Over 40 and New Fitness Tech

A student of mine recently approached me about training and wanted my opinion on a new fitness app he was contemplating using. He spoke on end about all the things this app could do to inevitably help him achieve his goals of more lean muscle. The app, he explained, tracked everything from reps and sets to calories and meals plans.

This eventually got me thinking about us over 40 types. Would we benefit from such detail-oriented technology to propel us forward in our physique pursuits? Are we at an age where technology is needed to gain that once all too important edge for building muscle on our aging frames?

One would easily think so.

The rise and root of tech

The influx of technology in every aspect of our lives is now the norm. Specifically, we wholeheartedly and blindly accept technology as the final missing piece in our seemingly forever struggle in the world of fitness. Almost every fitness facility (aside from a few choice and more personal-oriented places) has adopted some form of advanced technology offered to members.

From publicly displayed heart rate readings displayed on a “mega board” to integrative apps specific to your group complete with a social media component to keep you always plugged-in and connected. Every new advancement promises to be that missing piece. The final solution you’ve been searching for.

Arguments are made referring to testimonials galore relating the ease to our already established trust in technology. After all, technology always moves our lives forward. Right?

Is it rocket science?

Allow me digress for a moment and state that I am not against technology in general. And I am not against tech in fitness either. My big picture perspective hinges on the necessity of tech and not the novelty of it. If it has an important, necessary use then I will try it and possibly adopt it, but I refuse to fill my life with useless apps and other programs for the sheer reason that they exist or the fact that everyone seems to be using it.

Here is my take on the entire subject: No matter how old you are, fitness isn’t rocket science. The body still reacts to resistance no matter the source. It doesn’t know the difference from training in front of an expensive interactive control panel and flipping an old tractor tire down a dirt road.

Weight training, calories in calories out, cardiovascular training, protein intake, quality sleep, and every point in between requires no tech. The common principles to get going and progressing are discipline, consistency, and persistence. No tech needed.

Over 40 tech use

You may have contemplated the need for tech especially when you’re north of 40. You may feel like your days of slinging heavy weights around haphazardly are over.

In some ways they are, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find new ways to train for muscle growth–get in the gym and hammer away with intensity and ferocity. Those days are not behind us. Cranky shoulders and clicking knees will not stop us from training the way want to train.

I believe, however, that tech is not our savior. At the risk of sounding like a Luddite, I believe we need to make a sound plan and forego all the cute little gadgets and just get to work. Leave the cell phone in the car, write down your plan, and get after it.

Practice the discipline to show up each day and train with purposeful intensity. Practice consistency to make every workout each day, week, and month. Practice persistence that you will succeed with every set and every rep.

Technology is a wonderful tool. It’s made a lot of aspects of our lives better, more convenient, and not to mention safer. But we can’t allow it to give us an excuse. An excuse that if we don’t have this new shiny thing we won’t succeed–that it’s the key to our goals.

Let’s get back to basics.


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