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post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I just came across this interesting article, from, of all places Fortune Magazine, about how "baby boomers" are participating in sport well into their 60s, but are suffering from various orthopedic injuries because of it. Although I found the article to be a bit fatalistic, here is some interesting info about Michael Jordon's personal trainer, Tim Grover:

"Grover says he uses "two totally different programs" depending on whether an athlete is in his prime or past it. "You're going from a low-rep, quick type of movement to more reps, lower weights. We're saying, Okay, your body's got a lot of wear and tear. Stabilize those muscles." Jordan, he says, is "in the older guy's regimen," and while he won't disclose training secrets, he says "we are trying some new techniques." Assuming Jordan's knee gets better, this could be fun to watch. Says Grover, tantalizingly: "We should know in a couple of months whether we have found a way to rebuild some of those fast-twitch muscles."

What he's referring to is the problem of muscle loss, which affects sedentary people at the rate of about 1% a year. Muscles can be rebuilt with weight training and other sorts of exercise, but the tissue that's restored tends to be of the slow-twitch, not the fast-twitch, variety, which is why geezers play sneaky tennis.

There is little disagreement that keeping muscles strong is one of the best ways to stave off osteoarthritis. Modern drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce swelling once the disease has set in. (WD-40 is not recommended, though doctors report that a disturbingly large number of patients spray the stuff on their joints. Really.) But the best defense is to keep muscles strong enough to prevent joints from getting misaligned in the first place. The problem is, which muscles?

"Maybe you do weightlifting for the aesthetics of how you look," says Peggy Brill, a New York physical therapist who has a practice at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and spends a lot of her time repairing investment bankers. "But if you develop muscles at the expense of your joints, that's not good weightlifting. My thinking is always, How do you develop your postural strength? Because if your postural strength is strong, then your joints align properly."

Does this sound like you, gentle reader? Try standing on one foot with your eyes closed. Teetering is permitted, but you should be able to keep one foot off the ground for 30 seconds. Now try squatting with your heels on the floor. Now drop and give me ten (knee pushups are acceptable if you're a girl). Now crush a beer can against your forehead. No, sorry: Touch your hands behind your back, one reaching down behind your neck and the other up under your shoulder blade. If you can't do those things, even in your 60s, Brill says, you should probably change your workout. "

Because if your postural strength is strong, then your joints align properly!

This, I would guess, is also crucial to good skiing.

Another thought provoking comment was made by Dr. Richard Steadman, Picabo's orthopedist:

"Ah, yes, ego. Dr. Richard Steadman, the renowned Vail, Colo., knee surgeon, says ego is what drives a lot of patients into his clinic for repairs. "Baby-boomers wouldn't make the same investments today, for instance, that they made when they were 20 years younger," Steadman says. "But your exercise is part of your ego, and people have a different approach to exercise than they do to prudent investment."

I would guess that this applies to many skiers as well, who are so caught up in their image of being "advanced skiers" that they are not willing to accept their limitations. Ego seems to be a factor.

Here's a link to the entire article:


[ May 18, 2002, 09:11 AM: Message edited by: AC ]
post #2 of 4
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
I would guess that this applies to many skiers as well, who are so caught up in their image of being "advanced skiers" that they are not willing to accept their limitations. Ego seems to be a factor.
OMG, you hit the nail on the head. That is sooooo true.

So true.

Here's the million dollar question. When your MD and PT say you are getting older and need to "modify" your style, do you? Or do you just give up skiing knowing that your fat head is not going to get reigned in?
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I think you make some compromises, without "selling your soul". Maybe you can't do everything you used to be able to do, but don't give it up!

I think it also becomes even more important to pay attention to what you do of the slopes. A fitness program that supports a healthy structural alignment is going to keep you skiing safely a good deal longer than one done only for vanity.

And don't ignore other non athletic situations that may be putting your joints at risk.

Prior to class last night, I asked if anyone has injuries. One woman saod she had a "bad" shoulder. I noticed throughout the class that her head was aligned significantly to the left.

After class, I asked what she did for a living.

"Computer work".

"Where is your monitor on your desk?"

"Off to the left".

"Well, thats putting the left side of your body in a chronically tense position".

"Oh, should I stretch".

"Sure, but a few minutes of stretching a day is not going to make up for 8 hours in a misaligned position. You need to center your monitor".

She never got the point. Since the head is the heaviest part of the body, can you imagine what the effects that would have on, lets say, her skiing alignment?
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Just thought of something. When Jordan's trainer referred to "trainers secrets" : about how to rebuild fast twitch muscle fiber, I would wager a guess that he's talking about Reactive Neuro Muscular Training.

I've spoken about this in other threads. A strength exercise is followed by a plyometric exercise that utilizes similar muscle groups. It is speculated that this increases utilization of fast twitch fibers.

National Academy of Sports Medicine has a "freebie" page from one of their certification courses. The text is extremely "wordy", but take a look at the videos!


OOPS! Click on the Performance Enhancement Specialist link, then check out "sample content".

[ May 19, 2002, 06:25 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
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