How do you know what you’re doing is too much or too little? I guess it all depends on the desired outcome. But, what if there is no specified desired outcome? Most athletes think they know where their going, but if you look at the big picture, there is no big picture.
This is the first in a series of blogs to help you start, transition through training, finish, then start again! 40fit represents a series of principles to help you, the masters athlete, know where to start and where to go to based on what you want from a fitness program.
Looking back, I get it now, but I didn’t then. Since this is directed at the masters athlete, whether experienced or not, I will assume that you have more time behind you than the twenty something athlete. I don’t blog for the guy whose got it all figured out. He doesn’t need me anyway, right? I blog for the athlete that wants solid, experienced, scientifically based information that they can apply however they wish.
Have you ever thought about where CrossFit or your fitness will be 10 years from now? Is what your doing week to week producing the results you want? Is it increasing lean mass, decreasing body fat, and improving your overall fitness? Are you looking better as a by-product to all those hours in the gym or local competitions? Are you getting better at your sport or recreational endeavors? These are all questions that should be asked and answered to evaluate if what you’re doing is producing what you want. But, the most important question that should be asked by the masters athlete is, “is what I’m doing going to be sustainable and fruitful over time and based on what I’m doing now, will I still able to do this 5,10,15 years in the future?” If you have not limited the variables to the answer to that question, get on it! Why? It will happen, with or without your cooperation, but if you’re just starting you have a chance to create direction and focus into a sustainable program. I didn’t and now I regret it! If I had it to do over almost 8 years ago, I would do things differently. That is what led me to create 40fit. Even at our last 40fit Masters Cup Series Event, it amazed me how many athletes had to cancel or didn’t register due to injury, surgery or another health problem.
In the next few paragraphs, I’ll share with you the first step to build a rock solid master’s fitness program. Remember, it might take a little more time, but the outcome at the end will be so much better!
Steps to Building a Master’s Fitness Program
Step I – Evaluate your existing fitness level, experience, weaknesses/strengths, and health status
Sounds simple right? But did you do it when you started your fitness program? It may seem simple, and in general it is, but it has several components and commitments that in my opinion will maximize your results. There are several micro-steps within the macro-process of self evaluation and I list them below. Skip a step and your building a house missing a couple of support beams.
- Complete a basic health and fitness evaluation assessment (basic health history, problems, surgeries, family history, athletic history, and existing fitness capacities with a basic assessment of all 10 general skills)
- Have a thorough medical physical exam by a Physician who is a Sports Medicine Fellow
- Request a complete blood laboratory study (this should be comprehensive and not basic including all hormone levels)
- Find a knowledgable, thoughtful, experienced Coach/Trainer
- Measure your Body Composition using an accurate method (hydrostatic, PET, skin fold calipers)
These micro-steps allow you to start with a collection of data that then can be analyzed and put you on the right track to your goals. CrossFit places tremendous forces and stress on your body and it is worth it to assess how durable is this machine before you max it out! The hardest part is finding reliable, quality, experienced professionals that can assist you in information gathering without costing you an arm and a leg! I have some resources in this area and can assist individuals who want to take a methodical, results driven approach to getting the most out of their program and making it sustainable for years to come. We’re putting together a team of professionals that can provide all of these services. So what next? That’s the next blog!
Darin Deaton DPT, OCS, CAE CCFT*, SSC*, USAW
Doctor of Physical Therapy, APTA Board Certified Orthopedic Certified Specialist, Certified Assoc. Ergonomist
* Level 3 CrossFit Certified Trainer
* Starting Strength Coach