Tag Archive: middle-age



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:

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TRAINING

  1. 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.
  2. Consider training lighter for a 6-month to a year period if you struggle with a serious tendon/joint issue.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

 

LIFESTYLE

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

EATING

Our eating habits have a much bigger role to play in joint pain than you might think.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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SUPPLEMENTS (natural)

  1. 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.]
  2. 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]
  3. 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. 250-raw-cbdAfter 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!).

 

MEDICATION

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!

Cheers

Gert Louw

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How to (re) start your body transformation after a long lay-off.

This article is for those that has been off gym for 6 months or longer due to a severe injury or health issues and who need to resume training. How do you know if your body is fit/healthy enough to return to gym?

Click here to play video “STARTING A TRANSFORMATION AFTER A LONG LAY-OFF”

 

Before one can officially resume training one must first establish if the body is in a state to deal with the training resumption. In other words, is it healed enough to have the required stamina to start? If not, believe me you can do serious, serious harm.

So how do you determine if the body is ready or not?

First let’s look at the reason for your off-time from training

First you need to analyse your situation. Was it medical or non-medical?

Non-medical: If it was due to a loss of a loved/divorce or something similar? Then you were right to take off from gym. Some things in life is so important and life altering that one need time to absorb and process everything. Me, I like doing that while I am lifting, but all of us have our own way in dealing with life issues.

If it was due to work pressure/other pressures in life, well then not good! This means it is going to happen again and again until you have made a change. Stress is NOT good for building up your body. The stress hormone cortisol is a powerful catabolic hormone that makes effective muscle growth very difficult. You need to find ways of dealing with stress effectively. Sometimes the change is simply changing your attitude towards stress/busy schedules and learn to love the buzz of the fast-moving pace. We have amazing power in ourselves to decide how we react and respond to our surroundings and situations. What has to change is that fact that gym time needs to be of a higher priority in such a busy schedule. Gym must be nonnegotiable. If this means you have to do it early mornings or late at night so be it. You need to learn to allocate and hour and a half space for yourself during the day and that is your gymtime. This must be of the same priority of eating & sleeping, it must be non-negotiable. It is not optional it is a given. Let this sink in…it is NOT optional! So the fact that you sometimes do not feel like gyming…that carries NO WEIGHT. It is like sleeping & eating, you go there no matter what and you simply JUST DO IT.

If it is medical related (sickness, organ problems, etc…) well then it is a different situation. You have little control over it. But somewhere along the line you need to resume again. Most doctors could not care less in telling you to stop gyming. I found this out the hard way. After my first near death hospital visit last year I had no clear instructions regarding when and with how much I could start training. After just a few very light gym sessions (which I struggled through greatly because of no stamina) I ended up again in hospital. Simply because my body which was not healed enough for me to apply any pressure to it. Luckily I ended up with a specialist that really know what he is doing and he then insisted that I need to be completely sedentary until certain important requirements was met with my health.  The key factor here is to be very mindful of your body. You must never train through pain or apply intensity when the body has extreme weakness. If the body is right for training you will not suffer from extreme weakness and easy exhaustion. This is a sure sign the body need more time to recover.

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Now the next step

For all of the above scenario’s, you will apply the same approach.

That approach is two-fold:

  1. First determine if your body is at all fit/healthy enough to resume training
  2. Secondly when above criteria met, then generally one is cleared to start slowly training again according to a specific system. Critical in all these to get your doctor’s clearance.

So let’s look at how to determine if your body is at all fit/healthy enough to resume training

Week one – brisk walking. This is to test your stamina levels and if you are ready to return to gym.

  • Day 1: 5 min brisk walking.
  • Day 2: 10 min brisk walking.
  • Day 3: 20 min brisk walking,
  • Day 4: 30 min brisk walking.
  • Day 5: 40 min brisk walking.

If you can do the above fairly easily without having serious stamina/exhaustion problems, your body is for all practical purposes healthy and fit enough to return to gym with a specific introduction system. However, if you struggle in any means to manage above, keep your brisk walking time per day at 15-20 min and repeat for week 2.

To test if your body is ready you must pass the test of being able to do brisk walking for 40 min without too much exhaustion/stamina problem. ONLY then should you return to gym with the system explained beneath.

Slowly start training

The program you should follow to introduce gym to the body is a slow and gradual process. Joints, tendons and muscles are weak and need to follow a gradual approach to strengthen otherwise it easily can result in a serious injury.

Here is the “STARTING FROM SCRATCH” gym program for the next 3-months: https://gertlouw.com/2014/06/02/how-do-i-start-a-body-transformation-from-scratch/

And if you want to watch the video, click here “STARTING FROM SCRATCH”

After the above is completed, then you are ready to move onto serious training ground…this is where you can start with the ADVANCED SYSTEM II to start shaping and building the body into your dream body (again):   https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

We have one life and it is much more fragile than you might think. Apply wisdom and the body will respond in kind. Apply ignorance and you could even die. Change inside and out and become a man with integrity like a rock and a body to match!

Wish you all happy training!

Gert Louw

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DUDE talk


Click here to watch video “DUDE talk”
To all my friends, followers and subscribers…DUDE TALK is a video series where I chat about guy stuff and anything and everything, interacting with my website, Facebook and YouTube friends and followers. So if there is anything (fitness or otherwise) that you want me to chat about, just leave a comment and I will cover it in an upcoming video. If you want your name and photo included in the video (as reference to who posted the topic) just add your pic in the comment or email to me (gertlouwljc@hotmail.com) and you will featured in the video.

Have a great day all!

Remember to train hard!

Gert Louw

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