Get ready for this folks - the "Masters" age group across most sports starts at the age of 35!You may not want to hear that, but there's a reason for categorizing people this way.The bottom line is, at age 35, you are no longer in your athletic prime, and keeping up with younger folks is pretty tough to do. So athletic organizations create categories for us, typically in 5 year time spans, starting at 35.I've been a masters athlete for almost 9 years now, and along the way I've learned a good bit about how to train, how to stay on top of my game, how to maintain, when to push hard, what leads to injuries and what makes me feel like SH*%.Here's 5 things I adhere to that make a big difference in my training...
- MOVE EVERY DAY. I feel the worst the days I'm not active. I try to put my body through certain ranges of motion every day, regardless of whether its a "workout day". THIS ONE IS A NON NEGOTIABLE FOR ME.
- TRAIN AT 100% ONLY 1-2 TIMES PER WEEK. Anything more is too much. Right now my goal is to go hard after 1 metcon per week. The other conditioning sessions I do will be at roughly 80%. Ideally this training schedule means 3-4 classes at the gym per week. There's always one of these that I go all out on, the other I intentionally slow myself down, and think about my breathing or technique as I do the metcon.
- DO MOBILITY WORK EVERY DAY. This sort of goes along with number 1 above, but as we age our muscles are less elastic and take more work to remain supple and mobile. I don't have time to do long yoga or stretching sessions every day, but I can work it into my day for 5 minutes or so pretty easily. Its common for me to do a foot elevated pigeon stretch on my counter at home while I drink morning coffee, or sit in the lizard stretch for a minute each side first thing in the morning.
- USE MICRO-DOSES. This goes along with number 1 again. When I don't have a lot of time I may take a minute to do max push ups, then take another minute to do max reps air squats or lunges. On non training days I may do this 3-4 times a day spread out through out the day. It takes almost no time, can be done in between tasks I have to do or on top of each hour. But work is work, and the reps accumulate and keeps my strength and endurance where I want it to be.
- MOVE THROUGH NATURAL MOVEMENT PATTERNS EVERY WEEK. Squat, hinge, press, pull, carry, rotate. I try to never miss any of these in a given week. In a good training week I'd do these more than once.
At almost 44 years old my goals have changed. PRs are no longer the priority. Living life well is now the priority and that means not feeling beat up, not having sore knees, or a tight back. I want to play ball with my kids, play golf, tennis, ski, etc. How is going all out day after day in the gym going to help me with this?The goal is now to see how long I can maintain this level of fitness.Maintain a solid 5k row time so I know I have good endurance.Deadlift, single leg squat, press, power cleans, pull ups are my mainstay. How long can I keep these lifts going while staying in optimal positions?Strength goals have taken a backseat. Any PRs coming in the squat, deadlift or olympic lifts will be because I improved my mobility and positions, not because I did an advanced periodized program to gain 15 pounds on my lifts. The risk of injury and wear and tear is not worth it.ALL THIS TO SAY - TRAIN SMART! TRAIN FOR YOUR AGE!Don't let hype, or ego or other silly reasons influence your training methods that should be there for your health and wellness!Jerrod RuhlOwner, CrossFit LynchburgCF-L2, USAW L-1, FMS