As a 47-year-old guy, I know that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. One common misconception I hear often is the idea that lots of endurance training is good for you. For guys over 40, this isn’t necessarily true.
Prolonged endurance training, like long bike rides, will tend to raise cortisol levels. This can lower sex hormone levels in both men and women.
Men over 40 should swim. It’s a great way to cross-train your upper body, build muscular endurance in the shoulders and challenge your heart in a different way. Something about being in the water also has a stress relieving effect. It can reduce cortisol levels, help fight fatigue, and improve mood too.
The best news? It’s ok to suck at swimming, because the lack of efficiency actually makes it a better workout. But you need to swim outside – it’s a million times better than swimming indoors. Give it a try!
After I realized that chronic “functional” training was screwing up my hormones (cortisol too high, testosterone borderline low) I dialed things back. While the functional zealots will scream that arm training isn’t functional (a term almost never defined BTW), I call bullshit. You use your arms every day- doing real life things, like lifting very heavy tomato plants, controlling a mountain down a steep slope, carrying a whiny toddler who refuses to walk, or staying in the top position of a push-up for a long time .