October 10, 2016 · 12:07 PM
…according to an article at MedPageToday.
“One more rep then I’m outa here!”
In the study at hand, the two experimental groups had about 60 participants each, so it was a relatively small study. (In general, the larger the study, the more reliable the findings.) Most participants were white women; mean age was 69. The experimental intervention ran for five months. An excerpt:
In one trial, the participants were randomized to a structured resistance training program in which three sets of 10 repetitions of eight upper and lower body exercises were done 3 days each week at 70% of one repetition maximum for 5 weeks, with or without calorie restriction of 600 calories per day.
In the second study, participants were randomized to an aerobic program which was conducted for 30 minutes at 65% to 70% heart rate reserve 4 days per week, with or without calorie restriction of 600 calories per day.
The beneficial bone effect was seen at the hip but not the lumbar spine. (I’ve treated lots of hip and lumbar spine fractures. If I’m going to break one of those bones, I’d rather it be the spine.)
Thin old bones—i.e., osteoporotic ones—are prone to fractures. Maintaining or improving bone mineral density probably prevents age-related fractures. In a five-month small study like this, I wouldn’t expect the researchers to find any fracture rate reduction; that takes years.
Most mainstream articles on prevention and treatment of osteoporosis mention “weight-bearing” exercises as what you should do, like walking, jogging, tai chi, and volleyball. The current study adds resistance training to our therapeutic armamentarium. Resistance training is also called weight training or strength training.
Most elders starting a weight-training program should work with a personal trainer.
Steve Parker, M.D.
May 22, 2016 · 2:00 AM
A good resistance training program will strengthen her bones, improve her balance, and prevent that hip fracture 60 years from now
Adult life is a battle against gravity. Weight training postpones your inevitable defeat.
—Steve Parker, M.D.
PS: If you think gravity’s a bitch, you should see how many chapters are in my books.
January 10, 2014 · 2:58 PM
Not me or Mr. Schuler
I was glad to see that four of my basic exercises were listed by Lou Schuler as foundational: squat, deadlift, pushup, and row. The other foundational one for me is the overhead press. A little more from him:
Every good training program is based on bedrock principles like progressive overload. You give your body a stimulus. You repeat the stimulus an optimal number of times. And then you give your body the opportunity to recover from it. Every good lifter eventually learns how to apply the principles in a way that works for him or her, but it always starts with the basics: learn the movements, apply the movements, build on the movements.
Every bad training program ignores these fundamentals, but it ignores them in a unique way. Too much stimulus with too little recovery. Too little stimulus with too much recovery. Poor exercise selection for the individual’s abilities and goals.
Read the whole thing.
h/t Yoni Freedhoff, M.D.
February 8, 2011 · 11:54 AM
What’s “strength training”? It’s also called muscle-strengthening activity, resistance training, weight training, and resistance exercise. Examples include lifting weights, work with resistance bands, digging, shoveling, yoga, push-ups, chin-ups, and other exercises that use your body weight or other loads for resistance.
Strength training three times a week increases your strength and endurance, allows you to sculpt your body to an extent, and counteracts the loss of lean body mass (muscle) so often seen during efforts to lose excess weight. It also helps maintain your functional abilities as you age. For example, it’s a major chore for many 80-year-olds to climb a flight of stairs, carry in a bag of groceries from the car, or vacuum a house. Strength training helps maintain these abilities that youngsters take for granted.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “To gain health benefits, muscle-strengthening activities need to be done to the point where it’s hard for you to do another repetition without help. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like lifting a weight or doing a sit-up. Try to do 8–12 repetitions per activity that count as 1 set. Try to do at least 1 set of muscle-strengthening activities, but to gain even more benefits, do 2 or 3 sets.”
If this is starting to sound like Greek to you, consider instruction by a personal trainer at a local gym or health club. That’s a good investment for anyone unfamiliar with strength training, in view of its great benefits and the potential harm or waste of time from doing it wrong. Alternatives to a personal trainer would be help from an experienced friend or instructional DVD. If you’re determined to go it alone, Internet resources may help, but be careful. Consider “Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults” (http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/downloads/growing_stronger.pdf). Don’t let the title turn you off if your young—its a good introduction to strenght training for folks of any age. Doug Robb’s blog, HealthHabits, is a wonderful source of strength training advice (http://www.healthhabits.ca/). The Internet resources I’ve mentioned are not designed specifically for people with diabetes.
Current strength training techniques are much different than what you remember from high school 30 years ago—modern methods are better. Some of the latest research suggests that strength training may be even more beneficial than aerobic exercise.
Next, Part 5 reviews aerobic training.
Steve Parker, M.D.