Saturday, November 23, 2019

Adaptations and Adjustmants For Training Longevity - By Burt Gam

This is probably the most difficult article I will write but I think some things, no matter how distasteful, need to be said. Over the years I have trained, studied, and learned a lot about training. The methodologies may have changed over the years, but at the core of it all has always been driven by the concept of progressive overload. Progressive overload is probably the one link that all spheres of lifting and strength sports have in common.

Powerlifters, bodybuilders and Olympic lifters all are based on either steadily increasing poundage (intensity) and/or the number of repetitions performed (volume) over time. Unfortunately I like many others have reached a crossroad. Due to acute and chronic injuries which have accumulated over time, I have been forced to make some adjustments in my training. Bad knees due to osteo-arthritis from years of wear and tear have made squatting and deadlifting painful some days. Rotator cuff issues in my right shoulder have made any kind of pressing meaningful weight impossible.

Progressive overload is no longer possible on these key movements. Mentally this is very tough for me to digest since I am an old school and hard nosed hard-ass. At 63 I have gotten about as strong and probably as big as I am going to be in this lifetime. There I said it. Ouch....

The good news is I feel I can still continue to work out at a lower level. I always knew this day would come but was not ready. I can probably maintain my strength on these movements and avoid atrophy and loss of strength through lowering the resistance and performing more repetitions. On days when the pain is higher I have experimented with other exercises. For example, today I could not squat so I substituted leg presses.

Good mornings and stiff legged deadlifts take care of the hamstrings and lower back. Bench presses, inclines and overheads can be performed for reps with lighter weight. Lately I have implemented stiff arm pullovers to work the specs and lats and stretch my shoulders.I also perform shrugging and neck exercises as I find them to be therapeutic. I am able to perform most other exercises and even add a little weight here and there with the exception of lateral raises. I strongly feel that the things learned over the years teaches us to be creative and adapt when inevitable changes occur in our bodies.
Overcome and adapt and make the necessary adjustments. Allowing more time between workouts to allow the body to heal is necessary as we age to prevent overtraining. I also feel as we get older our bodies benefit greatly with stretching and flexibility exercises. This can help overcome stiffness and soreness in the muscles. Including a bit of low impact cardio will not hurt you. The body can still improve other parameters of fitness. So what does all this mean?

At the end of the day we must recognize and accept our limitations. Even when progression over time becomes impossible, we can still continue to train around our physical issues. We can also continue to acquire more knowledge and apply this to our unique training situations. Simply because we are no longer making consistent gains should we throw in the towel. If the day I die I can still lift 10 pounds I guess I went out a winner. When it comes down to it, the quality of life and the ability to perform daily tasks efficiently is more important. Avoid injury and train smart. You will last longer and live better. Good night and good training.
Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com
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