Training for older individuals
Let’s begin this topic by addressing some common myths or preconceptions about training that are unhelpful, and end up hurting us in the long run:
“I’m probably going to get hurt”.
You’re more likely to get injured by NOT training than by appropriately training.
“I’ll look like a bodybuilder if I workout”
Training won’t turn you into a jacked bodybuilder anymore than playing 9 holes a few times a week will turn you into Tiger Woods.
“Training is too complicated”
For general health purposes, training can be extremely simple and if followed on a regular basis, can yield great results. You’d be amazed to see what walking just a little everyday can do to your health. Don’t let some influencer tell you otherwise.
“I’m too old to see improvements”
If you are LIVING, you have the ability to improve strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, power, flexibility, quality of life, etc. The list is almost endless.
Great, now that we got those out of the way, let’s dive in.
Time is not our friend…
It’s somewhat obvious that as we age, things start to decline. Below are a few of many aging curves that have been studied. The two I chose to show examine Muscle CSA (cross sectional area) and Bone Mineral Density as we age.
If we look at the Y axis, we have muscle mass and bone mineral density. These graphs are not reassuring. And with almost every aging curve, we see these trends. So what can we do? We can train.
Observing a typical aging curve:
If we can visualize this, we see that our max function peaks around 25-30 years old, we hold on to it until we reach about 40, and then we experience a steady decline as we age, getting more steep after the age of 60.
With training, we have the ability to bend these aging curves in a positive direction. Look at the green curve. We drastically improve our ability to function throughout our lifespan.
Take specific note of the two yellow lines. What does this tell us? This tells us a 75 year old who trains has similar function to that of a 55 year old who is untrained. 20 years of a difference!
And it doesn’t stop after 20 years. If you hang around gyms long enough, you will eventually meet 75 year olds who have the fitness of an average 40 year old. How far can you bend your aging curve?
Where do we start?
While we would love for every athlete to start their fitness journey with a dedicated team helping them, we know how much progress people can make just by starting. Just do something. I’ll highlight this point with the graph below.
This is one of our favorite graphs. This was used to inform the “10k steps a day” recommendation you hear health care professionals shout from the rooftops. The mortality rate of individuals ages 40 or older who walk 2000 steps a day is four times that of individuals ages 40 or older who walk 10,000 steps a day. 4 times! Just by increasing your steps from 2000 to 6000 per day, you more than HALVE your mortality rate. With only about 1 hour a day of walking.
Ask any lifter that has years under their belt, and they will miss how fast they made progress when they first started. “Newbie gains”, some might say. It’s not uncommon to see rapid progress from lifters new to movements or training in general.
How can R3VIVE help?
At R3vive, we believe everybody has the ability to enjoy and benefit from functional training. Chronological age should never limit somebody to start their fitness journey. Our approach to new athletes allows us to learn about an athlete’s medical & training history to create a program tailored for their unique goals. We strive to offer the most thorough and prescriptive programming to our athletes. Our consultation, movement assessment, and Foundations program are designed specifically to meet the needs of every athlete.
We don’t believe there should be any special considerations for older people based on their age alone. However, we do see an increased emphasis on quality of life and decreased emphasis on competition with our older athletes. For example, using tools in the gym to carry over to real life tasks. Preserving the ability to carry groceries up flights of stairs, picking up and playing with grandchildren, gardening, yard-work, reducing pain and stiffness, etc. Our gym is more than prepared to help aging athletes preserve their function and keep enjoying the things they hold dear.
Getting started with us.
If you’re considering getting started, now comes the part where YOU have control. The first step is registering for your initial consultation using the following link. After that, leave the rest to us to help navigate you.
We look forward to beginning your health and fitness journey with you.
Train to live. Train with purpose.