“You just have to be patient,” says John Van Every, owner of CrossFit Longevity in Santa Cruz, Calif. CrossFit Longevity specializes in coaching masters athletes, 50 years of age and older. The more complex movements like the overhead squat may take some time because many older athletes lack the strength and flexibility to achieve proper positioning, Van Every says.
His group of athletes is typically new to exercise.
“You have, you know, somebody that’s getting off the couch for the first time because their doctor tells them to exercise. They’re not going to be breathing fire when they walk in the door—they’re going to be scared,” Van Every says. “They want to walk into an environment where, I think, they’re understood, and what their needs are doesn’t need to be communicated.”
As a coach, Van Every says he always checks in with each of his clients to see how they are feeling and tailors workouts to meet their needs and motivation levels.
“Let’s make it enjoyable,” Van Every says “At the end of the day, we want them to be here long-term.”
Additional reading: Seniors and Kids by Greg Glassman, published Feb. 1, 2003.