When seeking a fitness program that is tailored to your age group, it’s not the amount of time you devote to daily training that’s important, it’s the consistent amount of time devoted OVER time to fitness that makes all the difference. Health and fitness is a LONG game and the smartest players, those that are winning health wise, invest a bit of time in themselves every day.
Let’s look at one example. This is a very common scenario for women over 50. Sophie has always been an active runner with above average fitness. She’s 53 years old and really enjoys running three to five kilometres most days of the week. Lately, she’s been having lower back pain after her runs. She’s also noticed that even though she hasn’t gained any weight, it seems to be redistributing itself to her middle, and her arms could use some toning. Now, let’s be honest, Sophie is not overweight, and she is not unhealthy.
She really just wants to feel strong and look amazing … you know, a super trim tummy and jaw-dropping toned arms. To get to this goal, Sophie increased her cardio by adding elliptical and stair climber time so that she never had to worry about rainy days or cold weather slowing her down.
But, after several months of an hour a day on the elliptical or an hour outside running, she felt she had no results. Her lower back was still bothering her, and now she felt like she had no energy after her workouts. It didn’t feel like it used to when she’d finish and enjoy an “exercise high” for the rest of the day. Sophie contacted one of our trainers at Renewed after 50 thinking it might help her finally tone up her abs and arms.
During her first session, she described her routine and Sophie’s problem was immediately apparent. Her self-designed program wasn’t balanced. She needed to cut way back on her cardio exercise and get much more functional! She needed to limit her cardio (elliptical or running) to 30 minutes AND only 3 times per week. Sophie was about to panic! How can I go from five to six hours a week of cardio to 1.5 hours a week? She had to trust this new process. What she had been doing wasn’t working, and it was time for a change.
Sophie started to build muscle tone by scheduling 30-minute total body functional strength training sessions three times per week. During these sessions, out trainers focused on complex exercises that challenged her in all dimensions. Sophie’s strong running legs made squats and lunges easy, so we increased these exercises with the addition of weights that strengthened her arms and core. Squat jumps developed explosive energy, and seated shoulder presses on a stability ball improved her strength and balance.
She was enjoying these new demands on her body and noticing a difference. During these sessions, Sophie shared that she felt like she’d found the missing piece of the puzzle. She had always thought that strength training would slow down her running times and bulk her up. Instead, she was feeling better, stronger, and faster than ever.
Twelve weeks later, Sophie had lean, toned arms that anyone would be envious of. And, she now had a visible six pack … in her 50s! She’s feeling way better, and her runs have become fun again, instead of just hours to log! Sometimes it’s not about doing more … it is about doing the right things.
So, Let’s recap. Weights training for women over 50 is the most effective way to ensure an exercise training program delivers real, measurable results in an all-round manner for women seeking muscle strength as part of their exercise program.
Muscle endurance is key to achieving these results and is essential to any successful workout program. Technically, it is a muscle’s ability to repeatedly exert force against resistance, like how many times can you lift a weight or how many sit-ups can you do in a row. More practically, muscle endurance training builds up your strength and ability to perform daily tasks and can help prevent injuries by strengthening and stabilizing muscles and joints.
Think about an average daily task you might be doing routinely. It’s more useful to be able to carry 10-kilos multiple times, like unloading groceries or carrying a toddler, than it is to pick up 80 kilos at one time. Muscle endurance benefits everything we do on a daily basis, from cleaning the house to gardening to moving things to the many other physical tasks we regularly do. The common thread in all of these tasks is that movement and weight are both involved.
At Renewed after 50, our personal trainers incorporate these types of functional strength movements into every training plan. One session might involve bodyweight squats where you gain strength and improve your mobility and balance. Another session might involve stability ball bicep or tricep curls that challenge the whole body while specifically working your arms and core. Developing this type of strength can be a game changer when it comes to preventing injuries.
Your joints will now be used to working through a range of motion with resistance. As a result, you’ve developed a new type of strength that flows into your everyday life and helps protect you from injury. Your newfound muscle endurance protects your back when you’re gardening or bringing in the groceries. It strengthens your shoulders and arms so that you can easily lift a suitcase into the overhead compartment. You can hop right up from the floor after working on a puzzle with your child or grandchild. It’s a quality of life that you want to have, and it can be yours.
Who said being a woman over 50 had to fit some outdated stereotype? It doesn’t, and with a weights-based approach to building strength and stamina, you too can smash the stereotype!