Originally Posted by Robb Wolf
Here is another interesting piece to this whole thing. Intensity of exercise appears to be the most important element of preventing age related performance decline. Here is a nice look at this by Clarence Bass:
This is looking at the differences in performance drop-off between sprinters and endurance athletes. Clarence also mentions the longer careers of athletes like throwers, likely do the the frequent recruitment of the largest motor neurons which appears to prevent the death of these motor neurons.
I think his article makes sense. From an anecdotal perspective, this holds true. My father and his army buddies, for example, used to bench, squat, row and do pull-ups and finish with wind sprints 3x a week. After 26 years of army life, all of them are still well-muscled and strong as an ox. Some of his coworkers who were endurance nuts, however, are all frail and feeling their age and service injuries. Another example is my father-in-law. He has lifted weights (compound movements) as well as done gpp as part of his job for the last 37 years and he is a strong 60 year old dude with 8 percent BF (think getting old is for sissies poster).
This may just be rehashing the power bias stuff but...how much mixed modal work should one do to optimize this health/longevity bias? I'd argue for some, but certainly not all. I'd argue for some max strength work for the major movement planes, some sprint work, various intensities and distances, some ballistics like jumping, throwing, hitting and kicking...i think Ross Enamait calls these "power combos"...2-4 movements then a significant rest before the next combo. From there just generally being active and having fun.
Good points. I wish I could add something, but I agree with the above. I am slowly bringing my wife into the health/longevity path, because she just retired from being an NBA dancer, so her perfomance needs have ended. Currently, she lifts weights twice a week hitting the major movement planes over the two workouts, does yoga twice a week, one day of sprints or sled drags, and one day of mix-modal stuff. All of the above is done over 4 random days with three days of rest.
I have some questions here:
1) On a low-carb, paleo diet how long should one rest between “power combo” movements? If they are governed by phosphate system and allow the maximal effort of 1 to 8 seconds, then how quickly should one resume?
2) Sprints of varying intensities: Because these are driven by the Lactate (glycolitic) system if kept below 180 seconds, then how often can these be performed for a paleo dieter who eschews fruit? What would be the proper work/rest interval for a Health/longevity bias person.
3) Should one focus on intervals that improve power, speed, and explosiveness, which are influenced by very hard intervals (98-99% of Max HR) of short duration (30 to 60 seconds) with long recovery periods (1:5 ratio).
Finally, how should one evaluate progress on a health/longevity plan? Strength gains? Flexibility? Blood work? A performance bias seems obvious because you are training to perform a specific task, but someone attempting to live on a H/L path has no task to perform, other than being playful, happy, and healthy.
More to come.