Column: Keep playing and make your body work
Make it Count
The other day I discussed a topic referred to as “Long Term Athlete Development” with my colleagues and I was enlightened on several training parameters in relation to training age.
As we shared information and ideas, we then shifted the topic to maintenance, specifically, how do we maintain the progress we’ve already made? If we train a 10 year old how to squat and don’t see him again until he’s 18, then surely he will maintain some performance attributes, but not to the extent had he been with us the entire time. The same then could be said for us as adults. Have you ever wondered why some people remain pliable and active well into their later years while others are crippled at the same age? Perhaps they suffer from a disease or have had previous trauma, but for the most part their current condition is a faction of their lifestyle choices.
Age will eventually win over all of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t slow it down. Another year on the calendar isn’t a free pass to be immobile or let your nutrition go by the wayside. Imagine for a second that you were an outstanding gymnast in your youth. What do you believe would be more beneficial; maintaining your skills into your later years or quitting and then trying to regain them? The answer is obvious, and can be applied to any situation. It is easier to maintain good health than to fix it. Hold on to your strength, power, speed, quickness and endurance as long as you can. Don’t stop training, keep playing and do not settle. It’s time to expect more from yourself and remove limitations. When you’re burnt out and don’t feel like training, remember this one thing; if you’re not getting better or maintaining, then you’re getting worse. It takes time to achieve great things, less time to lose them, and an even longer time to gain them back.
My advice to you as a fitness professional is to remain active in as many facets as possible. Keep playing and make your body work. Don’t settle into the comfortable routine that allows all your attributes to atrophy. Humans were meant to move. As the legendary Gray Cook says, “Move well, and move often.” I hope this point resonates closely with you and encourages you to remain active. Thanks, and have a great week.
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Jimmy Pritchard has a B.S. from Colorado Mesa University and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is the assistant strength coach at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. Pritchard’s passion is to help others meet, and often exceed, their goals in all areas of fitness. Contact him at 970-331-3513.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.