We are all capable of far more than we believe or others would have you believe.
Once you get past a certain age, society does not expect much from you physically. For example, if I were 55 years old and busted my butt doing physical labor to say, build a stone wall, run a landscaping business or take on a major “weekend warrior” type project, it would not be unusual for neighbors, family and friends to say, “Hey, be careful. Don’t overdo it.”
The implication is someone of a certain age should not really be doing a lot of hard work.
I strongly disagree.
Of course, I realize they mean well and – yes – if you have been doing nothing for the past 20 years, you must start back slowly. However, I believe this is part of an overall misunderstanding of how we as humans are designed. We are capable of gaining strength well into our nineties. So why do the majority of individuals stop most physical activity in their 30’s – if they workout at all?
NOTE: I said gaining strength, not just maintaining.
I have written this before. We are designed to push, pull, drag, carry, throw, run and jump. The trouble starts when we STOP regularly doing this activities.
I had a client once who was CONVINCED she could or should never use dumbbells heavier than 10 pounds. Even when I handed her 10 pound dumbbells, she looked at me like I was insane. You can imagine how she reacted when I handed her the 15 pounders and asked her to do some squats!
Once she realized she was capable of much more than she previously thought, everything changed. Her golf game magically improved and she began to feel and look better. Magic.
I will continue to repeat the “strength training rules” mantra to whomever will listen!
• Has an anti-aging effect on the brain
• Helps you burn sugar better
• Improves strength levels to prevent falling and other injuries
• Improves daily function and likelihood of maintaining independence as we age
• The list goes on…
If the only thing you do is cardio and you do not lift weights, you MUST change your routine and introduce strength training (also known as resistance training). It’s just that simple.
I know a VERY successful strength coach who travels all over the world and works with high-level executives. He helps them get and stay at the top of their game – in particular he helps them WIN negotiations by dialing in their fitness and nutrition routines so they are always firing on all cylinders.
Before he will work with any client, they must agree to commit to a four-days per week strength training regiment. Direct cardio-vascular work is NOT part of his program at all.*
The point is we are all capable of getting stronger, but getting stronger is not the sole advantage of lifting weights. Getting back in touch with our “physicality” will immediately carry over to all other aspects of our life.
We are capable of so much more than we currently accept as the norm.
The people over 50 and 60 years of age who regularly strength train are NOT fitness nuts. They are treating their bodies as they were designed to be treated.
Let’s make that the new normal!
*It should be noted that strength training does actually improve cardio levels when done correctly.
Enjoy the spring and go lift something!