Easier Than You Think
No matter how determined one is to override the pain messages and the lack of recovery that begins to accelerate the aging process that leads them to abandon exercise entirely, they have to recalibrate what load and frequency sustains gains, rather than increases the pain -- until there is debilitating injuries and accelerated aging -- indicated by decreasing range of movement.
At 90, one is less impressed with how much one is bench pressing, as it is that one still can simulate that range of movement -- with no resistance at all. People who can no longer lift their arms or legs -- are in obvious decline and deterioration brought about by their efforts -- and not the lack of them.
That's what a lot of young people do not adapt to -- as they grow older. That's true for Arnold, Casey Viator, Frank Zane, Dave Draper, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, and many of those cross-fitters who think that they can continue to jump out of the building -- for as long as they continue to do so, because nobody tells them to stop -- before they absolutely have to -- when they inevitably tear their (Achilles) tendon. Less fortunate people have heart attacks -- because the heart doesn't have unlimited capacity, as many world's strongest men have already proven. Or the legendary John Henry. Even the original marathon runner, dropped dead right after delivering the news that "We prevail." Or all those WWE Superstars.
Life doesn't end at 40, or 50, or 60 -- crippled by all those past abuses inflicted upon ourselves. The body doesn't get used to it, but breaks down -- when the objective is to break the body down unnecessarily and needlessly. So is there a level of muscle stimulation that can be sustained indefinitely so that at age 90, one has the full range of all their movements -- if no longer the speed and explosiveness, because that is seldom an actual requirement to maintain functionality throughout an extended lifespan? And that should be the greater objective -- that one maintains their full range of movement throughout life -- and not that they're crippled and so no longer attempt any movement anymore.
But the curious thing is that the maintenance and extension of range of movement -- results in the greatest muscular contraction possible -- even without any added resistance. That's what I pointed out to Arthur Jones when he was determined to create machines that could provide resistance through the full-range of movement -- which he never went far enough to realize that the fullest range itself, invariably provides that resistance, and results in the ultimate muscular contraction we know as a "cramp." But the trick is, can we move easily in and out of a cramp? That is what we're trying to condition the muscle to do.
The old folks get cramps a lot -- and therefore don't contract their muscles anymore -- which results in that atrophy, because the most valuable "work" of any muscle, is simulating the pumping effect of the heart, that increases the circulation that maintains the health of any organ, and improves it. It's possible to produce the pump without the pain -- and increasingly desirable and beneficial to do so. But not if one is conditioned to believe that the pain is necessary; it is actually a deterrent for doing so.