Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fitness for the "Masters Athlete"

Yesterday I spoke to the Visalia Rotary club. My topic was fitness for the masters athlete. Here is an outline of what I discussed:

Daily Training Concepts:
-Joint Mobility/Muscle Flexibility/Posture - #1
-Core Stability (NO CRUNCHES!)
-Power and explosiveness
-Functional strength training
-Specific Conditioning
-Soft Tissue/recovery techniques
-Nutritional Strategies

Mobility/Flexibility/Posture - VERY IMPORTANT

-Re-establish proper range of motion
-Daily corrective exercises that will enhance mobility, flexibility and posture
-“One day of mobility work for every decade you have been alive” Mike Robertson, Robertson Training Systems
-This portion can take as little as 10 minutes a day; put in the time to feel better!

Core Stability/Strength
-“Build stability and stiffness in the lower spine; stay away from flexion, extension, and rotation at the lower spine”
Dr. Stuart McGill, Low Back Specialist
-Assist in creating good postural habits
-“But I have back pain…”
Your back is strong, your hips are weak, causing compensation which leads to back pain

Power Training
-“Masters athletes lose power at roughly twice the rate as they lose strength”
Mike Boyle, S & C coach at Boston University
-Muscle power decreases by 3.5%/year after 35 if we do nothing about it
-Types of power training include: med. balls, controlled jumping, sprint work, etc.

Functional Strength Training
-There is a 10% decline in muscle mass between 25-50; 45% decline by age 80 (7 lbs. of muscle/decade)
-Your strength will go fast if you do nothing about it; must continue to work on strength to maintain and even increase

-No Long Slow Distance “cardio” training (unless your goal is to complete an endurance event)
-Perform Specific Intervals (bodyweight circuits, run sprints, bike sprints, tempo running)
-Know the volume and intensity you need to be at (individualized for each person)
-Be efficient and work hard

Recovery Techniques

-As you “progress” through life, it takes your body longer to recover; no longer in your 20’s anymore; be smart with your training
-Are you eating the right foods and drinking plenty of water?
-Are you getting enough sleep?
-Limit your alcohol intake. Especially on workout nights.
-Do you train everyday? If yes, make sure you are not overdoing it.
-Are you working on mobility/flexibility consistently?
-Overtraining leads to injury and lack of motivation and “My body hurts”
-Buy a foam roll and use it daily; it will become your best friend

Putting it all Together
-Fitness is mandatory; It will increase your longevity, your vitality and your energy
-Mobility/Flexibility is #1 priority – “Let’s start waking up feeling great…not in pain.”
-Make it a lifestyle….healthy living is a life long journey one day at a time
-Eat healthy 85% of the time

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