| Posted under Senior Fitness |
Resistance exercise for seniors is the foundation for muscle and bone strength. But hardly anyone wants to go to the gym three times a week to lift weights. Fortunately, it is now simpler, faster, and easier than ever to get the right results with just one session per week. Here is how.
The Key is Slow, not Heavy
Weightlifting conjures up grunting, sweaty guys who seem to live in the weight room. No wonder it turns so many people off. Throw out that vision right now. It is irrational and unscientific. And it does not apply to most people.
Imagine instead sitting down at a weight machine, selecting an appropriate weight, and being done with it for the week after just one set. All you have to do to reap maximum benefit from this exercise is to lift slowly, to a count of 12 or so, and return slowly to the same count. Repeat until you have had a total exertion time of 90-120 seconds. Do the same for 3-4 other machines that address different muscle groups, and you are done. That’s it for the week!
In fact, research shows that if you do more than that, or do it more often, you will undermine the benefits. Moreover, even working out every 10 or even 14 days still gives you the same benefits. The details of the science behind this approach are provided by Dr. Doug McGuff and John Little in their book, Body by Science. Fortunately, you can find out everything you need to now in their free online videos. Links to all of them are here: Body by Science videos.
Also see what Dr. McGuff has to say about the importance of this program for seniors in this video: Considerations For Athletes And Seniors.
Strength is Just One of Many Benefits
As you know, for us seniors so many things go haywire as we get older. Many of them are unnecessary, at least with the speed that they seem to come on. Loss of muscle mass is just one of them. However, working out by the right resistance exercise for seniors not only strengthens muscles and bones, it provides a whole litany of other benefits.
As cited in the Body by Science book, studies have shown that proper strength training leads to the following:
- Regained muscle strength and function
- Increased muscle strength and muscle size in senior men and women, including nursing home residents
- Enhanced walking endurance
- Reduced body fat levels
- Increased metabolic rate
- Reduced resting blood pressure
- Improved blood lipid proviles
- Increased gastrointestinal transit speed (anti-constipation!)
- Enhanced glucose utilization
- Alleviated low-back pain
- Increased bone mineral density
- Eased arthritic discompfort
- Relieve depression
- Improved postcoronary performance
And the icing on the cake is that not one of these studies reported any training related injuries!
So get with it, folks. Check out the videos (or buy the book), adopt the right exercise program, and feel stronger and better in many, many ways. Make life good today!
All the best in exercise for seniors,
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Workout routines for muscle building workouts are grossly inefficient. The only thing they add is time in the gym, not more muscle. Here is the research that shows you what to do instead.
Workout Routines – The Dogma
I’ve succumbed to this dogma about muscle building exercises because it is what I’ve been told, since forever,by coaches, trainers, fitness experts, physical therapists, and all manner of specialists. It was drummed into me. I still see it being drummed into clients in my local gym, by trainers who should know better. It goes like this…
To build bigger, stronger muscles most efficiently, you must:
- Workout each muscle group three times per week
- At each session, do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Use weights that take you to muscle failure by the end of each set
Guess what … each and every bit of advice in this list is WRONG!
I will cite research supporting this claim, addressing each point one at a time, in this and future posts. Suffice it for now to say that you don’t need to workout three times per week. In fact, that is too destructive. You don’t need to do 3-4 sets of any predetermined number of reps. And you don’t need to select one weight for any set.
The bit of dogma that I want to address in this post is the one about the number of sets. If you are still getting (or giving) advice about doing multiple sets, then you are at least 15 years out of date. Your approach has been obsolete for that long!
Here are a couple of abstracts from studies that were published in professional journals in 1997 and 1998 (that means the research was done 2-3 years before that).
I’ve highlighted the main points in blue for take-home lessons from these articles.
Study 1 is an example of experimental research, where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. There are many studies like this one, with the same results. Indeed, Study 2 is a comparison of multiple studies, what we call a review of the literature. The authors of this article found that, in 45 out of 47 studies surveyed, performing multiple sets brought absolutely no additional benefits when compared with single-set workout routines. The other two studies showed marginal benefit for doing multiple sets.
Pretty interesting, isn’t it? Now, quit wasting your time in the gym and inject some efficiency into your muscle building workouts – with one set per session!
Blowing up workout routines dogma,
| Posted under Muscle Building Supplements |
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| Posted under Bodybuilding Supplements |
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| Posted under Bodybuilding Supplements |
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