Developing stronger muscles is an important part of fitness training at any age.
With a regular strength training program (even 20-30 minutes, 2-3 days a week) you can:
- Reduce Body Fat
- Increase Lean Muscle Mass
- Burn Calories More Efficiently
Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, but here’s the good news…
STRENGTH TRAINING CAN HELP YOU PRESERVE AND ENHANCE YOUR LEAN MUSCLE MASS AND INCREASE STAMINA – REGARDLESS OF AGE!
You don’t have to turn into a bodybuilder to develop stronger muscles! And there are several great choices and methods you can use to workout at home or at your local gym.
Exercise options to develop muscle strength
- Body Weight – There are lots of great exercises you can do with little or no equipment. Using your own body weight for resistance is a quick and easy way to get a strength training workout! Do exercises like Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Dips, Sit-Ups, Crunches, Lunges, and Leg Squats.
- Resistance Bands and Exercise Tubing – Exercise Bands and Resistance Tubing are an inexpensive, lightweight option for muscle strengthening. Bands and Tubes generally come in different colors (which means different amounts of resistance – easier and more challenging) to help you get the most from your workouts.
- Free Weights – Barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells are all traditional tools for strength training, but you can also make your own weights, or use anything that provides you with varying amounts of weight to move and lift!
- Weight Machines – These you will find at your local gym and health club, or can purchase home-use machines at your local sporting goods store.
No need to worry about bulking up, or looking like a bodybuilder, unless you’re planning on spending hours in the gym lifting lots of weights to really strive for this type of physique.
A general strength and conditioning program will help increase your muscle tone, strength, and stamina, so that you can enjoy an enhanced quality of life, but not leave you looking like the incredible hulk!
General Guidelines for a Strength Training Program
- Begin with a weight that you can lift for 8-12 repetitions. On the 12th repetition you should just barely be able to finish the motion.
- Repeat each exercise (8-12 repetitions) one to three times. Each of these is called a “set.” According to the American College of Sports Medicine, performing more than one set, “may elicit slightly greater strength gains, but the additional improvement is relatively small.”
- Perform a minimum of 8 to 10 exercises that target all major muscle groups and work through a full range of motion. This includes: Chest, back, shoulders, arms, upper legs, hips, abdomen, and lower legs. Not sure what to do – a session or two with a personal trainer can be an excellent jump start to your workout program to help teach you how to do each exercise correctly, and help develop a workout program to meet your needs and goals.
- Give your body time to recover between training sessions. Rest one day between workouts, or have a trainer help create a weight lifting program that has you alternating different muscle groups on different days to ensure you are getting the necessary rest to recover.
- When you can easily do more than 15 repetitions of any exercise, increase the weight or resistance.
Note: It’s always best to get your physicians approval before you start any new exercise program. Remember to start gradually and increase your time, number of exercises, and resistance slowly. Always listen to your body and stop if you feel pain. It is normal to notice mild muscle soreness from a strength training program, but sharp pain and/or swollen joints are a sign that you’ve over-exerted and need to back off a bit.
Getting Results from Your Strength Training Program!
You will begin to notice improvements in your strength and muscle tone in only a few short weeks. And remember, for most people 20-30 minute strength conditioning weight-training workouts, two to three days a week, is sufficient to help improve your health and wellness.
With consistent strength training workouts it’s possible that you can even increase your strength fifty percent or more within six months!
Health and Fitness Activities You May Enjoy
Ready to get started? Centerworks has several exercise equipment packages to help you improve your health and fitness!