Olympic weightlifting takes years of training and practice to master. Even if you are in your 30s, 40s or even older, it’s not too late to start Olympic lifting. It does, however, mean that you need to start from a different point than younger lifters.
No matter how old you are, though, the benefits of Olympic weightlifting still apply.
When you reach your middle ages, your physiological system starts to decline. Your muscle gains also slow down. In men, it also means that your testosterone starts to decrease.
Olympic weightlifting builds muscle and increases the density of your bone tissue. It can also help to remedy years of poor posture and immobility. For men, it also stimulates the production of testosterone and growth hormones.
Its anaerobic quality requires very short durations of energy. It engages more muscles and enables you to recruit muscles for stability rapidly.
This is beneficial because, as you get older without exercising, your body becomes week and prone to falling.
As you get older, along with other muscle mass, your ‘fast-twitch’ muscle fibres also disappear more rapidly. This makes it more challenging to train reactive speed.
You can still develop these ‘fast-twitch’ muscle fibres at an older age. You will, however, need to start light and with partial movements.
Experts recommend starting with building mobility and strength and then working into reactive speed training. This can be done by placing the bar at the top of your thighs in power positions and starting clean pulls from there as you progress toward the floor.
If you can’t catch the weight from there, options like an explosive pull onto the balls of your feet with a strong shrug can also work.
It will be a lot harder to get to the point of lifting heavy weights as you get older. The risk of injury will also increase, as your bones become too frail to support the weights it would have at a younger age. However, you don’t have to exceed 75% or 85% of your max with Olympic lifting. There are categories where you can lift at a comfortable weight and still get recognition.
As you grow older, your joints and body become a lot less agile and flexible. But flexibility can be improved at any age. The trick is to stretch frequently, regularly and consistently. You can do this by adding overhead squats, behind the neck presses, push presses and front squats to your workout programme.
It is no secret that as you get older, your body becomes a lot less reliable, especially when you want to get into Olympic weightlifting. You often think it’s too late because of the weakness age brings but it isn’t. With the right exercises, caution and training you can build back your body’s strength, speed in addition flexibility over time until you can start lifting heavier weights.
For more information about how to become proficient in Olympic lifting, please follow this link.