More isn’t better. Better is BETTER
Masters are the largest growing division in the CrossFit space and with all the other fitness realms out there, there are more of us jumping into fitness rather than falling out. We all know that if our health and fitness are better as we get older then it will help to slow many diseases. And in some cases even stop them completely! But as with most things, and especially with Masters, more isn’t better. Better is BETTER!
What does that even mean? It seems that if you have something that will help you, then you should do more of it or take more of it. But health and fitness aren’t about checking off boxes. It’s about intent and making sure each of those boxes counts! Getting the most out of each thing you do.
We have been told that as we get older, our regenerative and protective processes slow down. One of the main reasons for this is that we have decades of use and sometimes abuse on our bodies. Sure, we may have been a great athlete back in the day. But I can almost guarantee that your elite level fitness left you with some injuries that you never dealt with, or that you have started to compensate around.
Remember being young and you were able to work out and still party like a rock star? Did you drink hard or even eat bad and still have the ability to be shredded and look and perform like a beast? Yup! That’s because your body parts were able to work at top speed and efficiency. They hadn’t been beat down yet by YEARS of use and abuse.
Let’s talk about your diet. Did you grow up with the idea that you needed to eat 10 hamburgers a day to get TONS of protein in your body to make those muscles? And on top of that, drinking mass gaining protein shakes so that you can get bigger? Or maybe you thought that it was all about eating that salad diet to lose weight. I mean its green right so it should be fine! Or maybe you were like me and could eat McDonald’s’ 2-3 times a day and eat 5 cheeseburgers, large fries, and an extra-large coke (I LOVED the burn and the taste of the McDonald’s coke!!!)!
All of these things may or may not have worked when you were young, but now you are older. Now, what happens? It should be OK to enjoy the finer things like fine wine, aged drinks, light beers, fun or exotic desserts, and tasty meals, often. Right? If a glass of wine is good for my heart then a few more drinks aren’t bad. Or maybe more of this “whatever” supplement will be the best choice.
Nope!!! Because of all those years of use, our bodies DEMAND that we are more specific and careful with them now. We need to be much more aware of our diets because our digestive system and liver can’t breakdown and absorb the good things and filter out the bad stuff as well as it did before. Take two cars: a 3-year old and a 35-year old. They will both run but the 3-year-old car will be MUCH more efficient just because it’s newer. It doesn’t have the wear and tear of the old car. We can’t afford to “just eat pretty healthy” if we want specific and healthy results. We are Masters and we need to make BETTER choices. With this, each meal should be considered and made into better choices. Not just more choices.
For fitness, it’s not about doing more and more workouts. Or even about putting on more and more weight. It’s about getting the most out of EACH rep. It’s about maximizing your workout and then maximizing your recovery so that you can rebuild and come back for the gains of the next workout. Insert intent. Remove EGO. Who cares what the 20-year-olds are doing. The question is what do YOU need to do to get the benefits!
Do you have the mobility to get the full range of motion? Do you have the strength yet to use this or that weight? Are you able to get the correct number of reps to get the response? Will you able to work at YOUR relative intensity based on the need for the workout? And then do you get enough recovery before you hit the next one? ANSWER THESE! Each day. They allow you to get a better workout because you are choosing BETTER movements, BETTER weights, and getting BETTER protection. This will lead to BETTER results and longer, healthier life!
Being a Masters Aged Athlete doesn’t mean you can’t play with the kids, that you can’t go hard, or that you are over the hill. The young are usually are trying to peak for an event. Usually without a look toward the future. We can look at the events also but not as it as the end of the line. As masters athletes, all want to “peak”, or operate well, for a longer period of time. I’m not done living yet! To do this it’s not about copying the kids, or thinking that we deserve the “good things” in life because we are older. It’s not about doing more and crushing ourselves. More isn’t better. Better is better. It always has been and it always will be