Old or Young – This Is What Works and Why

I read a book several years ago called Younger Next Year. It’s the kind of thing aging athletes seek out in an attempt to convince themselves that all is not lost.

What happens to your body between 50 and 60 is ugly. What happens to it between 60 and 70 is worse. Despite this, the book claims that cells can – to a great degree – be regenerated by regular exercise. An article in the New York TImes – sent to me by Joe Van Leuven – seems to confirm that.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that interval training – which for me is the most painful – appears to be the most efficient type of training and the best way to achieve maximum performance. As noted in my title, I don’t think this is specific to old people; I think interval training is the key for athletes of every age. It’s just that aging makes it even more difficult.

One thing mountain bikers have going for us is that we hang out with incredibly fit people. This gives us a bar that is very high. In fact, most people outside our community have virtually no comprehension of how high that bar actually is. Take a look at your friends, former classmates, co-workers, and family members. How many of them could even ride up the Power Line Hill?

Many of my friends have chosen to embrace the old man. This is what I refer to as their decision to simply accept that they can’t do things any more. This is a handy excuse for not exercising. Guess what? As soon as you make this decision it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sure enough, do nothing and it won’t be long before your body gets the message that you are hibernating. Before long, you won’t be able to do anything physical.

It’s easy to see there are two Americas – Fit America and Fat America. Which is it going to be?

Hit the link to view the NYT story. I appreciate that they include the science to back it up.

Note: I had to right-click the icon and open it in a new window. Sorry for any inconvenience. If it won’t open, Google the best exercise for aging muscles, NY Times. 

2 thoughts on “Old or Young – This Is What Works and Why”

  1. Thanks for posting this Jim! I’m in the 50+ crowd and definitely feel like it’s more of a struggle to keep fit at a level which is satisfactory for me. Probably the biggest challenge for me is time. You can’t buy the stuff, so I gotta do a better job of figuring that out! I will definitely read this book!

  2. “What happens to your body between 50 and 60 is ugly. What happens to it between 60 and 70 is worse.”

    Oh man, I did NOT need to know that.


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