Group of older mature people lifting weights in the gym

As I am growing older I have started realising the importance of weight training. In fact, now this weight training is a major portion of my own workout sessions. So, if you fall under the middle-aged and beyond that age category, I would recommend you as well to include weight training as an integral part of your workout routine.

You might not be much concerned about the appearance of your muscles now at this age as you were during your 20s but you must surely care how the muscles function now. With age, you’ll find many issues with your muscles like atrophy, loss of muscle mass i.e, sarcopenia. So if you don’t start doing something for your muscles you might just end up with about fifteen per cent loss of your muscle mass between the times of your years from the 30s to 80s.

Multiply your Strength by 3 Times and Decrease the Rate of Muscle Loss with Weight Training

The process of losing muscle is gradual so one might not notice the loss at first. And then when you’re in the 70s and the sarcopenia process starts accelerating, you might begin to feel weaker and notice that you’re having problems doing even the simple things that you could do easily earlier.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has revealed that with a slow loss in muscle cross-sectional area is clearly found with advancing age, by age fifty, about 10% of muscle area is gone. And that after 50 years of age, the rate of loss accelerates significantly. According to the ACS, Muscle strength reduces by approximately fifteen per cent per decade in the 60s and 70s and by thirty per cent thereafter. Although intrinsic muscle function considerably slows down with advancing age, age initiated a decrease in muscle mass is what causes almost all loss of strength in the older adult.

It is certain that nobody would want a degrading strength and a reduced ability to function in an independent manner. You’ll find that the weight training will not only make you feel stronger and fitter but also let you gain the ability to do your own things like carrying your groceries or picking up something from the ground etcetera perfectly without any hurdles.  With a well-maintained mass of your muscles, this training will help you gain the potency to carry on with your daily living properly. In fact, it will better your living ability with your age. And if you look on the other side, there are certain effects for sarcopenia. They are like,

  • The rate of fractures and falls multiplies
  • You’ll develop an impairing ability to even regulate your body temperature
  • You’ll notice the reduced rate of your body metabolism
  • The capability to even perform the routine tasks of every day will diminish

If you’re sceptical about starting the weight training when you’re already in the older stage, then you must read what the ACSM has to say about this. According to ACSM, having a sufficient training stimulus, middle-aged adults can make noticeable gains in strength. A two-to-three-fold strength achievement can be seen in 3 to 4 months in fibres gained during training in older adults. With more continuous resistance training a considerable enhancement in muscle size is possible. The ACSM also explains that with increased muscle strength come heightened levels of activity in both independent and healthy older adults and very old and weak men and women. Strength training which is likely to have positive effects on the action of insulin, bone density, functional status and energy metabolism is also an effective way to increase levels of physical activity in the older adult.

The Many Advantages of Weight Training for Middle-Aged Adults:

Weight training isn’t just important for a certain age group. It is necessary throughout life but the importance increases of course as the age increases. And if you think it’s late, well you must know that it is never too late. You can start with the training even if you’re in your 90s. There’s also an example of a study showing a nursing home showed the percentage of improved strength between 167 and 180 per cent for the residents with the average age of 90 just after eight weeks of weight training. Here are the benefits of weight training for older adults:

  • The ability of walking is improved: It is found that just after twelve weeks of weight training, adults of the age 65 and above have shown incredible improvement in their leg strength and stamina with an increased walking speed of about 40 per cent.
  • The ability to perform the routine tasks is improved: It is found that after about 16 weeks of “total body” weight training there’s an increase of the substantial amount of body strength in the women of the age group 60 to 77 years. They also showed improvement in walking velocity and the capacity to perform the daily tasks.
  • The rate of falls is reduced: With proper weight training, it is seen that the rate of falls has reduced in women with a reduced bone mass between the age group of 75 and 85.
  • There’s also relief from the pain in the joints: With an increase in age, the joints experience pain. The weight training is seen to have helped the muscles and the tendons gain strength and reduce the pain.
  • The blood sugar control is improved: With the weight training, you’ll find an improved blood sugar control. It reduces the risks and sugar level in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It also lowers type 2 diabetes by 34 per cent by at least 150 minutes of strength training compared to the individuals without the training.

This training is also known to prevent the brittle bone formation and moreover it can even retrograde the process. For example, to build up the bone density in your hips, leg press is a great exercise. Weight training increases the production of growth factors in your body. These factors result in cellular growth in addition to proliferation and cellular differentiation in your bodies. The training also induces growth factors that result in the endurance of the nerve cells in your body that is why this training also revitalises the brain and thus prevents memory issues like dementia.

Is Slow Training Ideal if You are Middle Aged?

Slow weight training results in high-intensity exercises, the super-slow movements reaches to the intrinsic level of your muscles. This helps in monitoring the number of cross-bridges between the protein filaments which are responsible for the muscle movement.

If you’re older then slow weight training incorporates a safe way to integrate high-intensity workouts. About 12 to 15 minutes of super-slow strength training twice a week will produce the same Human Growth Hormones as a one hour of the conventional amount of weight training would produce, in a far safer and more efficient environment. This is why Dr. Doug McGuff, a fitness expert, also stands by this technique but this is the protocol where all Intense Health programs are built on, for maximum results, in minimum time.

At the age of 30 and beyond, there will be the “somatopause” stage. This means, at this age, there will be a dramatic reduction in the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels and this induces the ageing process. Thus the super-slow weight training boosts the levels of HGH, which is why it is extremely beneficial for older individuals. Dr McGuff mentioned that there’s a strong correlation between somatopause and sarcopenia. The growth hormones are the factors of sustaining the fast-twitch muscle fibres that result in the production of power in the body. This also results in stimulating the muscles.

It is also found that individuals belonging to different ages can take advantage of super-slow weight training. And if you’re middle-aged or older then it is specifically important for you. You can use four or five of the basic compound movements for your super-slow exercise set. These movements require the coordination of the several muscle groups in your body. Some of the examples are squats, chest presses and compounds.

You can, if my gramma could!:

You can start your exercise whenever you want. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never tried it or you aren’t anymore doing it. Today is when you can start off. After all, you’re never too old to start. And setting an example is all my clients after 70 years old people that have never tried working out before, After going through the workouts, they find amazing changes in their body strength. There’s an improvement in the strength of motion, balance, the density of bones and also the clarity of brain processes.

For the starters, consult with our master trainer at Intense Health and he will develop a program and train you one on one so you can reap all benefits and no side effects. This will make you understand the proper technique with a foolproof plan basing on your body type and medical conditions. One thing to consider is that you must do your workouts with enough intensity which is always achieved once you have your trainer guiding you.

And before you start with your workout you must have a proper mindset. You can try using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Google the EFT technique, has helped thousands of people around the world with this meditation technique. This way you can let go of your negative beliefs that may contradict your decision about taking up exercise. Once you make up your mind and widen up mentally to achieve fitness and following the workout regime, your body will coordinate the plan. And you must give your body the much-needed recovery time to let you build your muscles. Besides the weight training, you must round out your exercise program with some other beneficial exercises too. This can include some extra interval training in some cases, which can be discussed with Marcelo at the clinic. But definitely being active, walking or swimming.

You can have our subscription to our newsletter. The newsletter is quite handy that shall help you reach your ultimate fitness goals. With the subscription you’ll be able to have the following:

  • You’ll be the first to know about the latest fitness breakthroughs from the experts around the globe
  • You’ll be able to differentiate the genuine advice from the fake ones
  • You’ll be able to do savings that otherwise you might end up spending on some regular medical drugs or other commercial methods
  • You’ll be able to have the access to our ebooks that shall help you cover a wide range of topics to better your overall health


Marcelo is the co-founder and Director of Exercise Physiology at Intense Health, Perth's #1 Private Strength Training and Nutrition Clinics.


Marcelo is the co-founder and Director of Exercise Physiology at Intense Health, Perth's #1 Private Strength Training and Nutrition Clinics.