Faster is better.
That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years. When physical prowess is the goal, moving faster is better than anything slower, provided you can maintain perfect technique. Now, an old person might be wise, but it’s likely he doesn’t move fast. Indeed, one of the tell-tale signs of aging is slowness.
Think about it. Boxers who lose their speed are relegated to a record with more losses and knockouts, as evident by Roy Jones Jr. When a basketball player is reaching the end of his career, it’s often said that he’s “losing his first step.” This is just another way of saying that he lost his speed. You can think of speed as being reactive ability, explosiveness, and the like.
One of the most important elements to building, and keeping, a youthful body is to move quickly. There’s plenty of research that supports the benefit of lifting fast, whether it’s for getting leaner, bigger, or stronger. And for strength and power development, research (Behm & Sale, 1993) shows that even the intent to move fast will make you a faster athlete.
In the gym, one of the simplest ways to get bigger, faster, or stronger is by accelerating your lifts as I explain in this video.
Speaking of what I’ve learned, this week the fitness world lost one of its pioneers, Jack LaLanne. I can’t say that I wholeheartedly agree with all of his mantras, but the guy maintained a youthful physique well into his 80s. You can’t argue with that. So out of respect for the man, here are three of my favorite pieces of wisdom from Mr. LaLanne.
“If man makes it, don’t eat it.”
“Scales lie! You lose thirty pounds of muscle and gain thirty pounds of fat, and you weigh the same, right? Take that tape measure out. That won’t lie. Your waistline is your lifeline. It should be the same as it was when you were a young person.”
“Go on, have a glass of wine with dinner. What is wine, anyway? Pure grapes. A glass of wine is much better for you than a Coke.”