Is the secret to longevity….strength? According to many studies, the stronger you are, the less likely injuries will occur in old age. If we don’t pay attention, we get weaker as we age. It’s not as obvious as weight gain, but it has a whole lot to do with that problem too. Muscles burn fat. I’m not talking Arnold Schwarzenegger muscles. It’s those muscles we all have, that get weak if we don’t challenge them. If challenged, once a week, it can reap huge benefits. Strength can be increased by anyone at any age. That’s the great part. A study by Dr. Wayne Wescott with nonambulatory nursing home residents showed, patients as old as 90 years, increased their strength after slow strength training sessions. The amazing part was some residents were able to get up and walk without the use of a wheelchair they were previously using. What amazes me is this was not national news. Don’t we all want to be mobile as long as possible? We can if we maintain our strength. If you’ve lost strength with age, you can get it back. The slow resistance workout I’ve begun doing only takes about 20 minutes a week. Once a week. It’s 5 exercises on gym equipment. Push, pull, push, pull, finally the leg press. You don’t need to have a gym membership but the machines the gyms have, allow you to go to muscle failure without having a spotter. There’s less chance for injury because of the ease to do the exercises with the proper form. I’m the last person to try and sell you a gym membership since I’ve never been a fan of the gym atmosphere. The science behind working the muscles to failure and the benefits it brings makes the gym equipment essential. I’m on my 8th week doing slow strength training. Dr Doug Mcguff developed the Big 5 workout which he describes in his book Body by Science. The book that opened my eyes to the importance of maintaining our strength. I’ve increased my strength in all 5 exercises.
- Push-Sit down Bence press +40% since week 1
- Pull-Row +60%
- Push-Overhead Press +20%
- Pull-Pulldown +20%
- Push-Legpress +50%
Dr. Mcguff and the Big 5 workout