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Barbell Logic

Feb 28, 2023

We discuss recovery for masters athletes, focusing on sleep and nutrition. Improve your sleep and nutrition, recover better, be stronger and healthier.

Dr. Jonathon Sullivan and Noah Hayden continue their Barbell Health podcast series, this time discussing recovery for seniors. Ann Buszard joins them, discussing her journey and how she has approached recovery.

You can check out more of Sully's work on the Greysteel YouTube channel.

Check out the Barbell Logic podcast landing page for free resources, recent offers, & more.

Recovery for Masters Athletes

It's often said, but less often followed: you get stronger as you recover.

You undergo stress, allow for recovery, which enables adaptation. This is the way.

On a population-wide level, too few stress themselves adequately to begin with.

For gym-goers, many if not most fail to organize stress and recovery intelligently. Because of this, they fail to meet their goals.

Promoting adaptation requires attending to recovery. Recovery for masters athletes and all lifters mostly falls into the buckets of nutrition and sleep.

The principles underlying recovery for seniors don't differ from younger athletes. Masters athletes may face some additional challenges, just as they do when the barbell prescription (the stress) is examined.

Nutrition for Masters Athletes

Often times, seniors do not eat as much. What they eat (especially protein) their body does not process as well as a younger athlete's body would.

The importance of getting adequate protein, therefore, only increases. Many masters athletes will need protein supplementation (whey protein powder or something similar).

Similar to how training matters more for masters athletes, recovery matters more for masters athletes. You have likely seen teenagers and younger adults eating highly processed food and seemingly not being affected by it.

Nutrition for masters athletes matters. Masters athletes cannot afford to fill their diets with highly processed food that doesn't provide the protein, fiber, energy, and micronutrients they need.

The second key to recovery for masters athletes is sleep.

Sleep for Masters Athletes

Sleep seems to be discussed less than nutrition, but it does not matter less.

You need to sleep. Sleep promotes recovery promotes strength and hypertrophy.

Develop a sleep routine to help your body more easily fall asleep. This first includes the fact that it is a routine. Secondly, it should include things like not viewing screens, bright and blue lights, and nothing too stimulating.

Creating a back-to-sleep routine may be just as important, as getting up in the middle of the night seems to afflict seniors even worse than younger adults.

Find something that is boring and repetitive that you can go through mentally, that leaves you wanting to fall asleep. Sully, for example, goes through his tai chi drills.

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