Thursday, April 05, 2007

A post on the dragondoor.com forum from today:

This is a response I posted on the dragondoor.com forum today that I felt would be worth re-posting here:

I have noticed over the past several posts that you are obsessed with or focused on aging and its "effects" - it seems you are either looking for someone to say that it is natural to lose function,strength,and "health" at or past a certain age - (bones ossifying etc...) well I have to chime in here and give you an opinion - and you may not like it...

We do not lose anything as we age - we give it away!

Yes there are some physiological changes - a switch over to more collagen than elastin, discs become more solid (not a bad thing by the way), etc...But loss of strength, mobility and "health" are almost always things that we give away.

Will a 60 yr old win in the Olympics - probably not but that does not mean you cannot enjoy vibrant health and strength as you age.

I am 35 and stronger and feeling better than I ever have in my life. Rif is 50 and doing great (dispite high milage joints and previous injuries) - and there are many others that age quite well.

My recommendations -
#1 - Get a hormonal profile done by an "anti-aging" Dr. or endocrinologist - thyroid, testosterone etc...very important!
#2 Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition - water intake, and www.precisionnutrition.com - John Berardi's site
#3 Get screened for asymmetries or imbalances - Athletic Body in Balance by Gray Cook is a great place to start - or work with a personal trainer or coach who can guide you.
#4 Tai Chi or Qigong - breathing techniques and movement skills that will help you release tension and stress (stress can literally be a killer as you age and you must be able to handle it well)
#5 Kettlebells and strength training - appropriate for your "lifting age" and injury history.

This is similar to someone blaming genetics for not being able to accomplish something - there are many things within out control that have far more influence on how we live.

Believe me I mean this in the most positive and encouraging manner - it may be a bit harsh or presented in a "reality check" manner but it is meant to provide you assitance in aging well. My apologies if you are already enacting most of my recommendations or have some medical reason not disclosed here.

What do you think? Do we give it away as we age?

4 comments:

Anthony Renna said...

Brett, good points. I use one of Gray's points with my older clients all the time. When people say they can't squat because they are too old, I remind them that if you go to a third world country, 80 year olds can deep squat because they are doing it all the time to "relieve" themselves. It's all a matter of use it or lose it. It has been so worth while to make cleaning up movement patterns (especially the squat) a priority in my programs. I will be working more on the deadlift for general pop now that PB finally got your 2nd DVD out. Good stuff

hawkeye said...

I'm 55 and continue to improve many parameters: strength, flexibility, technique, and consistency, to name a few.

Recovery is the main area in which I've noticed a change. Making recovery an integral part of my training (as opposed to viewing recovery simply as "the time spent between training sessions")is key for me.

I'd like to hear others' experiences in this area.

Randy said...

I agree that in large measure we "give it away" or simply resign to "something less". Studies on sarcopenia (age related lean mass loss) conflict...some studies show protein and weight training don't help much, others show these measures help significantly. My view is that sarcopenia is probably inevitable, but that doesn't mean you can't stay relatively strong...the key to managing sarcopenia is to also manage your body composition. Pound for pound, if you stay as lean as possible and weight train, you can maintain and even increase "functional" strength.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Anthony - let me know what you think about the second DVD - I'll give you a call soon.

hawkeye - recovery is a major factor and a part of only pushing as hard as you need to get stronger - not as hard as you can - Recovery is key.

Randy - I agree - it is about not "giving" in and expecting to be strong and vibrant.

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