Strength Training after 50

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Steve Freides

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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.
You'll get a big disagreement from me. It's one thing to use a machine as an adjunct to something else and quite another to use it as a primary modality. Sports + machines isn't as good as sports + free weights but they're both sports +.
IIRC the 72 Dolphins trained on Nautilus, but strength training was not the totality of their program...
Exactly, and this contradicts, IMHO, what you've said above.

JMO, YMMV.

-S-
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
You'll get a big disagreement from me. It's one thing to use a machine as an adjunct to something else and quite another to use it as a primary modality. Sports + machines isn't as good as sports + free weights but they're both sports +.
Exactly, and this contradicts, IMHO, what you've said above.

JMO, YMMV.

-S-
I think the take away is that ANY straight up resistance/weight training program is not going to be as effective as the same plus another non harmful fitness endeavor. I brought up the Dolphins because plenty of other teams WERE using freeweights + sports that year, Miami using Nautilus (in its infancy) + sports , and we know how it worked out in that case. With the margin so thin among professional athletic competition, it wasn't a handicap and that's quite the thing to have to admit.

The mode of resistance just isn't that critical when that part of the program is only one component. Make no mistake, I'm not a fan of isolation movement machines. I don't even much care for cable machines. They do work in an absolute sense though, and plenty of research to prove it. I would never tell anyone doing machine circuits or progressive resistance on machines they're wasting their time no matter how I feel about it personally.

I feel they don't work as well as other means, but in a random study other factors might come into prominence - ease of use, amount of hands-on instruction time required, compliance rate, result criteria, etc.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 7 Valued Member
You'll get a big disagreement from me. It's one thing to use a machine as an adjunct to something else and quite another to use it as a primary modality. Sports + machines isn't as good as sports + free weights but they're both sports +.
I don't disagree. Free weights plus some supplemental moves using a machine will always be better than machines only. But I'm in the camp of "something is better than nothing." All of us here enjoy throwing around iron, whether in kettlebell of barbell form, and we are not intimidated. What we must keep in mind is that for many people the idea of any sort of weight training is very much intimidating. So if using a machine gets someone in the gym, I'm all for it.
 

LukeV

Level 5 Valued Member
My experience of the free weights vs machines argument is that your average gym-going punter never reaches the point where they would notice the difference. To them a weights workout is simply about resistance. It doesn't matter where they get it from. And I've seen a handful of people get pretty bloody big and never pick up a barbell or dumbbell - admittedly they'd have been bigger had they moved on from machines. But for your average punter, they're earning points just for turning up at the gym and if machines make it easier for them then that's fantastic
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Getting off topic here, but back in mid 80s I joined a local club and worked with Nautilus for a year of circuit training. Even if I had changed the protocol I'd have gotten better results, but it did beef my skinny body up enough that the girls would say "you must work out :D", helped with my early MA practice and when I did get serious with freeweights a year or two later I hit the ground running.

I do recoil a little at the sight of them, but hey, they have a role.

It would be interesting to do a study and see how solid a result one might get on a diet of machines plus a few sets of something as a foundation like sandbag Zircher and DL. Don't sign me up for it though!
 

BCman

Level 6 Valued Member
Now that I'm fifty, I agree with idea of training in the 60 to 80% 1RM weight range. For myself anyways!
Everyone ages different, with different genetic factors. But in general, the older you get, the more recuperation you need between training sessions.
No matter what your age, push, pull, squat, hinge, and carry is what everyone needs.
Outside of karate, I know very few people (that are retired), that do any form of resistance training. They think going for a walk is a workout!

Al
 

Rigdog

First Post
Great article some good advice in there. :) I am still chasing some strength goals or lifetime PR's if you will. I am 57. It is tricky for sure.
I have been doing S & S for 6 months or so and love it. My physical therapist (I have a neuroma in my foot) insists I should only do it 3 days per week, so that is what I have been doing. I am 59, but wonder if it's still OK to do S&S everyday. Can you comment?
 

Smile-n-Nod

Level 5 Valued Member
I had both hands in my pockets at the time of falling too
When I was 12 years old, I was walking behind another kid at my school. He had his hands in his front pockets and tripped and fell hard on his face. Ever since then, I've tried to keep my hands out of my pockets if there's any reasonable chance I could fall.
 

Gary Music

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Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I have been doing S & S for 6 months or so and love it. My physical therapist (I have a neuroma in my foot) insists I should only do it 3 days per week, so that is what I have been doing. I am 59, but wonder if it's still OK to do S&S everyday. Can you comment?
I would follow your doctors advice until you are over your physical problem. :)
 
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