Weight Training Over 50

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kristie shell

Fitness Tips over 50

  1. Warm up – really well. Now, more that ever, you need to be smarter in the weight room. Take a good ride on a stationary bike, or spend 10 minutes on the treadmill, gradually bringing up a good sweat.
  2. Listen to your body. That little tweak means more down time than it did 25 years ago. Listen to it. If you feel anything more than minor discomfort while you’re lifting, lower your load and try it again. If it’s still tweaky, ignore the set, NOT the pain.
  3. Plan on more rest between lifting days, or at least between exercises that work the same muscle groups. You may have been fine with one day off 20 years ago, it may take two – or more – now.
  4. After you’re done lifting, warm down. Go for an easy jog or a walk.
  5. Don’t ignore your core. Every time you’re in the weight room, make sure you address your core strength. A good target is 150-200 reps for your core, overall. You combine crunches, reverse hypers, and any other lifts. Try Turkish Get Ups and count them as five reps each.
  6. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. A good stretch after you’ve lifted will reduce the amount of soreness you feel the next day – and especially the second day – after you lift. It will help dramatically increase your range of motion, the amount of strength you gain, and your balance. Take your time, enjoy it and really get a good stretch.

If you want to build muscle, you have to use weights that are heavy enough to actually recruit muscle fibers. That means those cute little 2.5-pound dumbbells you start doing curls with eventually will have to give way to 5s, then 10s and more.

One of the biggest frustrations nascent lifters have is that all of their perceived effort is going for naught. If you spend a lot of time in the gym lifting and haven’t begun to seen evidence of change in your physique, you’re probably not using enough weight. Ramp it up.

If you’re just starting, you’re almost certainly going to feel muscle soreness at some point. Good for you, you’re pushing ahead at a pace that’s causing your muscles to grow. BUT, if you feel joint or nerve pain while you lift, back off; drop your weight down and then move ahead.

This is a very basic strength training workout that you can build from.

Day 1: (2 sets, 10-15 reps)

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Squats to a bench
  • Good Mornings
  • Dumbbell Lateral raise
  • Dumbbell curl
  • Dumbbell Step-up
  • Triceps Pushdown
  • Wide-grip Lat Pulldown

Day 2: (2 sets, 10-15 reps)

  • Dumbbell Incline Bench
  • Dumbbell Lunges
  • Bent-over rows
  • Seated Dumbbell Press
  • Straight Bar Curl
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Close-grip Lat Pulldown

Day 3: (2 sets, 10-15 reps)

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Front Squat
  • Facedown Reverse Fly
  • Barbell Upright Row
  • Close-grip Bench Press
  • Hammer Curl
  • Chin Ups (Assisted)

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