Training days per week
I am now nearly 50 years old and have ran the gamut with regard to training splits. When I was younger I could do typical bodybuilding splits where I beat up each muscle about every 7-8 days. Now, I can’t do the volume or I feel extremely overtrained. I also have more work and family commitments than when I was in my 20-30s. Any advice on a training split that will still produce gains, yet not leave me out of time, or over trained?
You are not alone, as there is no doubt that youths greatest advantage is the ability to recover from training. I found that once I got into my late 30’s I could maintain almost all my muscle mass and stay lean with 3-full body workouts per week. Now, I’m 49 and use the same full body split, and even back of to twice per week when I have lots of travel or family commitments. In my view, with experience you should be able to do a lot of damage to each major muscle group, with a bit of extra specialization in a full body program that should not take more than 45-60 minutes. By limiting yourself to full body workouts, you are forced to choose exercises that add to your overall shape, and should forget the exercises that add mass in areas that are already built up from years of training. You should not totally forget your well built body parts because training them with weights, even if only once per week, will enhance your bodies ability to store the carbs you eat.
Your goals when training after your late 40’s, if you’ve built a nice base (like you seem to have already) and are not looking to compete should be focused on: 1) maintaining the muscle you have 2) choosing exercises that enhance your overall muscle shape and appearance, and 3) increasing insulin sensitivity in muscle so that the carbs you eat are stored in muscle not fat.