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Key Messages​

  • Strength (resistance) training is subject to a dose-response relation. Higher intensities have greater effects than low or medium intensities.

  • Strength training in older persons aims to increase muscle mass and promote neuronal adaptation.

  • Using strength (resistance) training has been used in the prevention and rehabilitation of different symptoms—for example, in osteoporosis and degenerative joint disorders.

Muscle mass decreases (Sarcopenia) approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60.  Strength declines by 10% to 15% up to the age of 70 years, when the loss accelerates to 25% to 40% per decade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Muscle is also fully capable of responding to resistance training. For example, men over 66 years of age who trained by lifting 80% of their 1 RM (repetition maximum) for 12 weeks experienced strength gains of approximately 5% per day, which is similar to what is reported in far younger men

 

However, before implementing any training program with a masters athlete, the strength and conditioning coach should consider the health history of each individual masters athlete. The American Heart Association (AHA) (25) recommends prior to engaging in vigorous exercise, medical pre-screening and assessment of possible cardiovascular complications should be undertaken with masters athletes.

 

Masters athletes are also more likely to have certain health conditions such as osteoarthritis, thus requiring training to be adjusted accordingly.

 

Strength and Conditioning Programs for the Masters Athlete

 

The following suggested mixed training programs incorporate the key factors research has suggested are needed for older active individuals and masters athletes. These include hypertrophy training to offset the age related decrease in muscle size, heavier strength training to stimulate fast twitch muscle fibres and motor units, and explosive power weight training exercises and plyometrics to maximize neuromuscular stimulation

Proposed 10 week program below may suit a masters athlete not currently engaging in swing speed training and may serve as an effective off season training block

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Combined Strength and Clubhead Speed Training Program for the Masters Athlete

Below is a suggested example of a mixed training program with combined swing speed training incorporating strength, power and plyometric elements with alternate day swing speed training.

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The aim of this program is to improve strength, power, muscle mass and club head speed

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