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STRENGTH FOR SENIORS

Posted on January 4, 2012 · Posted in Clients, Personal, Training

When designing a programme for people of a more mature age I find myself being frustrated.  The frustration arises due to a statement that I always hear from a senior client particularly in relation to strength training. You do know what age I am, and this usually comes from a fitter individual then some of my younger clients. I feel this comes about because most people avoid encouraging seniors from exercise and activity. I think this is not productive to health as age is not the key factor. Naturally we look at age but  it is about laying foundations that we build upon, what needs  to be taken into account is the individuals exercise history, medication history, injury / illness history and finally what they hope to achieve with their exercise routine. Once this is taken into consideration and we should be able partake in some form of exercise.

IF YOU HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE BETWEEN CV TRAINING AND STRENGTH FOR SENIORS – CHOOSE STRENGTH

What we are asked to do in life is pull drag and lift (think of those grandchildren). You will never be asked to run down to the shop and back as quick as you can. What we are trying to achieve is independence and quality of life in older age, STRONG MEN AND WOMEN STAY YOUNG.

On average the adult who does not strength train will lose 5 – 10 lbs of muscle every decade from the age of 20, therefore the average 50 year old who does not strength train will have already lost 15 – 20 lbs of muscle. This will have a negative effect on the ability of the body to generate force to burn up calories, posture, joint stability, bone density and most importantly reaction time.  This is why strength is so important, no matter how much cardio we do we still loose muscle, the only way to halt this is with strength training with an overall goal of increasing and maintaining muscle mass. Not only will you improve posture, burn more calories and feel better you will also improve your insulin sensitivities.

 

Studies have shown older muscle responds proportionately as well as young muscle to strength training when the intensity of the training is sufficiently high enough and technique on the exercises is good.

Once you taste the improvements in your everyday activities and quality of life that strength training allows you will become a committed strength enthusiast.

The evidence is clear and convincing – Strength and Conditioning for the older adult is crucial and must be put into practise.