Strength Train at Any Age!

Senior ladies strength training

At what age can you start strength training?

Contrary to the traditional belief that strength training is dangerous for children or that it could lead to bone plate disturbances, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) contends that strength training can be a safe and effective activity for this young age group, provided that the programs are properly designed and competently supervised.

What is the definition of strength training? Strength training refers to a systematic program of exercises designed to increase an individual’s ability to exert or resist force (strength).

Is there an age when you should stop strength training?

Muscle strength declines significantly after age 50, at approximately 15% per decade. At this age, strength training should be done with light weights, using a level that is comfortable for the person to lift at the start of training, and increasing repetitions and/or weight as the muscles get stronger. A small amount of weight increased at regular intervals will increase muscle mass, affect metabolism and bone density, decrease insulin resistance, and even aid in better sleep patterns. When exercising, make sure to include core exercises to improve balance and stability, which will reduce the risk of falls. Add in functional exercises that represent daily activities in order to build strength that people can use on a daily basis.

Even people in wheelchairs should do strength training to build their strength to lift themselves out of and into the chair.  You can continue strength training into your hundreds.

Look at Jack LaLanne, he exercised up to his death at age 96.  He was known as the “godfather” of fitness.  The “jumping jack” exercise was named after Jack LaLanne. I remember my mom watching him and holding onto a chair while doing squats.  I was doing them right next to her.  That could be where I got my passion for fitness.

It is important to do appropriate exercises for your body.  Working with a certified personal trainer will help make sure you are getting the most out of your workout and that it is safe.

Holly Kouvo is a certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, speaker and writer who specializes in helping people lose hundreds of pounds. Learn more at

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