Strength Training Over 40 from Cycing to Runnng to Swimming.

Strength Training for the Core muscle groups and more....

A week or so ago I wrote about why it's important to do some sort of strength and core conditioning. You learned a little about me and why I feel so strongly about lifting weights and doing resistance training. Of course, you’ll check in with your physician to make sure lifting is medically OK for you to do. I would also recommend you get a good Trainer or Physical Therapist to instruct you with good form and proper technique.

The more we continuously do resistance training or lift weights, the more we
can slow down and  reverse the decline of muscle mass on our bodies. We can also help
develop better bone density or bone mass. You need resistance on all of your muscle
groups. There is also research that shows that lifting weights and doing resistance training can actually improve mood swings (think Manopause, ladies), help arthritis, improve past
injuries, help with current broken bones (think ski accidents, bike falls, and simple every
day silly injuries).

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends people 40 and over do
strength training exercises at least 2-3 times every week. If you do not continuously work
all of your  muscles to failure/fatigue you will not get them to adapt to building muscle.
This means if you go to the gym from December to February, next year when you come
back to the gym in December, you are starting over. Over 40, you simply do not have this
valuable time to waste. The older we get, the easier it is to lose our muscle.

Guess what? It’s never too late to start.  There are studies of elderly men and women who were given a program of lifting weights three times per week for a 10 week period. It was stated that they increased their strength by 113%. This means their other activities could be done faster, they could lift more objects, and sustain a more independent lifestyle.

The best exercises are multi joint exercises in order to maximize your time in the gym
and work on those exercises that train the muscle you use in every day activities.  It is
especially important to strengthen your deep mid-section muscles. We call this your
“core”. You use these muscles for everything,, not just your sports activities. Try
standing up and put on your socks and shoes. Now, bend over and pick up your tennis
bag.  How about bend over your bathtub to clean the sides. You have used your core
muscles for these activities. If you cannot put on your shoes and socks while standing-
well, better get into that gym and do some core exercises, and strength training.

Fitness Ball Pushups.
Do not use a weight that is too light.  You want to feel mild discomfort in your muscles
the day after your workout. I mean mild. It takes about 24-48 hours for the muscle to go
through a process  of repairing and then adaptation.  You only want a small amount of
“micro-tearing” or mild muscle damage to occur.  A mild breakdown of muscle protein
stimulates the rebuilding process in your muscles. This is how the muscle adapts for each
new period of training or each new load of weight. You do not want to feel a lot of pain
for several days because this will be the result of too much muscle damage that  will take
several days or weeks to recover from. Go about 48 hours between workouts of  each
muscle group in order to have full recovery of the muscle fibers.

At all times you must maintain proper form when weight lifting or doing any type of
resistance training. Do not use momentum to lift or lower a weight. Do not bounce and
throw your weights or body around. This is poor form and can cause injury.  You must
maintain good posture, and muscle control. 

Now let’s get started for a better and healthier life.