The Many Benefits Of Strength Training As We Get Older

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woman strength training

Sometimes it feels like the number of things that stop working and begin hurting in our bodies as we age correlates to the number candles that get put on our birthday cake! And I’m referring to post 40’s! So how can we ensure that we are able to feel good about the state of our health and fitness as we age? To find out what we can do we speak with Colin Crowley – Owner & Head Personal Trainer at Benessere Wellness Center & Spa in Summit, New Jersey.

“You can make steps to regain control of your ageing health in a number of ways. Primarily, identifying and improving the strength of your specific body weaknesses is paramount to your efforts.” says Colin


As we age muscle strength is so important for optimum bone health, balance and just being strong enough for pain free daily activity. Regular muscle strengthening has also been shown to help manage blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, as well as prevent and control heart disease and type 2 diabetes.


“As you age it is so important to establish an active lifestyle, If you do not then your inactivity can cause you to lose a significant amount of strength and muscle mass, about 3 to 8 percent per decade after 30 years of age. Its important to realize that you have a lot of options, it’s never too late to join a gym like ours here at Benessere Wellness Center & Spa and get started with a professionally designed individualized strength training program from one of our well trained personal trainers.” says Colin.


“Maintaining and building strong muscle by using appropriate weights or other resistance machines increases your metabolism, since muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. This helps us to keep close to our ideal bodyweight. Strength training also helps to support your joints and ligaments helping to prevent injuries and increases bone mineral density by 1 to 3 percent,”  he adds.



Strength matters more as we age!

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While having big muscles might hold a certain amount of appeal for some, at Benessere Wellness Center Gym we know that it’s our strength that really matters when it comes to functioning well as we age. And if you’re training right, getting stronger is relatively easy, even if your body type doesn’t build muscle easily.


 So what’s the right kind of training?

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That depends on your fitness and health goals.

“High-intensity resistance training is the best way to increase and maintain muscle function.” says Colin

“The best results come from high-intensity resistance training, which is lifting a weight that’s 80 per cent or more of the maximum amount you can physically do while keeping good technique,”  “Keeping rest time between your exercises to a minimum is also helpful to keeping your heart rate elevated therefore helping your cardiovascular function” he adds.


How often is it recommended that you workout?

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“Two to three strength workouts a week is ideal and the most important thing is the intensity and progression — so gradually increasing the amount of weight you’re lifting once it stops feeling hard to lift,”

“Also remember that if you don’t have arthritis or other joint problems, adding high-impact movements, like power walking, running or step ups, improves balance, bone density and can help to prevent and stave off osteoporosis.”



Weight machines are good for older people!



At Benessere Personal Training we understand the importance of getting guidance from an experienced trainer, especially if you’re new to lifting weights, have injuries or suffer any other health issues, cannot be underestimated.


“Training the older person needs to have a double-barrelled perspective,” says Colin.


“It’s not just sarcopenia (muscle loss after 50 years of age), you also want to improve a clients balance. So there needs to be two styles of programming: increasing strength and quality muscle mass safely, and preventing falls.” he adds.


 Strength machines are a great option for working on strength as we age because they do all the stability work for you. The machine controls your movement which is great, especially if you haven’t trained before and have poor body awareness — you can work hard with good control.


“Adding in stability work will help to prevent falls, so be sure to include exercises like resisted band walks, single-leg balancing and woodchops on the cable machine.” Colin suggests.



Aerobic exercise is very important!

Despite all the benefits of strength training, it’s not going to give you all the health benefits you need. So, you still need to make the effort to get some regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming or cycling. “Its a double edged sword” “You can prevent a large proportion of muscle strength loss with weightlifting, but aerobic exercise can’t do that,” he said. “You actually get about a 10 per cent increase in aerobic capacity from strength training. so find a balance of both strength training and cardio”


So there it is, now there’s only one thing to do! 


“WORKOUT” at Benessere Wellness Center & Spa


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