involves wisdom and quite a few things that we need to do to effectively relief the pain.
Before we start discussing what must be done, remember – NEVER train through pain. You will make whatever the problem is MUCH worse. As you get older you will have to regularly change your exercises and even your whole workout approach and regimen to periodically side-step pains and aches in tendons, joints and back. This is a given. BUT…never, ever, stop training because of pain…adapt and change. Always keep training with what you can do, even if it means a total different temporary training approach.
Joint pain (and tendon pain) is not just simply a result of training heavy. MANY factors play a role.
Let’s go through the list of the things you need to do to relief/avoid tendon/joint pain:
- You must have a cutting (lighter weights, higher reps per set) and building (lower reps with higher weights) phase in place to allow regular “rest” periods for the tendons/joints. Phase lengths should be roughly 3 months each.
- Consider training lighter for a 6-month to a year period if you struggle with a serious tendon/joint issue.
- Very important – never bend your hand upward or downward when lifting, but keep it all times in a straight line with the for-arm. Bending the hand during heavy lifting places undue strain on the elbow via strained tendons. Keeping the hand straight keep all tendons at equal strain.
- Bench pressing should be performed with the overhand position with bar resting on the thumb area (bottom) of the palm so that there is no pressure on the wrist. (The place where the bar lies on the hand must be in a straight line with the whole arm to ensure that no strain is on wrist.)
- Use special straps to relief strain on the wrist. I will show example in the video. A simple strap fastened around the wrist with a rubber palm grip which can be wrapped around heavy weights. This allows for near zero strain on the wrist joint. This is especially helpful with pull ups, shrugs and nearly all back and upper body exercises.
- Yip you guessed it…NO SMOKING! Smoking makes the whole body functioning less optimally. It affects nearly everything in the body from the brain to the skin to the lungs to pains and aches that get much worse because of the smoking.
- The same goes for drinking. Light drinking (4 glasses wine per week) is max. But even for some this proves to be too much and result in joint pain. In quite a few cases people had to completely stop drinking alcohol in an attempt to get rid of the joint pains.
- Too little sleeping. Your body needs time to heal and repair. Too little sleeping rob it of this time. A good (6-8hrs) night rest will go a long way to help the body function optimally.
Our eating habits have a much bigger role to play in joint pain than you might think.
- Ensure that you drink enough filtered water per day (3L-6L). This helps washing out the toxins from the body. More toxins = more joint pain.
- Enough good oils. Apart from the fact that good oils (omega 3 & 6: peanut butter, olive oil, avocado, coconut) are critical for a healthy functioning hormonal system, it is also very important to help ease joint pain. Cutting out all good oils/fat from your diet will aggravate joint pain and result in low testosterone levels.
- You must ensure the body is in an alkaline environment with a PH of roughly 7. The more acidic the body gets, the more joint pain will be experienced, full stop. There are enough serious science studies to back this up. There are also many other advantages when you keep the body in an alkaline state. It has been proven to lessen your risk for cancer and supports a stronger immune system amongst others. On the next page there is a list of ALKALINE and ACIDIC foods to help you adjusting your diet. (A good starting point – lemon juice every morning and evening and cutting out wine and fizzy drinks. MANY people have gotten rid of their joints pains by simply changing their diet to a more alkaline one.)
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- CQ10 (Co-Enzyme Q10). This has been proven by various science studies to be a potent long term pain combatant. However, as with most natural approaches, this only starts working after more than 1 month of continuous usage. [I take 300mg in morning and 300mg at night.]
- Even more potent than CQ10, MSM (METHYLSULPHONYLMETHANE) has helped many people changing their lives. It is not a wonder pill but with long term use can significantly ease joint pain. Effective results only achieved after about 3-4 months of continuous use. [I take 400mg morning and 400mg evening]
- The 3rd one, eish…this took me some time to support it’s use – CANNABIS oil. I am old school and anything drug-related, even for medical reasons is pretty much “no-go” territory for me. This one took some serious mind changing for me. Eventually I just could not ignore study after study that supported various benefits of CANNABIS OIL. The oil, which contains a higher ratio CBD to THD, is rather harmless when compared to the psychotropic effects of smoking cannabis. It is the THD that result in all this bad effects and the oil has a CBD/THD blend of about 85/15 in most cases which make it mostly harmless. Even here in South Africa the studies are nearly concluded and it looks like we are mere months away from Cannabis Oil being available over the counter for medical purposes. Apart from lowering blood pressure, combating nausea, helping with sleep and fighting cancer, it is actually a potent pain relief substance. After about 3 weeks use the body reach a saturation point and then the real pain relieving properties kicks in. If you can get past the mind barrier of taking something that is closely drug related then this could have a drastic positive pain relief impact. And believe me it is not so easy getting past this “mind barrier” for us older folks…but it can be done…I took the plunge. The end result for me – less pain and drastic better sleeping at night. Also drastically lower blood pressure. [I take 1 drop morning, 1 drop afternoon and 5 drops before bed]. Cannabis oil (CBD/THD) has some very interesting medical applications. Some of the claims the cannabis groupies make is not backed up at all by science but some actually are, especially with the latest studies. I think this warrant a future article to give some more insight into this new emerging product (emerging…well at least in the medical mainstream community that is!).
This is a territory you want to avoid. Yes, you can take anti-inflammatory meds, but this is hard on kidneys/liver/stomach and definitely NOT a long term solution.
The last resort and sometimes a necessary route is arthritis medication. There are various types depending on the severity and type of arthritis. A well know anabolic steroid, Deca-Durabolin, is known for its anti-arthritis / joint pain properties. But only your health care provider can do the necessary blood test to determine the problem and plan of action.
However most of the time if you take the points above about training, lifestyle, diet and supplementation seriously enough then you can have pain free over 40+ workouts.
Interested in my customized transformation system for the over 40 guy? Have a look here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/
Happy training everybody!