Definition Of A Master Athlete

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To begin this study we must first begin with defining what a master athlete is and what you have to do to be considered one. A master athlete is defined as a person that is older than 35 years of age and still systematically trains and competes in events. The usual age to be considered for most sports is 35 but there are a few sports like golf (50 years) and swimming (25 years) that you might be older or younger and considered one. This is due to the fact that different sports require more or less stress on the body and can or cannot be competed in as long. Once an athlete reaches the age of 35 years of age the body begins to start going through a lot of changes that start to cause many things to decline in the body that in turn cause a decline in the performance of the athlete. For this paper we will be going over the following: VO2 max, maximal heart rate, stroke volume, lactate threshold, economy of movement, muscle fiber type and size, and aerobic enzyme activity. These are the variables that were observed in the research studies and we will be going into depth on each of them and seeing the percentage of decline in each of them specifically. All of these factors decline in a curvilinear fashion until the individual reaches between 60-70 and then the factors decline exponentially. (Reaburn) Overall we can see that aging is the main factor that is associated with the decline in long distance in master athletes. There are many different totals and reactions that are slowed in the body as a person ages, and this is why performance declines. Even though you do see a decline in the performance of these master athletes they are still leaps and bounds ahead of their peers of the same age when it comes to health and wellness, and t... ... middle of paper ... ...tion of the muscle fibers that are torn during exercise, and older individuals have and incomplete functional recovery of skeletal muscles causing them to be sorer for longer periods of time. One of the ways that these factors were tested was having older individuals perform a max voluntary contraction (MVC) before and after a long distance activity (55km trail run), and comparing them to younger athletes. (Brisswalter) This would allow researchers to see if the master athletes are fatiguing faster that the younger ones. After the research was done it was found that both before and after the run that the master athletes could not hold their MVC as long as younger athletes could. This is a prime example of how aging can effect the intensity and performance of master athletes compared to younger athletes in the same competitions. This research can be seen on the graph.
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