Weight training isn’t for me.

It’s not an appealing idea for everybody. The big lumps of metal, the straining and sweating, the reddening of the face and the contorting of the face as the mass is pushed, pull or lifted and forced to move. This is rarely something that excites the exercise novice or the reluctant trainer.

And it is an even more intimidating notion for those who might be a little older…

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“I’m 60 and have been advised to start weight training by my personal trainer. I’ve never liked weights, what’s wrong with my exercise bike workouts?”

Fair enough Allison, there are plenty of people like yourself who might like to avoid weight and stick to what they know which might be a bit more gentle. However the fact is that weight training is particularly useful for older (and younger) people.

As we age our bodies naturally lose muscle

In fact by the time we reach our 70’s we may have only 50% of the muscle we had in our prime. And as you might expect this can impact on us and have a number  has a number of negative effects.

For one thing it can make us more susceptible to weight gain. This is because the leaner we are the better our bodies will be at burning calories.

Muscle is a fabulous fat shredder

In fact, it burns up to three times more calories that other body tissue. So it stands to reason that if our muscle mass is decreasing with age, so is this efficient facility of ours to keep fat in check.

Muscle is synonymous with strength and therefore less muscle also means less strength.

But this strength – which is key for day to day functional activities – can be significantly improved and maintained by weight training. And this will also have a hugely positive impact on your mobility in later years.

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Resistance training also means thicker bones

Weight bearing exercise, like weight training, is fantastically effective in combatting osteoporosis (which literally means thinning of the bones).

This can be a massively debilitating condition and one that is very dangerous in later life. Women are particularly susceptible, so Allison, as a woman you may lose over half your bone density by old age.

Even more benefits of weight training

However, weight training will build bone and stimulate mineral content. Stronger bones will create a far sturdier and stronger internal frame and ensure that you are less susceptible to fractures from falls.

Regular weight training will also allow you to better ‘shape’ your body. Aging can result in a bowed posture; the ‘right’ weight training programme (as provided by your personal trainer) could do much to combat this.

So, even though you might not like the idea initially,  you should accept the advice of your personal trainer and incorporate weight training into your weekly workout routines. The benefits will be huge and once you see and feel them, you won’t regret it!

Do 2 x 10 repetitions at a medium weight on 8 exercises that cover all body parts, twice a week.

You can still cycle as part of these workouts (at the end) or on separate occasions to develop your cardio fitness. This X-training routine provides the greatest all round ‘health and fitness’ benefits.

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