post-1As we all know Derek Jeter has just retired. Why? The answer is, he is getting old. At only 40 years old, his performance has declined to a level that forced his retirement.

But what happens around the age of 40 that makes a great athlete retire? It happens for everyone and in every sport. As we age we just can’t do what we used to do. Whenever I try to do something in the gym that I used to be able to do with ease and I struggle with it, despite a consistent training program, I look to our sports figures for some solace. As a personal trainer in East Lyme, I’m always trying to learn more about how to create the best fitness programs possible.

I ask myself “How many 40 year olds do you see in the major sports?”. Despite there access to all of the doctors, trainers, nutritionist and homeopath, they still can’t make it past 40 while still playing at a high level.


What does that tell us about our own training and health? It tells me that we must adapt and understand that we must change how we do things in the gym. I have been fairly successful in that over years without major injury KNOCK ON WOOD!!!!!! I do that using four main techniques.

  1. Warming up with a purpose
  2. Listening to my body while training
  3. Getting adequate rest between training sessions
  4. Eating and supplementing with a purpose

Warming up with a purpose means if you are a really flexible person, don’t spend 15 minutes of warm up time on hamstring and quad stretches.  Instead, work on warming up that shoulder you injured 20 years ago.

When you are training,  your body may be sending you signals like a tweak in your back. Don’t ignore it! You can do three things. Warm up the back better. Stop doing the exercise you were performing and use a similar exercise that does not hurt. Finally, take a break from that movement pattern all together until next time.

If you feel like you are continuing to get injured every time you workout, think about the frequency of your training.  You might need a day off.  When you get older you may not recover like you used to. It’s just a fact of life. Even I, as a certified personal trainer, have made some of my best improvements when I’ve decided to take an extra day of rest.

If you are eating just because of the food you have accesses to then you are not eating with a purpose. If you just don’t feel right, start an elimination diet. Get rid of wheat one week and see how you feel.  If you feel the same try diary the next. Keep going with different foods until you’ve narrowed it down to a food that may be bothering you.

Getting older does not mean you can’t workout or push yourself. You just have to modify your program when your body tells you something is not quite right. Try to follow these techniques and maybe it will keep you off the bench and playing your sport for a long time to come. If you are looking for a fitness trainer in East Lyme that can help you achieve your goals, even as you age, stop by our studio today to learn more about our services.