I agree and while I greatly enjoyed the article I thought it was unduly pessimistic about gains beyond 45, particularly since many lifters don't get serious about their programming until the easy gains of youth and enthusiasm have passed. If science didn't exist common sense would tell us that no-one can get bigger and stronger forever but I wouldn't use 3-5 years training or 45 years of age as the trigger points for "maintenance" in the way this article does. From memory Donnie Thompson broke the combined powerlifting world record at age 46!The problem is not many have optimized that 4-5 year training window. So for most there might still be some genuine gains in the tank and there's only one way to find out.
My experience is a little different than what Steve Maxwell describes, although I do agree with alot of what he says.When it comes to aging and training I have to keep coming back to my man Clarence Bass. While he is definitely showing signs of aging in his muscle tone and presumably other aspects of his metabolism, the guy is a beast, and has been for years.
He might be an aberration but if so I suspect it is his capacity for and ability to manage high intensity protocols, and not anything to do with genetics.
Peak Shape - at 60
==As detailed in The Lean Advantage 3, Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research in Albuquerque, New Mexico, measured my maximum heart rate for the first time in 1977, when I was a few months short of 40. It was 180, exactly in accordance with the standard formula (220 - 40 = 180). Interestingly, that was a few years after I began doing regular high-intensity aerobics.
Since then, my maximum heart rate has been measured in a laboratory setting seven times -- at ages 44, 47, 50, 51, 55, 60 and 62 – and has consistently exceeded the predicted rate by an ever widening margin. In June of this year, the Cooper Clinic in Dallas recorded my maximum heart rate at 182. Confounding the formula, my maximum heart rate has remained 180 or higher for 22 years. Why have I been able to defy the rule? Am I an aberration?==
==Evans and Rosenberg and their colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University have found that "the muscles of elderly people are just as responsive to weight training as those of younger people." Startlingly, an 8-week program of strength training by 87- to 96-year-old women confined to a nursing home resulted in a tripling of strength and a muscle-size increase of ten percent.==
I had the same reaction... I know it is not what he said and he probably has a point (probably, but I’m only 40), but it sounds very much like giving an excuse for mediocrity. Yes you can’t progress eternally, no I don’t think we should ever accept that as fact and stop striving for improvement!I did not like the blog post, and instantly disliked the author, but I am not the target audience. Weakness does not need more justification to be weak.
For me, I feel the joints complain sometimes, and I definitely need to warm up a bit to get going. This is stuff I've read about for years, so no surprise I'm feeling it as well.My experience is a little different than what Steve Maxwell describes, although I do agree with alot of what he says.
Regarding muscle building at 60 I'm almost there yet find it no problem to build or maintain muscle mass, probably from having a past base of muscle built starting 42 years earlier. I know I can't match what I've done in the past but nonetheless I'm happy with the results of even a small amount of hypertrophy based training as my body seems to respond quickly.
The area where I feel the effects of age is more in the speed/strength realm. I can still move fluidly and have the 'pop' and power throwing MA technique but I'd be fooling myself to think it hasn't diminished to some degree. I can still jump fairly well but the landings are a little tougher so I don't do too much of it.
I know many people promote the idea of 'less is more' when it comes to training but again I believe it varies greatly from person to person. Using myself as an example I've always tended toward alot of training, that's what my body and mind are used to. These days I'm doing VWC 3-4 times/wk along with 2-3 strength sessions with MA training as well. VWC is very demanding so I'll take days off as needed. My markers for a day off are:
- not enough sleep
- not enough food
- sore or stiff joints
- flat muscles
- a general feeling of malaise
Since adopting VWC I'm in a flux state and figuring out training vs. rest days. Most people seeing my age and schedule would probably say I'm over training, but it's been my MO for so long it's what I'm accustomed to doing.
As you train over many years you learn to read signals your body sends out and make adjustments accordingly. This is what I use to gauge training. Another development in the last couple of years is injury prevention strategy. It used to be if I felt a tweak while doing a set I'd note it but continue without issue, nowadays I've learned to stop immediately after one as it's a very small window of warning. When I don't listen often times I'll get something more serious on the very next rep.
Right now I'm in the process of simplification and consolidation with training as I search for efficiency.
I think you nailed it with the marketing BS, maybe he went to the opposite extreme to illustrate a point, and this is where I agree with him. There's always some new supplement, workout, gadget etc.. coming along and it's all geared to making money, which is fine, as long as people are happy. It's like the person dieting, I'll try this diet, then I'll try that diet and...and.. All this stuff is geared toward the generic Joes depicted in beer commercials.Not sure what Steve is trying to convey but I suspect it is for the older but inexperienced fitness enthusiast relative to marketing BS - which is full of misinformation at any age/stage of development. Of course there are limits - train intelligently and you'll find and push them, rush it and you'll get hurt. True at any age but definitely more true as you get older.