A Weekly Template for Older Athletes

Remember, your primary goal is to maintain as many physical qualities as possible. For that reason, you should use as many different movements as possible every time you train. If you don’t use a movement pattern for a while, you’ll find getting it back as you age is far tougher than it was in your twenties and thirties.The basic format for a week of training looks like this:

Flexibility, Power, Strength

Three days per week, total time 60-80 minutes

  • Flexibility: 30 minutes of yoga
  • Power: 2-3 different jumping, bounding, or medicine exercises work to maintain power and elasticity
  • Strength: 3 strength exercises for 3-5 sets or 3-5 reps

Strength training examples:

  • Session one: Single leg squats, renegade row, single arm bench press
  • Session two: Deadlift, bench press, single arm rows
  • Session three: Step ups, overhead press, pull ups

Aerobic Fitness

  • Three days per week, alternating with flexibility/power/strength
  • Perform 30-90 minutes of steady state work at a heart rate of 120-150bpm

Take the seventh day off to relax and enjoy life.

References:

1. Shephard, R.J., “Aging and Exercise,” Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science, T.D. Fahey (Editor). Internet Society for Sport Science, 7 March 1998.

2. Bonnefoy M, Kostka T, Arsac LM, Berthouze SE, Lacour JR, “Peak anaerobic power in elderly men,” Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol, 1998;77(1-2):182-8.

3. Boyle, Michael, “Plyometric Training,” Strength Coach.

4. Cook, Gray, Athletic Body in Balance (Human Kinetics, 2003).

5. Tsatsouline, Pavel, Beyond Bodybuilding: Muscle and Strength Training Secrets for the Renissance Man (Minnesota: Dragon Door, 2005).

6.  Wendler, Jim, 5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System for Raw Strength (Kindle Ebook, 2009).