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Jimmy Cinnabon

At what age does athletic endurance decline?

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This past championship had some matchups with large age disparities...and next year there will be even larger disparities given there will many multiple super-super-duper-seniors who are 26 years old or older facing true freshman who might be 18.

Watching Kemerer who will be a 7th year (or is it 8th year?) senior next year vs young buck Starroci who is 18 or 19 made me wonder if perhaps the kid who is 7 or 8 years younger perhaps has more gas in the tank in OT?

 

So at what age does endurance start declining?  My uneducated guess is maybe after 25?

Edited by Jimmy Cinnabon

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I can’t speak for all athletes, but I started falling apart at 28. After college I could still go hard with the kids I coach every day no problem for years and years. At 28 I got a hernia and ruptured a disc in my neck so badly that I had to get an artificial disc put in. I have no idea how guys like JB go so hard for so long. Those guys are mutants and I’m in awe that they are 30+ and can compete at that level in such a physical sport. 

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My impression from following world class freestylers is that peak athletic performance occurs at age 24 or so. It’s rare to see a breakout performance or even noticeable improvement after 24 or so, but it occasionally happens.

In other sports, I think I’ve heard the term “age juicing” bandied about to refer to the practice of falsifying birth certificates in order to get an older child into a league with younger participants. 

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From my experience, once you start breaking bones and tearing ligaments things go downhill. Not if you are a teenager still, obviously, but in your mid twenties for sure. It began for me when rehab couldn't fully loosen a compromised joint. A little arthritis crept in there and its never been the same since. Numerous injuries later and you barely resemble what you once were. That's life.

I'll go with age 25, but anecdotally so. 

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Real question here then is are Kemmerer and Eirmann getting some of those old man lungs that many of us are plagued with!

There have been some older guys that made it though, Matt Brown comes to mind.

Makes me think of that strong Gopher class with Reiter, Kish, CP, Manny, etc.  That last year together their team looked like it belonged in a Hospital unit.

Edited by Class

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At least in freestyle the matches are a bit less of a grind and are 6 minutes instead of 7.  That perhaps makes for a nice transition and 22, 23 years old for the stars of the sport.  Not to mention weigh ins and competitions are counted on one hand in a year.

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1 hour ago, goheels1812 said:

I can’t speak for all athletes, but I started falling apart at 28. After college I could still go hard with the kids I coach every day no problem for years and years. At 28 I got a hernia and ruptured a disc in my neck so badly that I had to get an artificial disc put in. I have no idea how guys like JB go so hard for so long. Those guys are mutants and I’m in awe that they are 30+ and can compete at that level in such a physical sport. 

Getting off topic...but how did the artificial disc work out for ya? I had a cervical fusion c5-7 because the artificial discs were not approved yet for cervical (only lumbar). 

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18 minutes ago, Class said:

Real question here then is are Kemmerer and Eirmann getting some of those old man lungs that many of us are plagued with!

There have been some older guys that made it though, Matt Brown comes to mind.

Makes me think of that strong Gopher class with Reiter, Kish, CP, Manny, etc.  That last year together their team looked like it belonged in a Hospital unit.

Matt Brown is often brought up as an example of a wrestler who somehow gained an advantage by being older...however he spent 2 years in an African village where his "training" was doing pushups in the dirt and helping build huts made from mud bricks.

Not exactly the optimal training for college wrestling, but at the same time he wasn't getting the wear and tear that the 6th, 7th and 8th year seniors are getting wrestling in the room.  

Edited by Jimmy Cinnabon

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5 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

Getting off topic...but how did the artificial disc work out for ya? I had a cervical fusion c5-7 because the artificial discs were not approved yet for cervical (only lumbar). 

I jumped the gun a tiny bit in my post, as my surgery to have it put in is next Wednesday. I can let you know after that lol. But my neuro/spine doctor highly highly recommended it and said that he’s done it over 1000 times now with excellent results. Right now I’ve got a C6/C7 rupture that he said is one of the biggest he’s seen for someone my age. I’m so ready to have some relief and have it fixed though. 

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1 hour ago, goheels1812 said:

I jumped the gun a tiny bit in my post, as my surgery to have it put in is next Wednesday. I can let you know after that lol. But my neuro/spine doctor highly highly recommended it and said that he’s done it over 1000 times now with excellent results. Right now I’ve got a C6/C7 rupture that he said is one of the biggest he’s seen for someone my age. I’m so ready to have some relief and have it fixed though. 

My ACDF was enough to alleviate the pain, but limits future mobility. I assume the artificial disk will not have that problem and is probably a faster recovery (I was in a neck brace for 3 months). Best of luck!

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On 3/22/2021 at 1:00 PM, Fletcher said:

My ACDF was enough to alleviate the pain, but limits future mobility. I assume the artificial disk will not have that problem and is probably a faster recovery (I was in a neck brace for 3 months). Best of luck!

Thanks for the kind words! I’ll let you know how the artificial disc goes. The doctor said mobility should go back to completely normal, but I’m not allowed to wrestle live ever again due to concerns of displacing the disc. That part was the biggest bummer for me. 

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The Matt Brown example made me think...  There is probably an relationship between weight class and athletic peak as you move up.  The style of wrestling and requisite skills probably skew the peak younger in the lighter weights, with the upper weights being a little more durable and peaking later.  Add in the little guys routinely cutting a larger percentage of their body weight, and I've basically convinced myself of my own point.

As circumstantial examples at the extremes, I present to you Matt McDonough and Bruce Baumgartner.

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Interesting subject. I recall reading somewhere that natural aerobic capacity starts to decline at 18-19!  

For what it's worth, took the following from a medical study article: aerobic capacity declined 3% to 6% each decade in the 20s and 30s.

 

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3% in ten years is lost in the noise. 

MMA fighters look good physically well into their thirties.   Big Bruce did well into his thirties.  Like most mentioned, I think decline is more orthopedic accumulation than cardiovascular.

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On 3/23/2021 at 6:44 PM, KCMO2 said:

These super seniors are getting the old man lungs, but they're also getting the old man strength, so it's an even trade off.

John Hanrahan looks like he could step on the mat and do some damage at 165, and that's no BS. I think John is 58 or so. John used to hang around this board. 

Edited by TobusRex

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The average age of the 2019 world champions at the Olympic weights was 24.22.  So it sounds like all those guesses in the 24 and 25 vicinity were on to something.

It's pretty amazing to see wrestlers like Dake (30) and Burroughs (32) wrestle at a world class level despite their age.  Burroughs in particular has represented the US at world and Olympic competitions for an incredible nine years straight. That's a lot of mileage.

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