CrossFit Training for Masters: how to stay strong and healthy

 CrossFit Training For Masters Atheletes.

How to be your best.

Remember who you are now:

Crossfit Seven Master Athlete Mark P. Demos Pull-ups
More confident, smart and astute.   Less of an idiot.  Less impulsive.  Still, every now and then the cognitive and physical end up on different pages. You know that awkward feeling you get when you dive for a Frisbee, knowing exactly where your body should have been to gracefully capture it?  Don’t let that happen with a heavy weight. 
Reduce other sources of stress.
If you can.  Stress can lead to elevated levels of cortisol, which will depress levels of growth hormone, possibly slowing recovery.
Don’t overtrain.
This can be a hard thing not to do.  For a lot of us, the whole point of doing Crossfit is to push ourselves.  A lot of us also use Crossfit to unwind, enjoy time with people we like, and work out the day’s frustrations.  However, there seems to be a consensus that rest and recovery are extremely important.  A lot of masters athletes will be wondering what the ideal program would be; especially if they are headed for a competition.  That goes for young and junior athletes too, who tend to feel invincible and may have more of a problem letting up on intensity.  There is little research on how much training or how much rest are ideal for Masters.  Best advice to follow is listen to your body and see how you feel.  Most of us are much better at this than we were as novices.  If you are a novice, and over train, prepare to be injured, uncomfortable, and really tired.  And maybe irritable and not as fun to be around as you usually are.  Focus on building strength, flexibility and endurance rather than worrying about keeping pace or beating someone else.  One of the wonderful things about Crossfit is that Trainers and fellow Crossfitters will yell at you to PUSH!  Unless you are exceptionally hot, famous and outgoing, it’s unlikely that they will know your body as well as you do.  Or know much about Masters Athletes in general.
Don’t over rest.
Masters may need a smarter recovery strategy.  You need to longer to recover but can tolerate less inactivity than juniors.  There is also some evidence that long periods of rest (10 days) may cause masters athletes to lose some of the enhanced glucose control gained through training faster than younger athletes.  Use active recovery methods and vary your training.

Fell J, & Williams D (2008). The effect of aging on skeletal-muscle recovery from exercise: possible implications for aging athletes. Journal of aging and physical activity, 16 (1), 97-115 PMID: 18268815

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