Friday, July 3, 2015

Strength Training for The Senior Population

Strength training is extremely important for the senior population along with aerobic exercise training.  The benefits of strength training for this special population can truly improve quality of life and make activities of daily living easier.  Benefits of strength training are:

Benefits of Strength Training

  • Photo By:  Cabell Huntington Hospital
    Improvement in functional strength and flexibility
  • Increase in bone mass and density
  • Build muscular strength
  • Lower body fat
  • Reduce resting blood pressure
  • Reduce low back pain
  • Reduce the pain or osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduce symptoms of other chronic diseases
  • Enhance personal appearance
  • Decrease fat weight1

Strength Training for Seniors

Muscle strength declines significantly after age 50, at approximately 15% per decade.  This is why it is crucial to begin strength training as soon as possible.  The ACSM recommends:
  • Frequency:  2 days/week
  • Intensity:  Moderate intensity (i.e., 60%-70% one repetition maximum).  Light intensity (i.e., 40%-50% one repetition maximum) for older adults beginning a resistance training program.  When 1-RM is not measured, intensity can be prescribed moderate and vigorous intensity.
  • Type:  Progressive weight-training program or weight-bearing calisthenics, stair climbing, and other strengthening activities that use the major muscle groups.2

By incorporating a strength training regimen for this population we are able to improve functionality in activities of daily living and improve health-related quality of life.  This population will suffer less comorbidities with the benefits of strength training.

110 Benefits of Strength Training for Seniors.  Retrieved June 28, 2015, from

2The Basics of Personal Training for Seniors.  Retrieved June 28, 2025, from

1 comment:

  1. I love this article so much. I teach several Silver Sneakers classes and have had many students for several years. When I first met Ms. Joanna, she was on a walker. She'd fallen and had to have hip replacement surgery on one side and was awaiting another surgery for the other hip. We got her into a fitness program for seniors, three years later at age 78, Ms. Joanna is off her walker, her cane, and is doing great. I know this is a result of strength training and balance work. Keep these articles coming because your words are having great impact. Thank you for caring and sharing.