For muscles to develop and perform well it’s critical they get sufficient rest, but for those with aggressive goals, balancing recovery with adequate training can get tricky, especially for athletes over 40. These days it takes my upper body muscles 3-4 days to recover, so I work all of those muscles on the same day twice a week. That gives them 5 days to recover. I could break it up into push muscles one day and pull muscles the next but there’s too much muscle overlap for this work for me – not at 48 years old. As for legs, after trashing them for several hours, they require an entire week to recover. And with my sport specific training and conditioning needs, you can quickly see how my schedule gets complicated, so I thought I’d provide my current training schedule to help you in strategizing your own:
Sunday: Run sprints 40-60 minutes. This is great for overall legs, conditioning and functional strength.
Monday: I work my entire upper body for 2 hours. Every muscle is annihilated with lots of cardio and functional strength drills. No leg work whatsoever.
Tuesday: 10 rounds of boxing. Although my upper body is used again, it isn’t weight resistance training, so I shove this in on Tuesdays. Legs are still recovering.
Wednesdays: I always wake up really sore on Wednesdays. My legs are still sore from sprints and my upper body is virtually paralyzed, so I swim 40-60 minutes. This maintains cardio and loosens me up all over.
Thursdays: I work my entire upper body again for 2 hours. Then it gets 3 days of complete rest – nothing upper body until the following Monday.
Friday: I work legs for 2 hours – hard, with lots of cardio and functional strength drills. Then an hour of skateboarding for cardio and balance.
Saturday: Rest – Nothing!
Whatever your goals, be smart in planning your routine. Nothing is worse for a hard charger than an injury or muscle fatigue that takes you out of the game.