I have great news for all us over 35s !
The further I get into this challenge, the more I realize how much we can do at 60!
and it has to be the same at 50 or 70 !!
I was thinking I could recover decades of athleticism in one or 2 seasons but was surprised by how much had disappeared, through decades of suboptimal training and less use !!
Here's the good news:
It all comes back
and in a strange way
Better than before !!.
The process of training and trying to improve
is more enjoyable now at age 60,
than it was 30 years ago.
It's more fun now, especially since I've adopted
a more gradual - don't sweat it - just keep going -approach !!
You appreciate the small gains much more now.
I will show you - not today- but over the next couple of months
how to guarantee yourself good results
and how to keep the process
exciting and fun to do !!
Every component has taken many more repetitions at slower speeds and with lighter weight
than I thought it would.
And here's another interesting thing
Every part of the body has rebelled against more repetition.
It started with the feet,
then the rear end - Ha -(the glutes)
then the achilles,
then both knees.
Each part, during their rebellion ( uprising !)
ached and screamed and swore at me.
The left achilles and calf
ballooned to 3 times the normal size !!
During the feet's rebellion, I couldn't even walk on them
at the end of a day - for weeks - after workouts.
** Someone warned me against sharing this Negative stuff **
but this is actually quite positive if you stick with this here !!
as each body part 'acted up'
I'd back the workouts up a little,
and actually add wayyyyy more EASY reps of whatever -
running - lifting - moving.
For example, when the achilles ballooned way up
I didn't ice - I didn't rest - I didn't take an anti-inflammatory !!
No elevation or compression !!
I got up the next day and instead of playing,
I tried to jog slowly but couldn't - so I walked
which was fine - tightness - but No Sharp Pain - thats the key.
Find the level just below sharp pain !!!!
I call it the Rehab Sweetspot.
So I went into 'Rehab Mode" - part of the process
- not sad or angry !!...
Just another day in the wonderful process of becoming a competitive athlete again - happy to do it !!
:) Proper mindset speeds the process along.
I walked on a nice outdoor court.
I went there because I thought I could shadow slowly on the achilles - but no way!!
Instead, I walked back and forth - up and back
around the outside of the court .....
4 hours in the morning
4 hours in the afternoon !!
This is my job now so - clock in and do it !!
I did this for 1 1/2 weeks !
Each day the swelling would diminish a little further, and I could walk a little faster.
I was next able to shadow slowly on it.
Then, after the 1 1/2 weeks, I could jog on it.
The next week I could push off to serve and return serve gently !
One week later ... playing with a college player !
This seems like no big deal,
but I know other tennis players that were out for months !!
And one top player I know was out for almost 2 years. !!!
So this is a very big deal !!
Every injury has been like this - I had extreme tennis elbow and thought - oh no this is bad - 8 months of torture !!
..... 3 weeks !!
Same approach !!
I would go into the gym and sit on the arm curl machine in a nice relaxed position and do 1 arm curls more reps with my affected arm ....... for an hour !... twice a day ! Ha
If someone came and needed the machine, I'd go do something else, and come back.
No heavy weight !!!! not one tough rep,
Just moving easy weight at medium speed up and down
....... over and over and over
I'd switch arms to give the affected each arm a break !
It felt great - just like all the walking did.
Actually relaxing and fun to do -
a mini adventure,
A game to see how many reps I could do to
to speed the healing.
as frequently as possible,
as many reps as you can stand
and always below the level of sharp pain - key
After each bout of rebellion,
the affected body part rebounded
becoming much tougher and stronger
ready to go to the next level.
For you guys and gals out there -
I could have avoided every single injury if I had taken more time and more care with base building.
But we become impatient
We're nowadays encouraged to Sprint - even uphill !!
Go for it !!
High Intensity Interval training ! ha - crazy
people want to see results
Where are your results !!
Why is this taking so long ....
You're not making it !!
You can't do it ! - ha
Look at TED WILLIAMS
I tell them now -
4 years in the minors !!
no tournament wins first 3 seasons on tour !
Yes -there are 19 year old phenoms
but look closely and you'll
always see at least 4 years of tournaments
leading preceding their
'overnight success' ! - ha
I'm currently training in New Hampshire
As of March 20, '23
I have a US National ranking of 91.
These rankings are used for entering the qualifying
tournaments of the first level pro events.
They change a few times a year.
My level still needs to come way way ( not a typo !) up !!
and this will happen with an even stronger base
and then lots stronger competition.
I'm training off - court for a little while longer here.
Practicing with a current college player for a month
made me realize I desperately needed much more
lower body work:
The good news for anyone over 35 is ..........
Every single day !!
there are small, clear improvements experienced.
Flexibility is now almost back to what it was at age 30.
Endurance in the legs is half way back now.
Strength is also greatly improved.
I've been RUNNING a ton -
7 days a week, twice a day,
with a day off here and there as you feel you need it.
It takes high high volume to rebuild a base of toughness and endurance in the legs.
It's working, but it's a long process.
While analyzing video from playing with the above mentioned
college player ,
I clearly saw that I was playing too upright
I needed to be much
WIDER & LOWER.
This requires much more
strength, endurance and flexibility.
I can do it now - each week - for longer periods !!!
Being wider and lower allows you to move
with fewer steps !
You also have much better stability when you set up at the shot.
(not experienced for over 30 years ! seriously )
when your opponent gives you a hard,
heavy ball ,you are better able
to hold your ground and handle their pace.
You can then use more legs and better push from the ground, generating more power from the bigger muscles
to return their ball.
On my video page on this website,
all the playing videos show me in
the old upright position.
New videos to come shortly
and you'll see the difference!
What a difference !! WOW
So next here,
it's back on the court,
back to playing many more tournaments this year.
This is the 3rd year for my challenge.
The last 2 years were spent hitting a lot
without teaching or feeding balls,
shadowing the correct form,
playing some tournaments
to get "reacquainted " with
All to assess
what needed to be "rebuilt".
Every stroke was reworked from scratch !! Ha !
racquets, strings and tension
many times !!
to get a what seems a good fit.
I went through many different
on court and off court
That will always be changing ,since every day
the body is changing .
Also now, there are daily
visualization / breathing / mediative type
which reinforce technique and confidence
and dramatically lower
the stress hormone cortisol.
This allows and athlete to push harder ,
without damaging the the central nervous system
awakening the fight to flight response.
I also played around with every diet imaginable,
looking for the best combo for improvements now.
It's been a great adventure so far with
very positive results.
I'll pass everything that's worked along In due time.
We're all very different but the basics
always carry over !!
ok thank you
- Charlie -
I'll be on social media very soon :
I didn't want to post anything until
I was able to learn enough
and make sure this is all interesting enough
beneficial enough for the publish.
Once I restart the tournament play though,
I'll be posting video and results from everything !!!
So we can all see what the curve looks like.