Age and Recovery

Discussion in 'Masters (50+ years old)' started by morrisda, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. morrisda

    morrisda Double-Digit Post Count

    Hopefully I can articulate my question.

    I am 52, I have been lifting regularly for a little over a year. I have made good strength strides, OK mobility and flexibility improvements, and a lot of my ole aches and pains have either went away or have been reduced. I am still too heavy, but realize this is a diet issue vs a lifting issue.

    My question is can recovery be improved similar to aerobic conditioning or strength? Or as you age, you just are not going to recover as well?

    When I started training again, I would follow various programs, and what I have found is that working out a body part more then twice a week or working out intensely more then 3 times a week just seems to wear me out and it hasn’t really improved over time. ( I can do a program like easy strength 5 times a week and be OK, but no way can I lift intensely 3 times a week lets say on bench or squats)

    I am wondering if I should work on my conditioning a little more, would this improve recovery?

    Would any type of supplement help such as BCAA’s, creatine or glutamine?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    The Nail likes this.
  2. Harald Motz

    Harald Motz Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    my opinions @morrisda :
    definitaly. Here, as in many things basics trump: sleep is the queen of recovery. Adequate Hydration. Softstyles as Yin practice to complement Hardstyle lifting (meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, clubswinging, Yoga, OS Resets, dance come to mind to pick something up to practice regulary)

    to overall health and well being and ability to recover is an important aspect. @aciampa has written some essential articles and posts on this subject, and I for myself have some interesting experiences after working two of his schedules since the beginning of 2016, but that is worth a post of its own.
    Michael Perry likes this.
  3. banzaiengr

    banzaiengr Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @morrisda I'm 56 and completely understand. You are correct, nutrition is the key if weight loss is the goal. And Harald is correct in the importance of sleep. I have found, because regular sleep is not in the cards for me until I retire, that the program itself is the key. A program that allows you to recover, even though you may be hitting it 4, 5, or 6 times per week. S&S done correctly, using the talk test or a HR monitor or one of Mr. Ciampa protocols which is, "very similar but not the same" work best for me. I have learned over time to implement those philosophies into any program I devise. Still I have to listen to my body and know when it's time for a lighter workout or possibly even a de-load. Supplements may help but that is a very individual thing and personally unless a blood test shows some type of deficiency I believe the program is the key. Nutrition is also/equally important and that is a whole other part of the puzzle and I struggle with that too.

    This brings me to another topic that Dr. Steven Horwitz spoke to me. @Steve Freides, would there be any interest in for lack of a better term, a "Master's" sub-topic on the forum? All of us over 50 (which is what the TSC considers Master's not 40) have a somewhat different set of issues than most of our younger comrades. (I can't believe I'm actually going to use comrades, darn you Pavel)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  4. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    I'm 48, so perilously close to that "masters" category. But before my 40s, I didn't "train"; I just "exercised." So this is my "normal" and I don't have much to compare to as far as recovery time. But anyway, a few thoughts:

    1) You say, "I can do a program like easy strength 5 times a week and be OK, but no way can I lift intensely 3 times a week lets say on bench or squats." This totally makes sense, but also relevant is, how much harder are those 3 days than the 5x/wk training? Think of total training load -- are you stressing your body more, in total?

    2) HRV is really useful in monitoring your recovery state. I have some notes on that in my training log, and I put my HR and HRV summary in the top of each week's entry. It has taught me a lot about how training affects me, and how recovery activities like sleep affect me. Occasionally it will guide my decisions about how hard to go on a given day, but not often.

    3) On your question of "work on my conditioning a little more, would this improve recovery?" -- my suspicion/opinion is, no. This would add to your training stress, and would cause your body to become better conditioned (to whatever activity, fueling system, etc. that you are training) but would not help you recover any faster from the training you want to focus on.
  5. Harald Motz

    Harald Motz Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Yes, good point @Anna C . I meant conditioning not in sense of doing more "cardio", but in a sense of sensible aerobic base training, walking, alactic "conditioning" training, Maffetone's concept.
  6. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Misuse of terms seems to be causing confusion...

    @morrisda you sound like you're asking about recovery from strength training... you have to avoid CNS fatigue. What is this "body part" nonsense? Are you doing the big barbell lifts for strength, or a body building routine?

    Aerobic training will help your recovery rate, but its doubtful that it will help if you are burning out your CNS on a regular basis. To confirm Anna's suspicion, you need to trade anaerobic work for aerobic work and let your system heal. But I don't think this is what we are discussing with you.

    @Harald Motz, I don't think A+A is appropriate for folks who using aerobic training to heal and recover.

    Get everything else dialed in: sleep, nutrition, get some sun, limit device use, walk more etc. Lose weight: it is limiting your recovery rate.

    Lastly... yes, as you get older, you will not be able to recover from work as well as when you were young, for a myriad of reasons.
  7. morrisda

    morrisda Double-Digit Post Count

    Thank you all for your replies.

    @aciampa I am talking strength training, OHP, Squat, deadlift, Assisted Pull-ups and Bench are what I basically do. Currently following Pavel 3-5 program, 3-5 lifts, 3-5 sets, 3-5 reps, 3-5 times a week. Closer to the 2/3 side of things. Instead of body part I should of stated lift. Currently I Deadlift and OHP one workout and Bench and Pullups the next workout, typically lift Mon, Wed, and Fri, this works fine for me, i.e. lifting same lift every 4th or 5th day. I have also incorporated walking almost daily.

    I think to keep improving I must dial in diet and lose weight.
  8. banzaiengr

    banzaiengr Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @morrisda, What they said. Harald, Anna, and Al have forgotten more than I know. :)
  9. Matts

    Matts More than 300 posts

    all good advice above....I've got a decade or so on you, and it's usually not a good sign if you don't feel your recovery is equal to your training. You can't control your age, but you can keep the equation balanced by cutting back so you feel good and recharged (to use the S&S term) almost all the time.
    offwidth and banzaiengr like this.
  10. Ny Wc

    Ny Wc Double-Digit Post Count

    You can take cold showers post workout if it helps. Like putting ice on a bruise.
  11. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    It's indisputable that it takes longer to recover with age. But there's lots of good advice here how to be intelligent about it. Although to paraphrase Pavel... When you get into a situation, you might not be able to step onto a scale or show your drivers license...
  12. D-Rock

    D-Rock Triple-Digit Post Count

    What are the mechanisms of aerobic base building healing your system? Does it have to do with building mitochondria, or is it giving the CNS a break from heavy lifting? Would it be beneficial to periodically trade anaerobic work for aerobic work, even for a younger lifter, for healing and longevity's sake?
  13. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    @D-Rock I am thoroughly convinced of this, for what my opinion is worth. ...not an all out trade (unless your health indicates this) but a much stronger emphasis on aerobic function training.
    strawdog, RichJ and offwidth like this.
  14. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    As you age you definitely have to recover harder than you train. My favorites tools are eating, contrast showers, yoga, and walking. I have two dogs so I walk a lot.

    Sleep is a priority of course.

    I still train as hard as I always have, but the progress is slower. I train a lot smarter though, with more focus on flexibility, stability, and joint health.

    In Olympic Weightlifting 25 is old. If you have not made an impact in the sport by then it becomes exponentially harder as you get older. Your testosterone levels begin to drop off, and you cannot recover from the training necessary to compete at a national level. It's hard for some to accept, but reality bites.

    As a fitness enthusiast though, I practice to be stronger and more resilient. I love training to challenge myself and work out my frustrations. We all have to accept aging and be better.
    strawdog, WxHerk and The Nail like this.
  15. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @D-Rock I'm the same age as you. Today I had my first ever surf lesson. It wasn't pretty! Being smashed about by the icey waters of the North Sea for 2 hours trying to learn a new skill and having the strength and mobility to fully embrace the process, albeit lacking in many inelegant ways, is a great blessing. And then I had a fine practice of 10x2 double front squats this afternoon and enjoyed the aftermath of my day's exertions by eating my fridge. This is not a typical day to be fair but when they come along it fully endorses how I train these days.......strength, mobility and walking. Intermittent blow outs like today, full out sprints now and then, test days as appropriate to the many and varied programmes devised by the great collective minds of strongfirst.
    Absolutely agree with others that recovery should be higher up on your agenda. Equally trying out new stuff....because you beneficial for mental health, keeping you fresh, buoyant and have fun with the youthful strength you've worked to gain. Aerobic, strength, movement and eating. 22 or 72 it's the same but different.
  16. krg

    krg Quadruple-Digit Post Count

  17. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @banzaiengr, a Masters section? I don't know, but thanks for the thought. My concern would be that we'd end up having to segment that into strength, endurance, etc. Still, might be worth a try to see what show up in it.
    You can't change the effects of aging on recovery, but you can do many things to slow their effects, including working on your strength. Strength is, indeed, the foundational physical attribute and, if your strength is better, your endurance will be better, too.

    WxHerk likes this.
  18. banzaiengr

    banzaiengr Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Steve, you have a much better overall picture of what all goes on the board than I do. So whatever you deem appropriate is fine. Just thought I'd through it out there. Thanks
  19. Will Moore

    Will Moore Triple-Digit Post Count

    Good sleep hygiene is paramount for recovery. Like many, I struggle with getting a quality night of sleep. That said, life is a process. For some solid information check out Dr. Kirk Parsley.

    Here are his credentials: Doc Parsley
    A short narrative: Doc Parsley

    In addition to the following, there are some great lectures on YouTube on the Barbell Shrugged channel.

    TED Talk

    SEALFit Media

  20. morrisda

    morrisda Double-Digit Post Count

    Thanks all for the comments an feedback

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