Joe Friel is probably unknown to most people in the CrossFit world. Read Fast After 50 and prepare to learn from one of the brilliant coaching minds from the world of cycling and endurance sports. Yes, CrossFit is primarily high-intensity, shorter duration workouts, but there is much to learn about optimal human performance from Friel.
Where Fast After 50 truly gets interesting is for it’s target audience. Today there are countless “older” athletes competing in every sport. Clearly, the definition of what constitutes older has changed. Friel recognizes that for the first time in organized sport there are athletes in their 50s, 60s and 70s who have continually trained and followed healthy nutritional practices throughout their lifetimes. Today, rather than a few exceptional people competing after 50, now there are entire race populations in many sports from these age groups. Fast After 50 is poised to become a guidebook for many coaches and athletes.
Forget about how Friel’s book is oriented towards cyclists, skiers, runners, swimmers and triathletes. Most of us have trained and competed in those sports (I’m 60 years old, with competitive backgrounds in strength training, triathlons, cycling and now the last five years, CrossFit), but believe me, CrossFit athletes will find a wealth of useful training and nutritional advice in Fast After 50.
Friel and his other authors destroy the “aging myth.” Endurance exercise and your heart is an important chapter. Part II of the book presents what I found to be the most compelling areas - high performance for senior athletes, high-intensity training and the aging athlete, discussion about body-fat and menopause, hormones (including testosterone levels), and plenty of nutritional enlightenment. So many important areas are examined and clarified in the context of the over-50 athlete, including compression clothing, insulin resistance, glycemic loads, the true nutritional content of foods, protein absorption, arthritis and injuries.
Friel is fully onboard with immediate post-workout shakes. His formula incorporates plenty of high-glycemic carbs in that window right after the workout, an area I constantly preach about to the CrossFit world. In my mind, pre-and intra-workout nutrition is an often ignored aspect of performance, and all the more critical for everyone over the age of 50.
Learn how to adapt your training to your age; avoid overtraining; shed body-fat and maintain or even increase your performance as you age. Train and live smarter, for the rest of your life, with the assistance of Joe Friel and Fast After 50.
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