Joel Peterson, Personal Trainer

Am I Too Old To Start Weight Training? Part 3

Joel Peterson – Level 5 Personal Trainer Apple Athletic Club

Over the last two weeks we have shown the importance of weight or resistance training for aging Americans, and that’s all of us, unless you’re somehow getting younger! We’ve talked about the benefits of this training and the consequences of neglecting it. We’ve also started you out on some basic but very important compound movements. Please go back and review the last two weeks of articles for a refresher.

Whether you’ve never exercised before or have simply fallen off track, today is the day you can renew your commitment to physical activity. Remember, you are never too old to start exercising. I know and have trained people in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that had never worked out before who but have gained significant improvements in strength, range of motion, balance, bone density and mental clarity. Most have learned to love their workouts and look forward to even more and better advancements. Now that’s really cool!

If you’re just starting out or are concerned about a medical condition, consult with Doctor Ward and a personal fitness trainer who can instruct you about proper form and technique. He or she can also help you develop a plan based on your unique fitness goals and one that is safe for any medical conditions you may have. Just keep in mind that while you need to use caution, you do need to exercise at a level that is challenging to your body. Many make the mistake of exercising with not enough intensity, and this will result in many of your benefits being forfeited.

Am I Too Old For Weight Training Part 3

Let go of any negative beliefs you may have about exercise or your body’s ability to grow stronger at an older age. Once you’re open, mentally, to becoming fit and strong, your body will follow suit. Do start slowly and gradually increase your intensity while listening to your body. And be sure to give your body ample time for recovery as well as the proper nourishment to help build your muscles.


Amino acids are extremely important as they form the building blocks for muscle. Leucine is a powerful muscle builder, along with iso-leucine and valine. These are called the “branch chain amino acids” or BCAA’s.

However, you should avoid amino acid isolates of leucine because, in its free form, it’s been shown to contribute to insulin resistance and may lead to muscle wasting. It’s far better to get leucine from whole foods and the best source is a high-quality whey protein.

Consuming a high-quality whey protein shake after your workout may help to maximize muscle protein synthesis. Sam’s Club, GNC, Amazon and many other places sell good quality whey protein powder. I recommend 20 grams, or about one scoop (provided in package), before and after your workout session to maximize the amino utilization.

If you’re a meat eater I recommend you also use a good quality Alaskan salmon and organic chicken in your diet. The omega threes in salmon also aid in controlling temporary inflammation sometimes caused by exercise. And I would get five to eight servings of vegetables and fruits a day for anti-oxidant protection and general good health.

A healthy diet coupled with good weight training is dynamite. It explodes into more energy, better mental acuity, looking better, fat loss and generally a better outlook on life.

Before I sign out I’m going to add another exercise for you (see last week for others). This one will isolate your arms and help you build more strength and flexibility. You can use bands, dumbbells or milk cartons filled with water. Whatever you can use to supply resistance.

Remember to go slow. Try and work to a 4 second up and 4 second down time. You should fail at about 8 – 10 reps. Do two or three sets two or three times a week.

Have some fun and stay with it. Don’t get discouraged. It will happen if you do your part.

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