I might posit, as a lifetime bodybuilder and very active person like you, that this goes for all of us at all ages all the time. Recovery time isn’t necessarily or solely a function of age. I’ve got a fair number of years on you, and I have the same kinds of aches and pains when I push too hard. When we’re very young, the body has precisely the same needs for recovery (ask any elite athlete). When you and I over train, we can injure.
I wonder, and this was most certainly true for me as a recovering fattie and someone who has worked hard to keep it off, how much of my own compulsive exercising had more to do with the abject fear of gaining it back?
In a society where UBER effort is rewarded with compliments like You are so BADASS, a moniker I earn (and so do you) just fine without pushing ourselves well past any reasonable limits, it’s very tempting to do this AND this AND this AND that without much though to overuse damage.
But that happens at any age. Time and abuse and injuries will cost us cartilage, but that also happens to younger folks.
I might suggest, and this doesn’t make me right, that more so what any of us might want to look at is our why. What’s the driver here? What am I trying to accomplish (such as, am I in training for Some Big Thing, which is in my case often true) or am I in denial of or running from something?
I have no clue. I hardly have the handle on my own reasons, and when I thought I did, it broke.
That said, as I age towards seventy, I have indeed modified some of what I do. For example, you won’t find me putting in four hours a day like I did at sixty in training for Kilimanjaro. That’s just not sustainable. For me or my body.
I do like about one to two hours daily of a broad mix. I have to trade those routines when I am on travel as I am now en route back to Africa. When I come back after five weeks I feel out of shape, but I’m not. That lie is in my head.
I do have to do a week of lower reps to come back, but every single time I end up being stronger for the long rest.
Hm. Something to that, maybe.
I find so many folks commenting on my threads about their routines. They are like fingerprints. Your body is utterly different from mine. There are general guidelines, and then there’s you. What you need is driven by the factors unique to you life and goals. However there’s an awful lot of research out there that would back up your desire to keep working hard, but to also give it a rest every so often, change it up a lot, and for my part, not be so compulsive about needing to put in that extra hour at the gym.
Every so often it’s really good to just go read a damn book for a while.