Weight training (also known as resistance or strength training) is a type of training that involves the use of weights to perform a certain number of repetitions and sets to improve muscle strength, muscle endurance and/or increase muscle growth. Weight training can be achieved through the use of your own body weight, therabands, free weights, machines, and/or cables.
Why is weight training so important for us?
I’m glad you asked. Around the age of 25-30, our bone mineral density (BMD; aka the strength of your bones) starts to decline and will continue to do so the older you get. The less BMD you have, the weaker and more brittle your bones become and the more susceptible you are to sustaining injuries such as pathological fractures and developing osteoporosis. So this is where weight training comes in. Once you start lifting weights, your bones (and muscles) will become stronger. Research has also shown that weight training may increase your BMD and/or reduce the rate at which your BMD declines as opposed to those who do not weight train. This means your bones and muscles will become stronger and should find every day tasks easier to complete (like taking in 10 bags of groceries at once instead of 1, because honestly who has time for 10 trips back and fourth to the car??)
Other benefits of weight training include:
So no matter your age or gender, it really is NEVER TOO LATE TO START weight training. Take a look at Ernestine Shepherd for example, an 80 year body builder with an amazing physique who only started strength training when she was about 56! https://www.facebook.com/Ernestine-Shepherd-Worlds-Oldest-Female-Body-Builder-116632508372892/
Now I don’t know about you, but when I am in my 80’s I definitely want to be as strong as possible and be independent with all activities of daily living. I also plan on continuing to lift weights for as long as I can.
I know weight training can be intimidating for some, especially if you are stepping into a new gym for the first time and really have no idea where to start or what to do. If this is you, it is best to ask for the help and guidance of a personal trainer so they can educate you and put together an appropriate program for you.
Website update April 2018