This past weekend, I celebrated my birthday. I gained a lot of anti-aging wisdom over Saturday and Sunday that I want to share with you.
But first, there’s something I want to get off my chest.
Don’t worry. This is not a Kanye moment.
It’s this. The question, “how old are you?” is what most people want to know when they learn it’s your birthday.
Except for a child who is five, do you know anyone who likes being asked how “OLD” they are? I know I don’t.
So let’s flip this around. Let’s instead consider “how young are you?” Better, right?
Then, let’s take it a step further. Consider what it would take to look and feel years younger, instead of years older. Read on to find out how.
It starts with the word that you use to associate with your age in years.
If you’re a believer in the power of words like me, you’ll get that old is too often said in the wrong context.
It has a negative connotation. Whether people realize it or not, it implies that you’re not young.
I bring this to your attention because I want you to continue to be an Athlete For Life. It’s what I’ve been coaching you on for a while now.
Your athletic spirit won’t thrive if you give in to aging. So never let someone take it from you by suggesting that you’re anything but young.
You must do everything in your power to maintain a “youthful mindset.” That mindset is important because it dictates how you act, and how you treat yourself and others.
“OLD” should be one of the words you eliminate from your vocabulary. Along with some others such as “try”, “should”, and “just”.
That’s because these words imply impotence. And I don’t mean sexually; although it’s a pervasive issue.
I’m talking about the inability to take effective action. Because that’s exactly what people unwittingly consider as old. Less-than and fragile.
At forty-seven, I take issue with this. Especially since I’m a few years away from being fifty, and feel as strong and energetic as I did at thirty.
It’s almost hard for me to fathom because when I was growing up, the people who I knew were my age didn’t look youthful. If anything, they looked ten biological years above their chronological age.
I’m committed to the opposite by looking and feeling at least ten years younger than my age.
Sure, your genes have a lot to do with it. But it’s how you treat those genes that really matters.
That brings me to share my weekend of anti-aging wisdom with you.
First, we know that an aging brain leads to an aging body, and visa versa.
One of the most powerful ways to prevent your brain from decaying is to keep learning. New information is stimulating to new brain cells and the connection between them. This is vital to anti-aging.
That’s why for my birthday, I decided to attend a seminar to nourish my growth. I was fortunate to have one of my friends and teachers, Pavel Tsatsouline, as the presenter.
He is a renowned author and the founder of the StrongFirst™️ organization. It’s the premier certification body for kettlebell instructors. Pavel is also responsible for introducing the kettlebell as a go-to tool-of-strength in the United States.
The seminar topic was “Strong Endurance™️”. And a main principle behind this system of programming is anti-glycolytic training (AGT).
I know…it’s a mouthful. I’ll spare you the biochemistry lesson.
The general idea is to train your body to develop strength on top of high-quality movement, for a duration. But with one very important caveat.
It must be with a “low biological cost.”
This means training in such a way that you find and use the minimum effective dose (MED) to reach your goal. And you apply that on a frequent, day-to-day basis.
For example, taking the MED approach, you would finish your exercise set before you lose form. So that the last rep is as good, if not better, than the first rep. Going beyond that, your returns diminish and set you backwards.
As a result of applying the MED, your body does not perceive your training as a threat to your internal balance.
And Frequency allows you to build volume that will translate into sustainable results.
When there is a disruption in your internal balance, it costs you. Because the imbalance results in an overproduction of chemicals and hormones that are catabolic (meaning they result in cellular breakdown).
If you repeat this internal agitation over months, you speed up the aging process.
The majority of conditioning professionals understand this. But it has been ignored by them for too long. This has been mostly to satisfy the perception of athletes that they must push beyond their limits to reach their goal. It’s also been to satisfy the egos of the coaches who can’t let go of the old school approach of building mental toughness.
It’s important to understand that those high-intensity interval training (HITT) protocols are not sustainable. In my experience, they do not leave me feeling ready for battle. If anything, they leave me feeling spent. How about you?
Sure, the “high” that you get from the endorphins and sense of accomplishment is desirable. But at what cost?
Beating your body down for a temporary sense of accomplishment is not the answer.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t challenge yourself. Not at all.
The important thing is to plan your training as a practice of improving a fitness quality, instead of quantity. And to keep your goal of being ready for action at the end of your training session, instead of feeling beaten down. Find enjoyment in preparing your readiness, and you will stay youthful in your body and your mind.
That will be your foundation to be an Athlete For Life.
To support your process, I’ve developed a self-care program made for you. It’s called Search and Rescue Mobility™️ (SARM). It will help you discover your current movement competency. And you’ll learn how to improve from your baseline to perform better and stay injury-free.
I’ll release the program for sale in the next couple of weeks. Send me a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know you’re interested. I’ll make sure you’re on the list to receive the special limited time offer.
Until then, stay athletic.