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Age, Muscle and Optimal Recovery

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: I can’t believe you’re 53 years old. Your physique is astounding for any age! I’m in my mid-50s, and I’m wondering if there is anything new that you’re doing to speed recovery so that you can keep training intensely enough to maintain your physique at that level. Any tips would be very much appreciated.


A: Yes, I turned 53 on March 8. Sometimes I can’t believe it either! Other days I get out of bed in the morning and feel like I’m 83! I’ve certainly had my share of injuries over the years, but I’ve always found ways to keep training.

Right now I’m dealing with a torn ligament in my right wrist, some chronic low-back pain and semichronic brachialis tendinitis. Otherwise, my training is going great! After about a year I’ve finally gotten over the pain from a minor pec tear and a major adductor tear that I suffered last March. One of the big differences about getting older is that it takes so much longer to fully recover from injuries. Doing everything you can to enhance recovery is essential to maintaining a great physique.

There are several things that I’ve done since I turned 45 that have helped me keep training at a high level. I take Udo’s Oil, which is essential fatty acids, and GH Stak very consistently. I also get deep tissue massage on a regular basis, and very recently I’ve started cryotherapy.

It was probably about six or seven years ago that a client of mine, Dr. D’Lorm, recommended that I start taking essential fatty acids. I was preparing for a contest and was experiencing a lot of joint and muscle pain. He explained that the EFAs not only have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect but also improve muscle and tendon elasticity. In addition, they are instrumental in hormone production, they improve brain function, and they have a dramatic effect on cholesterol profile, which is extremely important at our age.

Dr. D’Lorm also explained that the ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6s is crucial to their effectiveness. I have subsequently learned that the way the oils are processed and stored makes a tremendous difference as well. Dr. D’Lorm has done a great deal of research on the EFAs and has found that Udo’s Oil is the best product on the market. For a short period I used a cheaper product (it was on sale), and my gastrointestinal system paid the price! I went back to Udo’s Oil very quickly. I am up to using one tablespoon, three times per day. I have less joint pain and better flexibility, and my skin looks better than ever.

About the same time I started using Udo’s Oil I also had the good fortune of being introduced to Muscle-Link’s GH Stak, which was formulated to optimize your natural growth hormone release. It’s no secret that growth hormone is instrumental in recovery from brutal weight-training sessions and building new muscle. When you use a supplement like GH Stak to amplify your natural growth hormone production, you get faster recovery, muscle growth and a better fat-burning effect. And the great news is that you get those effects without the huge, bloated midsection you see on the guys who are injecting themselves with human growth hormone.

An added bonus of GH Stak is that it speeds healing if you have an injury. In 2007 I ruptured a hamstrings tendon and had to have it reattached. My doctor couldn’t believe that someone my age could possibly heal as quickly as I did. I was comfortably walking on it a full month ahead of schedule. GH Stak was my secret weapon!

The most enjoyable thing I’ve done to speed up recovery is getting a massage on a regular basis. Thankfully, corporate massage centers have popped up, making massage more affordable. I get at least one massage a month or sometimes two when my busy schedule permits. A good sports-massage therapist can relax “hot spots”—places where muscles are in spasm—which gives you better blood flow and faster recovery. Plus, it feels really good and puts me into a state of deep relaxation!

The newest thing I’ve added to my recovery program is cryotherapy. You get into a cryo-chamber wearing only gloves and socks (which they provide). Nitrogen gas is released into the chamber, and the temperature drops to about negative 200 degrees. You stay there for just three minutes. Because of the extreme cold, blood is shunted to your core, and you get an adrenaline rush.

When you step out of the chamber, your body temperature rebounds and capillaries expand rapidly. That increases circulation and causes an analgesic effect as endorphins are released. The cryotherapy greatly decreases inflammation with a very short exposure—as opposed to applying icepacks for 20 to 30 minutes.

In addition to speeding recovery, cryotherapy increases your metabolism, causing you to burn 500 to 800 more calories over a 24-hour period. My experience with it is that I feel like a million bucks the rest of the day. Plus, all of my chronic pains are gone for at least 24 hours. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it. (For more info go to www.Cryo

Give these suggestions a whirl, and let me know how they affect your training!

Train hard and eat clean!

Editor’s Note: See Dave Goodin’s blog at Click on Blogs in the top menu bar. To contact Dave directly, send e-mail to [email protected]. IM

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