Is Adult Strength & Conditioning More Important Than Athletic Strength & Conditioning

A very important component of what we do at CSF is education, especially for our adult clients.  Many of our adults inherently know that the older they get the weaker they will become.  With this aging process comes not only a decrease in strength but a decrease muscle tone, power and balance.  For many aging adults this leads to a decline in their quality of life.  

After the age of 40, most adults lose approximately 5-10% of their muscle mass every decade!  After age 65 this rate increases significantly.   There’s plenty of research documenting how to prevent strength and muscle loss by simply strength straining.  And it doesn’t matter where you are in the age category.  

Why You Need To Build/Maintain Muscle Mass

Strength is the most important factor in fall prevention, and is also relation to the performance of activities of daily living, balance and walking (American Geriatrics Society; British Geriatrics Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Panel on Falls Prevention. Journal of American Geriatrics society, Vol. 49, 2001, pp 664-72. Speechley, M. Canadian Journal on Aging, 2005.)

It’s A matter of Life and Death!

Research has shown a very strong correlation between strength and death from all causes: essentially, stronger older men have a lower risk of dying from all causes (Ruiz, et al.  BMJ July 2008;337:a439).

So the evidence is pretty clear, Strength is more important for our adults

Why You Need Keep Your Power

Just as strength, power must be a part of every adults programming. Here is what some of the research as proven:

Between the ages of 65 and 89, explosive lower-limb extensor power has been reported to decline at 3.5% per year compared to 1-2% per year decrease in strength (Skelton et al. 1998)

In elderly males, maximal anaerobic power has been reported to decline 8.3% per decade from age 20 to 70 (Bonnefoy et al. 1998)

MOST IMPORTANTLY

Power is one of the major performance variables associated with independence (foldvari et al. 2000), fall prevention (Whipple et al. 1987) and rehabilitation following injury (lamb et al. 1995).

What You Should Be Doing…

MOVE…Some Resistance!!

Locomotion

Performing exercises where it requires you to walk/march under load can be one of the best exercises that carries over into everyday life. By picking a weight up, carrying them and putting it down properly teaches us how to  stabilize the entire body.

Performing resistance training while standing  forces you to learn how to stand erect while stabilizing the ankle, hip, core, scapula and shoulder. This can also be incorporated as a metabolic challenge or in a conditioning routine.  Take home message…get off the machines and get on your feet when exercising!

Conditioning

Why do we condition?

Improve cardiovascular health

Live longer healthier lives

Improve body composition

Increase the heart rate zone where we can work out in and still receive a benefit.  Our MYZONE system actually adjusts to your individual HR, so as you become better conditioned the system will keep you honestand help you improve your physiology.

  

Conditioning can be brought upon in many different forms. We could use one tool and give interval progressions for that one exercise (airdyne or slide board) or we could create a circuit for time intervals or for repetitions. It all depends on the goal for the day whether we’re trying to work in short all out bursts, give a medium interval to work longer anaerobically or have our clients perform long distance rides for their best time possible (increase size of mitochondria before strengthening).

Nutrition

Yes, the most overlooked component of any fitness program.  Most adults do not intake enough protein.  The big misconception is that as they feel they are getting older, they don’t need as much food.  Father time is slowly destroying your muscle tissue, so strength training, combined with proper nutrition and supplementation is what’s going to save the day.  All of our clients are enrolled into a nutrition program, it’s just part of the holistic approach at CSF.

If you want to live an active healthy and strong life then get off the elliptical or treadmill, stop using walking as a means of exercise, put down the little weights and find a place where you are going to learn how to lift correctly, eat better to support your lean body mass, and simply get stronger.

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