There is no debating that from the time we are born we get older every second of everyday. I am older now then I was a sentence ago. I can also say I am closer to my next birthday party too!
The bottom line is we are getting older whether we like it or not. We move differently in different stages of our lives. Typically, as a kid we are much more active then we are after college with few exceptions. Life happens and we spend our time differently. I know growing up I focused on school, sports and girls. I had very little other responsibility. I knew I had a house to come home to, a meal to eat, no bills to be paid, etc. Now, my life, and I’m assuming your too, is very different. I hope like me, in a good way. So, since life is different, we should recognize what in our bodies is different.
What is the first thing to age as we age from a performance standpoint?
It is not strength. Not cardio-pulmonary health. Not balance. Not flexibility.
It is power. Power is like the golden nugget of training. So what is it and how do we get it? Power is the sum of speed and strength. In other words, how fast can I move a load, whether it is a weight, cable, or my own body. There are various ways to tap into your power source. For the sake of this post we will focus on just one: plyometric training. The reason I want to focus on this one is you can do this anywhere because it just requires you.
My recommendation is that you start off simple and work your way up from that. Get the foundational stuff down then you have earned the right to advance. Below is a simple progression I use with various populations:
- skip (forward, backward and lateral)
- high knee skip (forward, backward and lateral)
- 1 leg hop with pause
- 1 leg hop no pause
- jump with pause
- double jump with no pause
You will find that doing this will tap into a completely different training system then you are used to. I hope it adds a different component to your program.
P.S. If you think power is just for performance people, think again. Every step you take walking is a low level form of power and it takes less than a millisecond to put one foot in front of another. If your telling me that as we age walking isn’t important take a look at a IHop restaurant on a Tuesday afternoon/evening when all the senior citizens are there?