Updated: Jan 7
FACT OR FICTION FRIDAY || I'm no spring chicken so I should no longer lift weights, or I'm too old to start! 🏋️ ❌
Answer: FICTION 🙊
Progressive strength training in the elderly (>60 years) is efficient, even with higher intensities, to improve bone health, pack on muscle and retain function. And not surprisingly, side effects are rare!
Strength training increases muscle strength by increasing muscle mass, and by improving the recruitment of motor units, and increasing their firing rate. This is no different between younger and older gym goers.
It all comes down to how you train! Training with higher loads generally provokes marginally larger gains in muscle size. Intensity corresponding above 85% of the individual maximum voluntary strength can also illicit improved rate of force development compared to 60-80%. This is imperative for reducing frailty as we age.
It is now recommended that healthy old people should train 3 or 4 times weekly for the best results; persons with poor performance at the outset can achieve improvement even with less frequent training.
So if you are using age as an excuse - STOP! Don't let your age be a barrier to trying new things or feeling strong. We are here to help with supervised sessions, a great network of PTs as well as our clinical reformer pilates classes which are a great way to start (or return) to strength training!
To book for a clinical pilates 1:1 session or to chat with a physio about how strength training can help you, head to our website or give us a call on (07) 3102 3337
PREVENT | PREPARE | PERFORM
Mayer, F., Scharhag-Rosenberger, F., Carlsohn, A., Cassel, M., Müller, S., & Scharhag, J. (2011). The intensity and effects of strength training in the elderly. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 108(21), 359.
Lopez, P., Pinto, R. S., Radaelli, R., Rech, A., Grazioli, R., Izquierdo, M., & Cadore, E. L. (2018). Benefits of resistance training in physically frail elderly: a systematic review. Aging clinical and experimental research, 30(8), 889-899.