#120 – Lessons Learned from Training Older People


One question received in the recent Q&A sessions deserved its own episode. A listener wrote in with the question (paraphrased): what kind of R&D are you working on as coaches? Matt explores the question by reflecting on the sheer number of Masters-aged lifters he and the other coaches at BLOC have coached over the past few years — many hundreds and counting.


The relatively recent surge in popularity of strength training, especially for older people, means that for the first time, coaches have had the chance to build a knowledge base training Masters athletes. Most of the ink spilled about barbell training prior to Dr. Jonathon Sullivan’s The Barbell Prescriptionhad young, active trainees or competitive athletes in mind. Even Starting Strengthwas originally written for coaches, then revised with young athletes in mind, and, only recently with the 3rd edition, with a general population trainee as the target audience. Consequently the application of strength training for Masters lifters has heretofore been an intellectual exercise, an extrapolation of experiences with younger lifters. And for the most part it has worked — Masters lifters respond to training and the SRA cycle too. However anyone who has coached Masters lifters for a length of time understands that there are certain factors that change when it comes to programming and executing the lifts. In this episode Matt and Scott share the lessons they have learned from training hundreds of older lifters, and explore their special considerations.


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