Problems recovering - seeking input from the older guys

Steve from GA

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I'm 49 and about 2 months ago, I got back to serious workouts after taking a couple of years off. I didn't really plan on taking 2 years off. The first of the 2 years off was due to minor lumbar surgery on L4/L5 (which went great) and associated recovery, and then covid hit, and that was the other year.

Prior to this 2 year hiatus, I was working out regularly in martial arts - boxing, BJJ, muay thai, krav maga. And as a guy in his 40's, yeah I was getting sore, but it really wasn't that bad. It was manageable, and the benefits of working out outweighed the occasional discomfort.

So now I'm back to training in muay thai 3 days a week and lifting weights, and let me tell you, my body simply isn't recovering at a rate that is nearly what it was a couple of years ago. It's actually very disheartening, because I feel positively destroyed all of the time now, and not in a healthy sort of way. I stretch, try to get plenty of sleep, try not to overdo it - but none of this seems to help. I feel 20 years older than my actual age right now in terms of body discomfort.

Have any of you guys dealt with serious recovery issues, particularly with age? I'm not ready to back off my training regimen yet, because I still feel like it's not unreasonable or out of reach for someone my age - but damn it's totally disheartening to feel my body fall this far behind on the recovery end.

Any tips or game changers for guys who have experienced this?
 

SteveCNJ

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In 2013 I was 57 and decided to get back into shape. I lifted 3 or 4x a week and took MMA. I drank a lot of protein shakes and got as much sleep as I could. You can do it. I did get back into shape but after a year pinched a nerve in my shoulder someplace and it throbbed for 4 months. I reaggravated it last December and repeat of months of pain so weights are officially done for me. Me at 57. Screenshot_20210413-131536_Gallery.jpg

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
 
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Steve from GA

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If you haven't had a physical with your Dr. I would recommend it.
I do get a physical every year, but I am going to make an appt to go to my doc and talk specifically about this - I feel like my body's response to exercise is no longer in the "normal" range for my age.
 

MokeBerserker

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I may be years younger than you (36), but when I got back into working out hard I was not recovering well either. My diet was healthy, but was it the proper healthy?? Started tracking my diet on an app and found I was extremely protein deficient. Considering my love of meats and breakfast of eggs, I was surprised to say the least. I started doing protein shakes, and then had to double up on them to stay at the level needed to sustain my fitness. Looking back on my friends who were extremely strong and fit, they all had one thing in common - diet.

Eggs (whites) for breakfast. Chicken/rice was a staple for every other meal. More or less unlimited protein shakes. Id wager you could use more protein first over anything else.
 
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Steve from GA

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I may be years younger than you (36), but when I got back into working out hard I was not recovering well either. My diet was healthy, but was it the proper healthy?? Started tracking my diet on an app and found I was extremely protein deficient. Considering my love of meats and breakfast of eggs, I was surprised to say the least. I started doing protein shakes, and then had to double up on them to stay at the level needed to sustain my fitness. Looking back on my friends who were extremely strong and fit, they all had one thing in common - diet.

Eggs (whites) for breakfast. Chicken/rice was a staple for every other meal. More or less unlimited protein shakes. Id wager you could use more protein first over anything else.
This is a good point, and while I feel like I eat a "sensible" diet - I can pretty much guarantee that it's out completely of whack with my current fitness scenario. I know a lot of diet/fitness apps have different angles. Do you have an app you would recommend that you think would be good for my particular situation?
 

insanelupus

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My Fitness Pal lets you set the parameters. Figure out your calorie needs and your protein needs then adjust to reach them. I'm a few years younger but can tell you diet is at least as important as the workout.

Kyle Kamp with Valley to Peak Nutrition mentioned in the On Point Podcast, calories are king, protein is queen, do with carbs and fats as you wish. Simple and effective. It's been a pretty eye opening journey since following that idea and actually tracking nutrition.
 

zacattack

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I'm 49 and about 2 months ago, I got back to serious workouts after taking a couple of years off. I didn't really plan on taking 2 years off. The first of the 2 years off was due to minor lumbar surgery on L4/L5 (which went great) and associated recovery, and then covid hit, and that was the other year.

Prior to this 2 year hiatus, I was working out regularly in martial arts - boxing, BJJ, muay thai, krav maga. And as a guy in his 40's, yeah I was getting sore, but it really wasn't that bad. It was manageable, and the benefits of working out outweighed the occasional discomfort.

So now I'm back to training in muay thai 3 days a week and lifting weights, and let me tell you, my body simply isn't recovering at a rate that is nearly what it was a couple of years ago. It's actually very disheartening, because I feel positively destroyed all of the time now, and not in a healthy sort of way. I stretch, try to get plenty of sleep, try not to overdo it - but none of this seems to help. I feel 20 years older than my actual age right now in terms of body discomfort.

Have any of you guys dealt with serious recovery issues, particularly with age? I'm not ready to back off my training regimen yet, because I still feel like it's not unreasonable or out of reach for someone my age - but damn it's totally disheartening to feel my body fall this far behind on the recovery end.

Any tips or game changers for guys who have experienced this?
2 years makes a huge difference on recovery. You may want to slowly ramp up into hardcore working out after a 2 year hiatus. Sometimes the mind is there but the body isn’t yet.
 

MokeBerserker

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I use my fitness pal as @insanelupus mentioned above. Its a bit tedious at first to enter in your meals, but if you eat the same meals a lot it eventually becomes easier. Very controllable as far as setting your goals vs some preset goals you dont want or agree with. I dont use it as much anymore though. Once it taught me where my issues were, I modified my diet and just kept it in mind as I continued on with life. I dont have time to track every little thing I do even though I found it very beneficial when i did. Once I saw the results and felt right, I used it less and less. But I tracked myself for months in the beginning without missing anything that went into my body. It also tracks exercise and lets you set your goals with everything. Free for the basic functions you need and theres much more available.

Most people have issues with diet and exercise. If you are exercising, then logically diet would be the next issue. Especially if you notice your body is not keeping up with what you know you should be able to do. Also as stated above consulting a doctor or dietician is never a bad idea either.

My wife, of course, is the one who brought up proper diet. In her quest for better health, she consulted the local gym for an analysis and meal plan with a personal trainer. Worked great for her with minimal working out, but obviously different goals. Still, they had her add a lot more protein to her diet as well. That was what really got me thinking originally…. We ate just about the same amount of protein and she is much smaller, and I work out a lot more, maintaining a lot more muscle. Wasnt rocket science.

You are questioning things which is great, and that will lead you on the path to solve the problem. I too have been sidelined by injuries so I can relate. I hope all the knowledge you find helps!
 

V2Pnutrition

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My Fitness Pal lets you set the parameters. Figure out your calorie needs and your protein needs then adjust to reach them. I'm a few years younger but can tell you diet is at least as important as the workout.

Kyle Kamp with Valley to Peak Nutrition mentioned in the On Point Podcast, calories are king, protein is queen, do with carbs and fats as you wish. Simple and effective. It's been a pretty eye opening journey since following that idea and actually tracking nutrition.

@insanelupus I loved this, man! So much! Not that you mentioned me. Forget that part . But that you found it to be simple and eye-opening! That's what it's all about. Nutrition CAN be a complex science, but mastering a handful of the basics will carry you a VERY long way.
 

V2Pnutrition

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@Steve from GA Alot of these guys have given you some fabulous advice to this point.

I'll add this in: in spite of popular belief, a guys certainly does not need to beat himself to deal in the gym or rolling on a BJJ mat to improve his fitness. One of the most overlooked pieces of the progression puzzle I see guys missing is (a) lack of recovery or (b) badgering themselves so much that their body is stressed and simply can't recover.

Tue and meaningful progress can only happen when the rate of breakdown doesn't exceed the rate of recovery.

With that said, you also mentioned "I just got back into this." So, in a sense, you're "detrained". Your body simply hasn't built up the tolerance since it's brand new to it. It's like it's seeing it for the first time.

So, if you check the box of nutrition and you check the box of "I'm not badgering myself", then I would say give it time. You may be on the right track and not even need course correction.

With all of that said, I'm glad to hear you're recovered from the injuries and able to start doing stuff you love again. It'd be tough to be out and away from something you love for as long as you were.
 

Rich M

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As mentioned above, give yourself a little more time to recover. It’ll come back.

the more i age, the more imperative it is to be in some form of health conditioning. The more a person slides the harder it is to be active as we age.

kudos for getting back at it.
 

*zap*

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40's is not old so you better figure it out before you actually get old.

Want to keep old age at bay?

Drop body fat to a mid teen or lower %.

5 x a week aerobic capacity, low intensity training for 30 minutes and working up to 90 minutes, @ 75 minutes you can drop it to 3x a week. Just a formula, use your common sense to see what works for you but low intensity aerobic capacity should be the base for anyone's fitness training. After a year of that you will see much improved recovery times....don't want to do it for a year?....then quit now and stop wasting peoples time.

Strength training and do not forget legs and the center of the body....hips, glutes, lower core, lower back, hams, abductors.....etc. As you age the mid section weakens first so keep it a priority. Glute bridge, good mornings, rds's, dl's, farmers carries, low bar back squats ass to grass, vertical leg press, seated/standing calve raises, chin ups, dips and etc......proper form and full range of motion....

Periodization training is a good way to go, 24 weeks or so with 16 hard at it and it will end up with 2-4 weeks off most exercise so you can completely recover. Then start over....
 
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Steve from GA

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Thanks, guys. Great info in this thread. I’m going to dig into this on a number of different fronts and make sure that I’m truly taking care of myself. I think this is the wake up call that at 49, I need to learn how to work smarter instead of always trying to work so hard that I can barely walk off the mat. A change in diet is definitely in order as well.

Very much appreciate everyone’s encouragement.
 

insanelupus

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Steve, a few more thoughts to add.

For me and wanting more performance for elk hunting, I found endurance type heart rate training to aid in better recovery during season. Lots of focus on leg exercises, squats, dead lifts, etc., legs feed the wolf, idea, helped a lot too.

One other thing on the nutrition side, sometimes mentioned, often overlooked. Hydrate extremely well. Track H2O consumption. One thing that helped me was a FIT TRACK DARA scale. It gives you some great info, water content in the body being one. Water is often considered as a 64 oz per day and done, and you can overdo it, but I find that I often need more.

Recovery supplements might also be helpful, I'm fond of Hydrate and Recover by Wilderness Athlete. YMMV.
 
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156821

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My father is in really good shape for his age. He is pushing 70 and still goes sheep hunting.
A lifetime of healthy choices, hard work, stretching and strength training. His big hobby has been martial arts and much of that is focused on inner strength and well being.
 
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Steve from GA

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Figured I would update everyone on my situation. Went to the doc and he ran a number of blood tests. Everything looked normal, with the exception of muscle enzyme levels (indicative of significant muscle damage), which were extremely high, but not surprising. He recommended I back off of training for a week to give my body a chance to catch up, which I did.

By far, the biggest change I made was my diet, and that solved it. I have come to realize that I have never fueled my body properly, especially during periods of intense workouts. I guess that in my younger years, I was resilient enough to push through without the proper fuel. Whole different story now.

I got the my fitness pal app to track my food every day so that I am eating for properly for my fitness level - specifically calories, carbs, fat, protein. I wasn't putting nearly enough fuel in the tank, and that's why my body was shutting down. I was probably eating 1/2 of what I should have been eating. Come to realize that for my activity level, I need to be fueling up all the time. A lot more eating than I am accustomed to, but I'm also eating clean for the most part.

So now I'm lifting weights 3 times a week, muay thai 3 times a week, gained close to 10 lbs of muscle weight and I'm feeling pretty damn good for 49. From here on out, it's all about putting the right fuel in the machine. Only took me a few decades to really figure that out...
 

Archerichards

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I'm 49 and about 2 months ago, I got back to serious workouts after taking a couple of years off. I didn't really plan on taking 2 years off. The first of the 2 years off was due to minor lumbar surgery on L4/L5 (which went great) and associated recovery, and then covid hit, and that was the other year.

Prior to this 2 year hiatus, I was working out regularly in martial arts - boxing, BJJ, muay thai, krav maga. And as a guy in his 40's, yeah I was getting sore, but it really wasn't that bad. It was manageable, and the benefits of working out outweighed the occasional discomfort.

So now I'm back to training in muay thai 3 days a week and lifting weights, and let me tell you, my body simply isn't recovering at a rate that is nearly what it was a couple of years ago. It's actually very disheartening, because I feel positively destroyed all of the time now, and not in a healthy sort of way. I stretch, try to get plenty of sleep, try not to overdo it - but none of this seems to help. I feel 20 years older than my actual age right now in terms of body discomfort.

Have any of you guys dealt with serious recovery issues, particularly with age? I'm not ready to back off my training regimen yet, because I still feel like it's not unreasonable or out of reach for someone my age - but damn it's totally disheartening to feel my body fall this far behind on the recovery end.

Any tips or game changers for guys who have experienced this?
I’m 62 and in the best shape of my life. Maybe I cannot run as fast, and cannot lift as much, but I am very fit and strong in a whole body kind of way. Looking at your post, I would say that two months is just the beginning and that you should expect at least four to six months to climb out of the hole you started from. Not trying to sound arrogant here, but if your goal is whole body fitness for the next forty years, then whats the big deal about spending a little more time building your base? Too, you can expect to have longer recovery times, but this just goes with being nearly fifty instead of nearly thirty. Again, play the long game and just stay with it.

Oh, and stretching helps a lot, as does more water, leas alcohol, and keeping your weight down.

Good luck to you!
 

*zap*

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Patience is one of the most important things when pursuing fitness.

If your 'starting' and already peaking your workouts in a few weeks your going 10x to fast and will most likely burn out within a few months. I just finished a very long base period for both aerobic capacity and strength, took off a month and started back at 50% of the volume I peaked at in the prior base period for both aerobic and strength....it will be 8-10 weeks until I am back at the volume I was doing in the last base period and I WILL pass the last base periods volume this base period...... 65 yoa and going on 300 hours of workouts in 2021..268 to be exact as of today with 4 weeks completely off.

Years of consistency is where real results come from.....
 
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