What Does a Master Athlete Need to Know
Aug 26, 2022
Many non-athletes are accustomed to taking chronic back and knee pain for granted. And the fact that strength training is successful in solving this problem can be puzzling. Here are a couple of benefits experienced by the adult body:
- high stability;
- improvement of a posture;
- a drop in cholesterol levels;
- prevention of Alzheimer's disease;
- strengthening the heart and bones.
It is a well-known fact that weightlifting is a difficult sport that requires high mobility, flexibility, speed, coordination and balance. And many coaches are ready to admit that in recent years this sport has made a major breakthrough. So, for example, in 2015, 244 athletes participated in the Masters Championships, which took place in the USA, and already in 2019, 718 athletes.
Why are there so many people aged 35+ who go in for sports?
This is probably due to some additional benefits:
- it's great;
- athletes set new specific goals;
- it creates a community of like-minded people;
- there is an opportunity to compete.
In addition, strength exercises teach the nervous system and muscles to quickly respond. In this case, not only physical strength is important, but also the ability to move your legs quickly. It will not let you lose your balance. This skill is known as “reactive stability” in physiotherapists. This is exactly the kind of skill that people tend to lose as they age.
It's no secret that strength and coordination training promotes learning ability by developing connectivity between different brain regions. This leads to an increased “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” which causes new nerve cells to be created.
For someone visiting the gym is due to the fact that there you can just sweat and get tired. That kind of thinking is allowed, but competing and trying to lift new pounds can be more motivating. Also, once you have a goal, regular exercise, proper nutrition, and a daily schedule can become a lifestyle. Strength is directly related to the state of health, so if something does not allow you to achieve your goals, then most likely it is a matter of health.
However, don't think that weightlifting will make you feel guilty about not being very strong. Productivity can be one of the useful metrics for tracking your overall health. We will share some recommendations that will be useful for middle-aged people who are just starting their workouts.
- Pass a medical check-up. This is one of the important recommendations, because if before that you had not played sports for many years, but lay on the couch, then it will be difficult for you to start a new life so quickly. Check with your doctor before making any changes. Check the heart, discuss past traumas.
- Calculate the intensity and frequency of your workouts. If you are a beginner athlete, then 3 workouts per week is enough to have time to recover and lead a normal life outside the gym. This will prevent muscle pain from accumulating.
- Break your workouts into exercises. At the initial level, you can limit yourself to individual exercises. Each workout can be dedicated to a specific muscle group.
- Pay attention to nutrition and recovery. All work in the gym is dedicated to progress and recovery, and in this case, nutrition is an important part of training. Training in the beginning wreaks havoc on the muscles and forces the body to work even harder to repair them. Nutrition during the recovery period should be balanced and contain enough proteins and carbohydrates. Otherwise, the recovery period will not live up to your expectations and hinder progress. Athletes aged 35+ should limit their sugar intake and increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids. This will prevent inflammation of the joints and protect the heart as well as the blood vessels.
- Be realistic in your expectations. Decide how much time you can spend exercising. The schedule depends only on your personal capabilities - work, personal life, sleep, and so on.
Remember the training approach, loading and planning
Here are some important rules to keep in mind:
- Feel your body. We're not getting any younger, so plan wisely.
- Maintain balance in your workouts. Even if you are an experienced athlete, do not train more than 4 times a week. The ideal is 3 workouts a week, and the 4th workout can be easy.
- Don't try to lift heavy weights all at once. First learn the perfect movements, and only then lift heavy weights.
- Do not forget to monitor your well-being. If you feel good, you can do several approaches, but do not overdo it. Remember that most of your load should be 70-90%, averaging around 80%.
- Masters do not need to constantly train in the 90%+ zone. This is more for young athletes, so avoid crashes during training.
- Increase your mobility. Incorporate exercises into your warm-up to increase mobility. Be sure to add overhead squats, snatch presses, or Romanian deadlifts. This will affect the quality of the hip flexors and help train the gluteal muscles.
- Work on speed. For masters, the speed of development is important, since it helps to engage the necessary motor neurons and quickly form strength, and secondly, it allows you to increase the density of the load.
- Strength training is essential. Most experienced weightlifters will benefit from working with a reasonable number of reps and a comfortable load.
Summing up, we can say that weightlifting and strength training allow you to stay in shape at any age. In this case, the main thing to consider their features and abilities!