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I'm in my '60s and regularly lift to failure. But I noticed when I bruise something--my shin for example--when once it took days to heal, it now takes over two weeks. It got me to wondering: do the microscopic muscle tears that result from any intense workout now take over two weeks to heal in me as well?
So per your question "Do 10 days off make a difference" should we be scheduling more days off between workouts the older we get? Not something I want to do, specifically for the reason you suggest, "use it or lose it." Sort of like a choice between atrophy and permanent muscle damage.
Sadly, yes, us older folks do heal slower. And training to failure is a way to make recovery take a long time. You definitely don't want to be taking 10 days off weight training on a regular basis, but when they do happen, you can get back to your previous weights fairly quickly. I'm 58 and take two days off between my weight training sessions, with the occasional 3-day rest in there as well. My training is centered around sets of five, so relatively heavy weights. I've found the HLM (Heavy - Light - Medium) type program works well for me, spreading the stress out over a week or more, but still pushing the weights up on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that older lifters are volume (total amount of sets and reps) sensitive and intensity (actual weight on the bar relative to your one rep max) dependent. Meaning too many sets and reps will wipe you out but you need to keep the weight up to make progress. It's a balancing act. Here's a good article discussing just that with some inspirational photos: [url]https://startingstrength.com/article/volume-and-the-masters-lifter[\url]
It's a question of age. When I was younger I didn't lose training very fast. For me now, it's a matter of days. The wife and I are going to Japan for a week pretty soon, and I know my fitness is going to take a big backward slide just from traveling for a week.
like it seems several of the above, i'm in my late 50s and do the starting strength method as best as i can. summer is tough, as there are long breaks from training, but to jeff's point i train to make life better, i don't live to train. after a long break just drop the weight and slowly work your way back up.
Perhaps I'm a day too late to the thread, but like other I'm north of 55. Lift 3 to 4 times per week following a 5-3-1 program (essentially 1 "big lift" per day plus some accessory work). Cardio is a mix of running and hitting the heavy bag. Thinking of joining a Muay Thai class.
Also like others I've taken 2+ weeks off lifting due to every day life and extra summer travel (5-3-1 has a light week every 4 weeks, so add that in as well). I had to drop weight as I started back last week, but overall I felt that the break did my old body some good. I've found that I need to give myself more recovery time than when I was a young spry lad.
Heading off to take a look at the article RJP posted.