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7
Feb

Staying On Top of Your Game as an Older CrossFitter

The 5pm, 6pm, and 7pm classes at Albany CrossFit and the 6:30pm class at CrossFit Clifton Park are cancelled due to the weather.

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Kim gives some insight: clifton park bootcamp

Older athletes face unique challenges as we strive to stay fit and competitive. Similar to younger athletes, we want continued muscle growth, increased strength, and stamina. But as we age, these desires can become more challenging to achieve and maintain. The key to meeting these challenges starts with understanding the hormone testosterone.

Testosterone is an anabolic steroid hormone that most people associate with muscle building, sex drive, and aggressiveness. Women also have testosterone, but men produce 40-60 times more in their bodies.

What most people don’t know is that 1) testosterone plays a major role in metabolism, memory, & cognitive function, and 2) the presence of normal testosterone levels contributes to maintaining optimal weight as well as reducing risk of degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone:

-Reduced energy levels

-Reduced strength and endurance levels

-Loss of muscle mass

-Decreased sex drive

-Sleep problems

Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone:

The bottom range of a man’s normal total testosterone level is 300 nanograms per deciLiter (ng/dL).Now check out what lifestyle changes you can make to improve your testosterone levels on your own, without taking supplements:

-Exercise regularly (Lift heavy things/do CrossFit!)

-Lose excess weight

-Improve your diet (healthy fats by eating more nuts & seeds, fatty fish like salmon & tuna, avocados, olives and vegetable oils)

-Manage stress

-Reduce intake of alcohol and DON’T SMOKE!

Interestingly, though not surprisingly, CrossFit workouts have the perfect structure for improving testosterone levels naturally. Studies show that one of the best ways of increasing testosterone is high-intensity exercise. The short intense workouts and heavy weight movements that are the foundation of CrossFit are the perfect prescription for increasing testosterone levels. Engaging large muscle groups using compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts & burpees (yay burpees!) are some of the best testosterone- boosting exercises. The duration of workouts should be short (5-30 minutes) and have very little rest periods between sets. Again, can you say “CrossFit?”

Studies have shown that overtraining actually significantly reduces testosterone levels for 1-4 days afterward! So for my fellow Masters athletes, the story on staying HAM is to be aware. Be conscious of how you feel before, during and after training. Know your training cycles and keep a record of your progress. CrossFit is an amazing tool in your bag if you use it correctly.

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