Weight Training: After 50 Years, It’s Still Number One!

Everyone has their own reasons why they derive joy from one form of exercise and not another. Fifty years is a long time to be doing anything, so let’s look at a few of my reasons, shall we?
Fitness Goals

It’s important to address these components of fitness in one’s training routine:

1. Strength movements
2. Aerobic Conditioning
3. Movements challenging balance and coordination
4. Range of motion and flexibility movements

Achieving these goals, for me, involves a combination of weight training, treadmill/stairclimber time (always with fast/slow intervals), and dedicated stretching time (after main workout).

The Utility of Weights

While I incorporate bodyweight movements in my workouts–and certainly they can be, by themselves, an incredible routine–here are my reasons for preferring iron plates and dumbbells:

1. Total control of weight/movement

2. Ability to train specific areas effectively with varying degrees of resistance and range of motion.

Here are the real world benefits of the points above…

Being able to begin a fitness program using very minimal resistance and very basic moves is important. I love the functionality of the chin up, and use them instead of curls for my biceps routine–but most people aren’t capable of lifting their own body weight. This point is critically important to the population of Senior citizens who desperately need resistance training to have hope for battling osteoporosis. There is no better way to strengthen bones than consistent progressive resistance training!

Beyond the beginning stages, strength training with equipment becomes what one wants to make of it. With compound movements such as squats, and minimal rest time between sets, a challenging aerobic workout can be accomplished.

This ability to train safely and with such incredible variability of movement, resistance, and range makes weightlifting my favorite for strength training!

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



Categories: Fitness, Resistance Training

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5 replies

  1. I’m in total agreement with this post and wish there were a way to get this message out to all the women over 55 who are terrified to pick up anything heavier than a 5 lb. weight. I’m 62 and have been powerlifting under the watchful eye of an experienced coach for several years. Being small boned and post-menopausal, I knew that I was on my way to a wheelchair if I didn’t address the osteoporosis risk ASAP. But it’s not just me — osteoporosis is a real problem for millions of women — and men. But the ladies tend to go for yoga and Zumba. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but they won’t maintain our bones. I’ve never been strong, and I came to weight training with trepidation and a lack of confidence. I had to start from scratch because I was so deconditioned. But with a knowledgeable trainer who designed a well-rounded program suited to my limitations, that took into account prior injuries, plus a good dose of patience and consistency, I’m getting strong for the first time in my life. Nobody gets to age 60 without some battle scars. But they don’t have to stand in the way. Everybody is capable of doing something, which is always better than doing nothing.

    Deadlifting 120 lbs. on a 110 lb. bodyweight is my latest achievement and wow, does it feel good. Of course, you’ve got to enjoy lifting weights, which I do. But I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t taken the risk and made the commitment. Don’t be like a friend of mine who made a face when I told her I was weight training. “Eew, is that where they make you do all those repetitions?” she said with a scowl. Ha! Weight training is not a punishment. In fact, picking up something heavy — with proper form — is an intrinsically pleasurable experience.

    There are other good reasons to lift in addition to strength: balance, stamina and self-confidence. And weight training helps maintains mental acuity as we age. There’s no good reason not to do it.

    Thanks for getting the message out! It’s important!

    • Rita, what you said is better than my blog post! What a fantastic accomplishment. I have published a number of articles regarding osteoporosis in this last year. You are leading by example of what every woman could and should be doing. Thanks so much for taking the time to share!

      • Hey Steven, Thanks for the encouragement. I like to share my story because I want to inspire others, especially women, to overcome their fear of weight training. The right coach is crucial, along with one’s own motivation, of course.

  2. 50 years! Impressive and obviously something you enjoy and believe in!

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