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Author Topic: The Older Warrior  (Read 37987 times)
Karsk
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« on: August 29, 2007, 06:26:03 PM »

Hi All,

First off,  I wanted to belatedly say that I went to the gathering as a spectator in June.  It was a cool experience to watch it and I enjoyed seeing the camaraderie as well as the battles.  Thanks Fighters for that.   As I watched I paid attention to the several older fighters there. 

Secondly, I watched Randy Couture face Gonzaga over the weekend.  This fight was particularly interesting to me because of Couture's age.  I think that there is a thread about MMA to more fully discuss that fight so I will only mention it here because iit may serve as discussion material for this topic.

I am interested in discussing what it is like to practice as we get older.  I am 54 years old.   I have been practicing a variety of things since I was in my 20s.  When I started practicing the oldest senior person that I knew was in his 40s.  In some places in the world where people live in close proximity to their seniors their whole lives there is perhaps a continuum from old to young.  This exists now in North America, but as martial arts migrated here I think the first people that began practicing here have not had as many older people to learn how to practice as we get older.

So to start this thread off, what do you think changes with age?  How does the experience of practicing change? 

Another question that I think will be interesting to pursue is: How do you think you should practice as you get older?  What should you emphasize?  What is important to you now compared to when you were younger? 

What matters when you become an older warrior?

Karsk
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Bandolero
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2007, 08:47:18 AM »

Well I make no claims to be a warrior but I have a thought or two (being almost 53 myself in one more week):

1) Flexibility and range of motion:  This is the one area I have noticed the greatest diminishment of ability.  I simply cannot bend, torque and/or twist as I used to.  This has implications in training, as well as a fight, because it becomes much easier for you to get hurt or hurt yourself doing simple things that were incredibly easy just 20 years ago.  If you happen to wrench something during a serious fight, all the other attributes you may have could go out the window abd be of no consequence whatsoever (e.g. strength).

2) Body weight:  At least from what I see in me and a number of close friends, your body wants to add on pounds that are incredibly difficult (close to impossible?) to take off.  This often manifests itself as a spare tire or semblance thereof.  Increased weight could mean a general slowing down of your body's speed, as well as reduced endurance.  Not to mention additional stress on your knees should you be into any distance running as part of your training.
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"This is a war, and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place." ~ Morpheus
Karsk
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2007, 11:03:25 AM »

So we were having a grappling practice one weekend.  I was feeling pretty good so I decided to have a good go of it.  We were doing a single eliminations thing where two opponents sat back to back and on the count of three, try to pin the other.   My second opponent was one of my young friends...half my age.  He works in law enforcement and has seen me as senior guy his whole life.  He is reaching his prime and I am ...well....ripe? So he has a tendency not to hold back all that much.

He has been feeling his oats and I figure heck its just a little wrestling match...So at the count of three I turn and he is already barreling into me.  He hits me in the midsection but I have him in a cow catcher (underhook/overhook).  I deftly turn him as I roll backwards and away from him and we land with him on the bottom and me on top securing a pin/arm bar with my foot on his wrist with my other leg under his elbow from a side mount.   "Cool", I think as I hold him for the requisite few seconds....except....except...I have this tiny little twinge in my shoulder.  It grows and grows in intensity until my shoulder up to the top of my head is hurting.

Yep, tore a rotator cuff and slightly dislodged my shoulder joint.  I wasn't even sure how it happened.  So almost 2 years later it few pretty good! 

So thats something I notice as I get older.  I don't bounce as high.   The cost of making errors or of overextending yourself increases as you get older.

There  are physical manifestations of getting older.  Things that you can't do the same as you could before.  Lots of people, when faced with this kind of change, stop practicing.  Or maybe over time they have laid off training and because they have laid off, they face a big challenge if they try to recover some fitness. 

I want to "gracefully surrender the things of youth"  as I age.  I don't want to be young again. I have liked every age that I have ever been and right now is no exception.  But there is also "Walk as a warrior for all your days".   So practicing requires us all to adapt and redefine goals continuously. 

As I write this I am realizing that the vast majority of people reading this are probably not quite where I am in age.  But sooner or later you either throw the towel in or you face the challenge of how to continue.   How do you proceed as you get older with "lack of diminishment" even as your physical capacities peak and then begin to ebb?   This is a very interesting challenge to work on.

Karsk
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 12:52:55 PM »

Well, at at the more superficial end of the spectrum, keeping the hips aligned is very good for both knees and shoulders.  WRT shoulders, some basic rotator cuff maitainence (e.g. "The 7 Minute Rotator Cuff Solution: J. Robinson) is a very good idea.  As for weight, my problem is maitaining it.  At my fighting peak I was 197, now I am 185.
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TomFurman
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2007, 03:46:28 PM »

Age reduces mobility. Your ability to hunt and kill prey are impaired so eating less prey would make you thin,... correct ?  wink

Eat GreenFace. If it is green or has a face, eat it. Reduce all dairy and grains.
Mobility,... My own DVD (shameless plug) contains moves that maintain movement for martial intent. I would highly recommend FullKontact One and Two by my buddy Steve Cotter as well as the 54 year old Dynamo Steve Maxwell who is a World Master's Jits Champ. SteveC's at www.fullkontact.com
Steve Maxwell's at www.groundfighter.com

Daily workout could be Diamond Dallas Page's Yoga For Regular Guys DVD. Google him. VERY much worth the price. All of us half century athletes are doing and Page is probably more busted up than all of us put together. VERY worthwhile IMHO.

Dig through my blog or Art Devany's for anti aging stuff. Hope this helps. -- Tom Furman
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bjung
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2007, 04:33:57 PM »

well...i'm not old but i've kept my ears open and will toss some thoughts in. One of my training partners in grappling was in his early fifties and people would come up to ask him for advice on his training regimen and such. one thing he would talk about, which i was later to hear echoes of at a Dr. Gyi seminar, was the importance of training methodology. many people, especially when were young, like to punish their bodies and train "hard" which isn't necessarily training "smart." My friend emphasized the importance of training like an athlete instead of a martial artist. He would point to guys in the NBA, Karl Malone, etc. who played for a long time, and Kobe who's physical health is worth quite a bit to the Lakers. Instead of doing physically punishing old school kung fu inspired workouts, we should emulate pro athletes and the science of physical exercise. These guys are some of the best conditioned athletes in the world, and we should look to them and how they train. The Dr. Gyi seminar also talked about the importance of letting our bodies recover, and not to become "crippled." yes, it's impressive to break bricks with your fists when your twenty, but when you're fifity, and your body is broken, how will you be able to defend yourself?
which is one of the attractions of the dbma material. not many systems address healing and longevity.
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peregrine
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2007, 03:13:12 AM »

I love this thread.
I got some creaks, but i am still considered young by many.
I like all the suggestions here, in a couple years i myself will possibly adjust my training for that geared more towards longevity than fighting. A big Part of that will be both diet and mobility as Tom mentions. I have to cut my protein intake by probablly half, and do yoga 4-6times a week.

Another suggestion is some of the stuff by Scott Sonnon. His 'intu flow' is another excellent mobility routine that helped this young guy get over some of the compounded injuries built upon each other over the years. It also works well as a wam up or cool down.

Collagen synthesis and the nutrients ncessary for elasticism also come to mind.
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Karsk
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2007, 01:03:49 PM »

There is this idea of stages of development that has been touched on in another thread.   People seem to go through these or similar stages regardless of the discipline.   The stages might be characterized something like this:

1.  Initial grasp of fundamentals  as a whole  (I get it!  I may not be able to do it but at least I get that it exists, BASICS)
2.  Young male hierarchical ritual combat stage (I want to test myself against reality and against others. Could be easy to rile up)
3.  Self-control (I am finding that straining all my muscles is rather inefficient.  I want to calm down and figure things out more. Calmness)
4.  Leader (I am caring more about my group.  I want to support others.  I have a broader sense of things in both time and space. Practice is still pretty dynamic but even more controlled and relaxed)
5.  Wise olde guye (I am thinking about spiritual connections more and more.  Relaxation, fluidity, alignment, smoothness, hard to rile up. Generally laid back)

I guess that we are all somewhere along a continuum of these stages. We may go up and down through them but generally the older you get they more...opportunity you have to delve into the higher stages.  Though perhaps the opportunities are born mostly of necessity!

With regard to how this plays out physically, I think that there is a period in your life where you can strain or push yourself in certain ways as a result of being young.  How you are moving isn't exactly efficient...lots of muscles working at cross purposes et cetera...but it sure keeps you looking fit.   

In the long term though, your eyeballs start to bug out if you continue to practice that way.  You start feeling the stress of that type of muscular exertion.  Its what I think Tai chi writings refer to as "Li".   If you rely on LI  and not "jing"  (internal energy/relaxation sort of things) then you can cause yourself problems long term.

So as I get older I am really trying to study this. 

For example, I am weight training.  But I proceeding with weight training differently than I might have when I was younger.  I am focusing on strength and power as many martial arts oriented fitness folks recommend.  But I am also trying to maintain flexibility and relaxation ...calmness to what I am doing.  I like the idea of maintaining nimbleness as I age.   I am sure that if younger guys were to try to do this as well it would be good for them.  But the older you get the more you HAVE to change.  The alternative is to bust yourself up and get crippled.



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Maxx
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2007, 01:26:05 PM »

`I am not that old (34) but I have noticed some work out's with weights will tend to hurt certain part's of my body..More in the wrist area  undecided    I started to move to a  weightless Circut  work out that has been taking some of the stress of my shoulder and wrist.

Here is a example

I do about 6 to 10 set's of these and it seem's to be going well with my age..with no rest between the sets

11 push ups on Knuckles or incline Then after a few sets of these I will switch to 20 Dips

30 crunches on the last 10 I condition my stomach with soft to hard blows

Switch to 20 leg lifts

Jump up and do 10 each arm of Bulgarian squat curls

Then finish off the set with 30 jumping jacks..

So if you go along for the 10 sets you would have finished with about 100 push ups or if you switch off you get out around 70 push ups or more and about 60 dips

About 300 Crunches

200 leg lifts

100 each arm Bulgarian Squat curls

300 jumping jacks

I noticed when I switched up my work out to this..I did not hurt myself as much..You are weight training and getting cardio in at the same time..I also noticed that I started losing alot more weight and am getting alittle more tone and harder..I also mix in some other types of work outs but not as heavy as I used to..

When I was in my 20's I could lift a truck..My max bench press at 28 to 29 was almost 300lbs now my Max bench hurts my shoulder roter cuff and my wrist..So I just had to modify how I went about things...I only will bench press about 100lbs ten times.

Belive it or not..The work out I am using I got from different cultures warriors that trained...I took some Spartan stuff, Samurai  stuff , And Chinese ..I mostly took their idea of how to train when a Warrior gets alittle older..They all had the idea that you should give the inner joints and tissue a break for a few seconds

I also do burst runs..With weights in a back pack..Not long hauls..Just from a stand still to a hard cook out and then stop..Then another hard cook out then stop..I got that from Spartan training...Now I am not talking about the 300 stuff..The real Stuff..

You can find the Spartan Work out ( NOT 300 Work Out) at Barnes and Nobles..

The idea of this work out that I mentioned was developed to not put constant strain on your joints for to long..And when it was alomst to much..You were switching and doing something else and given that joint or tissue time to breath..So Roter Cuffs don't get blown out and wrist don't strain under the pressure of heavy weights to long..

Get old can be great and getting old can suck.

Now mind you these are not the only things I do..I do some back excersise ..Very light good mornings..And if you keep your head look forward and lift one leg while doing push ups it works the lower part of your back while you are doing them..It's not super work out but gives you enough on the lower back so you don't hurt yourself...Weight Shadow punches are good to..I keep everything in the realm of reality when it comes to my body..
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 04:51:20 PM by Maxx » Logged

Loren
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2007, 10:11:04 AM »

Great Topic, too much for me to cover completely in one sitting, so I'll throw out a few of my (questionably valuable) cents here and there as I can. About me: (For frame of reference purposes) 

Age: 43
Training in martial arts since: Age 8 (with some gaps here and there due to injuries, surgeries, having real jobs, etc.)
Current Profession: Personal Trainer(Certified)/Conditioning Coach. (With the occasional Martial Arts, Fencing, and Rock Climbing lessons still being taught as time, and my aging body, allow.)

Well I make no claims to be a warrior but I have a thought or two (being almost 53 myself in one more week):

1) Flexibility and range of motion:  This is the one area I have noticed the greatest diminishment of ability.  I simply cannot bend, torque and/or twist as I used to.  This has implications in training, as well as a fight, because it becomes much easier for you to get hurt or hurt yourself doing simple things that were incredibly easy just 20 years ago.  If you happen to wrench something during a serious fight, all the other attributes you may have could go out the window abd be of no consequence whatsoever (e.g. strength).

Good points: It's extremely important to work to keep what flexibility we have, at the very least, as we get older. Better if we can improve our range of motion and balance that with the apropriate amount of muscular strength and power, as well as continued Cardio-Respiratory conditioning.

Quote
2) Body weight:  At least from what I see in me and a number of close friends, your body wants to add on pounds that are incredibly difficult (close to impossible?) to take off.


Incredibly difficult or close to impossible compared to what?  Man, I certainly can't agree with that statement.  I'd never expect to hear that sort of talk from anyone who's done hard martial arts training (no offense meant.) I mean if one has survived even a single Ajarn Chai type MT seminar, then keeping weight off or even losing it should seem easy by comparison  cheesy

Seriously, I deal with this stuff (weight loss/management, exercise/conditioning, etc) on a professional level all day long, and I can tell you without reserve that getting to and maintaining a stable body composition is quite doable at nearly any age for 90% of the population - meaning those without true medical metabolic issues unrelated to lifestyle choices.  How "hard" it is to do so, is largely a function of having the right information and then being consistent with your dietary and training habits.  Really though, nearly anyone who puts their mind to it can shed the extra pounds and keep them off without too much "suffering" - I mean how painful is laying off the twinkies when compared with getting whacked in the knee or elbow with a rattan stick?  evil  At least getting hit with the stick offers the benefit of keeping your mental toughness and pain threshold high, I'm still trying to figure out what twinkies have to offer.....

(Relatively unrelated side note:) Hey Crafty, that reminds me: What ever happened to Alfonso Tamez? I had the "pleasure" of training with him for a month at the Aspen Academy of Martial Arts back in the late 70's/ early 80's and will never forget the first time he lined us all up and said "You need to feel the stick to appreciate it."  I'm sure you know what came next  cheesy  I loved training with that guy.  Is he still around and training/teaching out there?  Just curious.

Back on-topic:  As Crafty notes, maintaining muscle mass as we age can be more of a challenge than losing fat.



Loren
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maija
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2007, 10:58:08 AM »

Yesterday was the last day of 2 full weekends (6 hrs per day) plus the week in between (3 hrs per evening) of seminars with my Bagua teacher Luo De Xiu of Taiwan. He is 52 years old. He worked out with us for the whole time, demonstrating forms and techniques constantly, so that he had personally worked with everyone in the room.
Being struck by him is like having an anaconda that has swallowed a lead pipe land on your body! The bruising on my arms and shins can attest to that, aswell as the neck and spinal adjustments i received from his demonstrations of his shaking/shocking power (used to create a gap if your opponent is well rooted or leaning on you) and the suei jiao type throws typical of the system.
He started practicing martial arts as a kid and has only ever practiced the Chinese "internal" arts - Tai Chi, Hsing-I, Bagua. Now concentrating mostly on Bagua. He fought full contact for many years, fighting those who came to "check out" his teacher's school and also in the Taiwanese National full contact tournaments.
He is incredibly strong, flexible and fluid in his movement aswell as being a funny, generous teacher who seems happy and well adjusted in his life. He likes the occasional glass of wine and a good cigar, and i swear he looks younger every year.....
At 44 years old myself I am definitely looking at how to evolve my practice and i think i have my role model because whatever he is doing is working!!

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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
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Kaju Dog
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2007, 12:05:06 PM »

`I am not that old (34) but I have noticed some work out's with weights will tend to hurt certain part's of my body...

RALOL...    shocked
No you didn't!  I'm 34 y/o and I was avoiding posting on this thread.  Now you've done it...  Does this mean I am in the old guy catagory now???

Back to topic.

There are a lot of great workouts out there.  I have never been one to take a note pad and track the amount of weight I lifted this week or that.  The biggest thing I have learned over the years is to really Listen to my body.  Keep change in my routine every few months as a constant and mix it up. 

I hit the gym for weight training about 4-6 days a week for about 45-90 mins (depending on the muscle group).  I run no less than 10 miles a week broken up over 3-4 days (I run each time with 20-40lbs in my pack and hit some hill scrambles along the way).  I work explosive movements (sprints, twists, shadow boxing movements, push-ups, etc. with T-band resistance), mix in some bike here and there.  I also go to MMA's classes 2-4 times a week and we hit some fight cardio as part of the class (about 5 mins of burn out conditioning - ie burpees, side steps, high knees, quick feet, crunches, shadow dox, repeat, repeat, etc).  I also teach/share knowledge in group and private sessions. 

_____

There Maxx, now your not the only 34 y/o to join in.   rolleyes afro

Great thread...  I always study the ways of the old - Just makes damn good sense! cool

Dean

 
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Maxx
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2007, 11:45:55 AM »

`I am not that old (34) but I have noticed some work out's with weights will tend to hurt certain part's of my body...

RALOL...    shocked
No you didn't!  I'm 34 y/o and I was avoiding posting on this thread.  Now you've done it...  Does this mean I am in the old guy catagory now???

Back to topic.

There are a lot of great workouts out there.  I have never been one to take a note pad and track the amount of weight I lifted this week or that.  The biggest thing I have learned over the years is to really Listen to my body.  Keep change in my routine every few months as a constant and mix it up. 

I hit the gym for weight training about 4-6 days a week for about 45-90 mins (depending on the muscle group).  I run no less than 10 miles a week broken up over 3-4 days (I run each time with 20-40lbs in my pack and hit some hill scrambles along the way).  I work explosive movements (sprints, twists, shadow boxing movements, push-ups, etc. with T-band resistance), mix in some bike here and there.  I also go to MMA's classes 2-4 times a week and we hit some fight cardio as part of the class (about 5 mins of burn out conditioning - ie burpees, side steps, high knees, quick feet, crunches, shadow dox, repeat, repeat, etc).  I also teach/share knowledge in group and private sessions. 

_____

There Maxx, now your not the only 34 y/o to join in.   rolleyes afro

Great thread...  I always study the ways of the old - Just makes damn good sense! cool

Dean

 


Oh..I never said we were that old...34 is still a good young age..now 36...That's All down Hill LOL!    grin
« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 12:42:20 PM by Maxx » Logged

Karsk
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2007, 12:56:32 PM »

Thanks to Maxx and the other young guys for posting.  I think its interesting to hear your comments.  I appreciate your enthusiasm Maxx.  Perhaps the other over 50 guys will disagree, but your workout and the energy that you present seems  to be kind of age appropriate for you.  It reminds me of me at your age.   In the interests of comparison I will offer what I used to practice like over the past years:

Beginner:  early 20s.  no weight training, no extra workouts, martial arts practice 2hours/day 3 times per week.  Emphasis on drills, sparring.  Introduction to more intense workouts by going to "Special Training" which are  4.5 day intense workouts....2 to 5 workouts per day once per year

Late 20s-early to mid  30's.   The height of crazy practicing for me.  4 nights per week @ 2 hours, 5 days @ 1hour at lunch, Saturday morning 7 to noon.  Sunday for 1 hour.   24 hour practice two times.   Long repetitive marathons (10000 punch practices) several times.   Special training 2 to 3 times per year.   Lots of over training but I had lots of zeal. Ate anything I wanted to eat.  I weighed 40 lbs less than I do now.  All wires and tendons.

Mid 30s to 40s.  Practicing 3 nights per week @2 hours.  Saturday morning for 2 hours.  Started to vary my training. Cross training.  More fitness training such as chi gung, running, calisthenics.  Started to eat low fat more "greenface"

50s.  3 days per week weights plus stretching, slow motion practicing (shadow boxing, stick work).  1 to 3 days training with partners.  Emphasis on rhythm, timing, fluidity.  I try to avoid tensing, particularly in my shoulders.  I love random flow sorts of practice.  I can do that for a couple of hours and I feel recharged afterwards.  I enjoy throws, grappling and whacking things but I don't really like taking body shocks (hard throws, blows to the head, that sort of thing) on a day to day basis though when I was younger it was a common facet of practice.
 

When I was younger I would emphasize high intensity everything.  High numbers of techniques, intense execution of movements, speed development.  Now that I am older I calm way down and focus on feeling natural and I don't mind moving slower.  I think without really trying to, I am emphasizing general health and maintenance much more now.

These days I try not to over train.  I find that high reps (like repeatedly punching) generally is a bad idea now  because it creates repetitive strains.  Like rotator cuff problems. High rep practices seem to bring out old injuries gained during my 20s!

To practice speed, I specifically do things to build speed and power.    I am doing some cable work like lumberjacks and punching sets with moderate loads done quickly and I like to do things like snatches. 

I find I really like complex free weights like dead lifts, squats, and snatches.  I keep looking for interesting things to add and I follow a scheduled plan for weights.  I don't work out for longer than 70 minutes not counting stretching and I allow full recovery (one week) before returning to a body part.  If I feel washed out I rest by laying off or doing less. I don't really push it all that much but I seem to show progress.   Finally, I vary my routines every 6 to 7 weeks.  And I will take time for longer layoffs occasionally.

As for my diet, I eat 6 times per day and I try to eat balanced meals generally speaking with more protein than average but less than what might be appropriate for weight lifting in general.  I find that protein powders do not trouble me much and I use them but I do not rely on them.  I will use them at work when time is a problem for example.   I really try to listen to my body.  I will occasionally stop eating to give myself a rest!   Sometimes I will fast to just calm things down.  I find it helps me to reset my sensitivity levels about how I feel when I eat.

I have read that when you are younger a lean body is around 7% fat.  At 50, you are considered "lean" if you have around 18%.  I don't know if this is accurate.  I think these kinds of statistics are based on averages in the general population anyway and so may or may not be relevant to any individual.  If I take the time to measure this, I vary from around 12 to 18%.  I am really not sure if this is all that important though.  I have an interest in it because of a history of high cholesterol in the family. Its a way of assuring that I am where I think I am.  I have a pair of skin fold calipers that I kept from a past endeavor and it only takes a few minutes to calculate lean body mass once in a while.

Now I am pretty sure that I could safely increase what I am presently doing but the feeling and flavour of my practices would be different than before.

Anyway, I offer this in the spirit of comparison.

Karsk


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Maxx
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2007, 12:23:10 PM »

I just started picking up Training 2 times in one day..I tried it out and actually liked it..Durring the early day , I did workout for about 2 hours..Did my thing durring the day and then later in the day, I went back and did Kali and switch boxing stuff on the bag.

However, I can't do this durring the work week but durring the weekends it seem's to work out well.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2007, 01:04:02 PM »

Poi Dog put together an Indian Club and Kettlebell routine for me and put me through it yesterday.  My body responded very well-- its been quite a whille since my back got so pumped  cool  While I did my thing, he did Torque Blades (which are based in great part on ICs) and pronounced them good.
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Bandolero
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2007, 05:54:34 PM »

This old warrior celebrated birthday # 53 today by doing a kettlebells and Clubbells mix.  Total of 45 exercise sets.  This was day 166 in a row for me.  If this old geezer can do it, so can you young bucks.
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"This is a war, and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place." ~ Morpheus
Maxx
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2007, 12:12:06 PM »

This old warrior celebrated birthday # 53 today by doing a kettlebells and Clubbells mix.  Total of 45 exercise sets.  This was day 166 in a row for me.  If this old geezer can do it, so can you young bucks.

Oh no..I never said, I was giving up..I train everyday for hours at a time..Study Shinkendo and Kali/Silat and Bjj and still manage to lift a Massive amount of weights and cardio..

I am actuall moving to put some size on again..I need to be alittle bigger..Be strong like OX   grin
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2007, 12:33:38 AM »

I am in Bern Switzerland at the moment for the Euro DB Gathering yesterday, a seminar today in a few hours, and a couple of days of teaching privates.

The time difference is 8 or 9 hours.  In the past few years, this really kicked my butt, but this time it seems to be much better.  This I attribute to massive doses of melatonin to fascilitate sleep cheesy  Also helping is that Bemji set up a computer in my room so that when I do wake up a weird hours when everyone else is asleep I can putter along with my emails, posting here, etc.

TAC!
CD
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Tom Stillman
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« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2007, 12:08:48 PM »

 My life has been flooded with so many responsibilities this last decade that, working out and training have almost become a thing of the past. I trained for a very short period before entering the last gathering just to try and work out a couple of moves and try to shake the the cobb webs of time. I stay fairly active in my every day life (kids) so that helps to maintain muscle and range of motion to some degree.  A degenerative L-5 vertabrae (vacume disc) in my spine and bone spur along with a fairly serious case of sciatica  does not make it any easier. :-     What helped me get through the last gathering was my tried and true energy diet.  It is not the healthiest diet though it is only followed for three days prior to the day of expected strenuous activity. (And it works)  Here it is.  Three days prior to actvity/event- All meals should consist of nothing but, plain cheese pizza, spaiggetti with some meet sauce, a small amount of fruit vegatables and nuts, whole milk, oatmeal, 12 to 24 ounces of beer each of the three days.  Eat normal to light meals the day of expected activity. I have found that this diet if followed to the letter, works like a charm.  I fought four fights at the last gathering and felt like I had plenty of energy to keep going if I wanted to. This diet produces lots of storeable energy and when your body starts to run out of gas, that is the very thing that triggers the release of all this stored energy. For example. I was very out of shape and my stamina for fighting was quite low this last gathering time. After my warm up knife fight I felt a little short of breath and my muscles were already feeling somewhat fatigued. As I was trying to gather myself I noticed, not only was I starting to recover, I was feeling a surge of energy that kept pumping through the rest of that day and well into the night. Thats how this quick energy/stamina diet works. It gives you the carbs and the ability to burn it efficiantly. The only draw back is  you usualy have to exaust yourself first to trigger the body to release all that stored energy. A short brisk work out will help kick it in ahead of time if you wish.  It is like a shot of nitrous oxide into the fuel system of a race car. If you use it to much it will have an ill effect. I only used it as a quick fix so  I could try to stay in the game.   Speaking of staying in the  game.  My wife just sent me back to the minor leagues (divorce)  cry  and now I am motivated to start working out and try to stay in the game.  wink    DT
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 12:16:08 PM by Tom Stillman » Logged

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Maxx
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« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2007, 12:37:09 PM »

@ Tom Stillman Sorry to hear about the problems with you health and I am REALLY sorry to hear about the divorce court thing..I hope it all turns out for the better and you pull ahead..Those court battle can be ruff..I don't know personally but I have had a couple good friends that went though them or the equivilent of them ( I.E long term relationships that took a sour dump) I was able to help pull them though the dark times around the Holiday seasons.

Stay strong Brother! Remember your training and you will survive!

And if that fails..A good cure for this is  A bucket of the Original KFC , A bottle of Whiskey or Jager and 2 good man Movies and a Xbox 360!

If that does not help..If you live in the So cali area and are looking for someone to train with..You can always join us!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2007, 04:08:58 PM »

Woof Tom:

Bummer about the troubles.

Turning to cheerier things, pray tell what is the origen and theory of that diet?!?

yip!
CD
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« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2007, 05:11:05 PM »

Hey Crafty,  I have been aware of the pizza, beer and spaghetti theory for many years.  It is an old long distance runners trick.  Lot's of carbs the day before the big run was the idea to give the body plenty of fuel and not deplete other energy sources the body would otherwise require,  Then just a month  or so before the last gathering, I read an article in a health magazine at my doctor's office telling of this three day diet to build up energy reserves to be used on the fourth day.  When I started reading this article it rang with familiarity.  At this point I felt this 3 day diet may be the the future high tech version of the pizza beer trick.  Another reason I feel this new version of the diet works better is the addition of the oat meal.  Studies have shown oatmeal helps the body burn energy more efficiently. I am not sure about the milk part of the diet but for me it is no matter because I usually drink about 3/4 of a gallon of milk every day anyway. smiley   All I can say is, I tried it and it worked the way they said it would.  I will definitely use this method again next time I fight at a gathering or some other planned event that demands good stamina.  DT   P.S.  Maxx, Thank you for the kind words.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 05:40:02 PM by Tom Stillman » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2007, 05:34:39 PM »

 BTW.    No divorce court for this dog.. We went through a mediator and hashed things out quite painlessly.. We may not be the sharpest tools in the shed but, we realize that going to war with each other would be harmfull  to our 5.5 yr old daughter and our families.  In fact we still care and respect each other very much..The truth is sometimes people grow appart for whatever reasons and one must face that fact with the knowledge that it is a human condition. Life is good so why f***  it up!  grin    DT
« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 09:04:36 AM by Tom Stillman » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2007, 09:14:27 AM »

Well,  I have officially moved out of the house for two day's now and, my wife is already asking me to come back and see if we can fix things between us.   huh  The adventure continues ? 
« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 02:30:33 PM by Tom Stillman » Logged

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2007, 12:54:57 PM »

Always!
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Tom Stillman
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« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2007, 01:58:02 PM »

Interesting note:  Discovery channel's show "The Truth About  Food"  aired an episode today where they proved that by just filling your mouth with high carbohydrate liquid solution then spitting it out (not swallowing) activates receptors in the brain through taste buds in the mouth, tricking the body into releasing stored energy and increasing stamina during extended activity. This test was compared to a group that swallowed high carb foods before and during activity and one other group that just drank water during same activity. In this test the group that spit but didn't swallow shocked messured greater stamina levels than the two other groups. Carb eaters finished in a close second place and the water drinkers fared remarkably worse results comming in dead last. I guess this gives more merit to the old addage, "Man runs better on an empty stomach"   grin   DT 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 04:48:12 PM by Tom Stillman » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2007, 03:13:17 PM »

@ Tom Stillman - She already wants you back? Women man...Women  rolleyes grin
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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2007, 03:24:06 PM »

Tell me about it. I know!   undecided  But still , I couldn't imagine life without them. smiley
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2008, 07:02:41 AM »

Staying a Step Ahead of Aging

By GINA KOLATA
NY Times
Published: January 31, 2008
YOU know what is supposed to happen when you grow old. You will slow down, you will grow weak, your steps will become short and mincing, and you will lose your sense of balance. That’s what aging researchers consistently find, and it’s no surprise to most of us.


But it is worth remembering that the people in those studies were sedentary, said Dr. Vonda Wright, a professor of orthopedics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Wright, a 40-year-old runner, decided to study people who kept training as they got older or began competing in middle age. She wanted to know what happens to them and at what age does performance start to decline.

Their results are surprising, even to many of the researchers themselves. The investigators find that while you will slow down as you age, you may be able to stave off more of the deterioration than you thought. Researchers also report that people can start later in life — one man took up running at 62 and ran his first marathon, a year later, in 3 hours 25 minutes.

It’s a testament to how adaptable the human body is, researchers said, that people can start serious training at an older age and become highly competitive. It also is testament to their findings that some physiological factors needed for a good performance are not much affected by age.

Researchers say that you should be able to maintain your muscles as you age, including the muscle enzymes needed for good athletic performance, and you should be able to maintain your ability to exercise for long periods near your so-called lactic threshold, meaning you are near maximum effort.

But you have to know how to train, doing the right sort of exercise, and you must keep it up.

“Train hard and train often,” said Hirofumi Tanaka, a 41-year-old soccer player and exercise physiologist at the University of Texas.

Dr. Tanaka said he means doing things like regular interval training, repeatedly going all out, easing up, then going all out again. These workouts train your body to increase its oxygen consumption by allowing you to maintain an intense effort.

“One of the major determinants of endurance performance is oxygen consumption,” Dr. Tanaka said. “You have to make training as intense as you can.”

When you have to choose between hard and often, choose hard, said Steven Hawkins, an exercise physiologist at the University of Southern California.

“High performance is really determined more by intensity than volume,” he added. “Sometimes, when you’re older, something has to give. You can’t have both so you have to cut back on the volume. You need more rest days.”

Dr. Hawkins, who says he no longer runs competitively, adds that he tries to put his findings into practice. “I run a couple of times a week and I try to make it as fast as I can,” he said. “I’m not plodding along.”

He also has been amazed by some people who seem to defy the rules of aging, people he describes as “those rare birds who get faster.” Some subjects in Dr. Hawkins’s research study, which followed runners for nearly two decades, actually had better times when they were 60 than when they were 50.

“We really don’t know why,” Dr. Hawkins confessed. “Maybe they were training harder.”

Then there are people like the 62-year-old man who suddenly took up running and began running fast marathons. That man’s inspiration to become a runner, said James Hagberg, an exercise physiologist at the University of Maryland, was watching a lakefront marathon in Milwaukee. “He got all fired up,” Dr. Hagberg recalled.

And there are people like Imme Dyson, a 71-year-old runner who lives in Princeton, N.J. She took up running when she was 48 and loved it, she says, from the moment she put on a pair of running shoes. Her daughter, who had been a college triathlete, told her how to train.

“She said, ‘Mom, if your workout didn’t hurt, you didn’t work hard enough,’ ” Ms. Dyson said.

“Working consistently really is the recipe,” she said. And it has made a difference for her, allowing her to run races, from 5K to marathons, so fast that she is consistently among the best in the nation in her age group. She has run a 15K cross-country race in 1:19:08, a pace of 8:29 a mile. And she ran a 10K race in 51 minutes 50 seconds, a pace of 8:20 a mile.

Not every aging athlete does so well. But Dr. Hagberg found that studies of aging athletes sometimes were distorted because they included people who had cut back on or stopped training. That’s understandable; there is no reason, researchers say, to exhort everyone to maintain an intense effort decade after decade.

 
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Athletes would tell Dr. Hagberg that they had just lost their motivation. “Some of them would say: ‘Competition just doesn’t motivate me as much at 75. I’ve been doing it for 50 years,’ ” he said. “Others would say, ‘I just can’t keep it up any more.’ ”

But for those who still have the drive, the news that muscle mass and lactic threshold can be maintained is encouraging.
The reason people become slower, though, is that oxygen consumption declines with age.

In large part that is because, as has long been known, the maximum heart rate steadily falls by about seven to eight beats per minute per decade. It happens with or without training, in sedentary and in active people, Dr. Tanaka said, and no one knows why. But as a result, the heart cannot pump as much blood at maximum effort.

Dr. Michael Joyner, a 49-year-old exercise researcher at the Mayo Clinic who also is a competitive swimmer and a runner, added another factor: the lungs of older athletes cannot take in quite as much air.

With a slower heart rate and less oxygen in the lungs, less oxygen-rich blood gets to the muscles. In one study, Dr. Joyner found that highly trained athletes age 55 to 68 had 10 to 20 percent less blood flow to their legs than athletes in their 20s.

The older athletes in his group, though, were edging toward an age that often is a transition time in athletic performances, researchers are finding. For example, Dr. Wright and her colleague Dr. Brett Perricelli found that the performances of track athletes declined almost imperceptibly from year to year until their mid-60s, when the rate of decline picked up. At age 75, though, the athletes’ times fell, on average, by 7 percent.

The study, the results of which will appear in the March issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, involved track and field athletes age 50 to 85 who were participants in the 2001 Senior Olympics and also examined the times for American record holders in track events.

But older athletes still can have spectacular performances, Dr. Tanaka notes.

For example, the world best marathon time for men 70 or older (2:54:05) was set by a 74-year-old. That is more than four minutes faster than the winning marathon time at the first modern Olympics, the 1896 Games in Athens.

Of course, such statistics are of little comfort to athletes who do not want to slow down at all. Dr. Hawkins said he and Robert A. Wiswell, the senior author on his nearly 20-year study of athletes, used to joke that they needed a sports psychologist rather than a sports physiologist on their study. The athletes, he explained, could not bear to think that they would stop setting personal records.

That’s an issue for Don Truex, a 70-year-old dentist in Santa Barbara, Calif, who can’t understand why he has slowed down in the last year. He just ran a 5K race in 23:45. It was an average pace of 7:38 a mile, 90 seconds slower than he wanted to run.

“I’ve consulted with my doctor and we think I may be overtraining,” Dr. Truex said. He’s going to continue running five days a week but cut back on his five days a week of cycling.

Slower times are even more of a concern for Dr. Truex’s friend Barry Erbsen, a 67-year-old dentist in Los Angeles.

Dr. Erbsen started running seriously around 40. His best time in a 10K race was 38 minutes, a pace of 6 minutes a mile. Next he started running marathons, going faster each time until he had completed several, including the Boston Marathon, in 3:07:00.

Then, Dr. Erbsen started to slow down. He ran a marathon a few years ago in 3:45:00. He completed his next one in 3:58:00.

That nearly four-hour marathon was his last, he said. Instead, Dr. Erbsen took up mountain biking. So far so good, he said. He’s having a lot of fun. And, he added, “I’m not getting too much slower.”
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Karsk
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« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2008, 12:28:23 PM »

That was a pretty cool article.

So what do you think is the equivalent of  "fast"  in martial arts?  In this article the focus was on running and times for races = fast.  And the idea that oxygen uptake is a limiting factor regardless of the intensity of training.  They mentioned getting slower but still being able to perform remarkable well in terms of overall times.   Martial arts has some different fitness components.  What factors are pertinent in martial arts?


This is a pretty interesting thing to think about.   In martial arts training and training for fighting, cardiovascular conditioning is important but so is anaerobic capacity and local muscle endurance.  How are those affected by aging?  I guess I am interested in getting some more details about what these folks discovered.


I find that the limiting factors determining intense training capacity in martial arts has more to do with my capacity to manage or avoid injuries.   And what it affects is basically how rough the workout can be before something happens that prevents me from  working out intensely.  Its a negative feedback thing. 

So as a younger fellow, I could get out there and take more shots, wrestle with gusto, and if I got hurt I would work through it and bounce back.  This capacity to bounce back quickly seems to be a little less bouncey  smiley.  So I have to be a bit more careful but still try to maintain intensity.

For example, I can spar 2 on one with light contact and maintain three minute rounds with like 20 seconds in between for pretty much an hour and a half with little problem.  That sort of constant movement leaves me feeling exhilarated and satisfied.  But if I engage in intense grappling and put pressure on my knee or should in the wrong way I can knock myself out of practice for a while which defeats the intention of maintaining intensity.

I find that my hand speed or more importantly my ability to move my whole body quickly and explosively seems to be slowing a bit.  But I think that is an area where you can do things to maintain the speed.   Like weight training focused on that.

Long practices where I am repeating the same movements over and over (like practicing the same exact method of charging someone to hone it) used to be the best way to maintain that sort of quickness. But now such repetitive practice can aggravate old injuries.  So I vary things a lot more. I may do much less of the same thing, but approach the same idea in several ways.

So I do repeat a movement I want to be fast but not as much. I augment that with some power training and strength training. I  focus on specific parts of a movement and try to make that particular part fast.

One thing that I think improves with age is some capacities to flow with movements of others. While I might not be able to respond to a fast aggressive attack in a quick draw like fashion as before, I seem as able to read opponents and I think having a repertoire of techniques grows with time.  Not that I can always pull it off.


Karsk

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michael
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« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2008, 12:27:59 PM »

This is a great thread with a lot of good info.

I have found that as I get older (47), I can still work out intensely, but I don't do so for as long in duration (limiting w/o's to 30-40 minutes per session), and I require more rest in between workouts. I've been training for about 35 years now continuously, and I just can't train as long as I used to. In my younger days, I could really abuse my body and recover from it very quickly, and I could go full contact and really take a pounding with no ill effects. I also have to vary my workout from day to day more, and I use a lot more bodyweight and kettlebell exercises than I used to. No more heavy lifting for me either. If I can't do at least 4 reps with the weight, I no longer do it, and no longer seek one rep maximums. Stretching and cardio has become more important, and I am going to implement more yoga into the mix. Thanks for the suggestion of Yoga For Regular Guys--I'm going to be getting that one.
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« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2008, 02:59:02 PM »

I just placed the order for the 60 minute Yoga For Regular Guys DVD. Their is a very good video on that website about a former Army guy who could only walk with crutches and looked like he was on death's doorstep. He totally rebuilt his body in about a year, lost 100 lbs. and was running at the end of the video. Quite a transformation, and very inspirational!
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« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2008, 04:38:07 PM »

This one might be kind of obvious these days but I would also heartily recommend supplementing your diet with a joint complex that contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and/or MSM (methylsulfonylmethane.) If you can find one that also contains Boswellia even better. (If you have a local Whole Foods market they have just such a complex available under their own brand that is a good deal less expensive than some of the more widely visible brands. I'm not shilling, just trying to inform.)

(Oh as a caveat if you are allergic to shellfish, then you probably should avoid any of the joint complexes that contain Glucosamine as it is derived from processing their shells. Since the allergen is mostly located in the flesh it should be safe, but if you are especially sensitive to it then it's probably not worth risking it)

I also recommend Coenzyme Q10 to help maintain a happy circulatory system. I know it has helped me a lot as I make my way closer and closer to resembling this thread's title.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2008, 02:40:51 PM »

It's all downhill from here

From The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead by David Shields. © 2008 by David Shields.
Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Your brain starts shrinking at 25. Your handshake starts going soft at 30. At 40, your memory starts to slip. In a new book, author David Shields catalogues the myriad ways that our bodies gradually betray us.



If you could live forever in good health at a particular age, what age would you be? As people get older, their ideal age gets higher. For 18- to 24-year-olds, it's age 27; for 25- to 29-year-olds, it's 31; for 40- to 49-year-olds, it's 40; and for people over 64, it's 59.


Your strength and coordination peak at 19. Your body is the most flexible until age 20; after that, joint function steadily declines. World-class sprinters are almost always in their late teens or early 20s. Your stamina peaks in your late 20s or early 30s; marathon records are invariably held by 25- to 35-year-olds.


Sir William Osler, the father of modern medicine, said, "The effective, moving, vitalizing work of the world is done between the ages of 25 and 40." Which is in fact true: Creativity peaks in the 30s, then declines rapidly; most creative achievements occur when people are in their 30s. Degas said, "Everyone has talent at 25; the difficulty is to have it at 50." The consolation of the library: When you're 45, your vocabulary is three times as large as it is at 20. When you're 60, your brain possesses four times the information than it does at 20.


Your IQ is highest between ages 18 and 25. Once your brain peaks in size—at age 25—it starts shrinking, losing weight, and filling with fluid. As you age, your responses to stimuli of all kinds become slower and more inaccurate, especially in more complex tasks. From ages 20 to 60, your reaction time to noise slows 20 percent. At 60, you make more errors in verbal learning tasks. Given a list of 24 words, an average 20-year-old remembers 14 of the words, a 40-year-old remembers 11, a 60-year-old remembers nine, and a 70-year-old remembers seven.


Most people reach skeletal maturity by their early 20s. At 30, you reach peak bone mass. Your bones are as dense and strong as they'll ever be. In your late 30s, you start losing more bone than you make. At first you lose bone slowly, 1 percent a year. The older you get, the more you lose.


Beginning in your early 20s, your ability to detect salty or bitter things decreases, as does your ability to identify odors. The amount of ptyalin, an enzyme used to digest starches, in your saliva decreases after age 20. After age 30, your digestive tract displays a decrease in the amount of digestive juices. At 20, in other words, your fluids are fleeing, and by 30, you're drying up.


Lauren Bacall said, "When a woman reaches 26 in America, she's on the slide. It's downhill all the way from then on. It doesn't give you a tremendous feeling of confidence and well-being."

Until you're 30, your grip strength increases; after 40, it declines precipitously. After age 65, your lower arm and back muscle strength declines. Owing to reduced coordination rather than loss of strength, your power output—e.g., your ability to turn a crank over a period of time—falls after age 50.


By age 35, nearly everyone shows some of the signs of aging, such as graying hair, wrinkles, less strength, less speed, stiffening in the walls of the central arteries, degeneration of the heart's blood vessels, diminished blood supply to the brain, elevated blood pressure. The maximum rate your heart can attain is your age subtracted from 220; therefore it falls by one beat every year. Your heart is continually becoming a less-efficient pumping machine.


Emerson said, "After 30, a man wakes up sad every morning, excepting perhaps five or six, until the day of his death."


In My Dinner With André, Wallace Shawn says, "I grew up on the Upper East Side, and when I was 10 years old I was rich, an aristocrat, riding around in taxis, surrounded by comfort, and all I thought about was art and music. Now I'm 36, and all I think about is money."


Mozart died at 35; Byron, at 36; Raphael and van Gogh, at 37. The oldest age at which anyone broke a track-and-field record was 41, in 1909.


Beginning at 40, your white blood cells, which fight cancer and infectious diseases, have a lowered capacity. Each year, more fat gets deposited in the walls of medium and larger arteries, causing the arterial walls to narrow. The weight of your small intestine decreases; the volume and weight of your kidneys shrink. Total blood flow to the kidneys decreases by 10 percent for every decade after the age of 40. Every organ will eventually get less nourishment than it needs to do its job.


Cicero said, "Old age begins at 46." He died at 53.


Victor Hugo said, "Forty is the old age of youth. Fifty is the youth of old age."


Every decade after age 50, your brain loses 2 percent of its weight. You have difficulty learning things and you remember less and less. Memory per se—the actual encoding of information—isn't diminished in a healthy, older person, but retrieval can be an excruciatingly slow process and take many more attempts. Older people are more susceptible to distraction, have trouble coordinating multiple tasks, and have decreased attention spans. In simple tasks and common situations, the old do fine, but when exercise or other stress is added, they often struggle. Perhaps this is why some older people, finding it harder to cope, tend to start searching for comfort rather than excitement.


Evelyn Waugh said, "Old people are more interesting than young. One of the particular points of interest is to observe how after 50 they revert to the habits, mannerisms, and opinions of their parents, however wild they were in youth."

"At 50, everyone has the face he deserves," said George Orwell.

Virgil, author of The Aeneid, died at 50. Shakespeare died at 52.

You gain weight until age 55, at which point you begin to shed weight (specifically, lean tissue, muscle mass, water, and bone). More fat now accumulates in your thighs and less in your abdomen. Your extremities become thinner and your trunk thicker. Middle-aged spread isn't only the result of increased fatty tissue; it's also caused by losing muscle tone and your skin literally thinning out as each skin cell loses its robustness.

In late middle age, the skin in your hands becomes less sensitive to touch. Your skin cells regenerate less often. The skin weakens and dries, the number of sebaceous glands declines dramatically, and all of the tissues of the skin undergo some change: You get wrinkles and gray hair. Wrinkles don't come from age, though. They come from sunlight, which slowly maims the face, causing wrinkles, mottling, and loose skin. "The years between 50 and 57 are the hardest," said T.S. Eliot. "You are being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down."

Your blood cholesterol increases. At 60, you've lost 25 percent of the volume of saliva you normally secrete for food; it becomes more difficult to digest heavy meats.

Emerson said, "'Tis strange that it is not in vogue to commit hara-kiri, as the Japanese do, at 60. Nature is so insulting in her hints and notices, does not pull you by the sleeve, but pulls out your teeth, tears off your hair in patches, steals your eyesight, twists your face into an ugly mask, in short, puts all contumelies upon you, without in the least abating your zeal to make a good appearance, and all this at the same time that she is moulding the new figures around you into wonderful beauty, which of course is only making your plight worse."

The PR flak Harlan Boll defends his lying about his celebrity clients' ages by saying, "The American public doesn't really forgive people for getting older." Which is of course true. Jackie Kennedy said if she knew she was going to get cancer at 65, she wouldn't have done all those sit-ups. In jail, O.J. Simpson bemoaned to his girlfriend that the once admirable, apple-like shape of his posterior had collapsed into middle-aged decrepitude. Gravity sucks.


By the time you reach 65, you've lost 30 percent to 40 percent of your aerobic power. The walls of your heart thicken, and you're more likely to develop coronary disease. Sixty percent of 60-year-old men, and the same percentage of 80-year-old women, have a major narrowing in at least one coronary artery. A stiffening in the walls of the major arteries results in a progressive increase in blood pressure, which imposes an increasing load on the heart. Since the heart has to work harder for each heartbeat and use more energy, the overall efficiency of the cardiovascular system drops significantly.

When you're a young adult, the reflex that tells you it's time to urinate occurs when your bladder is half-full. For people over age 65, the message isn't received until your bladder is nearly full.


At 68, Edmund Wilson said, "The know­ledge that death is not so far away, that my mind and emotions and vitality will soon disappear like a puff of smoke, has the effect of making earthly affairs seem unimportant and human beings more and more ignoble. It is harder to take human life seriously, including one's own efforts and achievements and passions."

In your late 60s, you eat less. Your metabolic rate decreases slightly. The density of your skin's circulatory systems—veins, capillaries, arterioles—is reduced, which is why old people feel cold sooner. Also, your skin functions less well as a barrier because the skin is thinner—like wearing too light a coat. As you age, your facial skin temperature falls. For older people, a comfortable temperature is 10 to 15 degrees higher than it is for a younger person.

There are now more people in the United States over 65 than ever before. Only 30 percent of people ages 75 to 84 report disabilities—the lowest percentage ever reported.

Five percent to 8 percent of people over 65 have dementia; half of those in their 80s have it.

Aristotle described childhood as hot and moist, youth as hot and dry, and adulthood as cold and dry. He believed aging and death were caused by the body being transformed from one that was hot and moist to one that was cold and dry—a change that he viewed as not only inevitable but desirable.

At age 90, you grow increasingly less likely to develop cancer; the tissues of an old person don't serve the needs of aggressive, energy-hungry tumors.


When you're very young, your ability to smell is so intense as to be nearly overwhelming, but by the time you're in your 80s, not only has your ability to smell declined significantly but you yourself no longer even have a distinctive odor. You can stop using deodorants. You're vanishing.

"As we get older," the British poet Henry Reed helpfully observed, "we do not get any younger."
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Karsk
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« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2008, 06:44:06 PM »

Heh.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFXGwHsD_A


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michael
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« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2008, 07:43:03 PM »

I learned about this in one of the above posts and ordered the DVD. It is awesome, and this is going to become a staple in my workout. I had an excellent phone conversation with Diamond Dallas Page today about working out and YRG, and he invited anyone who is in the Los Angeles area to come and workout with them for free. I know that Crafty likes Yoga, and it would be great if he could give it a try and post his impressions.  Below is a consolidation of some posts I wrote about on warriortalk about YRG.

I read about this over on Crafty's forum, where it came highly recommended. It is a form of Yoga developed by former pro wrestler "Diamond Dallas Page", who says he rebuilt his back and body after some pretty serious injuries. It came highly recommended on the DBMA forum, and I have just ordered one of the DVD's to try. As I get older, I am constantly looking for new ways to workout and maintain my flexibility. Check out the video link for this Army vet who was pretty much a cripple and dropped over 100 lbs. It is quite inspirational to see him go from barely walking with crutches to running! Wow. I hope to have half the warrior spirit this guy does.

One of Diamond Dallas's staples seems to be the 30 second push-up. 10 seconds from up position to down, 10 seconds in down position, and then 10 seconds as he comes up. It appears to be "yoga modified", with more strength and cardio moves built in, as well as the flexibility aspect.

Does anyone here use this?

Link: http://www.yrgworkoutllc.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=134&Item id=64

Link for Yoga For Regular Guys: http://www.yrgworkoutllc.com/joomla/...tpage&Itemid=1

Well, I just finished it. At least, I guess I finished it, though I had to rest for a few seconds and regroup on some of the exercises. It was very, very tough. I got the 60 minute fat-burner YRG, which DDP says is the toughest. I believe it.

My whole body was shaking about halfway through it, and my heart rate was definitely up for most of the DVD. I was sweating a bunch too. This is not your typical spandex-girl Yoga DVD.

Initial impressions: it was less of a stretch than a traditional Yoga workout, but great in it's own right. I liked it, and if you can do EVERYTHING in this DVD without resting, you would be in some kind of great shape. It was a tremendous lower body workout, and while the core was engaged for many of the poses, there were not any core-specific exercises. However, as I said, many of the poses give you a lot of core engagement. The upper body portion is limited to very slow push-ups, starting with lowering yourself in 3 seconds, bottom hold for 3 seconds, and raising up in 3 seconds. Later in the DVD, it progresses to 5 seconds each, and then 10 seconds lower, 10 seconds bottom, 10 seconds on the way up. That was very tough after doing it a few times. Much different usage of the muscles than typcial weight exercises. I also think that the exercises in this video will promote a tremendous sense of balance after using it for a while. While it will not be my only workout, it is a good supplement and something different to do on a regular basis. I liked it.


Just finished my second YRG w/o, and I'm starting to get the hang of the poses. Still not easy, but definitely easier than the first time. I think once I get the hang of all of the poses and my body gets used to being in them, I will be much more comfortable doing them. I believe this is a w/o I will do for a long time, and will be a good adjunct to my fitness plan. I even managed to do all of the 30 second push-ups this time through.

I talked with DDP this afternoon, and he is a way cool guy and I greatly enjoyed our conversation. He has lots of good stuff in the works, and some more really great ideas for even harder YRG workouts in the near future. I look foward to those projects.

What impressed me about DDP is that he really CARES. He isn't here just to sell a product, he is selling the product because he believes in it and wants to help people change their lives and fitness levels. By the testominials on his website, he is well on the way. The project with Warner Brothers is going to be huge if it comes to fruition, and it sounds like it will. The YRG program will really take off when this happens.

DDP talked with me at length about my training and really emphasized why I need to use a heart monitior. He told me a story about Mark Allen--the champion triathlete and his training. Mark had won many Ironman's back to back, but all of a sudden at 35 (I think that's what DDP said), he lost and did not do well at all. He met with a doc who is very knowledgeable about fitness training about how to improve himself, rather than give up and accept that he wasn't as fast as he once was. (I forget the doc's name, but DDP told me). The doc said that he was training TOO intensely and that he needed to stay in his target training zone. This doc uses 180 minus your age. Mark tried this for a while, but was running 7-7:30 miles when he was used to running 5 minute miles for 26 miles. He did not think it would work, but the doc said to trust him. DDP compared this to a Mercedes with 300,000 miles on it. It is a well made machine and okay to run it hard some, but not all the time. Mark decided to continue with the doc's training method and then won then next 3 or so Ironman's. This is very interesting to me. I have always thought intensity is good to a point, but not constantly. This jives with what this doc says.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 07:45:00 PM by michael » Logged

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capmarine
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« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2008, 11:18:43 AM »

im 59.i do bodywt exercises,kickboxing,weights,and cardio.try the new Marine Corps CFT,combat fitness test,the MC is going to that besides the usual PFT.look at the lastest issue of MENS HEALTH for the workout.
my week consists of a bodywt routine of some type,with several hundred reps,if not easily over 1000,make up a routine if need be.
cardio-treadmill,stairclimber(not the stairmaster),stationary bike
weights-been using them for decades-as you grow older do less reps,im told-functional fitness,not those stupid bodybuilding exerc.that do nothing for you.
my thoughts from a combat Marine
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2008, 06:58:44 PM »

By ANTHONY CORMIER

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Published: March 25, 2008

MANATEE COUNTY - Prosecutors are moving ahead with a case against one of two 93-year-old men picked up during undercover prostitution stings.

In the case of Frank Milio, prosecutors have issued subpoenas and plan to take him to trial in April.  Milio, according to police records, tried to pay $20 in November to an undercover officer on 14th Street West.  Milio recently told the Herald-Tribune he was only flirting with the woman.

"I haven't had that in years," he said. "Ninety-three is kind of old."

Carlos Underhill, 93, will not be charged, although he does not deny stopping to chat with the "good-looking girl" who made eyes at him and turned out to be an undercover officer.  Police say Underhill was willing to pay $30 for sex and that he promised to come back a few hours later to consummate the deal.  Prosecutors say that they cannot move ahead with the criminal case because there is no way to prove Underhill planned to come back.  Underhill was fined $150 for trying to pick up a prostitute in 1990, when he was 75. In the latest case, he says, he was not cruising Tamiami Trail for sex: He just wanted to chat with the buxom woman who smiled at him as he drove past.

"All I was going to do was talk," he said Monday. "It wasn't for sex. I am 93, you know."
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whitewolf
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« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2008, 11:57:29 AM »

Hello-this is my first post-Thought I would send some info on us older guys and working out/training: While I was on active duty in the USMC I went to interrigation school at Fort Holibird Md-One of the students in our class was a Green Baret (going to VietNam for the 3rd time) He was a masterSgt-he sort of took me under his  wing and gave me some good advice-always keep on   training-that was in 1967  (i think)-well now its 2008 and i am going t0 be 70 in sep-i still am working out/rolling some times/still taking H2H classes-
took a weeks class in KM in portugal last  year and that was great-point is never ever give up-semper fi--glad to  be part of the forum-whitewolf in kuwait
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michael
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« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2008, 06:58:36 PM »

Hello-this is my first post-Thought I would send some info on us older guys and working out/training: While I was on active duty in the USMC I went to interrigation school at Fort Holibird Md-One of the students in our class was a Green Baret (going to VietNam for the 3rd time) He was a masterSgt-he sort of took me under his  wing and gave me some good advice-always keep on   training-that was in 1967  (i think)-well now its 2008 and i am going t0 be 70 in sep-i still am working out/rolling some times/still taking H2H classes-
took a weeks class in KM in portugal last  year and that was great-point is never ever give up-semper fi--glad to  be part of the forum-whitewolf in kuwait

I see you get around as well! You'll like it here.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2008, 11:12:21 AM »


"Your father may be a servant, but he is still a warrior--and a more dangerous one than you. The father, being past that age in which biology makes us vicious, guides the son or neighbor to protect society rather than to rend it."

http://grimbeorn.blogspot.com/2004_05_30_grimbeorn_archive.html#1086194075582633 12


Social Harmony:


I was reading an article the other day, in the local newspaper, about an elderly Korean gentleman who has moved into town and opened a martial arts studio. He chastened the reporter who had come to interview him not to suggest that the martial arts were 'all about fighting.' "No!" he said. "The purpose is social harmony."
That is exactly right. The secret of social harmony is simple: Old men must be dangerous.

Very nearly all the violence that plagues, rather than protects, society is the work of young males between the ages of fourteen and thirty. A substantial amount of the violence that protects rather than plagues society is performed by other members of the same group. The reasons for this predisposition are generally rooted in biology, which is to say that they are not going anywhere, in spite of the current fashion that suggests doping half the young with Ritalin.

The question is how to move these young men from the first group (violent and predatory) into the second (violent, but protective). This is to ask: what is the difference between a street gang and the Marine Corps, or a thug and a policeman? In every case, we see that the good youths are guided and disciplined by old men. This is half the answer to the problem.

But do we not try to discipline and guide the others? If we catch them at their menace, don't we put them into prisons or programs where they are monitored, disciplined, and exposed to "rehabilitation"? The rates of recidivism are such that we can't say that these programs are successful at all, unless the person being "rehabilitated" wants and chooses to be. And this is the other half of the answer: the discipline and guidance must be voluntarily accepted. The Marine enlists; the criminal must likewise choose to accept what is offered.

The Eastern martial arts provide an experience very much like that of Boot Camp. The Master, like the Drill Instructor, is a disciplined man of great personal prowess. He is an exemplar. He asks nothing of you he can't, or won't, do himself--and there are very many things he can and will do that are beyond you, though you have all the help of youth and strength. It is on this ground that acceptance of discipline is won. It is the ground of admiration, and what wins the admiration of these young men is martial prowess.

Everyone who was once a young man will understand what I mean. Who could look forward, at the age of sixteen or eighteen, to a life of obedience, dressed in suits or uniforms, sitting or standing behind a desk? How were you to respect or care about the laws, or the wishes, of men who had accepted such a life? The difficulty is compounded in poor communities, where the jobs undertaken are often menial. How can you respect your father if your father is a servant? Would you not be accepting a place twice as low as his? Would you not rather take up the sword, and cut yourself a new place? Meekness in the old men of the community unmakes the social order: it encourages rebellion from the young.

The traditional martial arts tend to teach young men to undertake flashy and impressive, but not terribly effective, fighting techniques. Only as you grow older do the masters of the art teach you the real secrets--the subtle, quick, physically simple ways in which the human body can be destroyed. In this way, the old retain their power over the young--although they lack the speed and strength, they have in discipline in training more than enough to maintain the order. Social harmony is maintained in the dojo: the young revere the old, and seek to emulate them. Your father may be a servant, but he is still a warrior--and a more dangerous one than you. The father, being past that age in which biology makes us vicious, guides the son or neighbor to protect society rather than to rend it. It is not particularly different in the military.

If we would have a stable society, we must have dangerous old men. This means that, if you are yourself on your way to becoming an old man, you have a duty to society to begin your preparations. The martial arts are not the only road--my own grandfather did it through a simple combination of physical strength, personal discipline, and an accustomed habit of going armed about his business. There was never a more impressive figure--or, at least, there was never a boy more impressed than was I.
The martial virtues are exactly the ones needed. By a happy coincidence, having a society whose members adhere to and encourage those virtues makes us freer as well--we need fewer police, fewer courts, fewer prisons, fewer laws, and fewer lawyers. This is what Aristotle meant when he said that the virtues of the man are reflected in the society. Politics and ethics are naturally joined.
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maija
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« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2008, 04:39:26 PM »

Well said.
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Miyamoto Musashi.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #43 on: August 19, 2009, 09:44:50 AM »

For Older Athletes, Drug Question Emerges 
Angela Jimenez for The New York TimesThomas Rice, 81, left, Robert Bruce, 81, and Edward Cox, 82, competed in the 100-meter run at a U.S.A. Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships event in East Stroudsburg, Pa., in June.

NYTimes
By JOHN LELAND
Published: August 18, 2009

In his apartment outside Philadelphia, Frank Levine pulled a list of prescription medications from his refrigerator, his hands shaking slightly. There was metformin HCl and glipizide for his diabetes; lisinopril for his blood pressure; and Viagra.

“I need it,” he said recently.

Mr. Levine, who is 95 and has had operations on both knees, in June set the American record in the 400-meter dash for men ages 95 to 99, only to see it broken at the U.S.A. Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships a few weeks later. “Nothing counts unless you’re first,” he said.

Mr. Levine belongs to a generation of track and field athletes who are breaking records for speed, distance and endurance at ages once considered too old for competition. In a sport tarnished by doping scandals, the older athletes raise anew the question of what constitutes a natural body for people who are at an age when drugs are a part of life.

“Who’s 75 years old and not taking medications?” asked Gary Snyder, national chairman of U.S.A. Track & Field’s masters committee, which will oversee more than 100 competitions this year for athletes over age 30.

Most drugs like Mr. Levine’s are not banned for competitors, but some common treatments for asthma, menopause and inflammation contain steroids that can disqualify athletes if they do not get written medical exemptions.

“I’m sure there are folks taking something like Manny,” Mr. Snyder said, referring to Manny Ramirez, the baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers who this year was suspended 50 games for violating the sport’s drug policy. “But most are using drugs for medical reasons.”

Ray Feick, 77, said he suspected “two or three” peers of using steroids to enhance their performance, including one shot-putter who suddenly was able to beat him. “My buddies and I talk about it,” he said. “It’s not fair to the age bracket and not fair to their body. And one by one, they drop out.”

U.S.A. Track & Field, the sport’s governing body, has a zero tolerance policy for doping but does not test for drugs at masters events because it is too expensive — about $500 per athlete and an additional $10,000 to take a testing organization to the meet, Mr. Snyder said.

But there is testing at the World Masters Championship, which took place this year in Lahti, Finland, in late July and early August. In 1999, the American sprinter Kathy Jager, 56, was stripped of her medals and barred from competition for two years after she tested positive for anabolic steroids, which she ascribed to her use of a popular menopause treatment called Estratest HS.

“When we set records, the Europeans look at us like, ‘Oh sure, so-and-so is taking stuff,’ ” Mr. Snyder said.

For Rosalyn Katz, 67, a thrower from Queens who said she did not take any medications, the question of drug use is beside the point. On a recent morning, Ms. Katz, a retired school administrator, and her training partner, Neni Lewis, 49, were throwing heavy weights in a city park. Ms. Lewis’s hammer throw hooked too far to the left and hung from a tree branch like a 9-pound Christmas ornament. The two women throw before 7 a.m. twice a week, all year round.

“I don’t think anyone taking asthma medication is going to throw or run any better,” Ms. Katz said. “I think they’re doing it because they can’t breathe.”

Like many other women who compete past age 60, Ms. Katz said she had not had a track and field program available to her in high school and college and had never thrown until she was close to 50.

Mr. Levine, similarly, did not start running until he was 65. With his wife in a nursing home, a friend suggested running together, then training for a marathon. He ran 18 marathons before dropping to shorter distances. He said he did not think his peers took drugs except medicinally.

“You have a whole new crew of people over 70 who are part of the world,” Mr. Levine said. “In 1950, you were old when you were 50. Now I feel old when I have to use my fingers.”

Of his accomplishments as an older athlete, he said: “I’m disappointed rather than amazed, because my times have slowed up considerably. I feel good. So the body has slowed.”

In his youth, Mr. Levine won a Golden Gloves flyweight boxing title, and his competitive juices have not let up. At his apartment building he recently greeted a visitor by asking, “Do you want to take the stairs or the elevator?” He lives on the seventh floor.

In masters competitions, athletes are grouped in five-year age brackets. Mr. Levine has just graduated into the 95 to 99 class, which he views as an advantage since he is now the kid in the bracket. “It makes you look forward to getting older,” he said.

The Rev. Champion Goldy, 92, a runner and thrower from Haddonfield, N.J., said his goal was to run the 100-meter dash when he was 100. Mr. Goldy, a Methodist minister, said he relished the camaraderie on the circuit but dreaded the inevitable absences at meets.

“You say, ‘Where’s so-and-so?’ ” he said. “And then you get the word around, and then they go, ‘Oh, he had a heart attack and died.’ Or ‘he got cancer.’ ”

In 2002, Mr. Goldy ran the 100-meter dash with a centenarian named Everett Hosack. Mr. Goldy said that as they got in their stances, he told Mr. Hosack, who died in 2004, “Everett, you better get down here and get this race started.”

“He said, ‘Man, if I get down there, I’ll never get up again,’ ” Mr. Goldy said.

Even with the camaraderie, though, there is occasional distrust. Tom Rice, 81, said he was put off by seeing peers with suspiciously muscular builds.

“I said, how ridiculous is that — they’ve got to be taking something,” said Mr. Rice, who takes Zocor for high cholesterol and hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure, neither of which is banned.

“I can’t even imagine that at this age,” he said. “It’s not the Olympics. Guys get so whacked out that they want to take pills to destroy their health just so they can get a medal that’s a little bit better than they might have earned.”

Yet even for clean athletes, the goal is to exceed what people expect of older bodies. After setting the age-group record in the 400-meter run in 3 minutes 20 seconds at the regional championships in East Stroudsburg, Pa., on June 27 — Michael Johnson holds the world record at 43.18 seconds — Mr. Levine was exhausted and elated.

“Everything I can do, I did,” he said. “Every ounce of strength, every mental effort. In my mind, if I knew it was a possibility that I would die because I was speeding or pushing, I think I would do it. Stupidity, but I think that’s true of a lot of athletes.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2010, 02:29:43 PM »

On the third floor of the Montreal Chest Institute, at McGill University, Olga Kotelko stood before a treadmill in the center of a stuffy room that was filling up with people who had come just for her. They were there to run physical tests, or to extract blood from her earlobe, or just to observe and take notes. Kotelko removed her glasses. She wore white New Balance sneakers and black running tights, and over her silver hair, a plastic crown that held in place a breathing tube.

STRENGTH Kotelko holds the world indoor shot-put record for women 90 and over.

Olga Kotelko’s Record:16.1 ft.
High-School Record, Women’s: 54 ft.
World Record, Women’s: 74.3 ft.
Tanja Taivassalo, a 40-year-old muscle physiologist, adjusted the fit of Kotelko’s stretch-vest. It was wired with electrodes to measure changes in cardiac output — a gauge of the power of her heart. Taivassalo first met Kotelko at last year’s world outdoor masters track championships in Lahti, Finland, the pinnacle of the competitive season for older tracksters. Taivassalo went to watch her dad compete in the marathon. But she could hardly fail to notice the 91-year-old Canadian, bespandexed and elfin, who was knocking off world record after world record.

Masters competitions usually begin at 35 years, and include many in their 60s, 70s and 80s (and a few, like Kotelko, in their 90s, and one or two over 100). Of the thousands who descended on Lahti, hundreds were older than 75. And the one getting all the attention was Kotelko. She is considered one of the world’s greatest athletes, holding 23 world records, 17 in her current age category, 90 to 95.

“We have in masters track ‘hard’ records and ‘soft’ records,” says Ken Stone, editor of masterstrack.com — the main news source of the growing masters athletic circuit. “Soft records are like low-hanging fruit,” where there are so few competitors, you’re immortalized just for showing up. But Stone doesn’t consider Kotelko’s records soft, because her performances are remarkable in their own right. At last fall’s Lahti championship, Kotelko threw a javelin more than 20 feet farther than her nearest age-group rival. At the World Masters Games in Sydney, Kotelko’s time in the 100 meters — 23.95 seconds — was faster than that of some finalists in the 80-to-84-year category, two brackets down. World Masters Athletics, the governing body of masters track, uses “age-graded” tables developed by statisticians to create a kind of standard score, expressed as a percentage, for any athletic feat. The world record for any given event would theoretically be assigned 100 percent. But a number of Kotelko’s marks — in shot put, high jump, 100-meter dash — top 100 percent. (Because there are so few competitors over 90, age-graded scores are still guesswork.)

In Lahti, watching Kotelko run fast enough that the wind blew her hair back a bit, Taivassalo was awed on a personal level (she’s a runner) and tantalized on a professional one. She hoped to start a database of athletes over 85, testing various physiological parameters.

Scientifically, this is mostly virgin ground. The cohort of people 85 and older — the fastest-growing segment of the population, as it happens — is increasingly being studied for longevity clues. But so far the focus has mostly been on their lives: the foods they eat, the air they breathe, the social networks they maintain and, in a few recently published studies, their genomes. Data on the long-term effects of exercise is only just starting to trickle in, as the children of the fitness revolution of the ’70s grow old.

Though the world of masters track offers a compelling research pool, Taivassalo may seem like an unlikely scientist to be involved. Her area of expertise is mitochondrial research; she examines what happens to the body when mitochondria, the cell’s power plants, are faulty. Her subjects are typically young people who come into the lab with neuromuscular disorders that are only going to get worse. (Because muscle cells require so much energy, they’re hit hard when mitochondria go down.) Some researchers now see aging itself as a kind of mitochondrial disease. Defective mitochondria appear as we get older, and these researchers say that they rob us of endurance, strength and function. There’s evidence that for young patients with mitochondrial disease, exercise is a potent tool, slowing the symptoms. If that’s true, then exercise could also potentially be a kind of elixir of youth, combating the ravages of aging far more than we thought.

===========

Published: November 25, 2010

(Page 2 of 6)



You don’t have to be an athlete to notice how ruthlessly age hunts and how programmed the toll seems to be. We start losing wind in our 40s and muscle tone in our 50s. Things go downhill slowly until around age 75, when something alarming tends to happen.


AGILITY She holds two world records in javelin for women over 85.

Olga Kotelko’s Record: 41 ft
High-School Record, Women’s: 176.5 ft.
World Record, Women’s: 237 ft.

“There’s a slide I show in my physical-activity-and-aging class,” Taivassalo says. “You see a shirtless fellow holding barbells, but I cover his face. I ask the students how old they think he is. I mean, he could be 25. He’s just ripped. Turns out he’s 67. And then in the next slide there’s the same man at 78, in the same pose. It’s very clear he’s lost almost half of his muscle mass, even though he’s continued to work out. So there’s something going on.” But no one knows exactly what. Muscle fibers ought in theory to keep responding to training. But they don’t. Something is applying the brakes.

And then there is Olga Kotelko, who further complicates the picture, but in a scientifically productive way. She seems not to be aging all that quickly. “Given her rather impressive retention of muscle mass,” says Russ Hepple, a University of Calgary physiologist and an expert in aging muscle, “one would guess that she has some kind of resistance.” In investigating that resistance, the researchers are hoping to better understand how to stall the natural processes of aging.

Hepple, who is 44 and still built like the competitive runner he used to be, met Taivassalo at an exercise-physiology conference. She did her Ph.D. on people with mitochondrial disease; he was better acquainted with rats. They married. In the room at McGill, Hepple leaned in to the treadmill, barking encouragement to Kotelko as needed as she jacked her heart rate up beyond 135. In the end, Kotelko’s “maxVO2” score — a strong correlate of cardiovascular endurance — topped out at 15.5. That’s about what you’d expect from a “trained athlete of 91,” if such a type existed.

In truth, there is no type. Though when you hear the stories of older senior athletes, a common thread does emerge. While most younger masters athletes were jocks in college if not before, many competitors in the higher brackets — say, older than age 70 — have come to the game late. They weren’t athletes earlier in life because of the demands of career and their own growing families. Only after their duties cleared could they tend that other fire.

That’s Kotelko’s story, too. She grew up, with parents of Ukrainian descent, on a farm in Vonda, Saskatchewan, No. 7 of 11 kids. In the morning, after the chickens were fed and the pigs slopped and the cows milked, the brood would trudge two miles to school, stuff a broken old softball with sand or rags and play ball. Kotelko loved the game and played through childhood, but as she got older, the opportunities just weren’t there.

As an adult she taught grades 1 through 10 in the one-room schoolhouse in Vonda, married the wrong man young and, realizing her mistake, fled for British Columbia in 1957 with two daughters and brought them up alone, earning her bachelor’s degree at night. Much of her adulthood had run through her fingers before she could even think again about sports.

She picked up softball again after retiring from teaching in 1984 — slow-pitch, but pretty competitive. (“We went for blood.”) And then one day when she was 77, a teammate suggested she might enjoy track and field.

She hooked up with a local coach, who taught her the basics. She found a trainer — a strict Hungarian woman who seemed as eager to push her as Kotelko was keen to be pushed. Juiced with enthusiasm, Kotelko hit the gym hard, three days a week in season. For up to three hours at a stretch, she performed punishing exercises like planks and roman chairs and bench presses and squats, until her muscles quivered and gassed out.

Though she still does some of these things — the push-ups (three sets of 10), the situps (three sets of 25) — she doesn’t push herself the same way anymore. Apart from Aquafit classes three times a week, she pretty much takes the whole dreary Vancouver winter off. Then, come spring, four weeks or so before the first competition of the season (she’ll usually enter five or six meets each year), she starts her routine. She carts her gear to the track at the high school. She dons her spikes, takes a spade and turns the middens of teenage recreation into long-jump pits. And then goes to it — alone. On the track she will often run intervals: slow for a minute, then full out for a minute. At the beginning of each year she figures out where to put her energy. This year it’ll be throws and jumps and the 100-meter dash — the only meaningful world record missing from her résumé. She says she may not run the 200 and 400 again until 2014, when she moves up into the 95-plus age category. (Her current world marks in those events, she reckons, will be safe for four more years.)

She does deep breathing and reflexology. She has developed a massage program, which she rolls out most nights, called the “O.K.” routine, after her own initials. It involves systematically kneading her whole body, from stem to gudgeon, while lying in bed. Sometimes she’ll work one part of her body while stretching another with a looped strap. (“I don’t like wasting time,” she says.)

Ken Stone calls her “bulletproof,” and her history even off the track bears the label out. Apart from two visits to give birth to her daughters, she has seen the inside of a hospital once in her life, for a hysterectomy.

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Page 3 of 6)



Kotelko acknowledged her good luck as she put away a big plate of pasta and a glass of red wine one evening, midway through the world indoor championships in Kamloops, British Columbia, this spring.

“How old do you feel?” I asked her.

“Well, I still have the energy I had at 50,” she said. “More. Where is it coming from? Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a mystery even to me.”

The previous day, on a patch of grass tricked out as a javelin field, I watched Kotelko come forward for her turn to throw. Kotelko, who is five feet tall, took the javelin offered by an official with quiet dispatch, like a hockey player accepting a new stick from the bench. There was a bit of a crosswind; it didn’t affect her too much. She picked a cloud to aim at (a tip she first read about in a library book). Ritualistically, she touched the spear tip, rocked on the back foot and let fly, all momentum. It traveled 41 feet.

Later, in her favorite event, the hammer throw, Kotelko took her place on the pitch with the other competitors — younger women she competes alongside, though not strictly against, since at this meet she was the only woman in the 90-and-over category. She removed her glasses. She swung the seven-pound cannonball around her head — once, twice, three times — and the thing sailed, landing with a thud, 45.5 feet away. “If I spun I could throw it farther,” she admitted later, but after watching somebody very old fall that way, she has decided not to risk it.

EXERCISE HAS BEEN shown to add between six and seven years to a life span (and improve the quality of life in countless ways). Any doctor who didn’t recommend exercise would be immediately suspect. But for most seniors, that prescription is likely to be something like a daily walk or Aquafit. It’s not quarter-mile timed intervals or lung-busting fartleks. There’s more than a little suffering in the difference.

Here, though, is the radical proposition that’s starting to gain currency among researchers studying masters athletes: what if intense training does something that allows the body to regenerate itself? Two recent studies involving middle-aged runners suggest that the serious mileage they were putting in, over years and years, had protected them at the chromosomal level. It appears that exercise may stimulate the production of telomerase, an enzyme that maintains and repairs the little caps on the ends of chromosomes that keep genetic information intact when cells divide. That may explain why older athletes aren’t just more cardiovascularly fit than their sedentary counterparts — they are more free of age-related illness in general.

Exactly how exercise affects older people is complicated. On one level, exercise is a flat-out insult to the body. Downhill running tears quadriceps muscles as reliably as an injection of snake venom. All kinds of free radicals and other toxins are let loose. But the damage also triggers the production of antioxidants that boost the health of the body generally. So when you see a track athlete who looks as if that last 1,500-meter race damn near killed him, you’re right. It might have made him stronger in the deal.

Exercise training helps stop muscle strength and endurance from slipping away. But it seems to also do something else, maintains Mark Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (who also happens to be a top-ranked trail runner). Resistance exercise in particular seems to activate a muscle stem cell called a satellite cell. With the infusion of these squeaky-clean cells into the system, the mitochondria seem to rejuvenate. (The phenomenon has been called “gene shifting.”) If Tarnopolsky is right, exercise in older adults can roll back the odometer. After six months of twice weekly strength exercise training, he has shown, the biochemical, physiological and genetic signature of older muscle is “turned back” nearly 15 or 20 years.

Whether we are doing really old folks any favors by prescribing commando-grade training, well, “that’s the million-dollar question,” Hepple says. “Olga can obviously handle it. But most people aren’t Olga.” In general, kidneys and other organs tend to have trouble managing the enzymes and byproducts produced when muscle breaks down. Inflammation, which produces that good kind of soreness weekend warriors are familiar with, “also damages a lot of healthy tissue around it,” notes Li Li Ji, an exercise physiologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “That’s why I usually discourage older people from being too ambitious.”

Yet if there’s a single trend in the research into exercise and gerontology, it’s that we have underestimated what old folks are capable of, from how high their heart rates can safely climb to how deeply into old age they can exercise with no major health risks.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2010, 02:30:24 PM »

The conundrum for masters athletes — though it seems Kotelko’s great fortune to have largely escaped the phenomenon — is this: Big physiological benefits from exercise are there for the taking. You just have to keep exercising. But you can’t exercise if the body breaks down. To avoid injuries, aging track athletes are often advised to keep to their old routines but to lower the intensity. The best advertisement for that strategy was a race turned in five years ago by a 73-year-old from Ontario. Age-graded, Ed Whitlock’s 2:54 marathon (the equivalent of a 20-year-old running 2:03.57) was the fastest ever run. When people collared him afterward to find out his training secret, they learned that he ran every day, slowly, for hours, around the local cemetery.

Kotelko herself speaks often of the perils of getting carried away. “If you undertrain, you might not finish,” she says. “If you overtrain, you might not start.” But there’s some evidence that, in trying to find the sweet spot between staying in race shape and avoiding the medical tent, a lot of seniors athletes aren’t training hard enough — or at least, aren’t training the right way to maximally exploit what their body can still do.

Recently, Scott Trappe, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., published a study on weightlessness and exercise in The Journal of Applied Physiology. Using M.R.I. and biopsy data from NASA, he looked at the exercise program of nine astronauts from the International Space Station. In many ways, an astronaut in zero gravity is undergoing an experiment in accelerated aging — muscles atrophy, bone-density declines. That’s what these astronauts were finding too, even though they were using a treadmill, a stationary bike and a resistance machine.

Trappe concluded the regime wasn’t nearly hard-core enough. His prescription for NASA: heavier loads and explosive movements. “It’s pretty clear that intensity wins up there,” he says. “And I would predict this to be the case as we age. Part of the challenge is the mind-set or dogma that we need to slow down as we get older.” For example, the belief that aging joints and tendons can’t take real weight-training is dead wrong; real weight-training is what might just save them. Seniors can work out less frequently, Trappe reckons, as long as they really bring it when they do.

Kotelko used to train like that — spurred on by her severe Hungarian coach. Strangely though, since easing off the throttle the last few years, she’s getting some of the best results of her life. It’s hard to know what to conclude from that, except perhaps that the gene-shifting theory is true, and Kotelko is still enjoying the compound interest from that earlier sweat equity. “What I do now seems adequate,” she reasons. “It must be. I keep getting world records.”

THE DAY AFTER the treadmill test, Kotelko was ushered into the free-weight gym at McGill University. She lay down at the bench press. Taivassalo was interested in the composition of Kotelko’s muscle fibers. We all have Type 1 muscle (slow-twitch, for endurance) and a couple of varieties of Type 2 (fast-twitch, used for power). Most people are born with roughly half of Type 1 and half of Type 2. Around age 70, fast-twitch muscle begins to stop responding, followed by the decline of slow-twitch a decade later. Power drains away. Trappe calls this the “fast-twitch-fiber problem.” It helps explain the frustration that aging sprinters feel when their times drop off despite their dogged efforts. And no matter how high-tech their exercise program, how strong their will, how good their genes, nobody escapes. Often, the drop-off happens too gradually to notice. But sometimes little moments of perspective pop up.

In Kamloops, Kotelko jumped 5.5 feet to trump her own indoor long-jump world record. Afterward, the sexagenarian pentathletes took to the pit. Among them was Philippa (Phil) Raschker, a 63-year-old from Marietta, Ga., legendary on the masters track circuit. Raschker holds, or has held, more than 200 national and world records — sprints, jumps, hurdles. She was competing in nine events in Kamloops. (This despite being pretty much exhausted from working late into the night filing clients’ taxes for days on end. She’s an accountant; it was March.) When I first saw her high jumping, from a distance, I thought she could have been 25. You could see, below her stretch top, the six-pack. But it wasn’t how Raschker looked that arrested; it was the way she moved. Raschker Fosbury-flopped over the bar like water pouring from a jug. The flop allows you to jump higher than other methods do because your center of gravity never actually clears the bar. But the severe back arch demands a suppleness that’s alien to the aging body, which is why pretty much no one over 65 does it. Kotelko was already too old to flop when she took up track at age 77. Instead, she sort of bestrides the bar. Her world record of 2.7 feet is just a little higher than the superfoamy mat. Overall, Kotelko’s high jump gives the impression of someone taking a run at a hotel-room bed.

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Page 5 of 6)



The difference between the world’s greatest 60-year-old and the world’s greatest 90-year-old was clear. On view was the march of “sarcopenia” — the loss of muscle, the theft of that once-explosive power that makes the very old seem subject to a different set of physical laws.

It is irresistible to think of Olga Kotelko and Phil Raschker as twins separated by time. Except that Raschker has the potential advantage of a much earlier head start on the track. Given all that extra compounding interest, might she in 30 years become a kind of super-Olga?

“Hard to say,” Hepple says. “She’s obviously at a point that precedes many of the big changes that usually happen. And we don’t know how resistant she is — and that resistance is something we do think sets Olga apart.” Those extra decades of pounding might break Raschker down or burn her out.

Motivation may ultimately be the issue. Finding reasons to keep exercising is a universal challenge. Even rats seem to bristle, eventually, at voluntary exercise, studies suggest. Young rats seem intrinsically driven to run on the wheels you put in their cages. But one day those wheels just stop turning. The aging athlete must manufacture strategies to keep pushing in the face of plenty of perfectly rational reasons not to: things hurt, you’ve achieved a lot of your goals and the friends you used to do it for and with are disappearing.

But competition can spur people on. “Maintaining your own records in the face of your supposed decline, providing evidence that you’re delaying the effects of aging — these are strong motives,” says Bradley Young, a kinesiology and sports psychology professor at the University of Ottawa. Young studies the factors that make track athletes want to continue competing into old age. A big one is training partners and family — both the encouragement they offer, and the guilt you’d feel letting them down if you quit. But the strongest motivating driver, Young found, was one’s spouse.

In this way, too, Kotelko is unique. She has no husband, and though she does have some family — her daughter Lynda and son-in-law Richard, with whom she lives in Vancouver — they are not involved in her training.

IN ONE OF HER last duties to science on the Montreal trip, Kotelko lay serenely, under local anesthetic, on an examining table in the storied Montreal Neurological Institute, where Wilder Penfield mapped the human brain. “Contract your thigh muscle, please,” Dr. José Morais said. The muscle shrugged up visibly when she tensed. The doctor began to draw out a little plug of tissue with a gleaming silver instrument that looked a bit like a wine corker. The sample would be frozen, and the fibers would later be examined.

Muscle is a decent barometer for the general health of a body. It contains what Hepple calls biomarkers of aging — changes over time in its structure, biochemistry, protein expression. These mark the body’s decreasing ability to withstand the stresses it encounters — “some from outside us, like infections, and some from inside us,” like the cellular trash that builds up through normal body functions like breathing and metabolism. “In essence, they tell us how well Olga has handled the very things that cause most of us to age and die at or around age 80.”

Hepple, in Kotelko’s tissue sample, would be looking for the little angular muscle fibers that typically stop working as people age because they have come unplugged from the motor neurons, nerve cells that tell them to fire. Many researchers assume the problem is within the muscle cells. Hepple disagrees. He says those neighboring motor neurons aren’t activating the muscle as they should, and he speculated that more of Kotelko’s would be functioning properly.

Ideally, these two scientists would like to run a sample through genetic testing. Perhaps there are clues in Kotelko’s genome that will help explain the thing that is so singular about her — not speed or power or prowess in any one event, but the resilience to endure all the stress of hard physical activity, year after year, without a hint of breakdown, and no end to the pattern in sight. “There could be a lot we find out in that biopsy,” Taivassalo said, “that tells us what to ask next.” Taivassalo intends to put together a larger sample size, at least 20 or 30 subjects, all old athletes. At that point the information starts becoming statistically significant, and patterns emerge. If the prospect of 30 more nominal Olgas spraying data points into unmapped space is enough to set the hearts of gerontologists aflutter, to Kotelko, the idea that there may be, somewhere, even one more older track star — a genuine rival — is tantalizing. She yearns, she insists, with semiplausible conviction, to be pushed. There’d be no talk of low-hanging fruit and meaningless medals if there were someone she could race close and beat in real time. “I’d love that,” she told me more than once.

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Page 6 of 6)



She may get her wish. Mitsu Morita, an 88-year-old from Japan, is faster than Kotelko was at that age and is breaking all of Kotelko’s records in that age bracket. A Nike ad featuring Morita made her a minor phenomenon in Japan; there are clips of her orbiting the track, followed by laughing teenagers trying to keep up. In the 200, Morita’s world-record time is almost 10 seconds faster than Kotelko’s time in the 90-to-95 category. She claims she gets her strength from eating eel.

Morita is not a big traveler. If she can be persuaded to come to America for the world outdoor championships in Sacramento next summer, Kotelko will have her hands full.

In October, the first of Kotelko’s muscle samples came back from the lab. The results were compelling. In a muscle sample of a person over the age of 65, you would expect to see at least a couple of fibers with some mitochondrial defects. But in around 400 muscle fibers examined, Taivassalo said, “we didn’t see a single fiber that had any evidence” of mitochondrial decay. “It’s remarkable,” she added.

As the data on Kotelko gather, it’s hard to avoid a conclusion. “Olga has done no more training than many athletes, and yet she’s the one still standing,” Hepple says. “Why? In my mind, it has everything to do with her innate physiological profile.”

This sounds like discouraging news: she is not like us. But understanding Kotelko’s uniqueness may provide benefits for others. We could learn a lot about why, for example, nerve cells die by studying someone in whom, for whatever reason, they seem to live on. And that, Taivassalo explains, may have implications for neuromuscular diseases like ALS — for which no current therapies have a meaningful impact. Drugs might be developed to, for example, somehow dial up the signals at that junction where the neurons are supposed to be telling muscles to move. Small molecular agents could target specific problem areas in aging muscles to make them more resilient. “At this stage it’s all speculation,” Hepple says. “But that’s the direction we’re moving. Because all the usual things don’t seem to apply.”

Presumably, at least some of the interventions that emerge will help mimic, for ordinary people entering their very old years, if not exactly Kotelko’s performance on the track, at least something approaching the quality of her life.

This is the other story of the future of aging. When the efforts of medical science converge to simply prolong existence, you envision Updike’s golfer Farrell, poking his way “down the sloping dogleg of decrepitude.” But scientists like Taivassalo and Hepple have a different goal, and exercise — elixir not so much of extended life as extended youthfulness — may be the key to reaching it. James Fries, an emeritus professor at Stanford School of Medicine, coined the working buzz phrase: “compression of morbidity.” You simply erase chronic illness and infirmity from the first, say, 95 percent of your life. “So you’re healthy, healthy, healthy, and then at some point you kick the bucket,” Tarnopolsky says. “It’s like the Neil Young song: better to burn out than to rust.” You get a normal life span, but in Olga years. Who wouldn’t take it?
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Karsk
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« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2010, 10:59:45 AM »

Short aside here:  I live in Kamloops and I work out where the Masters Indoor Track and Field event occurred.  For a couple of days I was running alongside some of these incredible folks.   Guys in their late sixties running like gazelles and indeed a bunch of older folks who were in fantastic shape.  Pretty cool.

Karsk
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Mider1985
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« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2010, 08:19:30 AM »

When it comes to FMA age doesnt seem to be that big a factor in the way people fight i dont know why it just doesnt.  Perhaps its the way the art is used or the way its trained. But alot of these older gentlemen in there 50's 60's and 70's and even 80's are still people youd never wanna fight with especially armed with the weapons of the phillipines or empty hands going for his weak points.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #48 on: December 25, 2010, 04:24:42 PM »

FWIW, about once a year I go through a squat cycle.  There is something about squats that is primal and that puts things right.

My squat program is so easy even a dog can do it smiley

When I begin a cycle, I begin at 3 sets of 10x135 (I'm leaving out the tedious details such as set with bar, set of Roman DLs at 95, etc.) The next week again I do 3 sets of 10x135 and 1 set of 5x155. Following week I build up to 1 set of 5x175; then over the following weeks I increase 10 pounds each week until I cease progressing for two weeks. I do this every 7-9 days and in between I make sure to have a day that really pushes the legs athletically.

It may be a mistake or maybe it is due to the injuries I have had, or maybe it is just my temperament, but I really can't stand long distance running.  It bores the hell out of me and tends to irritate my knees and hips. I do think it really important though to develop and maintain peak explosion. 

To that end, I might go to the football field and do 100 yard dashes and a quarter mile or two with some basic football agility drills or I might go to "the Dune" (a monster sand dune in Manhattan Beach) where I do bear crawls up and sprints down and on the last set down I do frog jumps (i.e. plyometrics with big air time and a soft landing). 

That's the essence of my routine in this regard.

Last time I did the cycle (excluding the cycle I tried in the spring that was interrupted by injury) was about 2 years ago. I hit 5x255; I hope to beat that this time. 

Sometimes I do my squats at a gym where the weights are in pounds, and sometimes I do it at a gym where my weights are in kilos, but the bar is the usual 45 pounds. This yields some weird numbers smiley. In the last three weeks my numbers were 5x221, 5x235, and 5x253. This is a faster rate of ascension in the weights than my formula calls for e.g. increase only 7 or let ego chatter drive me to go for an 18 pound jump-- ego won out and I barely made the 5x253 this week. So I think this coming week I will stay at 253 and make sure I nail it with confidence before moving up again.
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Spartan Dog
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« Reply #49 on: December 26, 2010, 10:34:09 AM »

A little something on behalf of Crafty Dog...Holiday's Greetings to all...Enjoy !

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