Weight Training for Men Over 60

WEIGHT TRAINING FOR MEN OVER 60

Weight training for older men is a vital need for continued strength, stamina, mobility, and stability.  Yet, as we grow older, our joints do not stay the same as when we were young.  The risk of inflammatory pain and injury increases, and energy often decreases.

As a result, weight training for older men becomes challenging.

If you have not lifted weights for a long time or have not done them at all, it won’t be easy to start weight training at age 60. When you begin a weight training program from age 60, you should seek professional advice and guidance.

The benefits of weight training at age 60 far outweigh the risks for most men and women if you are guided on how to do the correct exercises and at the appropriate intensity and volume.

What is weight training?

Weight training or Resistance Training is a type of training that focuses on resistance to promote muscle contraction and extension, increase muscle size, and increase endurance and anaerobic strength.

Training often involves improving muscle mass development using different modalities focusing on specific muscle groups or adding more weight as the exercise progresses. Modalities include free weights, weight machines, bands, tubes, and equivalent items.

Weight training, when you are over 60, is effective and safe.

Most people understand the benefits of daily aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.  However, you may miss an important fitness component if you skip weight training.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that strength exercises are safe and effective for men of all ages, including those with poor health.  People with health problems, including heart disease or arthritis, often benefit from a weight-bearing exercise program several times a week.

Why weight training is important for men over 60:

1. Relief from arthritis:

Recent research suggests a strength-training program for older men and women more prone to severe abdominal osteoarthritis. After 16 weeks, the subjects reported that their pain decreased by 43%.

In addition, they increased muscle strength, physical activity and reduce fatigue. Similar effects are found in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis.

2. It helps with Proper balance:

As we grow older, poor balance and flexibility can be a risk factor for falls resulting in injury. However, strength exercises or workouts for older individuals can increase flexibility and balance and reduce the possibility of life-changing falls and fractures.

3. Healthy heart tissue:

Weight training from the age of 60 is important to heart health because the risk of heart disease is lower when your body is holding a lower percentage of body fat.

Many studies have found that heart patients gain energy and aerobic strength when including strength training in their exercise program. Just make sure to consult your physician and utilize a Certified Personal Trainer in coordination with you doctor.

4. Fat Burning:

People who weight train or do resistance training, burn more calories, and lose more weight than their friends who are not training with weights. This is because, after each exercise, your body needs materials to repair muscles and will continue to burn fat and calories for a few hours.

Also, according to the CDC, weight training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate when done regularly, which helps fight against weight gain and cardiovascular disease.

5. Improving muscle tone and quality:

Weight training for older people helps increase and improve muscle size and strength.  As we grow older, muscles begin to weaken, or muscle contraction occurs, and training helps to build muscles size and strength that has slowly been lost over time due to age related muscle loss.

6. Increased endurance and muscle strength:

Strength and endurance go hand in hand, and whenever strength improves, endurance follows typically. Strength training at age 60 should first target specific muscle groups that are underactive and are causing muscle imbalances that affect the posture of the body and daily activity.

Once you build strength, you are slowly building up or improving your muscle endurance. This enables you to train and do your daily tasks for longer periods without feeling overly tired or exhausted.

7. Improving metabolism:

If your body starts to build strength, you lose weight because your body uses fat or calories to fuel your movement and exercise. This creates a need for increased production for other body systems. Your body is like a machine that compensates for the demands of its training.

If you do regular resistance exercises, which increase your energy production, your body adapts or adjusts to the “normal” training requirements. This principle is called Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand.

Getting Started Weight Training Over 60

So, how do you get started without injuring yourself? As we grow older, our joints do not stay the same as when they were young. The risk of inflammatory pain and injury increases, and energy can often decrease.

Weight Training Tips for Men Over 60:

  • To begin, do some simple exercises that you can do in a chair or supine (on your back). In doing this, you can ensure that the resistance hits the major target muscles but reduces the risk of joint damage in other parts of the body. If you do any standing exercises, make sure to use just body weight when you first begin, because you also need to build up your stability.
  • Even in the beginning, do those exercises that involve a minimum number of joints. Some examples are push-ups, bench presses, leg curls, foot presses, and shoulder presses. In this way, you can reach many important muscle groups in the upper and lower body. As your training progresses over several weeks, there are more strenuous exercises, such as squats, side pulls, and triceps push-ups.
  • Divide your routine into upper and lower body exercises on different days to mix things up.
  • Exercise quality and technique is more important than weight. Do your exercises slowly and methodically. Avoid using weights that are too heavy during exercise, which will reduce the benefits and lead to joint and muscle injuries for people over 60.
  • Do not try to increase the weight on every lift; the idea is not to blast the muscles. Because when you train with heavier weights than you are comfortable with, your body will need a lot longer to recover at this age.  Gradually, you may begin to add weight as your overall strength, stability and endurance improve with exercises.

As you grow older, you need more rest than ever before. Rest for two days between each exercise for the same muscles.  For example, exercise the upper body one day, exercise the lower body the next day and plan a full day of rest before doing the upper body exercises in the second week.

  • Prepare fully before exercising. The warmup is not just about the warming; it is also a self-assessment. See what your body tells you in terms of stiffness, pain, power levels, and so on. Make sure you are doing your active stretches and static stretches as planned by your personal trainer.
  • Listen to what your body is telling you. Just because you did it at 25 or 50 does not mean you can do it today. Do what you can and progress when it is time. This is for long-term health and gain and we should not rush it.

Conclusion

Weight training at the age of 60 is a practical way to restore strength, balance, stability, and endurance. The program’s goals go beyond improving bones and muscles, it is for your overall health and wellness.

If you have underlying heart conditions or chronic health concerns, ask your doctor or physical therapist what exercises are best for keeping you healthy and strong.

If you are looking for a personal trainer, I can guide you on the most beneficial training for best results without causing injury. I will help you get the best type of training to fit your specific needs based on proven assessments and techniques. Contact me to find out more. Click Here!

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