Am I Too Old For Strength Training?

Beau Bradbury CSCS, CPT, CF-L2

First off enjoy this video from Starting Strength's YouTube channel of Gus who is 91...

Video compliments of Starting Strength YouTube Channel.

Anyone and everyone no matter your age can benefit from strength training. Below are 5 major reasons why you should have some kind of strength training in your weekly plan. It's always a great idea to have an experienced professional to teach you how to perform basic strength training movements correctly and design your strength program. 

1. Proper Strength Training is proven to build lean muscle which in turn boosts your metabolism and helps remove body fat. Body fat just weighs you down while muscle makes you strong. As you travel through the lifecycle muscle mass begins to dwindle over time. Depressing I know. However, with strength training you can preserve, if not reverse, this muscle atrophy. 

2. "Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general" is a quote by Mark Rippetoe. There is loads of truth to it as well. The stronger you become the more ready you will be to tackle the day. If a man in his mid-80's can deadlift 400lbs falls are you even concerned? My bet is he'll hop right up and hunt for whoever knocked him down! It is my belief that the stronger you are the better, always. There is no such thing as too strong. The tackle #75 is just a little too strong he might want to consider losing some strength...said no one ever.

3. Bones, like muscle, can begin to lose their strength over the life cycle. Osteoporosis and Osteopenia are major contributors to losing your freedom and the ability to take care of yourself. Strength Training is proven to help strengthen bones and increase bone density. Stack more weight as you go and your bones will adapt along with your muscles.

4. Lack of motivation is a killer to any program. One thing I love seeing is someone who comes in and squats the bar and just a few months later squats 200. Strength Training and keeping an accurate journal will show you tangible, black and white results. For example, last year at this time you squatted 200 for 5 and today you squat 350 for 5. Guess what...  you're stronger! It's easy to look back in your workout log and see how far you've come over the years. 

5. Strength is relative to everyday life. Being prepared for daily activity is a wonderful added benefit of a smart training program. She's 91... oh MY she shouldn't Deadlift!!!! The real danger is her not deadlifting. Consider this, okay mam since you're 91 now and at this point in life you cannot deadlift, therefore, if there is anything on the floor or dropped to the floor consider it gone and lost forever. People won't live this way. The 91 year old has a dog and buys dog food needs to get it out of the car and place it on the floor. If her deadlift is 175 pounds it's no sweat. If her deadlift is 40 pounds and is untrained in the movement...HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. It is my aim that if your 17 or 95 years old you can see the benefits of participating in a strength program. If you need any help or have questions please don't hesitate to ask. You can email me anytime at beaubradbury@gmail.com.