vendredi 30 juin 2017

An athletic program

This data confirms a lot of casual observations, running alone won’t keep your legs strong. Endurance exercise isn’t enough.

Loss of Athleticism?

While the runners remained active, they lost out on something equally important: athleticism. When we are younger, most of us do different things, perhaps play multiple sports. All of this develops total body fitness and greater coordination. However, as we get older and settle into the work world it is easy to settle into a routine—including how we exercise—most days.

It’s unclear how much variety is needed to develop total body fitness. But it is interesting to note that the performance of elite mountain runners may decline more slowly with age than for runners as a whole. Is it the hill running? Going uphill is good for strength and downhill is good for balance and agility.

That’s not to say all is lost with aging. There is evidence that masters runners can improve their running economy by about six percent via strength training with their legs. This data is consistent with the idea that instead of focusing in on the same old activity or exercise program, moving into new territory may be of prime importance as we age.

When I look at the sitting-rising mortality data and the masters runners data, I am more convinced than ever that we need to go back to the future with our training starting in our 20s. And the data on CrossFit-like programs targeted toward runners is revealing: Athletes who undergo low volume explosive training paired with endurance training “produced significant gains in strength, power and endurance performance…” The very measures that together may increase lifespan.

Before CrossFit, sports like cyclocross and trail running stress these traits. But for everyone else, it means finding body weight strength and agility exercises that you can build into your exercise program: jumping rope, push-ups, sit-ups, climbers—and yes, burpees.

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