Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Age And BodyBuilding Part 2 by Frank Zane

I stated in my book Fabulously Fit Forever that a man in his twenties can train up to 6 days a week. A man in his thirties should train no more than 5 times a week and a man in his 40s no more than 5 times a week. If you are 50 reduce it to 3 days and if you are 60 reduce it even further to 2 days a week and finally only train heavily one day a week in your 70s. This, of course, does not include other forms of recreational exercise such as walking or hobbies.

A man in his seventies could do a full workout once weekly and other forms of non weight training twice a week while a man in his sixties could do an an upper body workout and one lower body work out each week. The sixty something could, in addition, do two recreational exercises.

The fact is, the longer you rest between workouts the better the quality of your next workout, you will be stronger and have more energy. Up to a point that is ... after a certain length of not training you should consider yourself on a layoff. This is counter-productive from a progress standpoint. Layoffs are necessary, especially when injury or overtraining occurs. I find the following two types of layoffs to work best:

1. A three day layoff. This is a good length of time to abstain from training to recuperate from overtraining or heal a minor injury. Applying ice to the injury is a good therapeutic idea throughout this short layoff period.

2. A week layoff: Do this every couple of months to give your body complete rest. If you travel for business or take a vacation this is a good time to do it. If you also sleep a lot during this period when you return to the gym you will feel rejuvenated.

When you take a whole week off you feel rejuvenated and are much stronger the next time you hit the gym. For the first time you workout after the layoff I suggest gradually easing yourself in by doing lighter weights and then gradually increasing each time afterwards.

This article first appeared in Frank Zane�s Building the Body publication and has been re-published here with his permission.