Why Everyone Over 50 Should be Training for the Senior Games


by Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE
Senior Games participant and author of
Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness - 2nd Edition

New biomedical research proves why everyone over age 50 should be training for the Senior Games.

Research discoveries in 2002 show that we can unleash the most powerful body fat-cutting, muscle-toning, anti-aging substance known to science, naturally, with specific types of exercise, and the workouts necessary in training for many of the Senior Games events do the job.

The American Heart Association recently cited research showing that high-intensity exercise can significantly lower the risk of heart disease. Simply, as exercise intensity goes up, the risk of heart disease goes down.

The researchers compared the impact of different levels of exercise intensity on men with an average age of 66. The subjects in the high-intensity exercise group produced a 31 percent risk reduction for heart disease, which was 14 percent better than those who performed less intense exercise.

"The harder one exercises ... the lower the risk of heart disease," says lead researcher Dr. I-Min Lee, associate professor Harvard Medical School.

Anti-aging exercise

Anaerobic exercise (as contrasted with aerobic exercise) involves short, high-intensity sprint training, rather than endurance training.

Researchers show that high-intensity anaerobic workouts that include the short-burst get-you-out-of-breath sprinting types of exercise make your body release significant amounts of growth hormone (Impact of acute exercise intensity on pulsatile growth hormone release in men, 2000, Pritzlaff).

As children, growth hormone (HGH) makes us grow taller, but when we reach our full height, this hormone actually changes roles. When we're adults, increasing HGH reduces body fat and trims inches. Growth hormone actually becomes the "fitness hormone" for middle-aged and older adults.

New studies show that HGH can be increased by as much as 530 percent with the anaerobic exercise of sprinting, (The time course of the human growth hormone response to a 6s and a 30s cycle ergometer sprint, 2002, Stokes).

Anaerobic sprint workouts can be involve many sports, including running, swimming, cycling, cross-country skiing, and all these are Senior Games events.

Whatever you do, don't do this!

Don't jump in, ease in to anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic fitness training is clearly the most productive, but it's also the most dangerous. Hamstring pulls are a painful potential injury, so flexibility training is essential to every fitness plan.

Everyone, especially those with heart conditions or medical problems, should get physician clearance before performing anaerobic exercise. Even young athletes should progressively ease into high-intensity anaerobic workouts.

Older adults get results with less effort

When you see an 80-year-old participant running a 10-K or working out in the gym, don't think that it's unfortunate that she can't run as fast or lift as much as her 60-year-old counterparts. It's easier for her to reach higher intensities.

The American Heart Association study proves that exercise intensity is relative to a person's age and fitness level. In other words, an older person can reach high-intensity levels with an effort level that might be considered low-intensity for a young athlete.

The new study confirms the need for higher intensities, but it also shows that beginners and older adults reach the more productive levels of exercise intensity with less effort than a triathlete, for example.

Newcomers to high-intensity exercise may initially get great results by performing the anaerobic training with power walking, but a fine-tuned triathlete may need more work for the same results.

If you're over age 50, get physician clearance first, select a Senior Games event or two and get started with a gradual buildup training program.

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RESEARCH SUMMARIES CITED:

The American Heart Association Release http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3008814

National Library of Medicine:

"the GH secretory response to exercise is related to exercise intensity in a linear dose-response pattern." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11960957&dopt=Abstract

"It would appear that the duration of a bout of maximal sprint exercise determines the magnitude of the HGH" response?" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12137178&dopt=Abstract

"GH secretory response to exercise is related to exercise intensity" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10444604&dopt=Abstract

Additional support studies:

"We conclude that a positive relationship exists between exercise intensity and both CHO(carbohydrates) expenditure during exercise and fat expenditure during recovery and that the increase in fat expenditure during recovery with higher exercise intensities is related to GH release." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10956336&dopt=Abstract

"GH accelerates body fat loss, exerts anabolic effects and improves GH secretion." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11706505&dopt=Abstrac

"exercise is a robust stimulus of GH secretion" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12457419&dopt=Abstract

"Total carbohydrate oxidation (exercise plus post exercise period) was significantly higher for HIE (high intensity)" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9100214&dopt=Abstract

". A minimum duration of 10 min, high intensity exercise consistently increased circulating GH in adult males." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=1619005&dopt=Abstract

If you've seen a fitness magazine lately like Physical Magazine, Fitness RX for Women, Great Life, Muscle Mag, Experience Life, and others, you may have seen Phil Campbell quoted as a fitness expert and an authority on exercise-induced growth hormone. You may have seen him on the cover of Personal Fitness Professional.

Phil Campbell, age 51, holds two advanced degrees, and he is board certified by ACHE. He applies his training in Health Services and his experience in the development of Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness. He spent 20 years in hospital administration where it was his responsibility to take the medical disciplines of surgery, pathology, radiology, pediatrics, physical rehabilitation, physical therapy, pharmacology, and other health disciplines and operationalize diverse medical services into a comprehensive healthcare delivery system that improved the lives of others. And he has taken that same approach in the presentation of information to readers.

Guided by mainstream research

Phil Campbell uses 300 photo-illustrations and cites over 200 mainstream research studies in the biomedical disciplines of endocrinology, exercise science, medicine and fitness training for specific age groups to present a research-supported system that will help improve the lives of others.

He is an expert at taking complex medical subjects and making them understandable and practical. And he shows readers step-by-step how to improve fitness, increase energy, and lose, cut, and tone.

Phil Campbell has a gift for taking complex medical subjects and making them understandable and practical. He shows readers step-by-step how to improve fitness, increase energy, lose, cut, and tone in the most efficient way possible. Phil Campbell wrote his first fitness training manual over 30 years ago. While in college, he managed health clubs and performed personal training ... 20 years before it was called personal training.

His inspiration to help improve the health status of large populations was sparked by his Health Services advanced degree advisor, Dr. Ed Cavanaugh, a former division administrator with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Mainstream biomedical research is the basis for all of Phil Campbell's writing, and over 160 research studies are cited in his book.

As a masters athlete, Phil Campbell holds several USA Track and Field Masters titles including first place in the 100-meter sprint, Southeastern US Championships for his age group in 2000. In 2003, he won the 200-meter sprint and the discus throw, placed second in the 100 meters, and he set the meet record in the javelin during the USA Masters Track & Field Tennessee Championships. Nationally, he has placed third in USA Track and Field Masters Nationals in his age group in the javelin, and fifth in discus. In his late 40s, he won a 40-yard dash competition in 4.69 seconds. He teaches athletes how to improve speed, agility and quickness during his Speed Camps - www.readysetgofitness.com/speed.shtml. He holds a black belt in Isshinryu Karate and has competed and won first place in martial arts and weightlifting competitions.

Thousands of people across the US have been inspired by Phil Campbell's motivational presentation "Fitness for a Lifetime." If you'll let him, Phil Campbell will show you how to have the most successful and lasting fitness improvement experience of your life.

Pristine Publishers Inc.

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