Under the guidance of our diversely talented and very experienced coaching team, CoreCrossFit’s Master’s program has become the five-star training standard for the 35+ demographic in Downtown Phoenix. Since we released this specialized program a year ago, we have watched our athletes thrive! There have been far less joint and musculoskeletal aches and pains, strength and mobility has improved, and participants are making epic progress towards their individual wellness goals. As a result, we are committed to growing and further developing this program.

Master’s athletes may now meet up to four times a week for workouts that include supplemental strength and mobility sessions, as well as a high intensity CrossFit-style workout where movements are scaled for the Master’s athlete. We have recently added a Masters-only barbell class on Friday afternoons at 4:30. Our latest addition includes a unique set of competition standards for the Master’s athlete as well as a Master’s-specific training program for those who demonstrate proficiency in the standards and choose to represent CoreCrossFit as a competitive athlete. These standards will help prepare you for the types of workouts in the CrossFit Open and other competitive events. We are in the planning stages with our own Matt Foreman, as well as Iron Athlete founder, August Schmidt, to deliver an Iron Athlete clinic later this summer that will cater specifically to the 35+ demographic.

Our June 2015 Athlete-of-the-Month William King, is a CoreCrossFit Master’s athlete. William is a perfect example of how exercise can slow the march of time. Read about William’s accomplishments in our Athlete-of-the-Month feature.

CoreCrossFit’s Master’s program is specifically designed for individuals 35 and older. Our program includes resistance exercise to improve muscle mass; muscle flexibility training to improve blood flow, reduce injury and improve posture; joint mobility training to improve range of movement and decrease joint pain; core stabilization classes to help with balance, maintain solid, graceful movement and even reduce low-back pain.  Regular aerobic exercise is incorporated through short, CrossFit-style and high intensity interval training workouts where movements are modified based on age, prior injury and individual level of fitness.  In addition, when it comes to weightlifting, different goals are focused on beyond 1RM.  Make no mistake, the workouts are tough, however they are designed to prevent injury while building fitness.

When it comes to exercise and fitness, age does make a difference. According to the experts at Harvard University, the first signs of aging creep up on us in our thirties.  Our maximum attainable heart rate begins to decline, and the heart’s peak capacity to pump blood decreases by 5% – 10% per decade.  This results in a diminished aerobic capacity or greater fatigue and breathlessness than younger athletes.  Our blood vessels begin to stiffen causing our blood pressure to creep up. Our blood becomes thicker too and becomes harder to pump through the body causing the heart to work harder. Most of us gain weight at a rate of three to four pounds per year. Because we are also losing muscle (at an eventual accumulative rate of 50%), our body fat increases resulting in a combination of medical problems related to weakness and disability, and eventually illnesses like type 2 diabetes, chronic high blood pressure and more. We sleep less, our reflexes are slower, coordination suffers, and we start to forget “stuff.”

In an article written for Harvard Men’s Health Watch it was noted that while no one can stop the clock, everyone can slow its tick.   While exercise is not the fountain of youth, it is a good long drink of vitality.

In a study conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, researchers found that slow, steady endurance training in middle-aged men improved resting heart rates, blood pressures and the heart’s maximum pumping abilities back to their baseline level at age 20!  Endurance training also protected the body’s metabolism from the effect of age through reduced body fat, decreased sensitivity to insulin, and lower blood sugar levels.  Exercise also boosted HDL and lowered LDL cholesterols.  Secondarily, mood and sleep improved, countering anxiety and depression. Basically, the researchers found that using your body will help keep it young.  There is a lot of new information surfacing recently noting the benefits of high intensity interval training as an alternative to endurance training for older adults.

The data on exercise and aging has never been clearer. High levels of physical activity will reduce your risk of chronic illness and other diseases that are frequently seen in the over 35 population.