After my recent article titled "Friends in fitness, friends for life" where I talk about a group of friends all in their forties and all extremely fit, along with all recent attention for athletes like forty-something big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, forty something Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, and thirty seven year old professional world champion boxer Nate Campbell, as well as my own recent decision to re-enter professional boxing at the age of thirty seven (more than ten years removed since my last fight), I began to do some research. Research on the aging athlete and how aging and your average trainer are affected. So I found out a few really interesting things, all from the very reputable John's Hopkins University.
Without going into the many issues that surround the ageing athlete and your average ageing fitness fanatic I will just get to the study's results and not into it's details. The study found that although certain biological factors of ageing do play a role in diminished skill level, overall fitness and performance, the main factor contributing to these declines was simply "intensity;" the lack of it as we age. I love it. We get complacent and slow down. Proven by the athletes mentioned above, if we keep our training intense, all out, and keep challenging ourselves in the gym, we can prolong our fitness, continue to build lean muscle, get stronger, and yes- still compete competitively even on a professional level way past what science calls our "athletic prime." Its the mind-body connection. If you believe it, you can achieve it, kinda thing.
Programs like my H.I.G.T focus on intensity at all times and provide the tools to get better, stronger, faster, and perform on a higher level in sports and in life. H.I.G.T allows us to do this even as we age. I am thirty seven, I plan on heading into my forties fit and healthy and when I reach fifty, I want to get even better. Sixty....well just look out.
Richard Seymour