Intervene, or aging will slow down middle-agers

by | Nov 6, 2017

Is “age just a number?” It depends on your rest, exercise and diet – or as I call it – seeing R-E-D

President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM), Walt Thompson,  shared in a WSJ article last week that intentional slowing down is NOT an option if Gen Xers hope to maintain a fitness plateau in middle age…

“Muscle growth generally peaks at around the age of 25 and plateaus for about another decade… before starting to decline [I add that cardiorespiratory capacity follows a “like pattern of decline:( ].

Ask Tom Brady, with his hush hush “TB12” regimen about staving off loss of strength (skeletal muscle mass – sarcopenia),  and joint elasticity. In this WSJ article – 40 year old defenseman Zdeno Charo of the NHL Boston Bruins- was a subject for President Thompson’s advice (and he is certainly not alone in his views!);

“the trick is to maintain the same level of physical activity over the years . . . more sleep, better nutrition and more attention to recovery and flexibility… (See R-E-D like me].

How long can you maintain your active lifestyle?  That is your (and my) personal $64K question. 

  • How important is it for you to avoid cellular senescence?
  • How important is it for you to run around vigorously with grandkids and great friends on planned epic vacations?
  • Or how important is it for you to set a national record or world record in an athletic event for your age bracket?

Crowley and Dodge (of Younger Next Year fame) assert we can build muscles into our 80’s decades (though harder to do, as Thompson advised)…

A rowing coach of mine, Marlene Royal, advises that there is a mini-down-step at around age 70 when physical improvement gets harder in non-linear ways.  That is consistent with Joe Friel  who challenges us to “Be Fast After 50.”

Bottom Lines for me?

Keeping limber, investing the time for prudent aerobic training and resistance regimens, chasing rest, and “good enough” diets are worth the quest.

Ask me in ~ 5 years about “my” age 70 step down . . .

As a masters athlete, I just have to get slower slower than my competition.  My maximum heart rate is no longer over 200.  My “T” isn’t what it used to be as a young guy. My resting heart rate is longer 29 (though it is 42-43 beats per minute).

I’ll just do my best by seeing R-E-D and by putting in my time and talent.




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