Me and Max
The other day some CBFers were chuckling about an ad on local TV showing Max King, a young elite athlete, doing a vigorous workout – jumping laterally over a hurdle, slamming a medicine ball, swinging a kettlebell. What they found funny is that they do the same exercises in the Younger Games even though on average they’re 30-40 years older than Max.
CBFers, like the ones doing the obstacle course in the picture, challenge the ageist stereotypes prevalent in the exercise industry and “senior” programs that older adults are fragile creatures, thus best-served by slow, repetitive aerobic routines or sprawled in a death pose on a yoga mat.
In fact, fit older adults can and should do the same type of exercises as the fittest in the younger population. It’s only a matter of degree of exercise intensity (like duration, number of repetitions, speed, weight of load), but not kind. That’s how older persons train safely, but very effectively.
Sure, due to aging our joints are more worn (or metal), muscle mass reduced, and the tissues less flexible, but the basic anatomy remains the same. We won’t look like a young elite athlete at the peak of their physical prowess. We may need to do some work-arounds from old injuries, joint replacements, or medications. But we still enjoy the same training results.
By exercising like the Max Kings, we strengthen muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones; preserve mobility and stability in all planes of movement; develop coordination; and ensure an effective range of motion to do what needs to be done in daily life for years to come.
If Max keeps training hard to win those grueling ultra marathons, a few decades from now he might just be fit enough for the Younger Games.