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Strength Training Fixes for 50+ Aspiring Athletes

Keeping your strength up as you age is probably the most important feature of functional capacity. Simply speaking, it makes all physical tasks easier.

Resistance, or "strength" training, is much more widely practiced now than in decades past, especially in our age group, which is great. The only problem is that there are common mistakes that make it either less efficient or even unsafe. Here are three errors that need to be corrected for many who want the benefits with minimal injury risk:

  1. Unbalanced work (lower body vs. upper body, dominant vs. non-dominant sides, and flow of strength from the spine/navel out) - Opposing function muscle groups (i.e. push muscles and pull muscles) should be trained using comparable loads and volume; larger muscles closer to the spine (glutes, upper back, chest, core) should be trained to maintain more strength than the connecting muscles as they flow out from the center line (shoulders stronger than upper and then lower arms; upper legs stronger than calves).

  2. Inconsistent strength workouts (frequency, timing and sequencing) - The best strength template for general fitness and functionality for our age group is a full-body, single set per muscle group to complete failure 2+3x/week format, allowing 48 - 72 hours of recovery. Many work muscles on consecutive days, which can eat into recovery time and limit strength improvements, or they wait too long between working the same muscles again to achieve any lasting progress.

  3. Poor form - Proper execution is specific to each exercise, but breaks down, broadly, into three basic elements: posture, bio-mechanics (full, correct line of movement) and cadence (controlled, even rhythm, especially at transition points (the bottom of the range for lunges, push-ups and biceps curls). If even one of these elements is not on point, both effectiveness and safety can be seriously compromised.

Want more detailed guidance on these critically important training points? Check out our premium six-week online private group course/coaching program. New session starts soon.

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