Remember when you were a kid?
Watch some kids playing. They run. They jump. They climb. They fall and then they get up again.
You might feel like telling them to slow down, but you never have to tell children to speed up.
Then you got older
But things change when you get older. You might not be quite as fast as you used to be. You might even have the idea that, “I’m too old to exercise.”
You see it in a lot of people right after high school. They just aren’t active anymore. They think that their running and jumping days are behind them. It just isn’t true.
You’ve still got it in you
You can be active at any age. And you can use exercise, heavy exercise, to help you get the lean body that you want.
Now, before you strap on the gym shoes and start sprinting take a look at your condition. Are you really out of shape? Then you’ll need to build up gradually.
Too much, too soon, and you can injure yourself. Or you will be too exhausted to continue, and you will give up.
So where do you start
So what do you do if you are no longer a kid, but you decide it is time for you to get into some kind of shape? The best answer for you is resistance training.
What is resistance training? There are lots of ways to do resistance training. But the kind that you can do and should do is weight lifting.
Weight lifting, at any age, is the safest and most effective way to get in shape. And especially if you are getting older, stiffer, heavier, and out of shape, weight lifting may be ideal for you.
That may not seem logical at first glance, but here is why. One example of the benefits of weight training is found in the research done at the University of Arkansas. (Exercise training guidelines for the elderly. Evans WJ, Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Jan;31(1):12-7.)
This is one of many studies which showed the benefits of heavy weight training in all ages.
They picked elderly nursing home residents and had them do high-intensity resistance training. That’s right — heavy weights. The elderly are the group that you would think would be most prone to injury and least likely to be able to exercise.
What did they find?
What the researchers found was that the frail elderly develop increased muscle mass and dramatically increased strength in a few short weeks.
Further, they became more active in their daily lives after they got more fit. All from high-intensity training.
What is high intensity?
They defined high-intensity resistance training as movements involving greater than 60% of the one repetition maximum. For example, if the maximum that you could lift one time was 100 pounds, then high-intensity resistance training would require you to lift at least 60 pounds.
Sixty percent of your one repetition maximum is enough resistance to cause muscle growth.
You have to work your muscles against resistance to cause muscle growth. That’s why most people get so little benefit from their treadmill workouts and why they often give up.
Plodding on the treadmill does not stimulate muscle growth, and it will not give you the changes in your body you are hoping for.
Will it work for you?
If it works for an elderly person in a nursing home it will surely work for you. It works for people of all ages.
Resistance training in any form will give you all sorts of benefits. It increases muscle tone and it increases muscle mass.
The increased tone gives women a shapelier figure. It gives men a more powerful silhouette. And the increased mass burns calories and aids weight loss.
What exercise should you do?
There are many forms of resistance training. Any exercise which will cause you to exert yourself at least 60 percent of your maximum exertion will do. But if you are out of shape it is very difficult to do a lot of resistance activities.
Pullups are great. Pushups are wonderful. Even climbing a tree would work. But for those things you have to be in pretty good shape already.
But what if you’re not in good shape? Working with weights is the ideal resistance exercise for most people — especially if you are out of shape.
Why is that? Because weights come in all sizes, from the 8 ounce soup can in your cupboard to 150 pound dumbbells at the gym. The variety of exercises is infinite and limited only by your imagination. There are many excellent books, videos and magazines available on the subject.
What are the benefits?
The gains you make are easy to see, because the numbers are right there in front of you. You started with 10 pounds. Now you are lifting 20 pounds. So you don’t have to wonder if you are making gains.
You will make gains, and you will see so yourself in a very few weeks. Weight lifting can bring dramatic changes in a very short period of time if done right. This is especially true if you let yourself get really out of shape. It’s ironic, but the worse shape you are in, the easier it is to improve.
Weight lifting is fun!
And perhaps most importantly weight lifting can be fun. You will see after you try it. It is fun when you see yourself becoming strong and lean.
So give it a try. You have tried every gimmick “fast-weight-loss” diet that has come around, and look where you are now. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Lift some weights. Lose some weight. If your grandmother can do it, so can you.
Are You Tired Of Being Fat?
Dan Curtis, M.D. is an author, lecturer, and university professor. For more help with your weight loss visit: http://www.my-weight-loss-advisor.com How many calories do you need to lose weight?