Prioritizing Strength: Getting Started in Strength Training
If you say the words “strength” or “muscle mass” what comes to mind?
For many, society has shaped our ideas of strength and muscularity. Perhaps you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger, or one of the World’s Strongest Man competitors pulling a Fire Truck. These ideas of strength and muscular size are not wrong, but they are also only representative of one tiny slice of both ideas.
Strength and muscular size are important as they are strongly linked to quality-of-life markers in elderly populations.
No matter your age, strength training is one of the most important aspects of exercise. As we age, we lose both muscular strength and mass. This loss of function has been linked to decreased quality of life across multiple scientific studies. It has been discovered that we lose about 8% of our muscular mass each year between age 50 and 70 (Lee et al, 2018).
This is a shocking statistic, but not one that we need to fall in line to follow. While age is often cited as an excuse for decreased performance, starting with our star athletes, the actual performance of strength training does not have to diminish to a great extent. Fritzen et al (2020) found that older adults responded similarly to younger adults in regards to strength training benefits.
What considerations need to be made if you want to start an effective strength training program?
There are many different training styles that allow for the benefits of strength training to be reaped; bodyweight training, training with bands, resistance training with free weights, or the use of specialized strength training machines are all viable options. Machines are often the most beginner friendly, but that is not always the case. Quality supervision, learning proper technique, and preparing for potential muscular soreness are all things to keep in mind when planning a strength building program (Cannataro et al, 2022).
Let us help you reach your strength training goals, no matter where you are starting from.
Last year the RAC invested heavily in purchasing our EGYM machines. These strength training machines are a great way to introduce yourself to machine-based strength training. EGYM machines are set to your required specifications by one of our Personal Trainers, to ensure proper performance of each exercise. We have created a circuit that allows you to train each major area of the body, so that you can begin to reap the benefits and rewards of a stronger body.
Investing in Personal Training can get you there faster.
It may seem like a simple solution, or it may seem like a sales pitch; qualified coaching can help you reach your goals more effectively and safely. You are more likely to make positive exercise behavioral changes under the guidance of a trainer (McClaran, 2003). One study found that the use of a personal trainer led to five times more bodyfat lost than the group working out on their own (Mann et al, 2018). We have highly qualified trainers on staff here that are eager to help you reach your goals.
What is the next step?
Starting! The first step can often be the most difficult, but with the many resources available to you at the RAC, starting should not be a roadblock. Just reach out to any of our staff if you would like to be connected to a personal trainer. You can learn more about our staff by going to the Meet Our Trainers webpage. To make a reservation to be onboarded to EGYM, simply log in to your RAC App and click the "Reservations" tile and select EGYM in the first bubble or call the Activities Desk at (507) 287-9300. You are stronger than you think you are - let’s work together to keep it that way!
Cannataro, R., Cione, E., Bonilla, D. A., Cerullo, G., Angelini, F., & D'Antona, G. (2022). Strength training in elderly: An useful tool against sarcopenia. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 287.
Fritzen, A. M., Thøgersen, F. D., Qadri, K. A. N., Krag, T., Sveen, M. L., Vissing, J., & Jeppesen, T. D. (2020). Preserved capacity for adaptations in strength and muscle regulatory factors in elderly in response to resistance exercise training and deconditioning. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(7), 2188.
Lee, S. Y., Tung, H. H., Liu, C. Y., & Chen, L. K. (2018). Physical activity and sarcopenia in the geriatric population: a systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 19(5), 378-383.
Mann, S., Jimenez, A., Steele, J., Domone, S., Wade, M., & Beedie, C. (2018). Programming and supervision of resistance training leads to positive effects on strength and body composition: results from two randomised trials of community fitness programmes. BMC Public Health, 18, 420.
McClaran, S. R. (2003). The effectiveness of personal training on changing attitudes towards physical activity. Journal of sports science & medicine, 2(1), 10.
Fitness Director Steve Boring, PhD is a retired competitive Strongman and Powerlifter. He has won multiple Bench Press Championships from State to World level. Steve’s passions are centered on fitness and his love of helping people reach their goals. His door is always open to talk about fitness, health, and lifelong strength!
Contact Steve Boring at (507) 287-9312.