Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why do we lose athletic ability as we get older?

The Butkus Hurdle
"They've lost a step"..."can't jump as high as he used to"..."doesn't hit the ball as far as he did"...All things we've heard before but why does it happen?  After the age of 35, probably earlier, we start losing muscle at about 1/4-1/2lb a year.  The reason why we lose athletic ability as we get old is because we simply lose muscle.

Your muscles are the engine of the body and provide the power, speed, agility, and protection against injuries.  Those muscles that were once used to play your sport have been literally going away each year.  The best defense against muscle loss is to build muscle the right way. People often assume when I say this that they'll get huge and muscular like a bodybuilder.  There may be some that have the genetics but the odds of that are 1 in a billion.  As the old saying goes, some have it and some don't.

The best way to build and prevent muscle loss is by doing high intensity weight training.  Intensity is what tells the body that a change needs to happen.  The higher the intensity, the better the message is sent.  If it's too low, you could workout for 5 or 10 years without building any muscle.

The workout to get the fastest results in building muscle is a 3-day per week total body workout that works all of the major muscle groups.  One that is designed to not only build muscle but also allow for proper recovery.  At any age recovery is extremely important!  Without recovery, muscle growth will never happen.  I could see athletes late in their careers be stronger than they were when they started with this type of training.