In my post, Do You Even Lift? I strongly advocate weight training for all men. It is one of the most beneficial self-improvement activities possible. Discipline, perseverance, gratification, confidence, and respect are all part of the transformation. I recommend adopting fitness as lifestyle, something you incorporate into your daily routine. That way, it never becomes a burden or something you dread. It should be as natural as eating and sleeping. In fact, you will actually feel worse when you don’t exercise.
This brings me to the point of this post. As much as I love resistance training, it will take a toll on your joints as you age. My left shoulder had become so painful, I could no longer bench, squat, or do push-ups. Ultimately, I had to have it surgically corrected. Longevity means little if your quality of life is disrupted. 7 long months of recovery later and I am lifting relatively pain free again. However, I will never regain my pre-injury level of performance. Part of that is simply age, but part of that was also overdoing it when I was young. No one told me all that heavy lifting would catch up with me.
Lift hard, but lift smart. Don’t overdo it. If you want to be lifting in your 40s, 50s, and 60s, train smart in your 30s. You can damn near do whatever you want in your 20s. Unless you have a very specific purpose such as competitive power lifting or body building, limit your heavy lifts. You will get a lot more mileage out of your joints. Lift as part of a balanced fitness routine. I like CrossFit, but don’t get too fanatical and take extra rest and recovery time. Ideally, you will only have to adjust your intensity and poundage due to the natural decline and not to pain.
We take things for granted and don’t appreciate them until they are gone. Fitness is a primary quality-of-life factor for me. Being unable to exercise was mental torture. If I could go back in time, I would lift with an emphasis on total fitness, not just muscle gain. Time is your most valuable asset. As you age and have less of it, health becomes much more relevant. Keep that in mind. We trade youth for wisdom. Be young and wise. Lift for fitness so you can lift for life. BTW, I have no idea who the guy in the photo is, but he looks great for his age.