As a rather old dog myself I always thought the ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ line was a total cop out.
I’ve got more than a few athletes I coach who are pushing on well into the second half of their first century who have picked up plenty of new tricks.
As far as gains from proper training and nutrition are concerned I think older athletes and females in general have greatest scope for improvement in relation to their peers.
I will speak to the topic of women and training at a later stage in detail but for me the fact that leading a largely sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest contributory factor towards early death is a good reason to start learning new tricks or relearning old tricks. The US Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health lists some of the benefits of regular physical activity as follows:
Reduces the risk of dying prematurely.
Reduces the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease.
Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
Helps control weight.
Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.
Promotes psychological well being.
Now I don’t know how anyone can argue against that?
Now instead of giving you a lecture on training…I am going to show you what an ‘older’ athlete is doing and we’ll track their ongoing program and their results.
PC is male, late 40’s and looking to get his waistline under control and to improve his general fitness and well being.
Here is his current program:
Cardio 1 – 150m/30sec recovery 10 sets
Single Leg Knee Drops – 5 sets of 5 reps each side.
Cardio 2 – 150m/45sec recovery 10 sets
1A Inverted Rows – 8 sets of 5 reps supersetted with
1B Push Ups – 8 sets of 5 reps
Cardio 3 – 150m/60sec recovery 10 sets
Cardio 1 – 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 with 30sec recovery
Single Leg Box Squat (BW) – 5 sets of 5 reps each side
Cardio – 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 with 30sec recovery
1A Pulldowns – 5 sets of 8 reps supersetted with
1B DB Shoulder Press – 5 sets of 8 reps
Cardio 3 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 with 30sec recovery
Cardio 1 – 5 X 500 with 2min easy rowing between intervals
DB Reverse Lunges – 5 sets of 5 reps each side
Cardio 2 – 4 X 500 with 2min easy rowing between intervals
1A DB Chest Press – 8 sets of 5 reps supersetted with
1B DB Rows – 8 sets of 5 reps
Cardio 3 – 3 X 500 with 2min easy rowing between intervals
Simple as that…he’s training Monday, Wednesday and Friday…each session is short and sweet and the intensity is as hard as he wants to make it. He’s coupling that with ‘cleaning up’ his diet and in the first week alone he dropped over a pound and considering he wasn’t too out of shape in the first place…I’m pretty happy with that. A pound a week or maybe two depending on overall size is a good sustainable target for weight loss so I’d say PC is right on target.