Screw Your Achy Joints

If you're over 40, it's no excuse to let up. Everyone who's been doing any serious lifting for at least 10 years wakes up in the morning feeling like they spent the previous day trying to ride the back of Bodacious the bucking bull, and was flung clean over the stands into the deep-fried Twinkie concession stand.

Get over it. Sure, you can do your stretching, that hot Yoga where they treat you like a pork dumpling, or whatever rehab exercises fit the situation, but for the most part, you're always going to hurt.

The Two-Part Plan For Recourse

1. Simply get smart about it.

Do exercises that don't hurt the particular joint; use grips or foot positions that allow you to train with no pain; do a reduced range of motion, or lower the weights with a slower tempo. A good 4-second descent should take the strain off any angried-up tendon. And also...

2. Say goodbye to sets under 5 reps.

This is your one, big, lifting concession to Father Time. You should forget about doing sets for fewer than 5 reps. There's just no need to use such heavy weight, and the risk of suffering an injury that you can't work around, like tearing tendons or ligaments that just aren't as spry as they used to be, is just too great.

No worries, though. You can stay plenty strong by devoting some time to sets of 6 to 8.

Related:  The New Rules of Lifting Over 40

Related:  The Protein That Helps Achy Joints