The best workout for every decade, according to a fitness expert


Many of us want to stay fit as we get older, but once the normal fitness of our early twenties is over, it can be hard to know where to begin.

But the key is knowing which types of fitness are best suited to your body’s ability at different stages of life.

Experts at Circuit Society, a London-based fitness brand, spoke to FEMAIL about the best workouts you can do in every decade, from HIIT in your ‘performance’ decades in your 20s and 30s to cycling and Pilates in your 60s. And the seventies.

“The key to maintaining high fitness levels, over a long period of time, is to listen to your body,” explained Chris Pace of The Circle Association. Your body changes as you age, and so should your training.

Experts at Circuit Society, a London-based fitness brand, spoke to FEMAIL about the best workouts you can do in every decade, from HIIT in your 'performance' decades in your 20s and 30s to cycling and Pilates in your 60s. Seventies (stock image)

Experts at Circuit Society, a London-based fitness brand, spoke to FEMAIL about the best workouts you can do in every decade, from HIIT in your ‘performance’ decades in your 20s and 30s to cycling and Pilates in your 60s. Seventies (stock image)

This doesn’t mean that you can’t apply yourself in the same way, it just means that you have to adapt to the changes you see and feel in your body.

Low-impact exercise — the stress on your joints and bones — will benefit you both in the short and long term. Whether you are 18 or 78 years old, your back and knees will need to be taken care of.

Do your research, be informed, and take your time when you’re looking for a new way to exercise. Keeping your routine consistent is what will give you long-term results, both physically and mentally – and never forget the saying “You can’t train on a bad diet.”

Here, a look at the exercises to do at every age…

If you are in… 20s-30s

Types of exercises: HIIT, CrossFit,

Types of exercises: Compound strength training exercises such as Dumbbell Thrusters, Kettle Bell Swings, and Deadlifts. Intervals for cardio training such as jogging and boxing

For most people, these will be “performance” contracts.

Whether people are training for specific sports, fitness competitions, mental health or just feeling good on the holidays, these are probably the years when we train at the highest intensity,

Some forms of HIIT training will benefit us greatly in these years.

High intensity cardio and strength exercises will develop a strong heart and lungs and build muscle mass that will benefit us greatly in later decades.

If you are in…40s-50s

Types of exercises: HIIT Low Impact, Structured Strength Training Programs

Types of exercises: Intervals for cardio, cycling and Ski-Erg.

Most people will be able to continue with HIIT in these decades, but for most of us, these contracts will be our “maintenance” years, with the goal of making sure we maintain the strength, fitness, and mobility we built in previous years.

Keeping your mind sharp and clear is also a huge reason why people keep training in these years, especially since they tend to be the years when you are at the end of your career/in which you make sharp decisions.

We might look for lower impact forms of cardio like Airbike or Ski-Erg, which allow us to maintain the intensity of our cardio training without the impact of running or the like.

Strength training will continue to be critical as we aim to maintain bone density and muscle mass as we age.

The 40s and 50s are your 'maintenance years' and people will base the results on how much exercise they do in their early years (stock image)

The 40s and 50s are your ‘maintenance years’ and people will base the results on how much exercise they do in their early years (stock image)

If you are in… 60s-70s

Types of exercises: Cycling, Walking or Jogging, TRX, Pilates, Yoga,

Types of exercises: TRX Squats, BW Plank

We will inevitably slow down as we age, but that doesn’t really mean we should stop training.

How we train depends on physical limitations, if any. These are the years when we may need to “adapt” our training.

For most of us, this will mean a significant reduction in impact exercises and a gradual reduction in high-intensity cardio, and for most of us, this will include working around any illnesses or physical injuries we may have.

We are likely to be more focused on our overall health rather than our ability to perform.

TRX training and suspension can help us perform exercises we may struggle with, Pilates and yoga can help us maintain our mobility and strength, and low-impact strength training will be as important as ever for maintaining muscle and bone density.


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