At different points in our lives, our bodies are primed to handle different tasks. When you’re first born, you just need to learn to survive, but as you mature, your body starts to enter phases where it learns language especially quickly, or builds muscle very efficiently. People at different times in their lives have different athletic needs when it comes to training and today we’ll shed some light on some of that timeline.
In the years just before puberty, we aim for what’s called Long Term Athletic Development. From around 7-9 years old, there’s a window where you’ll get especially good – and lasting – results from speed training. Sprinting, changing direction, single leg hopping, and agility are all important exercises during this time.
Starting at puberty and lasting all through a person’s “prime years” is when we want to build strength. The older you get, the more difficult this becomes as testosterone and human growth hormone naturally decline. While we look at this, we also want to consider controlling mobility. Younger people naturally have more mobility but often have less body control and this is why we want to start developing that early. Once you have control over your mobility, it’s then a matter of being able to use your strength through your whole range of motion.
In the senior years, tissue elasticity starts to decrease and mobility starts to decrease with it. We actually work on some of the same things here as in early adulthood, but rather than trying to build them up, we’re trying to regain or maintain mobility, control, and power. If we can gain in the senior years, that is a huge bonus!