Tag Archives: over 50 training

Should I get a Personal Trainer | Fitness Over 50

Fitness trainer Billy Blanks shows a female wo...

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Benefits of a Personal Fitness Trainer if You’re Over 50

I’ve been hitting the gym for a few years now and until recently had never really considered using a personal trainer.  I don’t know if it’s the male pride thing or that I think that I can just simply figure it all out or what. You know kinda like the man who gets lost on an out of town trip yet refuses to stop and ask one of the locals for directions.

Well I finally decided to try one out. The new gym that I joined a few months ago offers one free session with a trainer with membership and to be honest I didn’t even think about it but they called me one Saturday and I decided what the heck and made an appointment.

The benefits I walked away with from just one session?

  1. Motivation and Accountability.  OK, I’m somewhat of a gym regular so this isn’t a real big issue with me, but it so happened that the day that I had set the appointment for I just wasn’t feeling it and probably would’ve skipped going to work out had it not been for the commitment I had made to someone else. I understand that for the trainer time is money and If I didn’t show up he might not get paid (even though this was a free lesson for me)
  2. Personalized workout plan based on my own fitness goals. As someone over 50 that has managed to lose almost 20 pounds over the last 5 years or so my main goal now is to maintain or possibly increase my lean muscle mass as I age. This is important to keep my metabolism high and fight sarcopenia. The trainer pointed out that I was basically doing the same routine that I had done to lose the weight and that some of that might be counter productive to my new goals. He suggested a few easy changes that should help me get to where I want to be.
  3. Technique and safety. I had mostly picked up all my technique from watching other people in the gym who looked like they knew what they were doing. I mean they looked like whatever they were doing was working for them so why wouldn’t it work for me right? Well it tuned out that my trainer says that 80% of the people in there hadn’t a clue of the proper and SAFE way to lift weights. They were basically doing what I had done! Just copying someone else’s bad moves. He showed me how I could get a lot more resistance (and effectiveness) out of using a lot less weight IF I used proper form. This would also decrease the likelihood of injury which can be a major concern for someone trying to get fit over 50.
  4. Variety. Lastly I was glad to add some new exercises to my routine so that it wouldn’t be so routine. (ok, bad joke but you get the point) He gave me list of different exercises that I could do every day for 2 weeks and never repeat the same one unless I wanted to.

So bottom line? Will I continue to use the trainer? Probably. But not on  a regular basis. I think it’s good to get a little professional advice occasionally no matter what your current fitness or fitness knowledge is. We can all learn a little something but for me I like flying solo so I’ll just make a plan to gt one session a month. Call it a tune up. I discussed this with the trainer and he was all right with it, thought it was a good idea considering I already have a consistent record of working out going on.

My suggestion to you would be to find a gym in your area that offers a free trail or maybe a single session purchase and give it a shot. I found it worthwhile even if I would have had to pay for it!

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Fitness Over Fifty Beginner Routines – Toning Upper Arms

Flabby Upper Arms? Try Chair Dips

Toning upper arms is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reverse the appearance of aging . One of the best exercises to tighten up those flabby upper arms is the bench dip. Because this series of exercises are for beginners and one of the requirements was to find work out routines that can be done in the comfort of your own home with little or no additional equipment other than what can be found around the house we have substituted using a bench with a simple straight back chair.

Here are the steps:

  • Begin by sitting on the edge of a chair.
  • Lay your hands on the chair next to  your bottom and grab the edge.
  • Feet flat on the floor 2 feet in front of you knees bent.
  • Lift off the chair so you are supported by your arms and hands.
  • Bend elbows, dropping (dipping) your body towards the floor. Dip as far as you feel comfortable.
  • Push back up, squeezing the muscles in the back of the arms.
  • You want to maintain a position with your back as close to the chair as possible to reduce shoulder strain.

Chair Dips

My suggestion is to start out doing as many as you can in one minute. Try to work yourself up to 3 one minute repetitions 3 times a week, you’ll be amazed at the results in a month or so, the triceps respond to resistance training fairly fast.

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Over 50 Beginners Workout Routine – Lunges

lunges

Lunges – Great at Home Exercise for Beginners

The third exercise of this series concentrates once again on the lower body. The lunge involves all the big muscles below the waist – quads, hamstrings and glutes.
This exercise is even easier in some respects than the squat because it copies a very natural, everyday aspect of life. Walking!
Having said that though don’t be fooled. It is a more advanced move than the squat because it not only works and strengthens your lower body but it also will improve your balance.
Okay here’s how they’re done.
From a neutral standing position take a big step forward, keeping your back straight but not rigid and bend your knee to about 90 degrees (make sure your front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes). While steppping forward drop your back knee towards the floor.
That’s it. Really simple and can be done just about anywhere.
I suggest doing as many of these as you can in 30 seconds at first and over time increasing the time intervals to 60 and then 90 seconds.
You can improve our everday mobility and flexibilty by changing this exercise sometimes to stepping either backwards or to the side.

The third exercise of this series concentrates once again on the lower body. The lunge involves all the big muscles below the waist – quads, hamstrings and glutes.
This exercise is even easier in some respects than the squat because it copies a very natural, everyday aspect of life. Walking!
Having said that though don’t be fooled. It is a more advanced move than the squat because it not only works and strengthens your lower body but it also will improve your balance.
Okay here’s how they’re done.
From a neutral standing position take a big step forward, keeping your back straight but not rigid and bend your knee to about 90 degrees (make sure your front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes). While steppping forward drop your back knee towards the floor.
That’s it. Really simple and can be done just about anywhere.
I suggest doing as many of these as you can in 30 seconds at first and over time increasing the time intervals to 60 and then 90 seconds.
You can improve our everday mobility and flexibilty by changing this exercise sometimes to stepping either backwards or to the side.

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Over 50 Beginners Work Out – Wall Push Ups

Over 50 - Wall Push Up

In the first of this series on beginners exercises for over fifty we featured squats for the lower body, today we will show you a really easy way to strengthen the upper body doing wall push ups.

We begin with these two exercises because they both engage large muscle groups and strengthen areas of the body that are used in every day activities.

The push up works the chest, back and arms. When done correctly it also helps strengthen the core. While I’ll admit that the regular way of doing push ups is challenging and I still find it difficult to do more than 15 or 20 at a time (on a good day) I will show you an easy way to get similar benefits that almost anyone can do.

  1. Stand 2 – 3 feet from the wall – Feet about shoulder width apart, knees straight but not locked.
  2. Hands flat against the wall – Just a little wider than shoulder width, arms straight.
  3. Now bend your arms – Bend until your nose is about 1″ from the wall.
  4. Push Back – Return to starting position.

That’s all there is to it. The level of difficulty and resistance increases the further you place your feet from the wall. Find a position that allows you to complete 12 – 15 repetitions. Perform these 10 – 15 reps 2 to 3 times about twice a week and you should see improved upper body strength within 6 weeks.

One of the great things about this exercise is that it’s so portable. You can do it at work on your break, while out walking around the park, while away from home on a trip or vacation, just about any where!

Remember muscles need increased resistance as they get stronger to maintain the same level of fitness so increase your distance away from the wall as your strength improves. Eventually you can move from the wall to using a chair or bench for support thus lowering you body closer to the floor and creating even more body weight resistance – but that’s all for later. Start out with these beginner wall push ups and trust me you’ll get there!

Exercise Over 50 – Beginners Routines

Over 50 Beginners Work Out Routine – Squats

exercise for over 50

If you’re over 50 and haven’t worked out in a while mastering the squat may be somewhat of a challenge but it’s first on the list for a very good reason.

Builds and strengthens the foundation – Squats target the largest muscle group of the body, the quads or thighs and glutes or butt. These muscles are called into use every day in normal activities that require lifting, pulling or pushing. They’re also important for maintaining balance. Strengthening these groups of muscles may help prevent falls and as an added bonus can help prevent osteporosis or porous bones that sometimes occurs when the bones grow weak with aging and become more susceptible to fractures and breaks.

Okay, so what’s the proper way to perform a squat?

Bodyweight Squats

  • At first for balance place a chair in front of you facing forward and place your hands on the back of the chair. You can also place a chair directly behind to prevent a fall when you go down and to keep the beginner from going down too far
  • You should be standing with feet about shoulder width apart
  • Your chest and stomach should be straight up and down with a slight curve in your back
  • Bend your knees, at first go only as far as you comfortably can, the goal is to eventually be able to go down until your thighs are a little past parallel to the floor.
  • Only using your legs, push back to the starting position. Use your grip on the chair only for balance unless you absolutely need to pull yourself up.
  • When you get better at it you will no longer need the chair. At this point you may even add some weight for more resistance.
  • For weight, use two milk jugs, dumbbells or whatever holding them at your sides as you squat.

Here is a great video showing the way it’s done.


Exercise Over 50

Wall Push Ups for Beginners