Why Strength Training Is For Everyone
While the thought of pumping iron may conjure images for some of herculean bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, the fact is that most everyone who wants to be fit - and stay fit as they age - should be doing some form of strength training.
According to Ernesto Pinder, Jr., territory operations manager for The Zoo Health Club, opening this month in Concord, there are a plethora of benefits to strength training for people who aren’t interested in bulking up.
“The long term benefits,” Ernesto says, “include injury prevention, better hormonal balance, reversing the muscle-wasting effects of stress, and even slowing or mitigating the effects of menopause and andropause.”
That means weight training could be more important for the over-forty crowd than it is for the collegiate athlete or competitive bodybuilder.
Ernesto also points out that strength training is linked to longer life.
According to a University of Michigan study, people with low muscle strength are fifty percent more likely to die earlier than their stronger peers.
“Maintaining muscle strength throughout life - and especially in later life - is extremely important for longevity and ageing independently,” lead researcher Kate Duchowny told the Independent newspaper.
How To Train
For anybody looking to begin a strength training regimen, a great starting point is to seek guidance from a professional. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning.
There are a variety of ways to approach strength training. Picking the appropriate one - and learning proper form and technique - will help you achieve your goals more quickly while staying injury-free.
“Functional fitness is very different than body building,” Ernesto says. “They lift with two different purposes. The bodybuilder is looking to grow or define different muscles in the body. The functional fitness person isn’t working out to get bigger. They’re working out to be strong when doing everyday things.”
This means widely varied approaches depending on your unique goals: higher reps with lower weight, lower reps with higher weight, machines versus free weights versus bodyweight strength training. Then there are considerations such as whether to do exercises that isolate individual muscles or muscle groups, or choose compound exercises that work a whole chain of muscle groups.
This is why Ernesto provides every Zoo member with two PT sessions. Members are able to discuss their fitness goals with professionals and develop a plan to achieve them.
So for those who avoid lifting weights because they’re not interested in bulking up, consider the real benefits of getting strong and staying strong: a longer, higher quality life.
The Zoo has locations in Manchester, Derry and opening in July 2019, Concord, NH. Pre-enrollment is currently available for the Concord location with no startup fee, a $100 savings.