I have been attending the men’s group training at SPC for almost four years. At age 59 I am probably the oldest in the group, although if anyone wants to step up and take on that mantle, please feel free.
At 55, I started to notice the loss of muscle mass and strength that affects all men (and women) in their 50s. That was all worsened by a double fracture in my left ankle. Although the bones repaired well the muscles and ligaments round the ankle did not. Walking for any distance became quite painful and there was big impact on how much sport/exercise I could do.
I decided some radical action had to be taken and that is when I joined SPC. I discovered them by a mix of accident and recommendation. Before joining I went to see Tom for an assessment and he must of wondered what he was taking on. The weakness and lack of mobility in my ankle wouldn’t allow me to vertically jump more than 6 inches. Now I can box jump (admittedly not as high as most of the others in the group!). I started training in October 2017 and there is no doubt I found it tough. My ankle gave me problems but Tom always modified the exercises which gave me trouble. After about two months I started to notice major improvements in strength and mobility of the ankle.
I benefited more from two months of training at SPC compared to 18 months of various “strengthening” exercises given to me by physios. Half way into my second phase of training I noticed the ankle was hardly restricting me at all.
With my ankle sorted I really felt as if I could get on more with improving my strength and range of motion. In your 50s stiffness and restriction slowly creeps into your body. Although you know this is happening you do not at first realise how bad it is. It was only when getting into the resistance and functional training at SPC did I start to have an understanding of my own structural weaknesses. However, the training at SPC is all about improving your strength, flexibility and range of motion. Both Nathan and Tom are really good at making sure you are doing all the exercises properly and explaining the purpose of each planned workout. If you have any weakness or injuries they modify the exercises to keep you training.
SPC has been particularly good for me. Real thought and knowledge goes into the variation and tailoring of the workouts. Those workouts have a real “edge” over the body pump, spinning and the standard fare of the larger commercial gyms. Overtime that edge becomes noticeable in the increased workload you can manage and improved flexibility. Also there is a lot to be said for the “power of the group”. The banter and the support has a big impact on keeping you going and making sure you turn up on a mid-Winter Monday night
I have noticed a lot of men and women in their 50s seem resigned to becoming weaker, losing muscle mass, having restrictive motion etc. They say it is just part of the “ageing process”. Of course, these things will happen. However, you can break that pattern by training properly a few times a week. Of course, you will not see the gains the 30 year olds benefit from and you will have to try and train harder than them. That said the benefits will be huge and spill over into the rest of your life. If you are trying to be as fit and as strong as possible life will seem a lot easier.
There really is no reason to believe it is all downhill in your 50s. Better to feel stiff muscles from working out than sitting too long on the sofa watching Love Island. Just start training at SPC and make it part of your routine. Don’t worry that some of the others are the same age as your own children. They will all be in their 50s soon enough…..