Strength Training for Older Adults

The basic studies showed that strength exercise is effective for increasing muscle strength and size in senior men, senior women, and even nursing home residents. Numerous studies have shown that strength training for seniors done regularly not only builds up bone and muscle but counteracts the weakness and frailty that usually comes with aging.

The common perception of the elderly is that they become weak and fragile due to an age induced muscle wasting. The clinical term for this condition is sarcopenia, and it has been shown to contribute to the reduction in muscle mass and strength associated with
aging. However, studies involving injury and disuse have clearly demonstrated that inactivity can also induce muscle wasting, and is a major factor in the loss of muscle mass.

Each exercise was performed for one set of 8 to 12 repetitions to the point of momentary muscle fatigue. When 12 repetitions were completed with proper exercise form the weight load was increased by 5 percent.

If you have little experience of weight training and free weights, you may wish to start with the machine leg press instead of the squat, especially if you’re not accompanied by a trainer, helper or spotter. Even so, there is no reason to be intimidated by the squat exercise. It need not be done in a squat rack or power cage with the big bar and free weights to begin with, although squatting with the bar alone is a good way to practice form.

Warm up with ten minutes of aerobic exercise. This can be with treadmill walking or jogging, stationary bicycle, cross-trainer or stepper machines. Extend this to thirty minutes depending on requirements for fat loss. In any case, It is recommended that you perform at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise at moderate intensity three times each week for all weight trainers in order to promote aerobic fitness. It need not be done at the same time as the weights session.

Various formulae exist for calculating what this starting weight should be, but I find it just as easy to trial different weights until you get to that limit. Try an obvious light weight, for you, to warm up and then upgrade to something heavier for the workout set. By the third set you should have settled on the 12RM weight. If not, just move on and upgrade the weight next session.

When first starting out try an obvious light weight, for you, to warm up and then upgrade to something heavier for the workout set. By the third set you should have settled on the 12RM weight. If not, just move on and upgrade the weight next session.

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