So you've determined that it's time for you to do something about the condition of the shape you're in in your senior years, as the bones get more brittle and your muscles weaker. Weight training exercise is the ideal means by which you can return to your old self, with tough bones and good muscle mass. However it is intimidating for senior citizens unless you fully understand how you can start. This article will make it a snap to get going! Keep reading to discover how weight training for seniors can be easy, fun, and best of all, habit-forming!
Getting A Grasp Of Weight Training Lingo
We should get up and running by understanding a couple of principles. You need to understand the fundamental principles of the way weight training actually works, and the basic process by which the muscles in your body increase.
Sets Vs. Reps
The easiest way to grasp reps (short for repetitions) and sets is to picture a person doing some push-ups. If they do ten push ups back to back, that is one "set," with 10 "reps." When they then rest for 30 seconds and proceed to do 10 additional push-ups one after the other, that's 2 sets of ten reps.
It's very helpful to take short breaks in between the sets to let the muscles in your body to recover. This commonly ranges anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. Your endurance will end up even better when spending a smaller amount of time on your rest intervals.
Free weights (also called dumbbells or barbells) are weights that aren't attached to a weight lifting machine. They are well-liked by fitness instructors given that they call for more utilization of stabilising muscle groups (put simply, one's body has to work more to keep the weights stable than it would with a machine, which stabilizes for you).
The loss of your muscular mass. This could be a result of the lack of use of the muscle (for example you're not doing exercise often enough), or because of injuries, or illness.
The Essentials Of Strength Training
We're all aware that over time you can build muscle by doing a basic piece of equipment like lifting a 3 to five pound bar bell several times each week. So why and just how would this happen?
To give an example, we'll use the bicep curl. With a bicep curl, you keep a weight in one or in both hands, with the arms extended ahead of you. Then you bend your arms upwards in the direction of your shoulders. When you do this exercise, it produces tiny tears in the muscle of your bicep. Next amino acids come in to restore and strengthen the ripped muscle fibers. This helps make them a bit more resistant against damage in the future.
This process begins straight away, but because it is so tiny, it will need some time before you begin to notice obvious benefits in the form of tougher and bigger muscles. Take care, though. The muscles can start to atrophy after just 2 weeks of non-use (ie. if you don't continue doing your exercises regularly, you are going to drop just about any gains that you make).
Senior Weight Training: Getting Going
Since you're ready to go, let's move on by learning a couple of the basic exercises you can perform.
We would suggest you start with the Super Senior Workout videos, which will take you through the weighttraining exercises that will genuinely benefit your body, and at the end of the program gives you a full weight training workout you can do for remarkable strength gains in just a month.
How much weight do you want to start out with? Take a full 1-liter water bottle in each of your hand. With the water bottles in your hands, perform the following moves 8 times a piece.
Put your arms at your sides and then raise them up so your body looks similar to the letter "t."
While not moving or raising the shoulders, raise your arms above your head.
With the legs about two ft. apart, go into a squat, keeping the knees parallel to the toes, spine straight, and looking ahead of you.
Take a position with your feet a shoulder's breadth apart from each other and come up onto your toes.
How did you do? Have a look at the more common reactions that follow, and after that proceed with the strategies.
--I wasn't able to complete the repetitions for one or more of the strength training exercises Empty the waterbottles half way and make use of those for now. You can little by little fill up the water bottles with morewater when it becomes easier to do.
--I had tender muscles after the movements: Stick to the full water bottles and then graduate to the dumbbells (below) till it becomes easier.
--I was feeling somewhat sore after the movements: Purchase some 3 lb and 5 lb free weights and perform the same movements with three pound barbells, eventually graduating to the 5 lb ones.
--I thought they were pretty simple: Get some 5 lb. and 7 lb dumbbells and do the same movements with five lb weights, eventually graduating to the seven lb. ones.
The drills were actually ridiculously easy! Acquire 7 lb and 10 lb. barbells and then do the same drills with 7 lb free weights after a while graduating to the ten lb. dumbbells.
Consider adding no less than one fresh weight bearing exercise a week, until you have a routine of about 10 to 12. Make an effort to vary the exercises every once in a to keep from plateauing (which occurs when your muscles quit getting bigger and stronger).
With slow and mindful progress, you'll start to see real benefits from your new weight training for seniors strategy!
Ron Krayewski writes about weight training for seniors at SuperSeniorFitness.com. Ron is a resistancetraining professional and has been coaching clients for more than 40 years. Now that he's sixty-five, he is providing training and fitness advice to boomers, and creating a series of video programs about senior weight training.