Strength Training after 50

Discussion in 'Masters (50+ years old)' started by ajaan, May 19, 2017.

  1. ajaan

    ajaan Double-Digit Post Count

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  2. Jan

    Jan Strong Member of the Forum

    Thanks for the link! Again, it seems to be swing and TGU are the big winners when it comes down to strength training for 50+'ers
    BCman likes this.
  3. Inky

    Inky Double-Digit Post Count

    Nice. I think Dan John recommends the overhead press as well to take care of the other tonic and phasic muscles. And that is all you need.......
  4. Stuart Elliott

    Stuart Elliott Helping Make Others Stronger

    Easy strength seems to fit this perfectly .
  5. ER05

    ER05 Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Good to know. I'll be 50 in 2 weeks.
  6. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Helping Make Others Stronger

    Thanks for the article. Some observations:

    I found it amusing how the article referred to "menopause" as "the menopause." It should probably be capitalized as in "The Menopause."

    I've read at least one other article discussing the importance of maintaining power output as we age. Studies that provide similar conclusions tend to mean that the conclusion is correct. Makes sense. Falls in the elderly are a very big deal. If you've ever been off balance in any way, and we all have, the way to prevent "off balance" from becoming a "fall" is to react quickly to try and catch yourself. This is a power component. At least this is how I see it. I may be wrong.

    I would question the accuracy of the statement that lifting over 80% of 1RM does not yield better strength results than 60-80% 1RM. The linked studies did not support this conclusion, at least not in the abstract, which made no mention of what 1RM was used in the studies. I only read the abstract so maybe the full article mentioned it. No matter. Using 80% 1RM will build strength and if we can get the elderly to simply start lifting that is a big step in the right direction. I suspect the 80% limit was more of a safety concern since lifting heavy does cause an increase in blood pressure. Besides, do we really want to see grandma snorting ammonia capsules while listening to heavy metal as she prepares for a max effort lift? ;)
    LukeV likes this.
  7. ajaan

    ajaan Double-Digit Post Count

    Not according to the Oxford English Dictionary; or the Oxford American English Dictionary; or Webster's. Medical and biological terms, 'puberty' or 'cancer' for example, aren't generally capitalised, unless named after a person, such as Alzheimer's disease. Apologies, I work occasionally as a copy editor. Now, back to strength...
    strawdog likes this.
  8. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong Member of the Forum

    An interesting article for sure. Some of the conclusions as put forth were a bit sketchy on the details.

    The statement "Muscle power output is even more important than total or pure strength for functional movement as people age." was backed up by study conclusions that also mentioned:

    There was only little information available on training volume and frequency.

    That said I've seen plenty of research to back up claims that overall age-related muscle wasting (Sarcopenia) was a major factor in how durable the elderly might be not only in avoiding falls, but in the level of damage they receive when they do. Makes sense on many levels as any retained muscle mass also a good indicator of better bone density.

    IDK about the percent 1RM specs, I also noticed a dearth of details. I do know the reaction to resistance training is always positive even at advanced age, I'm not sure about loading. I'd imagine training elderly folk who may or may not have a history of fitness, getting them to lift 80% would be quite the chore.

    This could be a little selection bias as there just might not be a lot of older folk willing to push weighs they consider overly heavy, the ones working with a lighter load might have been happier about it and gotten better results, regardless of what would have worked better in an absolute sense.

    I'll be 50 in three months, currently working on building mass.
  9. ajaan

    ajaan Double-Digit Post Count

    This is a valuable and nice way to put it. I was thinking about this not long ago when I fell face first on the metal stairs in the subway. I would have smashed my face in. However, I'd been training my push-ups at that time, and I managed to get my hands underneath my chest, with enough strength and 'spring', or I guess power, to stop my fall and bounce back up. I had both hands in my pockets at the time of falling too, which didn't help.
  10. Bill Been

    Bill Been Helping Make Others Stronger

    I wonder what those people think "power" is based on?
  11. wespom9

    wespom9 Helping Make Others Stronger

    I work at a facility that is 70% seniors, and honestly I have to say that it is readily apparent in an individual's functional ability when they are able to express power. Those who can get the "snap" of the swing just clearly move better, have better capability to perform ADL's and basic activities compared to those who cannot.

    My facility is a "medical fitness facility" that has many community members but a large focus on helping those with chronic disease, so many people are what I would refer to as severely deconditioned. That being said, the above is based on the "apparently healthy" 60+ people.
  12. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong Member of the Forum

    I'm curious, if at all possible to determine, even by gut feeling, how many of the older folks that can execute with a snap are folks that did not have a prior history of fitness?
  13. ali

    ali Strong Member of the Forum

    I tune into age related topics too. One thing I've noticed.....the training advice for the over 50s isn't much different from the training advice for the under 50s, or the over 40s, or the over 30s, or even the over 20s! Recovery, mobility and beaten up carcasses differ but the rules of strength are universal, no?

    It seems that articles written and tagged as over 50s include the words 'over 50s' to appeal to and advise that age group. And that is not in anyway a criticism as the point of the article is to tune in to a demographic who perhaps may take to fluffy bunny approaches in mainstream fitness-ey health spas, so it is absolutely a good thing. But taking an untrained fifty something into a strength regime is going to involve the same process as an untrained 20 something with perhaps a more focused addressing of mobility issues before embarking. Nonetheless the aim to target strength and power development, as is SF, age matters not. Of course, strength may not come as quickly as perhaps it used to, or compared to a younger age group and there may be more a need to train for health and longevity versus sport performance....but they are the same, really.....strength and power.

    The rope climbing exploits of the 70 year old, was that the author? I dunno, presumably it was, anyway, tremendous. Just tremendous. Bring it on....I've got 20 years to catch up and welcome any advice related to training at any age to achieve that level of strength and movement capability. Good solid training programmes are good for all age groups though I feel....S&S being a fine example where no concessions are given for age. The plan strong press programme, my current poison, would fit the criteria mentioned in the article but it isn't specific to age group. Having said that I'm gladly accepting the old ^*#% age concession for the SFG cert, :)!
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  14. wespom9

    wespom9 Helping Make Others Stronger

    @North Coast Miller I wish I had a way to quantify that but it is hard to say.

    At that level, especially with no prior fitness experience, mobility and recovery seem to be most important. And as far as training advice, not much different. Need to push/pull/hinge/squat just like the rest of us. However, not everyone does that. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues still preach the good old governing body organization's "8-12 exercises for major muscle groups, 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps" on such and such machines for fitness. The people that wander from machine to machine can go three times a week because they don't do anything multi joint. While this allows recovery due to only local stress, they have no idea how to use their body cohesively. The few who have bought in can do more global, functional exercises but do need longer recovery due to the full body nature. I'm obviously speaking in generalities here, but the point stands. 2x a week is likely appropriate, again depending on prior fitness.

    The worst thing that pains me is comparing the difference between those who consistently use free weights vs those who use mostly machines. Honestly breaks my heart. I will never understand why the mainstream fitness thinks this is a good idea. "Something is better than nothing", "at least they are exercising" is always said, but instead of working towards GETTING the person to be able to hinge/squat/push/pull, they are put on machines. I hate how I'm starting to sound arrogant, but watching my colleagues do this is just so, so frustrating. Ignoring the problem is never the answer.

    The rope climbing was the author - he had an article on here a while ago. Quite inspiring.
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  15. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong Member of the Forum

    Personally I can see the benefit of machine training for a lot of individuals - compliance rates and individual effort will plummet as the technique becomes more involved, on the machine it takes far less time to get up to speed (sit/stand here, grab handles, do this). Muscle responds to resistance, it doesn't care how its applied in a general sense. IIRC the 72 Dolphins trained on Nautilus, but strength training was not the totality of their program...

    What I do agree 100% is that without some additional mobility or compound movement work to get everything cooperating cohesively, it doesn't matter how the resistance is being applied. You're leaving a lot of low-hanging fruit within reach of folks who (in many cases) desperately need any advantage they can get. Realistically it doesn't take a ton of compound lifting to tie a lot of isolation work together. Maybe not the best strategy, but again we come back to compliance rates and the level of output the individual is willing to put forth. Is when that component is ignored a lot of the effort is not as effective as it could be.

    I have been speculating on this a lot lately as I am coming into contact increasingly with people in the above 50 age range, or in the completely untrained 40s, and how do you get them moving and feeling positive about it instead of dreading it. Once they get some momentum, naturally you can increase complexity of technique and in many cases simplify the actual routine - is a lot for folk in this group to digest initially.

    A lot of bodyweight activity at mild to moderate inclines, partially supported compound movements, hit the basics - push pull hinge squat. A person with no fitness history (and many who do) could put together a great routine with nothing more than two chairs and a doorway.
    Anna C likes this.
  16. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Helping Make Others Stronger

    I wrote that rather quickly and didn't put in my complete thought. The article's addition of "the" in front of "menopause" made it sound more ominous and sinister (in the U.S. we just say menopause). And when you capitalize something that's not normally capitalized it accentuates that feeling of ominousness, as in The Beast or The Reckoning. So my suggestion of capitalization was meant jokingly to suggest that "The Menopause" is like some sinister creature: There shall come a day when you must deal with The Menopause, a dreadful creature that brings with it flashes of heat and other unspeakable maladies.
  17. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Helping Make Others Stronger

    I once read an article suggesting that the reason a 50 year old has a harder time losing fat and building muscle than a 20 year old isn't just about age but rather the differences in their lives. As a general rule, an average 50 year old will have more responsibility, more stress, and less free time than an average 20 year old. There are exceptions of course: there are motivated college students pursuing double majors with part-time jobs working 20 hours a week and there are some deadbeat 50 year olds. And the article was quick to mention that of course age is a factor, so even if a 20 year old and a 50 year old have the exact same lifestyle, the 20 year old would have an easier time building muscle and losing fat. However, the lifestyle differences accentuate the age differences.
    Mark Kidd likes this.
  18. wespom9

    wespom9 Helping Make Others Stronger

    That's a good point, and one I agree with. I'll correct my statement to say that I appreciate the use of machines when used CONCURRENTLY with other strategies, ie mobility/motor control building up to functional patterns, to eventually not use machines whatsoever.
    North Coast Miller likes this.
  19. ali

    ali Strong Member of the Forum

    Yup, Mr Generally Average here....throw in a couple of teenagers for an extra shot of cortisol.
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  20. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong Member of the Forum

    There are bunches of research showing that older men and women will have increases in testosterone, IGF, GH respectively in response to resistance training. These increases are compared to controls though, and younger folk will experience significantly higher levels on the same regimen. The game is rigged.

    As I've gotten older it feels like I'm riding a bike around the compass. When I was young I was riding with the wind, in my 30s-early 40s I was riding across it, and now it feels like I'm slowly turning more and more into the wind. More effort for same distance traveled and the bike slows down faster when I stop pedaling.
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