30 is the new 20! Nevertheless, the body changes: from the age of thirty, muscle loss begins. Our in-house personal trainer Danny reveals in an interview which exercises will really keep you fit and keep you going. Fitness over 30 is not that difficult, it just takes a bit more determination.
“I wasn’t born a fitness buff either,” says Danny from True Health Report. His path to an all-around healthy and fit lifestyle was long and rocky.
Today he knows: It’s worth it to follow this path – no matter what age you are.
As a personal trainer, nutrition and health coach, Danny encourages women over 30 to give their bodies the shape they want. Give up and let gravity rule? Not an option!
Dear Danny, fitness over 30 – why is that even an issue? What changes when you cross the magic age threshold?
Danny: Bone density begins to decrease after 30. Especially in women, the connective tissue becomes weaker, cellulite becomes noticeable. And muscle loss sets in.
According to studies, people lose five percent of their muscles every ten years. This process starts at the age of 30, and if you don’t start doing sports, especially weight training, you’ll have problems as you get older.
Not a good outlook! But the good news is that at 30, at least, it’s not too late to start doing sports.
Danny: Absolutely not! Even at 100, you can still start exercising. It’s never too late.
Which areas of the body and muscles should you pay special attention to in your thirties?
Danny: Definitely the arms – especially for women, angled arms are an issue. But also the entire leg musculature. And the abdominal muscles are extremely important – especially for a strong back.
Most people forget this: with an untrained abdomen, you quickly get back pain. However, there is no specific muscle group that I would say needs to be explicitly trained. It is important to strengthen the entire body. Then you will be spared many aches and pains in old age.
Let’s go into practice: What should my workout look like from 30 on?
Danny: If you don’t have any health restrictions, you can basically continue to train at 30 just as you did in your twenties. Most people don’t have to change until they’re 50 or 60. As a personal trainer, I do strength endurance training with my clients. This strengthens both the muscles and endurance.
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You have specialized in functional training. Why does that make sense for athletes over 30?
Danny: It’s definitely more fun than sitting at machines in the gym. As I said, you train your strength and endurance, but also your coordination and flexibility. That’s very important, because as you get older, your balance also diminishes.
And you can promote that wonderfully with exercises from the Bodyweight and Functional Fitness area. You’re not training your biceps or gluteus in isolation, but the whole body, and you’re doing it in motion.
And of course we also exercise to look good – strength endurance training burns a lot of fat.
What does a typical fitness over 30 training session look like for you?
Danny: I always build my workouts from seven exercises and train for time – for example, 30 seconds in motion, 30 seconds rest and then to the next exercise. Four to five rounds of that.
So it’s a typical HIIT session. I like to work with equipment such as TRX, kettlebells, dumbbells or just with my own body weight, such as jumping jacks or high knees.
Which exercises do you consider part of every workout?
Danny: I think High Knees are great, they really get you pumped up. The Plank also belongs in every HIIT workout. If done correctly, it’s great for the entire core. For the arms and shoulders, I recommend side raises with Thera bands. It’s a great way to tone the tissues.
What are your top 3 specifically for toned legs and a nice butt?
Danny: For legs and butt, a fitness band is the perfect workout tool. The best exercises with it are kick backs and strengthening the abductors. The Hip Lift strengthens the muscles of the entire backside. Perfect for fitness over 30
Put band around ankles, get into quadruped position. Extend one leg backward, lift and lower. Always keep the mini band under tension and the upper body stable. 3 x 15 to 20 repetitions per side.
Wrap miniband around ankles, lie on side and support head with one hand. Stretch legs, slowly raise and lower the upper one. Keep miniband under tension at all times. 3 x 15 to 20 repetitions per side.
Lie on back, bend legs and place feet about hip-width apart. Raise pelvis – keeping buttocks tense – until thighs and hips form a line. Lower again. 3 x 15 to 20 repetitions.
Are there any no-go’s, i.e. exercises that are better left undone?
Danny: Basically everything is doable as long as you are healthy and have no limitations. If you have knee problems, you might not want to do squats or lunges. But under supervision, everything is actually okay. The correct execution is the most important thing.
What equipment should I get if I want to start working out at home?
Danny: The first thing I would buy is fitness bands. They’re great for working out your stomach, legs and butt.
If you’re a little more advanced, you can also get a TRX. It’s totally cool because you can attach it anywhere – at home, outside in the park, or even on vacation. With it you can do almost all the exercises for which you otherwise have to go to the gym.
Besides functional training, are there other sports or training methods that you can recommend to women and men over 30?
Danny: The very classic strength training in the gym. It even makes more sense for people with joint problems, because the exercises are guided by equipment.
What do I have to pay attention to when exercising in general that might have left me cold in my mid-twenties?
Danny: It depends on your fitness level. As a complete beginner at 35, you naturally need longer to get into it and regenerate.
The right nutrition is very important. You can train as much as you want, but if your diet isn’t right, you’ll have exercised, but nothing will look right.
What should you pay attention to when it comes to nutrition?
Danny: Clearly, a balanced, protein-rich diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean organic meat and fish is optimal. And avoid sugar and alcohol as much as possible.
Of course, changing your diet doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that you can take your time with.
I wasn’t born a fitness queen either. I’ve tried out a lot of things and now know what’s good for me. But I also had to learn that first.
When you’re 30 plus, you’ve acquired a lot of habits. Change is much harder than it was when you were 20. What’s the best way to start?
Danny: The first step is important. It has to click in your head. You have to want to change. With a little discipline, success will come automatically.
And what helps you stick with it?
Danny: I always work with before and after photos. I can only recommend that to everyone. To start, take a picture in front of a white wall and repeat this every six weeks.
That way you can see the success. And when the first stone starts rolling, you stick with it.
Muscles grow not during workouts, but during breaks. Regeneration is everything for athletes. All the more surprising that there are many misconceptions about training breaks. We clear up the biggest myths – from stretching to protein shakes!
Healthy balance meets strong biceps: regeneration brings your body back into balance after heavy exertion and at the same time drives muscle growth.
That’s why you should plan your training breaks just as carefully as your workout routine – and not fall into these six typical traps:
Stretching is part of the cool down, but not to be confused with regeneration.
Stretching can prevent muscle shortening and contribute to flexibility. However, there is no scientific evidence that stretching – either active or static – reduces muscle tension and thus restores your performance.
A lot helps a lot? Not with stretching!
If you overdo it with stretching after a workout, you may even cut off blood flow to the muscles for a short time, extending recovery time.
Tip: Integrate a fixed stretching day into your training schedule, for example, when you attend a yoga class or train your fasciae.
Many athletes equate muscle soreness with performance. According to the motto: the more intense the pain, the more effective the training must have been. Instead of regenerating, they counter with the next workout.
But sore muscles are a clear sign to your body that it needs a break because it is busy with “repair work”.
If you constantly interfere with this important process, you will soon have to deal with the consequences of over-training and risk injury.
You’ve been working on your defined core for a long time or finally got that tight butt you’ve been dreaming about forever – taking a break can only set you back. That’s what many active athletes think.
The fact is, if the last training stimulus is far in the past, the local muscles will regress.
“The maximum time window between two training sessions should be two to three days,” advises personal trainer Olivia Ederer from Munich. However, you can and should allow yourself this time window.
Doing without training breaks is counterproductive
If you do without breaks completely, you will quickly overtrain. And that, in turn, leads to significant performance losses, fatigue, and even severe infections.
The good news for all those who are planning a longer vacation or who do not have a gym around the corner: Any form of exercise, including swimming, yoga or a bike ride, will help you maintain your performance level – and actively recover at the same time.
Just after an intense workout, you usually spontaneously think that you can take a break tomorrow? You should not fall into this trap.
Ideally, regeneration is not a spontaneous thing that depends on your current performance. Plan both in advance: the intensity of your workout and your rest days.
It’s best to set aside one hour per week, for example on Sundays, to plan your next week of training.
This rule of thumb simplifies your training plan, but it doesn’t apply to everyone.
Generally, the more intense your workout, the longer the recovery time.
If you still feel tired and sore on the third day, it’s a sign that your body, or at least the muscles it uses, need more rest.
Split training plan shortens rest periods
Many strength athletes follow a split training plan to reduce rest times: For example, a leg workout is followed by an upper body workout the next day.
Important: Always pay attention to your well-being and respect the signals of your body!
Recovery times for strength athletes
Strength athletes can generally remember the following break times, which can of course vary in individual cases:
Sip a protein shake after the workout, done. This is what recovery looks like for many strength athletes.
Nutrition plays a major role in recovery and performance – and proteins are essential. But not everything! Yes it’s true it can help but don’t depend solely on protein shakes.