Inspired by a short chat with Paul Savage over what we'd seen Laine Snook do this afternoon and the question 'why doesn't he do this and that...??'. In my reply as to the whys and wherefores I pointed out to Paul how the mindset of a lifter changes as they mature.
One could argue, and it has been done, that as we approach our peak strength potential we also need to take greater care with recovery, injuries and so on. This is true. I have used an analogy which goes thus: as we tread ever further into the new territory of world record lifts we take our bodies to places others have yet to do so. If others got torn skin, injuries and so on then we are merely fortunate that we have not. But we risk it each and every time.
I also argued that the mind set of a strong testosterone filled teenager works on different levels to that of a 40+ but equally strong lifter. The teenager will lift for hours, then party, then do a days work. He cares not for the risk of injury. The older bull, as it were, has many concerns least among is which whatever he does will make the old injuries ache, take him longer to recover from and so on. Basically he can do the same lifts, or better, as the younger lifter but he knows there are consequences to the action.
As a 40+ lifter myself I can draw on what drives me and how I get myself to do the crazy stuff. For a start I know how to rev my engine as it were. I know what works. I have experienced many times the feeling of a lack of strength in lighter weight sets on some exercises only to power like a freak through the bigger stuff. It's as though I unconsciously hold back a little energy for what is coming. I get the best from equipment because I know how to wrap a wrist, tighten a belt just so and so on. I'll tend to be stricter with my nutrition and more aware of my aches, pains and issues with recovery (I listen rather than ignore... most of the time).
For me the key word, used above, is drive. I might have a bad back or, like another Brit, had heart problems, yet another has had muscle and tendon tears and so on. These problems aren't confined to these shores. Yet a sort of built in stupidity combined with aggression and more than a little desire helps, along with my 'look at what I can do' showing off (and perhaps liking a challenge) helps me to occasionally put it together well enough that I kick ass. Like above I know I'll ache, be tired, whathaveyou, but in the moment... I just don't care. Perhaps just like the teenager after all. Oh well. :D