How to Train Over 40

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a great martial art for a person of any age, size, or athletic ability. What you will find at the core of BJJ is that it can be one of the safest forms of martial arts and self-defense. Grandmaster Helio Gracie was very small and frail, yet he developed a system for defeating men that were twice his size.

Past injuries and a sedentary lifestyle can make training of any physical capacity difficult for a person over the age of 40. Some people are still very healthy and nimble at the age of 40, but for those who aren’t, some changes will be needed. To begin or continue training jiu jitsu in this condition, a positive attitude and a new set of your rituals may be needed.

The differences between a 20 year old and a 45 year old man can be quite vast. Among other things, a younger man will often have a faster rate of recovery, better flexibility, and less nagging injuries that they have had to deal with. There have been plenty of beginners in bjj that are over 40, these people do not let themselves feel limited in their ability because of their age. Attitude is important, many people make excuses and say I can’t do this or that. As Henry Ford once said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.”

Recover Quickly.

The main thing to consider when training over 40 is recovery. It is crucial to create habits that will aid you in recovering, from both the cardio and the minor injuries that may occur in daily training. Taking 15 minutes after class to stretch will go a long way in helping your body feel fresh the next day. This is the perfect time to stretch, your body will be warm and relaxed from training.

Make sure to get a good stretch in the back, hips, and legs before packing up and leaving the gym. If you have any nagging injuries, start to pay more attention to those. You may realize that the only reason that the injury is still there is that you have neglected it. Try to learn some mobility and psychical therapy exercises to help maintaining these injuries.

Nourish your Body!

A good diet is needed to train consistently. One thing that is often overlooked nowadays is the way that food and nutrition can affect how you feel. A healthy diet that includes lots of clean food will absolutely change your life. Just by adding in a protein shake, greens powder, or fruit smoothie to your daily routine can get you started on the right track. Make incremental changes to your diet to slowly get away from unhealthy food. The simplest guideline for getting your diet in check is to avoid food that has been created.

Ask yourself where the food came from. If what you are eating came from nature or from an animal, it will have vitamins and minerals that your body needs. If it was mass produced, like most food sold nowadays, it will have the calories but will lack all of the good stuff that our body needs. If you live your life on the go and eat fast food, then try preparing healthy meals the night before.

Manage your Time.

Learn a few time management techniques. Getting enough rest is also important, but this is very hard to do if you are lacking in free time, as most people are. Maintaining a job that requires over 40 hours per week, a family, and everything else that comes with it while trying to train jiu jitsu can leave you very pressed for time. If training is important to you, you need to cut out the things you do that waste your time and give you no benefit. These activities include watching too much TV and sitting on your phone or computer and browsing the internet for too long. It feels good to have some downtime and relax, but if you are wasting time when you already have so little of it, then maybe it is time for a change.

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