We can benefit from weight training at any age. As athletic teens, weight training helps with strength, speed, and explosiveness. A side affect of weight training is the amount of confidence gained from lifting, especially for girls. When they can get under that barbell and see their strength improving, their hearts and minds soar with confidence, leaving them prepared physically and mentally for competition.
After high school, most of us want to be comfortable in our own skin. Bettering ourselves in the gym is one way this happens. Strength training in our 20s not only maintains a healthy functioning metabolism burning at rest but also helps with the ability to be happy with yourself as an individual.
But at some point in our 30s, we start to lose muscle mass and function. We start to find ourselves developing unwanted fat in specific areas and while spot training has been shown ineffective, total body strength training along with a healthy diet rich in real, unprocessed foods will aid in the fight of decreased muscle mass as we move into the later years.
In our 40s and 50s, bone density becomes a major concern for both men and women. Bone loss in women occurs fastest in the first few years after menopause, but bone loss continues into old age. I have so many women return from a yearly physical exam with one thing on their minds and that is strength training. Most women are directed by their physician to start adding resistance training if they have not already. This not only helps with the loss of bone density but also benefits strength, balance, and the keeping a positive mindset while aging.
Most people avoid picking up weights because they just aren’t sure where to start or fear of being injured. Both of these things can be avoided by asking a professional for help, even if it’s just to get started and to build yourself a plan. Go to the gym with the preparedness of knowing what your are going to do by being led by someone that holds your health and wellness as a priority!
TOTAL BODY WEIGHTED CIRCUIT WORKOUT
If you are comfortable around a gym, here is a total body circuit training workout you can try! Do three rounds total with limited rest between exercises during the circuit. Rest two minutes after the first round of exercises is done. Then repeat.
Dumbbell Squat Thruster: Holding dumbbells in each hand at shoulder level, lower the into a squat position keeping the knees behind the toes and the weight of the body shifted into the heels. From squat position, explosively return to a standing position. As you stand, thrust dumbbells overhead. Do 12 reps.
Dumbbell Sumo Goblet Squat: Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest. Lower the body into a squat position keeping the knees behind the toes and the weight of the body shifted into the heels. Do not bend the waist; keep the chest up, letting the weight of the DB rest against the chest. Return to standing position. Do 12 reps.
Incline Reverse Delt Fly: Lie face down on a incline bench with dumbbells in hand. Raise arms back with a slight bend in the elbow. Squeeze the shoulder blades together by mentally pinching the spine. Slowly decline to the start position. Do 12 reps.
Bent-Over Dumbbell Kickbacks: This is a tricky move when it comes to form. Bend over at the waist with a flat back. Your chest should be facing the floor. Raise your elbows to your sides, keeping a90 degree angle in the elbow. Kick the weights back to a near straight arm position and slowly return to the starting position. Do 12 reps.
Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl: Dumbbells in hand, lie face down on an incline bench, arms straight down, hands facing forward. Bring your dumbbells to shoulder height, keeping your elbows in. Mentally squeeze that bicep at the top of the motion, then return slowly to the start position. Do 10 reps.
Rest two minutes, then repeat circuit two more times.
By Jayme Brown; Photos by James Patrick