Age and the ability to contract muscle quickly

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Paperclip
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Age and the ability to contract muscle quickly

Post by Paperclip » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:00 am

How much does the ability to contract muscle quickly drop as you age?

I know that it's a vague question but I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, basically it's about the relation between power/speed and age.

Because I'm already 26 years old, some people in my gym gave me advice that it's better for me to move to powerlifting (now weightlifting) because they think that it's more suitable for my age. As a note, I only have been training the Olympic lifts for 3 months. I don't disagree with what they say and actually I've been reading and hearing a lot that power diminishes the most when people age, while strength, endurance, and skill take a bit more time, especially the last one.

What do you guys think (not particularly about my situation but about the power/speed and age correlation)?

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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:02 am

Paperclip wrote:What do you guys think (not particularly about my situation but about the power/speed and age correlation)?
Type IIB muscle fibers are the first to decline with age, type I fibers are the last. Physical activity can slow the rate of decline, but it can't reverse it. Those are the facts.

Are you planning to compete in either O-lifting or powerlifting?

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Post by Paperclip » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:10 am

Stephen Johnson wrote: Type IIB muscle fibers are the first to decline with age, type I fibers are the last. Physical activity can slow the rate of decline, but it can't reverse it. Those are the facts.

Are you planning to compete in either O-lifting or powerlifting?
In weightlifting actually.

I learned another word today: sarcopenia!

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:18 am

Paperclip wrote:
Stephen Johnson wrote:Are you planning to compete in either O-lifting or powerlifting?
In weightlifting actually.
O-lifting is shorthand for Olympic weightlifting.

You're starting out late at 26 - many O-lifters peak at 25-30.
Age definitely is working against you if you plan to enter serious competition. After 5 years of training at age 31 you probably wouldn't have the same totals in the lifts as you would have had you started training 5 years ago.

But you can give it a shot if it means that much to you. What do you have to lose?
Paperclip wrote:I learned another word today: sarcopenia!
Cool.

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Post by Paperclip » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:38 am

Stephen Johnson wrote: O-lifting is shorthand for Olympic weightlifting.

You're starting out late at 26 - many O-lifters peak at 25-30.
Yeah I know :wink:
Stephen Johnson wrote: But you can give it a shot if it means that much to you. What do you have to lose?
Probably I'll gain many things useful instead :wink:

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Post by stuward » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:05 am

Power does decrease with age, more rapidly that strength or size. That's all the more reason to train for that attribute. I saw one article that said the likelyhood of injury in the elderly is more related to declining power than strength. You may not be able to increase your power as much as you age but you can certainly slow down the decline.

Also keep in mind that as you age you move into different age classifications. The more you practice proper form now and keep up your skills, the better you will be competing against others your own age.

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Post by TimD » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:52 pm

@the comments on OL aging peak. Yes, Stephen is correct, you're going to peak early in that sport, whereas you won't peak until much later in PL.Kenny is living proof of that, hitting PR's in his late 50's/early 60's. However, if you're not competing, then OL can be very useful in keeping that speed/power. I'm 61, and still like to do it, not with weights I used in the bad ole days, but it does keep me fresh and feeling "zippy" for lack of a better word. Just a side tip for the oldsters that want to try OL, you'd probably be better off doing the split versions; don't have to get as low, easier to control the bar, etc.
Tim

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Post by Paperclip » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:17 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone!

I'm going a bit tangential here, but which one is more stressful to your body, weightlifting or powerlifting?

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:03 pm

Paperclip wrote:I'm going a bit tangential here, but which one is more stressful to your body, weightlifting or powerlifting?
My viewpoint is skewed, since I've met far more powerlifters than weightlifters. In fact, powerlifting was created to provide a competition for the majority of US strength athletes who didn't want to compete in the Olympic lifts. That said, the weightlifters I've met go about their training in a much more disciplined manner than the powerlifters. They have to, given the highly technical nature of their lifts. I have no raw data to back this up, but the powerlifters seem to have a higher injury rate that the weightlifters.

But bad training will stress your body, even if you're playing golf. :wink:

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Post by Immortal » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:05 am

I dont understand this at all, your only 26, why are you worried about that right now..... it makes no sense, some of the best athletes in the world are over 30...

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Post by Paperclip » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:43 am

Immortal wrote:I dont understand this at all, your only 26, why are you worried about that right now..... it makes no sense, some of the best athletes in the world are over 30...
Actually I'm not really worried, I just like to know things :wink:

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Post by robertscott » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:27 am

TimD wrote:@the comments on OL aging peak. Yes, Stephen is correct, you're going to peak early in that sport, whereas you won't peak until much later in PL.Kenny is living proof of that, hitting PR's in his late 50's/early 60's. However, if you're not competing, then OL can be very useful in keeping that speed/power. I'm 61, and still like to do it, not with weights I used in the bad ole days, but it does keep me fresh and feeling "zippy" for lack of a better word. Just a side tip for the oldsters that want to try OL, you'd probably be better off doing the split versions; don't have to get as low, easier to control the bar, etc.
Tim
I know it's a bit vulgar to ask, but Tim I'm sure we'd all love to know what kind of weights you were hoisting back in they day?

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:53 am

TimD wrote:@the comments on OL aging peak. Yes, Stephen is correct, you're going to peak early in that sport, whereas you won't peak until much later in PL.Kenny is living proof of that, hitting PR's in his late 50's/early 60's.


Tim,

Bashing old people, again. :)

Don't kids like you have anything better to do?

"If I'd have know then what I know now."

From what I've seen, powerlifters usually peak in their 30s. With that said, my success in my 50s came more from what I learned.

If I'd have applied what I know now when I was in my 30s, I'd have performed even better than I did.
However, if you're not competing, then OL can be very useful in keeping that speed/power. I'm 61, and still like to do it, not with weights I used in the bad ole days, but it does keep me fresh and feeling "zippy" for lack of a better word. Just a side tip for the oldsters that want to try OL, you'd probably be better off doing the split versions; don't have to get as low, easier to control the bar, etc.
Tim
"Use is or lose it."

Tim's right. Using the Olymipic movements is an effective method of maintaining speed/power, perhaps even improving it.

I began my training at 19 with an Olympic lifter. Our program centered about squats, bench press and then Olympic movmenys: Power Clean, Power Snatch, Push Press, Behind The Neck Jerk, etc.

I've continued to utilize Olympic pulls, which helped improve my deadlift.

The Poster Children For Power Output. http://www.liftinglarge.com/kennynodeadlift.aspx

The greatest power outputs measured are those of Olympic lifters.

"The power output of clean pulls is 2.85 time greater than a deadlift. Second pulls are even higher with power outputs 4.38 times larger than deadlifts.

100-kilo Lifter Power Output

Clean-----------3430 watts
Second Pull----5260 watts
Deadlift--------1200 watts"

...even when dropping the training poundage down to lower percentages for Olympic pulls and deadlifts, outputs for Olympic pulls were still almost twice as great."

Thus, to maximize power output development or as Tim noted, to maintain it...employ Olympic movements in your program!

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:09 am

Paperclip wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone!

I'm going a bit tangential here, but which one is more stressful to your body, weightlifting or powerlifting?
Paperclip,

Each sport has it own set of inherent physcial stressful problem.

You question is somewhat like asking, "Where is the best place to live?"

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by stuward » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:16 am

Kenny, what's the most effective way to train the second pull, as in the most bang for the buck? I would think that the maximum power output would be during the triple extention and therefore the Hang Jump Shrug would be best exercise for power production. http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Oly ... Shrug.html
In the picture on this link, I'm not sure the model is going low enough to get maximum contribution from the glutes. What's your take on it?

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