Where Science Meets Fitness

No matter what your current fitness level or former athletic experience, you can learn to train like an Olympic-caliber athlete. I am Erin Borchard, a former elite springboard/platform diver (NCAA Champion and multi-year All-American at Stanford University, former member of the US National Diving Team, and two-time competitor at the US Olympic Team Trials), specializing in personal and small group training sessions. I am also a Phi Beta Kappa student with a B.A. in Human Biology; my strong science background is an ever present influence shaping and changing my training philosophy.

I want to help you push yourself to YOUR maximum...you'll be shocked to find the true athlete living inside of you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Charlotte Today - Fitness in your Fifties

Today was my first appearance back on "Charlotte Today" after a three month summer hiatus from the show....and boy, did I ever feel rusty!  Click on the link below to see the segment, but please also read my written presentation below to read all that I meant to say while on air=)  The nerves got to me a bit too much this time around, and I did not cover all of the information I intended to.  Oh, well!  Better luck next time.

Video Link: http://www.wcnc.com/charlotte-today/Get-fit-at-50-171355391.html

When speaking of exercise for an older population, most trainers will focus upon the unique fitness needs of aging adults...i.e. How do we tone things down for a more fragile frame, limit intensity, etc.  I go against that trend and believe that ALL healthy people, regardless of age, should share the same fitness goals and use the very same means of getting there.  

I am a CrossFit coach, and one of CrossFit's primary tenets is the notion of a universally modifiable workout.  If we stick to functional exercises, those that 1) load the hips and spine, 2) work multiple joints simultaneously, and 3) mimic everyday activities, we can modify any workout to fit the needs of any individual.  That means that a 50 year old woman and a 20 year old man can, indeed, workout side by side, doing the very same workout...in fact, I see that very scenario day in and day out at my gym (CROSSFIT S3).  We accomplish this by modifying the exercises to match the capabilities of each person.  Both the older woman and the younger man may work at the same intensity (i.e. 85% of their max heart rate)...how they get there and what that level of exertion looks like on each of them will likely be very different.  

In order to guarantee results, though, we cannot just modify; instead, we must modify with the intent to progress.  By nature, functional exercises can be broken into multiple levels of difficulty and complexity.  Each individual must start at the modified level of a given exercise that suits his/ her ability, but he/ she must work at mastering that level and being able to move onto the next...and the next...and the next.  You may not reach the most difficult level of each exercise, but you WILL see results, if your intention is to at least shoot for it.

One last thing to keep in mind as you stay fit while inching your way through your middle-aged years: Our metabolism slows as we age.  In great part, that slowing is due to the loss of muscle mass.  Muscles are our calorie burners...and big muscles burn even more calories.  If we can build, or at least maintain, the biggest muscles in our bodies (i.e. thighs and buns), we can build/ maintain a great portion of our metabolic rate.  So...squat and lunge away, my friends!

1) By Limiting Range of Motion -
*Example: Squat
Level 1 (audience member): Sit to Chair
Level 2 (Colleen): Teepee Squat
Level 3 (Erin): Buns Below Knees

2) Physics; i.e. Shortening the Lever OR Changing the Angle -
*Example: Push-Up
Level 1 (audience member): Incline Push-Up OR Wall Push-Up
Level 2 (Colleen): Knees Push-Up
Level 3 (Erin): Regular Push-Up...all the way up to Plyo Push-Up

3) Different Equipment/ Lighter Weight -
*Example: Thruster
Level 1 (audience member): Resistance Band Thruster (control resistance)
Level 2 (Colleen): Med Ball Thruster (progress to OH toss)
Level 3 (Erin): Dumbbell Thruster (discuss increasing weight AND use of barbell)

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a good workout plan, thanks for sharing.