Monday, February 18, 2019

Weekend Competition Update: Feb 16-17

Week End Highlights. First off, our high school senior sports performance athlete and soon to be Washington Husky Marlena Preigh defended her 2018 Simplot Games 800 meter title by setting a new personal best time of 2:06.08, breaking the 14 year old meet record for that event by two tenths of a second. Over the course of this indoor season Marlena has whittled (chopped might be a better metaphor) about 10 seconds off her best indoor time from last year. Congratulations to Marlena and to her brilliant running coaches Ric and Nell Rojas of RISE athletics.

Marlena lead start to finish, set a new personal best, a new meet record and beat the field by 9 seconds.

Madeline Younkin took second place overall in the Lord of the Lifts Super Total Meet. We don't do a lot of real dead lifting for Olympic Weightlifting training, but Madeline pulled 160kg in the Powerlifting portion of the meet which was 10kg better than the closest competitor. Video below.

I really appreciate Madeline, Mandy, Bre and Emily for taking on the challenge of this (somewhat) novelty competition and having fun in the process. Special thanks to Aaron G. for making the trip down Saturday and managing warm ups while I ran around like an arthritic, senile chicken with its head cut off (typical for me.) Couldn't have pulled it off without his help and cool head.

Bre leads off for the team in the Weightlifting competition on day 1.

Mandi, on the comeback and in a new weight class, went 2 for 3 in the snatches

Emily snatching.

Madeline with some nifty footwork to save this lift. (She didn't bail but the loader did!)

Emily gets after it during the squat competition on day 2.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Barbell Strategists Competing This Weekend!

Bre getting up with a big squat, with a little moral support from Madeline.

Madeline, Mandi, Emily and Bre are competing this weekend at the Lord of the Lifts Super Total meet at Denver Barbell Club. This is a little bit of a novelty meet as it combines two disciplines: Olympic Style Weightlifting (snatch and clean and jerk) and Powerlifting (squat, bench and deadlift). Athletes will add their weightlifting total from Saturday to Sunday's powerlifting total for a Super Total.
If you want to come down and cheer us on, we start at 10am Saturday and 7am Sunday. Awards for both days should be done by noon. 601 W. 29th Ave. Denver, CO

Marlena Preigh, who is a senior at Fairview High School and runs for RISE Athletics club, will be attending her final Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho this weekend. Simplot is the premier High School indoor track meet in the country. If you want to tune in, you can buy a $12.95 one month "Plus" pass with which will be streaming live coverage. Marlena is one of the top high school runners in the country so look for something special in her 800 meter race this weekend. She's already knocked 6 seconds off her indoor PR from last year at this year's Husky Invitational at University of Washington in January.

Marlena putting in the work!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Fast Resistance Training for the "Older" Athlete

The great Howard Cohen, still competing and setting records in his mid-80s. (Picture and article cited below.
On Mondays and Fridays I have a group of masters runners who train with me. They range in age from 50 something to 79! Last week, the topic of age related sarcopenia (muscle loss) came up. It used to be held as immutable as death and taxes that muscle atrophy was an unavoidable part of the aging process. And, with some caveats, it still is. One caveat is that resistance training can put the brakes on muscle loss to some degree and even reverse it. Another is that strength can be improved at any age with the appropriate amount of work.

In older adults the loss of muscle accelerates after the age of 60. There are lot factors involved: denervation, hormone status and protein intake among them. The risk of crippling and life threatening falls increase with age, but this risk can be attenuated with proper exercise and nutrition. Unfortunately, the twin losses of reflexes and fast twitch muscle fibers, both required for rapid balance correction, are difficult to regenerate once lost.

recent article makes the case for including light explosive training for older adults. In older adults muscle growth is a secondary contributor it is the neurological effects of training which are most critical. The adage train fast to be fast applies here. Of course, individual orthopedic issues have to be taken into consideration, but where possible, moving lighter weights more quickly may be more functional than slow reps. 

Baum, J. I., Kim, I.-Y., & Wolfe, R. R. (2016). Protein consumption and the elderly: what is the optimal level of intake? Nutrients, 8(6).
Deschenes, M. R. (2004). Effects of aging on muscle fibre type and size. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 34(12), 809–824.
Orssatto, L. B. da R., Cadore, E. L., Andersen, L. L., & Diefenthaeler, F. (2019). Why fast velocity resistance training should be prioritized for elderly people. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 41(1), 105.
Still going strong. (2017, May 2). Retrieved February 7, 2019, from