Programming at Longevity

By John Van Every

In Coaching, Special Populations, Videos

June 10, 2011

Video Article

“I think the biggest key to programming for this age demographic is letting them recover just enough to be able to … stay focused and go through the next cycle of things,” says John Van Every, owner of CrossFit Longevity in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Van Every found success bringing CrossFit to his father.

“We started thinking that offering CrossFit to his age group would be something that would be very beneficial,” he says. CrossFit Longevity was born to meet the needs of athletes 50 years old and older.

Programming for this demographic has been challenging, Van Every says. Minimizing his clients’ soreness is one of his primary concerns, so he keeps training frequency down to two-to-three days a week and evaluates new athletes for their first four weeks of training.

With recovery in mind, Van Every programs many interval workouts and usually includes a power day, endurance day and strength day in his three-day cycle.

“Everything’s been trial and error,” Van Every says.

8min 33sec

Additional reading: Seniors and Kids by Greg Glassman, published Feb. 1, 2003.

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7 Comments on “Programming at Longevity”

1

Kaine Tessier wrote …

Nice twist on CF for older individuals. This we help me a little, as alot of my clients are deconditioned.

2

wrote …

John I have been following your program and like it a lot. Have been struggling to figure out how much weight to use though on individual WOD's at times - but overall very good programming - like the variety and mix of metcon, especially.

3

wrote …

Great Job working with the "older set" John!
I myself am a 64 year old Personal Trainer (14 years experience)and have always had the attitude "what has age got to do with it"? Every human being regardless of age has capabilities and potential. What we do with it is the difference between aging with functional competence or dealing with the consequence.
Your program is an inspirtation to myself to keep pushing the envelope and to incorporate more "Crossfit" style workouts (we already are doing some) into our small group training sessions.
Keep up the good work!!
I am looking forward to going to the Level 1 cert. soon.

4

wrote …

Very inspiring. This clip perfectly demonstraetes Crossfits scalability. Keep up the good work.

5

wrote …

John, your videos are very helpful and I look forward to many more. Even though I have been able to stay fairly healthy over the years I now, at 68, find myself questioning whether I should even try some of the WODs. For example, even a scaled WOD can raise heart rate considerably higher than most charts recommend for my age group. Part of that, I guess, is just having to admit I cannot do some of the things I could do when I was younger. Generally I scale most of them and manage to get through, even box jumps (20") and burpees (hate 'em). As the video points out, I have learned that I have to allow some rest time between reps if I hope to finish. What I haven't figured out is how to avoid any soreness. I look at those aches as being far better than the alternative of being completely out of shape. I hope you, and CrossFit, will continue to provide insights on how the WODs can be adapted to arthritis and other issues we face as we age.

6

wrote …

John, your videos are very helpful and I look forward to many more. Even though I have been able to stay fairly healthy over the years I now, at 68, find myself questioning whether I should even try some of the WODs. For example, even a scaled WOD can raise heart rate considerably higher than most charts recommend for my age group. Part of that, I guess, is just having to admit I cannot do some of the things I could do when I was younger. Generally I scale most of them and manage to get through, even box jumps (20") and burpees (hate 'em). As the video points out, I have learned that I have to allow some rest time between reps if I hope to finish. What I haven't figured out is how to avoid any soreness. I look at those aches as being far better than the alternative of being completely out of shape. I hope you, and CrossFit, will continue to provide insights on how the WODs can be adapted to arthritis and other issues we face as we age.

7

wrote …

I also train a masters cf class of people over 55. I myself am 63 so I feel their issues. We have more gun in these classes than in the standard classes. Our goals are so different.

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