Training as a masters athlete becomes complicated by old injuries, scar tissue and a body that doesn’t recover as quickly.
Taking a smart approach to scheduling is imperative, as is taking care of the little things around workouts like nutrition.
Ron Mathews, a CrossFit Games Masters champion in 2016 who only took up the sport 10 years ago at the age of 41, discussed some of his top tips with Men’s Health
Work On Mobility
Wear and tear can have a big impact on mobility over time, so older athletes should spend time working on it to avoid limiting their fitness improvements.
“If you don’t lift correctly, you’ll hurt yourself,” Ron Matthews says.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re doing CrossFit or yoga. If you don’t have good posture, something will take too much load. Those issues tend to show up quickly in CrossFit, so people spend more time working on mobility and movement patterns. It’s what I’m getting more into as I get older.”
Building Endurance Takes Time
Mathews used to be a football player and sprinter in his younger days, so had good power but not a lot of stamina.
“That’s not CrossFit. You have to be able to work at about 70% for a long period. It took years to develop that. You have to get over the mental hurdles. It’s not that you can’t do it; it’s that you don’t really want to.”
He’s right. Endurance athletes don’t typically peak until they’ve trained for around 10-15 years, so you need to be willing to play the long game if you’re coming to a sport based around cardio later in life.
Unfortunately, the adaptation process can’t be sped up, but the improvements will be extremely satisfying when they do come.
Find Your Optimal Training Volume
“In my opinion, most CrossFitters overtrain,” Mathews said after winning his Masters title four years ago.