Aging and Training for Power
There’s a common misconception that as we age we are unable to train for power. And for good reason! When we think of power we think of jumping, sprinting and Olympic lifting. Who thinks they’d be capable of those things in their 70’s, right? Research has shown, “between the ages of 65 and 89, explosive lower-limb extensor power has been reported to decline at 3.5% per year compared to a 1-2% per year decrease in strength” (Skelton et al. 1994).
However, training for power as we age has so many benefits and our bodies not only need this training but are capable of doing so.
Benefits of Training for Power:
- Combats aging
- Can improve your quality of life
- Can prevent falling
- Can improve outside activities (i.e. golf, tennis)
- Allows you to keep up with grandkids
As we head into our golden years, what does it look like to train for power? It would be great if we could still jump and sprint like we could in our 20s, but that’s not reality for most. It’s the job of your trainer to know your capabilities and limits and to design modified power exercises accordingly. Some of these exercises include:
- Medicine ball throws and slams
- Squats variations
- Dead lifts variations
- Incorporating bands into exercises
- Avoiding high impact exercises
- Any exercise with a high rate of force
As we age, it is extremely important to continually train for power at a level we are capable of performing at, nothing more and especially nothing less.