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Strength Training Guidelines for Over 50s
Much of my demographic is the slightly older, successful, professional male. Their success comes at a personal cost. These clients generally have a busy work and family life with little time to dedicate to themselves.
All over 50’s should be doing some form of weight training. It will help slow the ageing process and really improve their quality of life as they age. By setting up healthy habits now, it can maintain youthfulness for a longer and a happier, more active lifestyle.
Now, with these clients in particular, their time and availability is often the most precious resource.
See below for my top 5 tips to ensure success at the gym:
1. Train compound movements and maximise ‘bang for buck’
As you age, anabolic hormones such as Testosterone and Growth Hormone start to naturally wane. Use multi-joint compound movements (squats/pressing/rows etc) to help stimulate as much muscle as possible, in the shortest time. Not only can this help spike natural hormones, but it can minimise the need for extra exercises. This will shorten the session, both saving you time and preventing stress hormones such as Cortisol building up over a long session (minimising Cortisol will help maximise results).
2. Focus on recovery as much as you possibly can
You do not become fitter/healthier in the gym, this happens after recovery. Focus on sleep, nutrition and minimising stress. This is especially important as you age, due to the fall of natural anabolic hormones. Simply put, help your body to help you.
3. Do not lift as heavy and as hard as you can all the time
Use a variety of rep ranges and rest periods to provide stimulus. Competing with younger people is a recipe for disaster and will increase your injury risk. What they may ‘get away with’ is more than the older person. Train smarter, not harder.
4. Keeping supple and mobile is key to a good quality of life
Use a variety of rep ranges and rest periods to provide stimulus. Good mobility will help both prevent injury and enable you to continue living life to the fullest as old age slowly approaches. Stretching after training will also kick start the recovery process.
5. Ensure you work on building muscle
The more muscle mass you hold, the stronger and healthier you will be as you age. This will also help prevent injury and slow down the aging process (physically inactive people will naturally lose 3-5% of the muscle mass per decade as they age). Strength training to build/maintain muscle is the optimal way to avoid frailty as you age. As a further bonus, strength training also helps improve bone density which further protects against fragility.
Strength training is key for the over 50 population. Be sure to take it steady but be consistent. The five points above will keep you in good stead. Follow them in the gym and help maximise your quality of life and well-being.
I hope you find this article useful, if so, please feel free to share on social media.