Yet another argument for strength training in all masters athletes training program!

The IntroductionLifting barbells

We’ve known for years that weight training helps hold on to muscle mass into older age. Given how important muscle mass is for strength, power and endurance performance in older athletes, weight training should become a must for older athletes and the older the athlete, the more important it should become. A recent research review paper published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports has highlighted that strength training also helps maintain nervous system function in older non-exercisers and masters athletes.

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Do older people need less recovery between sets when doing weight training?

The Introduction

weightsFor many years it has been known that aging muscle develops better endurance and loses its speed and power. This appears due to a loss of the power-producing fast twitch muscle fibre size and number and a concurrent increase in the number of slow twitch fibres. This might suggest that older people might need less recovery time between training sets in the gym or even in the pool or training paddock. Recent Brazilian research supports this suggestion.

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What factors lead to better ‘stickability’ to a weight training program?

The Introduction

1000517.jpgDid you know that most people who join a gym leave after three months, despite paying a yearly fee? Historically, the fitness industry relied on this fact to make their money. These days with greater regulation, gyms can’t take advantage of this with ‘cooling off’ periods and shorter time options available to members. The more professional centres also employ great staff whose job it is to keep members engaged with their exercise programs. But what are the factors that research has shown are the keys to ‘sticking with’ an exercise program in the gym? Recent American research on older women doing weight training highlights the importance of many factors including the quality of the instructors.

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Is power training better than strength training to increase lower limb power in older people?

The Introduction

powerWeight training is strongly recommended for all people over the age of 50 with the need increasing the older a person becomes and the more competitive they want to remain in sport. However, it is unclear whether strength training (ST) or power training (PT) (doing the strength training at ‘speed’) is the more effective intervention at improving muscle strength and power and physical function in older adults. The authors of this research compared the effects of lower body PT with those of ST on muscle strength and power in a group of healthy older people. The results have strong implications for masters athletes who weight train.

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What happens to older adults muscle mass and strength when we stop training after a period of weight training?

The Introduction

Masters athletes should do weight training. The older we become, the more competitive we are, and the more we are focused on speed and power events, the more important it becomes. Most of us tend to build towards an event we are focused on. This means generally training hard(er) for three-six months leading into an event after building up a base of fitness. If we are smart and do weight training leading up to our goal, what happens after we stop training for a while once we’ve completed our goal?

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