In this 3-article series Coach John Hughes shares his personal insight and the current research into how different physiological systems worsen with age. In Fit for Life, he shows you that by exercising in different ways you can stay fitter than if you just ride your road bike. In Peak Fitness, he provides specific week-by-week workouts designed to make any rider a better, fitter cyclist. And in Training with Intensity, he explains the physiological benefits of riding with intensity; doing some hard riding slows the aging process and delivers an array of benefits at any age.
Cycling Past 50, 60 and Beyond: Fit for Life, at 34 pages of detailed info, discusses the normal changes our bodies undergo as we age, and how these changes affect our athletic capabilities. It also lays out Hughes' concept of Athletic Maturity, a way of gauging how well you are managing the normal aging process. The more mature that you are as an athlete (anyone who exercises regularly), the fitter you are overall, the more you’ve slowed the inevitable decline that comes with aging. And it shows you how to evaluate (or re-evaluate, if you’ve already taken the quiz) your Athletic Maturity.
The article shows how you can exercise in different ways to be fitter for life and have fun. It provides a variety of exercise options available to you to strengthen your body’s functions that keep you alive and help to keep you fit for life, including the aerobic, skeletal, muscular, neural, core and balance systems. Many of these options to road cycling are also great alternatives as winter approaches.
In addition to laying out the numerous alternatives to road cycling that can help you work your key systems, the article includes a section on circuit strength training, with focused exercises to work your legs, chest, upper back, core, shoulders, and more. And it includes additional information on weight-bearing activities, flexibility and balance, as well as guidance on choosing your activities and fitting it all into your life.
In Cycling Past 50, 60 and Beyond: Peak Fitness, at 39 pages, Coach Hughes is your personal coach. The eArticle contains four specific programs to improve your fitness in one or more of the following ways:
The programs are based on the individual programs that he uses with his clients. The specific week-by-week workouts are designed to make any rider a better, fitter cyclist. Before beginning any of the programs, the eArticle describes how to establish your current baseline fitness. Each of the four programs is then divided into two 4-week blocks. By following one of the programs for just 4 weeks, you’ll see measurable progress in your baseline fitness. And by following the program for 8 weeks, you’ll progress even further. Achieve your goals and feel the satisfaction that comes from reaching your peak fitness. Cycling Past 50, 60 and Beyond: Peak Fitness shows you how.
Cycling Past 50, 60 and Beyond: Training with Intensity, at 27 pages, explains what happens to your body as you age, and the physiological benefits of riding with intensity. Doing some hard riding slows the aging process and delivers an array of benefits at any age:
More efficient training. By riding at different intensities, you improve your fitness faster than by just doing the same kind of riding every time you go out.
Stronger heart. The heart is a muscle, and like any muscle it responds to overload by getting stronger, and the more overload (up to a limit) the stronger it gets. As you age the amount of blood pumped per beat declines and the walls of the heart stiffen unless you make it work harder.
Greater lung capacity. The lungs also stiffen so you don’t get as full a breath unless you force them to expand more fully by exercising hard.
More powerful muscles. The muscles in your legs atrophy, particularly the muscle fibers that you activate when you need more strength and power, unless you use those muscle fibers exercising hard.
The eArticle describes five progressively harder levels of training and gives 3 to 5 examples each of structured and unstructured workouts for each level of training, a total of almost 40 workouts.
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