My buddy Kevin shared an post tonight that made me happy. The article, which is featured on TheBoxMag.com, is titled ” The Do’s and Don’ts of CrossFit as a Master.”

One of the best parts of my job is getting to work with athletes of all ages and ability levels, and Masters athletes (older athletes) are an incredible group. While in CrossFit, Masters is typically associated with athletes over the age of 40, I’ve coach athletes well into their 70’s! What I love about this demographic is that they are usually broken into two groups. First, the folks who were never really athletic and have found CrossFit-style training for the first time. It’s amazing to watch as these individuals gain back independence in their day to day lives as knee and joint pain is often reduced, and their energy begins to soar as their muscles get stronger since they’re not nearly as tired walking up the stairs or carrying groceries on their own!

For the ones who used to be athletes, many of them remember what they “used” to be able to do. They remember their fastest mile times and how much they used to bench, it’s pretty uncanny. This is the group the article chooses to focus on. Their friendly reminders are simple, yet so important to drive home for people who trust you to help them get more fit!

Age2

Here’s my brief summary of the suggestions given for Masters athletes:

  1. Don’t think you’re 20- Give yourself time to recover, take plenty of rest days, and practice taking care of your body (massage, etc)
  2. Don’t think like you’re 20- Sure, it would feel nice to write “Rx” next to your workout today like “all the young bucks.” But if it’s at the expense of getting hurt, or being sore for 4 days afterwards, is it really worth it?
  3. Do think like a competitor- An impressive performance, by any standard, can still be had each day. The weight on the bar or the difficulty of the movement isn’t want makes a workout noteworthy.
  4. Do ask for help- You may be really experienced in the world of fitness, but if you’re at a good gym, someone who devotes most of their life to learning new ways to make you more fit is likely closeby. Utilize their knowledge and excel even more!
  5. Don’t be afraid to scale- This combines all of the previous reasons in to one clean solution. The goal is to show up, work out, leave under your own power, and be able to come back the next day, right? So, acknowledge that each day will be different, and modifying workouts based on how you feel today (not what you did last week… or last decade) is critical for long term success.

Just because we’re getting older, doesn’t mean that it’s “all downhill from here!” I’ve seen 60+ year old men deadlift over 500lbs, and women in their mid-to-late 50’s outrun kids half their age at the gym. I love seeing that happen! Training hard at an older age is still something I encourage, as long as it’s done intelligently.

For those Masters athletes that I’m lucky enough to coach, thank you for trusting me with a part of your fitness. If you ever hear someone say, “I want to be as strong/fast/cool/inspiring as you are when I’m your age,” try your best not to be offended. That’s a pretty big compliment coming from that kid you just saw do 15 Muscle-Ups in a row and then clean 300lbs, wouldn’t you say?

Click on the original article by  Lara McGlashan to read it yourself. What do you think? Do you agree with her advice or not?

Age1

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