If you are looking to get into strength training and lifting weights at an older age, you might be new to the benefits of strength training for seniors. Read on to find out why strength training is the next best thing to a fountain of youth!
Article updated: 29th August 2022.
I’m going to let you on a little secret. Strength training is one of the best things one can do to keep their body functional and healthy. There is this common misconception that old age automatically means a frail and weak body and disabilities.
It’s understandable a teenager might think like this but surprisingly many middle-aged people think that old age frailty is inevitable and the is no point to fight against it.
When in reality the science and firsthand experiences of thousands of people all around the world say otherwise. If you stay otherwise healthy it’s actually possible to stay relatively strong, mobile, and limber to the 70s, 80s, or even 90s.
Make no mistake, aging is inevitable, but there is a lot you can do to avoid losing your ability to move and function independently in your everyday life.
Benefits Of Strength Training For Seniors: Introduction
In essence, the strength of your body is what allows you the freedom to go where you want, when you want, and participate in activities you like.
If you let your body deteriorate, you can lose that freedom. And it’s much harder or impossible to get it back instead of simply never letting it go.
Strength training, other exercises, and a healthy diet can be the dividing line between spending the last two decades of your life on this plane on a wheelchair and hospital bed instead of walking freely living your life to the fullest.
There are of course no guarantees in life and aging can bring many ailments and diseases with it. In some cases, exercise and strength training can help with symptoms, so it’s definitely something to ask your doctor about.
Having a strong body is always beneficial and can increase your odds of living disease-free life in older age. It’s up to you to tip the scales one way or another.
Here’s a great informational video about strength training for seniors by Barbell Logic (embedded YouTube link, ElderStrength does not own this content):
In this article, you will learn about the benefits of strength training for seniors. We will also look at the risks of strength training and define what strength training actually is. Without further ado, let’s get started!
What Is Strength Training
Let’s start by looking at the benefits of strength training by defining what exactly is strength training as the term can be confusing to people new to the subject.
Strength training is any form of exercise that specifically aims to improve muscular strength. Where strength is the amount of force that can be produced by the muscle or muscle group in question. I.e. how much weight you can lift on a certain muscle group.
Components of strength
Strength consists of three components: Muscular, neural, and skill.
When you train in a way that aims to increase the strength of a muscle group, you will perform resistance exercises on that muscle group that will cause stress on the muscles.
If this stress is sufficient it will lead to an overload situation. An overload situation will cause a muscle to adapt to stress if it’s given enough time and energy to recover.
The muscular adaptation will cause an increase in the size of your muscle cells as they will store more energy to be able to better respond to the demand of force production. This is what we see as muscle mass. Muscle mass increases the amount of force a single muscle fiber can produce, think of it as the worker.
The neural adaptation will increase how hard the muscle can be activated at will. This will make the individual muscle fibers of the muscle work more efficiently and in better coordination and more muscle fibers can be recruited, resulting in greater force production (6). You can think of the neural component of strength as the supervisor. It tells the muscle cells, the workers, to do their work (contract).
Skill-based strength adaptations are actually neural as well but more linked with coordination. Strength is a skill in the sense that the more you do a certain exercise, the better your whole nervous system will become at performing the said exercise.
This includes everything from concentration to breathing and moving the resistance in an optimal path for maximal efficiency. Think of the skill component as the rules for working.
In strength training the weight, load, or machine you are lifting and moving is referred to as resistance. This is why strength training is also called resistance training or weight training.
It’s very important to recognize that strength adaptations only happen at sufficient resistance levels. This varies depending on the muscle group, individual, and training experience.
In general strength adaptation only happen with loads that allow you to do 1 to 20 repetitions before failure. After that, the exercise becomes more endurance-based and will lead to sub-optimal strength adaptations.
This is why walking for example isn’t optimal for keeping your legs strong, even though it’s a great form of exercise for general health.
A key element of strength training is progression. This is what drives continuous adaptation and muscle growth. In essence, when you lift a certain weight for a certain amount of repetitions and rest enough for your body to adapt, you will be able to lift just a little bit more the next time. This is what adaptation is.
To keep the adaptations happening, you will need to progressively increase the resistance or amount of work you do. So you either add weight or repetitions.
When you do this for several weeks, months, or years, your progression will accumulate into significant increases in strength. For example, someone might increase their bench press from 20 kg to 80 kg within a year.
Typically strength training is done several times a week with rest days between each training session to allow recovery of the muscles. Recovery is as important as training because this is when the adaptations happen.
A muscle that is repeatedly subjected to stress and not let to recover can actually get smaller and lose strength so recovery is something that you can’t escape if you want to get stronger. Three things that dictate recovery are time, energy (calories), and sleep.
To recover from strength training optimally, you need to wait enough long time before stressing the same muscle group again and sleep and eat enough food for the adaptations to happen.
This is especially important for older adults as our ability to recover from strenuous exercise diminishes as we age. So it’s a fine line between training just enough to cause adaptations without overdoing it and never recovering enough.
To sum up what strength training is: Exercise that aims to improve strength by lifting a load in the 1 to 20 repetition range and then recovering enough before training again.
What Strength Training Is Not
There are a lot of misconceptions about what strength training involves.
Strength training isn’t: Doing a random set of exercises with small weights to “tone” instead of becoming “bulky”. Or doing endurance work like cycling or running and thinking it will simultaneously make legs significantly stronger. In all fairness they will to a point, at least compared to not exercising at all. But it’s far from optimal.
The whole concept of small weights = toning and large weights = bulk is a nonsense concept that has been spread by health mags since forever. The two main things that will affect how your muscles will appear: are the amount of muscle mass and the amount of body fat.
Lifting weights can increase your muscle mass but for most seniors. For most seniors the strength adaptations will be mostly neural and skill-based and the increase in muscle mass will be very modest. This is actually the case for most people who do strength training without steroids.
Some people who have very good genetics can build significant amounts of muscle mass when young. But most bulging bodybuilders you see are on steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
They are very common in the fitness industry. I talked more about this in the articles Bodybuilding Workouts For Men Over 50 [How To Do It Right] and Bodybuilding For Women Over 40 [With Recommendations].
You Won’t Become The Hulk
There really is no need for anyone to fear they will end up looking “too big” or “manly” or like the Hulk no matter how hard they train. That just doesn’t happen in the real world to normal folks. It takes years of dedicated work with average genetics to be clearly muscular even for young men.
If you want a “toned” and muscular look, it all comes down to body fat. You need to lose body fat to make the muscles more visible. While this is generally considered a favorable look it’s not something you should necessarily try to achieve especially in older age.
For health, it’s much more important to be lean enough to be at a healthy weight or even slightly overweight for seniors as body weight can protect you from old age frailty and muscle loss known as sarcopenia.
If you have significant belly fat, however, it’s important to lose that, as there is evidence that visceral fat is associated with several metabolic disorders and heart disease. I talked more about this in the articles Exercises For Belly Fat For Seniors [2 Simple Exercises], Losing Post-Menopausal Belly Fat [3 Easy Tips] and Weight Loss For The Elderly [With Easy Tips].
Significant fat loss at an older age isn’t usually recommended if you are not obese. It can cause loss of muscle mass even if you do strength training and thus make your body weaker.
Significant fat loss can also lead to sagging skin problems which are naturally exacerbated in older people as the skin loses elasticity as we age. I talked about this in the article Flabby Arm Exercises For Seniors [Simple And Effective].
Significant weight loss in older age is something that should always be planned with a medical professional.
Who’s A Senior?
Let’s quickly look at the definition of seniors, “older people” or the elderly in the context of strength training.
First of all, there is no set age for being a senior or older. Strength training-wise, if we have to set an age that somewhat significantly divides the population into “young” and “old” in terms of how their bodies react to strength training it would be around 50 years old.
But just like I said, that is not a set age. One individual might recover faster and react better to strength training even in their sixties compared to someone else in their forties. That’s just the way it goes. The individual variance is huge.
What is certain is that your individual ability to recover and adapt to strength training diminishes as you age. Your general health, activity levels, previous strength training, and many other factors affect the age where you might consider yourself a senior in the physical sense.
The main thing is that you don’t have to be in a wheelchair or have a walking cane to be considered a senior. But you can’t really consider someone in their thirties or (for most) forties a senior either. Even if they feel like one.
For example: A 50-year-old person who hasn’t done strenuous exercise for decades and works as a desk jockey will likely respond better to a strength program designed for seniors instead of a strength program designed for young athletes.
However, most people in their fifties are NOT considered seniors, “old people” or “the elderly” these days by other standards as they shouldn’t be.
A 30-year-old will most certainly respond better to the young athletes’ program, even though they might find it a bit exhausting in the long run.
So in general there is a different “old age” for physical fitness as there is for cognitive function or social standards. But it also depends on your genetics and previous conditioning.
Benefits of strength training for senior: Safety
As with all exercises, there are inherent risks involved with strength training. Generally speaking, most forms of strength training are on the safer side of all forms of exercise in terms of overuse injuries, strains, and falls.
When exercises are performed with poor mobility or near maximal loads the risks are very real, however. If you do intense exercise when your body is not used to it you can cause severe damage. A very good example are hamstring tears which I talk about in the article Hamstring Stretches For Seniors [Quick Guide].
The rules are significantly different for someone going to the gym to improve health and someone competing in Olympic weight lifting, powerlifting, or strong man competitions.
Typically, average gym goers injure themselves while performing exercises with poor form. Or trying to lift way too much, way too soon, or disregarding recovery.
If you perform the exercises with good form and submaximal loads and rest enough, strength training is very safe and will make your body more resilient to other forms of injuries.
Athletes competing in strength sports typically injure themselves in contests or training while pushing the limits of their bodies to achieve maximal performance.
They take a calculated risk for the sake of winning, just like in any other sport. Because of the extreme weights in many cases, the injuries can be quite bad but In most cases, the athletes are able to recover and continue training.
Safety First. Always.
For seniors, the main priority should always be in safety and health, i.e. in the correct execution of the exercises and in recovery.
This is because for older individuals the main priority of strength training should be improving and maintaining health and mobility while for younger people the main priority might be sports performance, overall athleticism, competition, and physical appearance.
Most of the health benefits of strength training can be achieved with less work than is required for optimal strength and muscle mass gain.
As you increase the frequency and intensity of exercise to push your limits for maximal strength gain, the risk of injury increases. Striving for optimal strength gains will also increase your overall stress levels, which might compromise your overall health.
This is something you don’t want to do in older age. It’s always wise to stay on the safe side because recovering from injuries is much slower in older age. And in the worst-case scenario can leave you bedridden for extended periods of time. Which is the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve with strength training.
But rest assured, if you take the time to learn the exercises properly (with the help of a qualified trainer or a physiotherapist if need be), rest enough between training sessions, and avoid training with maximum weights, strength training is perfectly safe. Much safer than running and many ball games for example.
Benefits Of Strength Training For Seniors
So what exactly are the benefits of strength training and why is strength training necessary for older people? The greatest benefits of strength training are the strength gains that allow your skeleton and joints to function as nature intended.
But that’s not all! Strength training has several other beneficial effects on your health.
Strength training has been shown to help and in some cases cure many chronic joint and spine issues. Including shoulder, neck, and back pain. This is because many times these issues are caused by weak and immobile muscles and postural issues.
The first and most obvious benefit of strength training is the increase in muscular strength. When done right, resistance training can increase the strength and work capacity of your whole body in seniors just like in younger people.
Besides making lifting and carrying objects easier, strength has many important everyday functions. Everything you do from getting out of the bed, walking to the store, sitting on the toilet, reaching to the upper shelf, etc. all become easier when you are stronger.
Age-related muscle and strength loss, known as sarcopenia, will gradually diminish your strength to the point that one by one everyday tasks become impossible. Strength training will prevent this from happening (1).
The fact that you can carry and move relatively heavy objects safely and effortlessly is just an added bonus. The stronger you are, the easier simple physical tasks will feel and they will actually stress you less.
Balance is a skill that is dependent on your strength. To improve and maintain balance you need to both practice the skill and maintain strength.
Especially the strength of your legs and core are crucial for seniors for maintaining balance during sudden compromises of balance like slipping or stumbling. The stronger your legs are, the faster you can move them into a position where balance can be maintained. (2)
Also the stronger you are, the further away that position is. So strength gives you more leeway to re-establish balance when it’s compromised. Learn more about this in the articles Fall Prevention Exercises For Seniors [3 Exercises] and How To Prevent Falls In The Elderly [6 Tips].
Injuries suffered from falls are one of the leading causes of hospitalization for seniors. So you should do everything in your power to maintain a good balance. Strength and balance training with diverse exercises and activities are your best bet.
Due to hormonal changes and the general trend of a less active lifestyle as we age our bone health deteriorates just like our muscle mass.
Both male and female sex hormones are important factors in bone strength and as these tend to diminish as we age, we are more prone to loss of bone mass also known as osteoporosis.
Strength training has been shown to be an effective way to improve bone strength and density (4). This is because just like our muscles, our bones, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue adapt to the stress of lifting heavy loads.
Besides strength training bones react very well to exercises that cause impacts as the forces of the impact cause the bone to grow stronger. The problem with high-impact exercise like jogging and running at an older age is that it can be tough on the joints. Our joints unfortunately often can have a bit shorter shelf-life than the rest of our body so it’s wise to protect them as much as possible.
Especially knees are prone to abrasion and inflammation that can prevent high-impact exercise for seniors as I mentioned in The Best Knee Support Braces For Seniors [Quick Guide].
Fortunately, strength training can still usually be performed safely and pain-free and many times it can even fix joint pains by strengthening the tissues surrounding the joint and by fixing possible muscle imbalances. You can learn more about this in the article Best Knee Strengthening Exercises For Seniors.
If you have any joint issues, it’s especially important to plan your strength training routine with a medical professional.
Function and mobility
Just like balance, your ability to move around, be it walking, cycling, jogging, crouching, jumping, stepping, or crawling is dependent on your strength. Without enough strength, you can’t perform these simple movement patterns that allow you to move your body in space.
The full functioning of your arms and legs is dependent on the strength of the muscles as well. Strength training with a full range of motion will improve the mobility of your limbs which allows you to retain the full functioning of your arms and legs as you age.
You can learn more about improving mobility in the articles Best Stretches For Seniors and The Elderly [Two Tips] and Simple Hip Stretches For Seniors.
Resistance training can improve metabolism in several ways. Firstly it increases your heart rate and naturally burns some calories while you are lifting the weights.
The true magic happens after that, however. As you damage your muscles with the training, your body starts a set of processes to recover from the damage induced by the workout. This will increase heart rate and metabolism after the workout as well, which will increase the number of calories you burn.
Some of the beneficial effects happen because of the hormonal and metabolic changes the strength training will induce. Your body will secrete growth and steroid hormones that allow the tissues to recover and repair. This can also lead your muscles cells to store more energy and your fat cells to release energy. A real win-win situation.
I talked more about this in the article How to Increase Metabolism in Seniors [3 simple tips].
The benefits of strength training on posture are well-established and obvious when you think about it. Our posture is defined by our skeletal structure and the muscles that keep the skeleton upright. Strength training can improve both aspects of that equation.
Weak muscles can’t support the weight of your body properly and this can lead to bad posture and dysfunctional joints. It’s also possible some of your muscles are relatively strong because of your day-to-day activities but the opposing muscle groups can be weak because they are not being used enough.
This can pull you even more out of posture. You can learn more about this in the articles Good Posture Exercises For Seniors [6 Tips], Exercises To Improve Posture In Elderly and Best Posture Corrector for Seniors [Quick Guide].
Many studies (7) have shown the benefits of strength training on posture and skeletal functioning. The large muscles of the back, legs, abs and core muscles are responsible for keeping your spine upright as you walk.
It’s normal for your posture to hunch over a bit as you age because the spine compresses a bit with time. But without strong muscles, the postural changes can be much more extreme.
As if the physical benefits of strength training weren’t good enough, there is some evidence that strength training can also help with cognition and mental health.
Several studies have established the link between better cognitive functioning, memory, and mental health with exercise. This applies to both resistance training and aerobic exercise. If you are having a bad day, you will usually feel better after a good workout!
You can learn more about improving cognition in the articles The Best Memory Supplements For Seniors [Very Affordable!] and Creatine for seniors. Is it useful?.
Since your mobility, physical functioning, and even cognition are all dependent on the physical strength of your body, strength actually improves independence.
As you get older, many day to day tasks and chores become more challenging to complete as your physical strength deteriorates. Going to the store and carrying the groceries can become an insurmountable task. As can cleaning the gutters and taking care of the house.
Even lighter tasks like cleaning, cooking, and moving around in your apartment can become difficult as age-related strength loss advances. Strength training can help prevent this strength loss in many cases almost completely. It’s not a guarantee that you will retain your independence in old age but it likely improves the changes significantly.
Exercise, including lifting weight, has been shown to reduce several markers of aging like telomere length and blood sugar, and lipid levels. We will look at this more extensively in the next chapter.
Regular strength training has been shown to improve and maintain heart health almost as well as regular aerobic exercise as I mentioned in the article Healthy Heart Tips For Seniors [Three Tips].
As you progress with strength training the metabolic stress of each training session increases. Usually in the beginning you will barely break a sweat but will get sore muscles.
After a while, you will be able to lift a weight that requires serious effort from your whole body. This will increase heart rate both during the exercise and after it. You will sweat but fortunately, your muscles will adapt to the exercise and there won’t be significant pain anymore.
Because strength training does stress the heart, it’s very important to make sure your heart is healthy before you include strength training in your exercise routine.
Chronic pain and arthritis
Strength training has been shown to be beneficial in many cases for chronic lower back pain when done under the supervision of a physical therapist.
Many office workers and people who sit a lot suffer from chronic neck and shoulder pain. Strengthening the muscle of the upper back, neck, and shoulder is one of the best ways to reduce this kind of pain.
Joint pain in the knees, shoulders, and arms can also benefit from making the tissues surrounding the joint stronger with resistance training.
Even pain and inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can be sometimes treated with strength training (5) .
These benefits are only a scratch of the surface. In essence strength training, along with other forms of exercise will keep your body healthy and functional. It can’t prevent or stop actual diseases and disorders but in many cases, it can help with the symptoms.
You can learn more about exercise and arthritis in the article Best Recumbent Bike For Seniors With Arthritis [With Tips].
Can strength training reverse the aging process?
So does exercise slow down the aging process? Well, as much as we would love that, the answer is of course no. Nothing (at least currently known) will reverse the aging process.
But there are things that can slow down the aging process and strength training and exercise are among those. Several studies have shown the benefits of strength training on reducing markers of aging like telomere length and markers of metabolic diseases.
This study (3) concluded:
“In observational studies, higher levels of physical activity or exercise are related to longer telomere lengths in various populations, and athletes tend to have longer telomere lengths than non-athletes. This relationship is particularly evident in older individuals, suggesting a role of physical activity in combating the typical age-induced decrements in telomere length.”
The current understanding is that the telomeres are our cellular clocks for aging. The shorter they become, the less time our body has left.
This study (1) concluded that:
“Laboratory-based studies showed that 20 to 30 minutes of strength (resistance) training, 2 to 3 times per week, has positive effects on risk factors for cardiovascular disorders, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.”
So as you can see, while nothing can really stop the aging process, exercise and strength training definitely seems to slow it down. The headlines in health magazines stating “HIIT is anti aging” or “Weight training for healthy aging” might be right on the money.
I talked more about this in the article How to reverse aging in seniors.
At what age should I stop lifting heavyweights?
So is there an age when you should stop doing strength training? No, not really. Of course, if you have medical factors that require you to stop strength training or your physician recommends you stop resistance training, you need to do so.
But as long as you are relatively healthy, it doesn’t matter how old you are to perform strength training.
Check out this great video by Fariz Aliyev of a 90-year-old gentleman performing a perfect 130kg deadlift in a powerlifting meet (Embedded YouTube link, Elder Strength does not own the content):
We hope you enjoyed reading about the benefits of strength training for seniors. It definitely seems that lifting weights is a beneficial activity for older adults.
It’s never too late to get started with strength training but the sooner you start the better. A good base built at a younger age will require less work as you grow older.
It’s very important to start slowly and learn the basics before progressing to more challenging weights. Strength training is safe for most seniors and older individuals but it’s always wise to consult your physician to rule out any contraindications for strength training.
It’s also wise to consult a physical therapist or a certified personal trainer before starting a strength training routine to ensure you are performing the movements correctly to avoid injury and get the full benefit.
If you want to learn more about strength training, browse through the free strength training resources and subscribe to our newsletter. I would also appreciate it if you share this important message on social media as well, the more people learn about the importance of strength training, the better.
If you want to start working out right away download my free program from the form below!
Keep strong and see you next time!
1. Frank Mayer, Prof. Dr. med., Friederike Scharhag-Rosenberger, Dr. phil. Anja Carlsohn, Dr. rer. nat., Michael Cassel, Dr. med., Steffen Müller, Dr. phil., and Jürgen Scharhag, PD Dr. med. The Intensity and Effects of Strength Training in the Elderly. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2011 May; 108(21): 359–364
2. Orr R, Raymond J, Fiatarone Singh M. Efficacy of progressive resistance training on balance performance in older adults. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Sports Med. 2008;38:317–343
3. Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 4; 8(27): 45008–45019. Physical activity and telomere length: Impact of aging and potential mechanisms of action.
4. Martyn St, James M, Carroll S. High-intensity resistance training and postmenopausal bone loss: a meta-analysis. Osteoporosis Int. 2006;17:1225–1240.
5. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2004 Mar;16(2):132-7. Effectiveness and safety of strength training in rheumatoid arthritis.
6.Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1988 Oct;20(5 Suppl):S135-45. Neural adaptation to resistance training
7.J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Jun; 27(6): 1791–1794. Effect of an exercise program for posture correction on musculoskeletal pain
10 thoughts on “Benefits Of Strength Training For Seniors [Complete Guide]”
Thank you. This was a very interesting article, and I think many of us know someone who can benefit from what you share here. Well, even though I can benefit from it. Any age.
Interesting what you write about muscles, and that much of what we see in the media is “false” and not real. Many strive for such false ideals, and that is sad. The most important thing is that our bodies work as well as possible.
I see there are many benefits for older people to exercise. I’m not that old myself, but I also feel great benefits when I’m active versus days I only sit on a chair.
I like the way you outline the training program here for the seniors, a custom scheme. Unfortunately, I have seen examples of the opposite, which have not ended very well. What they have been pushed too hard and that they have become worse. It takes a little longer for this age group to recover after training..
If you manage to move your body, you are also more independent and have a better quality of life, and do not have to ask others for help all the time. So, as long as you are able to do some exercise, I see absolutely great benefits from this. It does something about the mood as well. And maybe good for relatives too.
I absolutely believe in the mental effect. Today I have been sitting most of the day and I feel quite slow in my head.
I have faith in this I, as long as one is careful with the training. As you mention in the article as well.
I think some seniors come in a vicious circle, partly because they get older and more tired – and some may lose their loved ones too – and they get depressed and isolate them self at home. Which in turn causes the muscles to become weaker and they become worse than they need to be. But of course it is understandable too. It is probably easy for me to sit here, as a relatively young man, and tell someone who is older that they should exercise.
Some of them are probably both tired, have pain and don’t feel they have the energy to do it.
So I want to ask: Do you have any good tips on how to present this in the best possible way for our seniors to get them to exercise?
To help them understand the benefits can be difficult, I have experienced.
Thanks for he comment and insightful thoughts Erlend! We can’t stress the importance of pacing yourself and going health first for seniors. There is no point in pushing your limits as an older adults with strength training. Your recovery and performance have inevitably diminished from your youth and the function of strength training has to be in health instead of showing off an building a physique to impress others. We’re not saying you can’t do that as a senior but it can’t be your main focus.
Just like you say, the most important part is maintaining your independence so your are not dependent on other peoples help. Some seniors can get in a vicious cycle like you stated. Exercise is one of the main things that can get you out of this negative mind set. The others being social contacts and enjoyable hobbies. Having a strong body will help achieve and maintain all those. Just like with younger people and exercise it’s all about your mindset.
For your question: I think the best way to convince another person to take care of their health, in this case physical strength, is by telling them with examples how their health affects their and their loved ones lives. Usually people will at least consider changing their negative lifestyle when their loved ones tell them they want them to be around and healthy as long as possible.
All the best to you!
Thank you very much for your reply.
I have always wondered what the best way is to explain them the importance of training. It can be difficult I have experienced. You did come up with some good tips now that maybe many can benefit from trying to motivate their dear parents or grandparents.
I am quite sure that many people will benefit greatly from this website and all the important info you share here.
All the best to you too!
You’re welcome Erlend!
I love this article, thank you!!
My husband and I are getting up there, and though he’s always involved in one sport or another, I have been fairly lax these last few years. Unless you can call running after grandkids exercise, lol.
Your article is so well explained, that I find I have no other reason than to get my butt in gear.
My son-in-law had me doing CrossFit training years ago, so I might start a “modified” version of that again.
Thanks for the awesome encouragement!
Thanks for the comment Suzanne! I’ts good you’ve been active with the grand kids and your husband has kept his interest with sports. Just like you said, there really is no excuse to doing some form of exercise to keep your body strong as you age. It doesn’t have to bee strenuous or repulsive at all either. You only have to do few training sessions to form a habit and you will love the feeling that you get when you realize your stronger than last week.
CrossFit is a double edged sword really. The sport is riddled with incompetent coaches and oversized groups. But then again some of the best coaches in the world teach crossfit and there is no denying the real athletes in the sport are in very fit. If you want to get back to it, do your research to find a competent coach with experience in training older trainees. Doing max weight snatches against time is a surefire way to get injured even for young people and Crossfit is notorious for getting people injured. All the best to you and be safe!
I’m glad I found Elder Strength and have asked to go on your email circulation list.
I’m a 75 year old male who realizes he has gradually lost strength. It shows, for example, in getting up from a crouched position when looking at items on the lower shelf of a store, especially when I have a backpack on! I grab on to the higher shelves and heave myself up, instead of just standing up without support, as I used to do!
I’d be interested to know what experience of helping seniors those giving this advice have, – for example a medical background or personal fitness instructor training?
Glad to hear you have found the information useful John! Sorry to hear about the loss of strength but fortunately you can start working on that right away with strength training.
Elder Strength is currently a one-man show, hi there my name is Jukka! You can read more about my background on the About Elder Strength page. In short, I’m an engineer and a science geek but don’t have formal medical or fitness training. Instead, I’ve been doing strength training for almost two decades and have seen the difference it can make in aging people (and younger as well) in practice. I want to spread the word about the benefits of strength training and an active lifestyle since we have a growing population of aging sedentary people, that’s going to be a huge public health issue in the future. I never give medical advice and always recommend you consult a certified professional if you have any doubt of your health or capability of performing an exercise. I also recommend a healthy dose of skepticism against everything you read online. Always do your own research and draw your own conclusions.
Good luck with training John!
This sounds like a good program. I’m 73 and have kept fit (sort of) by walking. I’m back up to about 20,000 steps per day but everything I read tells me that at this age, strength training is necessary. So, Google brought me to you. The problem I’m having is that in the paragraph before the comments, it says, to download the program “from the form below.” There is no form except this comment space. Could you add me to your mailing list and sent me the program (and while you’re at it, put a form on the page. 🙂 )
Thanks for the comment Bruce! That’s a great number of steps by the way. I bet that you could even drop that down a bit and introduce some strength training to get the benefits of both types of exercise. I personally think that walking and moderate strength training are the best forms of exercise. They are natural and not too straining on your body. Thanks for pointing out that the form is down. I’m actually in the process or updating the program and will put it up soon. So I took it down intentionally but didn’t manage to update all the articles referring to it. Check back soon for the updated article! And sorry for the inconvenience.