Over 50 and hit a plateau? Here's what to do
You're consistent with your training, but losing your motivation because you've hit a plateau.
Sound familiar? If you are consistent it should, because it happens to us all. I've noticed over the last 20 years of training that as we get older the plateaus get longer. I've had a few people lately express frustration with their plateaus, but don’t give up - all will be well. It's by perseverance that your fitness will get to the next level of reward for you.
Why It Is More Important Than You Might Think
At the gym I see lots of middle-aged people spending lots of time in the aerobics room, and few of them building strength in the weights area. Those that are in the weights area are more often than not sitting on machines taking a rest. It's not hard to conclude that most people past 45 don't place a high value on all-round body strength. Yet, all round body strength is one of the most fundamental physical assets that will help them improve their quality of life.
And my observation over 20 years at the gym is that, in particular, most mid-life women limit their understanding of "exercise" to cardio like biking or running. The idea that they could actually become strong perhaps seems absurd to the point that it never strikes them as a real possibility. But more than men, women 50+ need strength training to regain essential components of their degenerating musculoskeletal system.
From what I see around me, it seems that the older we get the more we become afraid of strength training - older people start to believe that it will do them more harm than good.
That's not the case, and you can do a lot with just bodyweight exercises to get started. Although you cannot reach the ultimate strength outcomes without heavy weights e.g. deadlifts and cleans - you can still achieve enormous benefits by just doing bodyweight exercises. And of course you can do those yourself at home.
Still, access to good equipment at a gym and a trainer, at least initially, is an advantage. Some basic knowledge also helps, and my four principles below will give you a great head start.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building body-shaping training for people our age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter