When first starting my fitness journey I wanted to be as strong as possible. At the time, that meant lifting as much weight as possible and moving it regardless of my form. I succeeded before realizing that I could move all the weight, but if it were not in a functional and responsible way then I risked getting hurt.
“As you build or maintain your strength throughout your life, strength training may look different based on many varied factors such as age, conditioning levels and personal goals.” Yeta
Building strength is defined as exerting maximal force against an object using a form of resistance. Resistance can come in various forms such as using weights in the gym, resistance bands or even your own body weight. For younger adults, strength programs have a set weight training program that you follow each week where you try and move weights for multiple repetitions or move as much weight as possible at one time.
“When you are older, strength training is different.” Yeta
You might need the strength to get up off the chair, lift your grandkids or play with your pets. Working with a qualified personal trainer is important for form and learning safe and appropriate exercises like sit-to-stand or medicine ball chest press.
At Motion 4 Life Fitness, I have seen building strength as an older adult can help improve many aspects of life. It can reduce your fall risk and improve overall quality of life, reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis and osteoporosis — all of these become concerns as you age and progress in your life. As a 23-year-old, these concerns have never crossed my mind, I know strength training is good for me, but my training has always been geared towards becoming stronger and building muscle — not becoming stronger so I can prevent complications later in life. Many of our clients at Motion 4 Life say that they are now able to put their groceries away with no pain or push themselves off a chair with ease now that they have gained strength.
“Strength training improves the quality of life for everybody. It makes it easier to participate in activities that have been difficult in the past or new activities that seemed impossible at the beginning of their program.” Yeta
I have now learned to train not only for strength but for overall health as well. Many of our clients have told me that they wish they had started strength training when they were my age. These stories strengthen my resolve to help our clients build and maintain their strength which doesn’t necessarily mean lifting a lot of weight in the gym (although you may do so in a safe and appropriate manner) — it can be as simple as sitting in a chair and standing up until you feel comfortable. Building strength is not difficult. It just takes 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes to feel better.
“Exercising can be a difference maker in how your life will be shaped as you get older, so the sooner you start strength training, the sooner you will see the improvements in your quality of life.” Yeta