Aging strongly at a health and fitness center | PRO Sports Club

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PRO SPORtS cLUb
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Aging Strongly
When I was seven years old, I went to visit my grandmother in
strength will deteriorate quicker if you never dip into the
her new retirement home. It was my first time being around a
6-10 range. So, after 10 weeks of consistent strength training,
large population of people over 55. What surprised me the most
incorporate a couple of multi-joint exercises with heavier weight
was how thin and short everybody seemed to be. Most of my
and lower reps. A multi-joint exercise utilizes more than one
grandmother's neighbors were hunched over. When I asked my
joint to perform (e.g. a chest press recruits both the shoulder and
mom why everybody was short, she replied, "That's what happens
elbow, whereas a bicep curl only recruits the elbow). Ask a friend,
when you age."
fitness specialist, or personal trainer to act as a spotter if you feel
uncomfortable.
Today, as a personal trainer, I say, "Not so!"
Frequency. Try to work each muscle group two to three times a
Sarcopenia, age-related muscle deterioration, begins in our 30s.
week. Avoid working a sore muscle.
However, there's good news. Sarcopenia can be slowed, or even
reversed, with strength training.
Volume. The factor most responsible for muscle soreness is volume.
Start with just one set and add another set as your body gets
Strength training with an older population must be deliberate and
accustomed. One to three sets is sufficient.
there are multiple factors to consider.
Floor exercises. A major risk for anybody over the age of 50 is
Range of Motion. Flexibility goes down with age. Did you know
falling. Over 80 percent of people over 50 who break a hip die
that strength training, if done correctly, can be nearly as effective as within three years. That's why I have my clients perform a good
stretching? Because of the external load, if exercise is done through
amount of floor-based exercises such as pushups, planks, crawls,
a full range of motion, it can have the same effect as having a
and stretches. Being on the floor hardens the body to external
partner help you stretch. So always use your full range of motion.
pressures, improves coordination when standing up, and works
those explosive leg muscles (it takes a surprising amount of power
Repetition Range. This gets tricky. There are three main types
to get off the floor). Try to get on the floor and back up five or
of muscles: strong fast twitch, endurance slow twitch, and
more times a workout.
transitional. When we're younger, transitional can be used as
strong fast twitch. However, as we age, these muscles tend to be
If you haven't already done so, be sure to schedule a FREE Get
used for endurance. Because of this, you may get better results
Started appointment with one of our personal trainers.
if you spend more time in the 12-15 reps range. Nevertheless,
Photos: istockphoto.com
50 PRO PULSE SEPTEMBER \\ OCTOBER 2013