How Old Are You?
Once, I was 15 years old. Now, I’m only 5 months old (in baby talk, that’s 20 weeks). Some of you may doubt it, but it is a true story. Let me break it down for you. It all revolves around “Training Age”. Here is the math…
Start – Finish = Training Age
E.g., 10 years old – 25 years old = 15 years old
Start + Present = Training Age
E.g., September + February = 5 months
One might ask why “Training Age” matters, but here is a better question: Are you serious about achieving your fitness goals? If yes, then finding your training age could map out the next steps toward a higher level of fitness.
11/2 – 2 Years Old or “Younger”
Spring is on its way, and no doubt, love is soon to follow. Having a young training age and new love are very similar. You can get away with almost anything.
- Love Example: You don’t call her when you are supposed to. She doesn’t think anything of it – little hearts are still in her eyes.
Training Example: You get 4 hours of sleep. You feel tired, but you still have a good strength day at CFA.
- Love Example: You make him watch the Bachelorette, then break out the DVD box set just to show him the “good parts” of past seasons. He smiles and finds it adorable.
Training Example: Your nutrition still consists of getting fast food because it’s easy… You still feel like you are getting “tone” after CFA workouts.
- Love Example: Burping the alphabet is your go-to method of cheering her up. She laughs it off because you are sooo cute!
Training Example: Your technique for the Olympic Lifts is not quite up to par. However, you feel good, because you still have “some” weight on the bar.
I think you see the pattern. Having a young training age means your body is hungry for a new stimulus. In fact, it could be so hungry that it will adapt to almost anything and any situation. As nice as that sounds, over time “any situation” just won’t cut it.
11/2 – 2 Years Old or “Older”
With age comes wisdom. Your body (or significant other) is smarter now. The same ol’ thing just won’t cut it anymore…
- You don’t call her when you are supposed to… She thinks the worst and fire is in her eyes!
You get 4 hours of sleep….You feel exhausted and you have a terrible strength day. In fact, so bad it borders on NO strength at all!
- You make him watch the Bachelorette, then break out the DVD box set just to show him the “good parts” from past seasons…He excuses himself to the bathroom. He sneaks out the bathroom window and you never see him again!
Your nutrition still consists of getting fast food because it’s easy… You feel like crap and “lean” is a thing of the past!
- Burping the alphabet is a way to cheer her up… She breaks up with you before you make it to letter “B”!
Your technique for the Olympic Lifts is not quite up to par. You feel like crap because you are still the only one left with “some” weight on the bar, and you’re constantly fighting aches and pain from your ingrained poor-movement patterns!
As the old adage goes, “The little things in life matter.” It’s true, even with your fitness. As your training age gets older you need to master the little things!
[Left] is a graph showing how fast one might adapt if they are young in training age. As I stated before, adaptation can happen fast, but it can also happen so fast that it will stunt your fitness growth (as the first peak shows).
Ideally we want the third peak. We might be new to CrossFit Austin and hungry for fitness, but we need to take the time and do it right! Otherwise, we could find ourselves working our way to the middle and grinding away on a fitness plateau [Right]. All this equals is exhaustion and frustration.
Tips for the Young “Training Age”
- Patience: Take your time and recover between workouts
- Technique: Practice the basics and master them.
- Consistent Intensity: Don’t kill yourself on every workout! It is about the accumulation of quality work, not just having one great work out.
- Mastering the Little Things early: Sleep, Nutrition, and Mobility.
Tips for the Old “Training Age”
- Master the Little Things NOW!!: Sleep= 8+ hours, Nutrition= Healthy Foods, Mobility = 10-15 min. before or after class.
- Spend more time on the specifics: Use Chad’s Olympic Lifting Classes or Running Classes to fine-tune technique.
- Taking it to the next level: If you need a new challenge or are at a plateau, it may be time for a more focused plan. Group competitive training is a great tool to motivate and break through psychological barriers. However, once that is accomplished, a focused plan that addresses your specific physical limitations is the best way to jump start more improvement.