Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Myth #5 - Too old for power training!

Myth #5 - “I can’t do power training…I’m too old for that!"

First of all, we are ALL in the same boat... I have yet to meet anyone who is getting younger! All jokes aside, there is more evidence of the effects of exercise on the aging process and not only can it slow the process down, but it may even reverse them!

Once the term "power" gets attached to training or exercise, many begin to tighten up just thinking about it. While the "knee-jerk response" may be warranted, if done properly (just like any form of exercise) the effects may be simply amazing!

By definition, power adds an element of speed with a particular exercise. Speed can be added to just about any exercise, however, it must be done in a safe way without compromising the techniques of the exercise or else the risk can outweigh the benefit.

Power training may include many types of activity. While plyometric training will definitely fit the bill, your feet don't have to leave the ground in order to create the stretch reflex (although age has not stopped us from exposing some older clientele to plyo's). For example, the speed squat (as the name implies) is done as fast as possible, forcing the muscles to work rapidly concentrically and eccentrically with a very small transformational zone (where the movement changes direction). This same concept may be applied to the upper body by using an overhead press as an example. Think about pressing and lowering the weight as fast as possible which will create a stretch reflex from the top of the body down. If down with enough speed, you will begin to notice that the lower body begins to get involved to accomplish the task of "pressing the weight as fast as possible." This chain reaction which involves the entire body is a great example of how the body works as a functional unit.

In addition, as pointed out by Gary Gray, with power training, your body may respond by improving its mobility, strength, endurance, coordination and balance. There is no other type of training that will "kill many birds with one stone." Think about it...

To conclude, exercises can be tweaked in a number of ways to add speed to the equation that is safe for all ages and abilities. We all NEED power training as the complexity of everyday life (not just on the slopes) requires our bodies to perform at it's best. Think of it like this, the faster you move during your workout, the faster it will end!! ;)


No comments: