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December 11, 2011

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When I first subscribed to the Journal, some of the first videos that really caught my attention were the Jim Baker training with seniors videos. I considered (and still do) that those old folks were doing crossfit. Am I wrong? Coaches: know your athletes. Athletes: know yourselves.

Excellent post! I am a recovering CrossFitter having completely blown out a shoulder almost two years ago. I don't care how much you check your ego, older people should not be kipping or doing things like box jumps or SDHP. To be doing those or high rep Oly lifts (especially with 20% slop) for time is just wrong. There are better, safer ways.

I think people underestimate how difficult it is to come back from serious injury, especially when you're over 40 (or in my case 50). Recovering from surgery is only half the battle. There's all the effects of inactivity to deal with as well and they all happen MUCH faster as you get older.

Now I'm doing low rep submaximal DLs, lots of kettlebells and a variety of mobility work. When I feel like I need a break I do old school body building and lots of walking. I look good and I feel great -- except for that darn shoulder...

I am 56 turning 57 in March and have been doing CF for a year and a half. As a competitive athlete all of my life in multiple sports, I have found CF to be the perfect venue to gain strength, compete and have fun. I have no cartilage in my right knee and for the first time in years, I have almost no pain and the only change in my life is I have been doing CF.

Do I push myself beyond my limits? No. When doing Oly lifting, I prefer to work with weight that is comfortable and I do hold back on pushing heavier weights. Do I stop a workout if something is bothering me? Yes. If my hamstrings are tight, I will back off of a workout that stresses the hamstrings. Will I get injured at some point? Probably. I have never at any age doing any sport not gotten injured at some point. Do I substitute one workout for another to avoid injury? Absolutely. I usually row instead of run whenever running is part of the workout. I doesn't mean I never run.

Perhaps starting CF as someone with good conditioning is a bonus, but where I am today versus where I was 1 1/2 years ago is like night and day. As for ego, mine left when I realized I could no longer run which meant I could no longer compete in events like the Xterra World Championships. It is humbling to realize that what was once one of your strong points (running) is now your weakest point.

To all of you over 50, keep training, help the younger athletes, stay humble and never give up the drive to do better.

Was Annie Sakamoto taking supplements .... for the 2011 games, does anyone know?

The suggestion that you should not do Crossfit is CRAZY TALK!! You can't help but do Crossfit since EVERYTHING is Crossfit! You go for a jog and lift weights afterwards, you are doing Crossfit! You mow your lawn and pick up the lawn clippings...YOU ARE DOING CROSSFIT! Shovel snow while drinking a beer...YUP...YOU ARE A ELITE Crossfitter!

I go to a Crossfit in the Los Angeles area and enjoy reading this blog everyday. The timing of this post was perfect.

Good post. Wise words on the most part but i disagree with the assertion that you should look at other programmes if you have bad, knees, shoulders etc. Done correctly you should be able to rehab most 'old injuries'.
Many of my older athletes and plenty of young ones too no longer complain about injuies or weakness' they used to have. Just as your health is not completely your Doctors repsonsibility you fitness is not completely your Coach's responsibility. I believe everyone should take ownership of both health and fitness. You are responsibile for both and should use your intelligence to figure out what's best for you.

Wise words by nick.

The Rules for Doing Crossfit Safely:

1st Rule: Do not do Crossfit
2nd Rule: Do NOT do Crossfit
3rd Rule: If you insist on doing Crossfit, scale it down so that you are not really doing Crossfit

Just another Lab Rat! It's too bad we are not compensated for it.

3 words. MINIMUM EFFECTIVE DOSE.

You did it again Freddy, I love it. Such an important topic for the Crossfit community and other trolls out there that just can't help themselves on a Crossfit site.
Let's sum it up.....Know your body!!! Not Freddy's, not mine, not your friend. Know when to take a rest day and not feel bad about it. You DON'T have to do 3 on 1 off for crying out loud.
I have been using Crossfit for almost 5 years and have tinkered with every program and cycle. 3on 1off does not work for everyone, especially considering what you did for that 3 on. Did you beat yourself up prety good? Take a few days off!!
Look at Blair Morrison for example. This is just an example. He trains 3x A WEEK, resting everyday following a training day. He trains for 3 weeks, then takes a week off. As he puts it, the muscles are not the only thing that need to heal or recover. Your tendons and ligaments take longer to recover. And how about your mind?
Crossfit is a conditioning program, not a strength program. Like Freddy said, after awhile the body adjusts and PR's are few and far between. If you want to get strong, follow a strength program(power hour, Wendler, Westside, 70's big).
I love Crossfit, but be smart people and take care of yourself.....Less is More!!
keep up the great posts Freddy.

As a life long athelet who has come to crossfit at 58 with multiple existing issues, I agree with everything you say EXCEPT -- I would strongly encourage older folks to use Crossfit training as a means to gain strength and fitness. It has changed my life for the better. I am so much healthier, stronger and more fit because of this fitness approach. But, I own my workout-- set my own pace, control the reps, scale and work around my physical limits. I would like to see the Masters competition standards and WODs refined even further to account for the joint degredation that is a part of almost all of us.

Finally a breath of fresh air, listen up peeps!

TRAIN SMART = DO NOT DO CROSSFIT!

Freddy. You said it right here: TRAIN SMART!

Seriously. Being a very active part of this community, I think those are the two most important words. TRAIN SMART.

Each person has to figure out what that means for them, their body, their goals.

If we as individuals do not take the time to figure that out? Shame on us. Especially us older folks who "should" have lived long enough to know better.

Love you Freddy!

Crossfit done properly will beat the crap out of your body and possibly cripple you. Old people beating the crap out of themselves to chop a few seconds of a 5 minute fran time are fools. Master fools make it to 50 without wrecking their back or their knees and start doing Crossfit and then wreck their back and their knees. Two words: THANKS COACH!

WRONG*

THE POWER HOUR WAS WRITTEN WRING. ITS AN AMRAP IN 5 MINS OF: 5 BURPEES / 5 PULLUPS, NOT 10 MINS. :)

Hey Freddy, I'm interning at private gym where the owner is CSCS and NSCA certified. I'm learning a lot about things like appropriate rest time, improving strength, endurance, speed, etc. I wanted to know what you think about CrossFit's WOD format. Do you think it provides adequate time for the body to recover and develop strength? Do you think CrossFit itself develops strength or do people need to have a separate routine for strength. I just wanted to hear your take on it. I did an on-ramp program and felt like it worked on muscle endurance more than anything. Saying that, I have no biases right now and am looking to learn with an objective mind. I could have emailed you, but I figured it could perhaps be a good post for others to read as well. If not, I'm sure my questions can be answered in the comments by others. Thanks and hope all is well.

"It is not because life is difficult that we do not dare.Life is difficult because we do not dare.Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." R.F.Kennedy

I think it comes down to YOU being responsible for YOURSELF. You have to know and educate yourself about YOUR OWN body. People do stupid things (like strongman lifts when they arent strong) then drop the bar on their head or tweak their back and want to blame the trainer or the workout ect...you can't count on the trainers to know YOUR body or even the doctor you see once or twice a year for 30 minutes.
Totally agree...Bradass is an awesome trainer to talk to about scaling, not pushing an injury ect......

Freddy,

I love that you are always asking the right questions. keep up the good posts.

As one of those late 40's CrossFitters at OW, I think one of the problems is in our heads we are not that age and it is hard not to look at those younger than us and wonder why we still can't do what they do. However, in the end, the main objective for me is (sorry to coin the phrase from Coach Glassman) functional longevity. I think (maybe hope) doing CrossFit will allow that to happen; albeit, at some point, I am going to have to do a better job of listening to coaches recommendations of scaling. Bradass has been very helpful with that..as have Freddy and Chyna...still wish I could do more and that my ego didn't think I was still in my early 30's.

I wrote this 2 years ago. Took over 4 months for the CFJ publish. I guess it wasn't very important then.

http://journal.crossfit.com/2010/05/training-silvers.tpl

This is such an intelligent, well-informed, reasoned post. Great job.

BRAVO!! BRAVO!! good post!

Good post Freddy! I started a masters hour at a local affiliate that scaled weights appropriately, the warm-up was longer and less intensive as well as included review to perfect form, and a warm down with stretching and active recovery. My masters were hitting PRs and recovering amazingly.

I had programmed more appropriate rest days and provided adequate rest time to develop the greatest gains in strength yet still improve on endurance.

I have also seen BAD programming for masters athletes. I saw two get destroyed after being programmed a similar workout and weights as a healthy fit 20 year old. One still is recovering and has been told 100 days with nothing overhead. 100 days is a real set back especially when it's due to the fault of a coach with inadequate training and experience.

After working with my masters for several months I see the most importance in the warm-ups and allowing ample time for individuals to recover, and to know exactly where old and new injuries exist.

I doubt you'll ever see Glassman's data because it probably doesn't exist

"Welcome to the experiment." -AWESOME!!!

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