Benefits of resistance or weight training
Updated: Aug 8
Well, there's a blog post title I never thought I'd be writing! Especially at the age of 58! But a recent sequence of events has led me back to the gym to use the weight-loaded resistance machines. I go just twice a week (hmmm, more or less!) and my routine takes about 40 minutes. I'm absolutely amazed by the benefits I'm seeing in just a couple of months. Here are some highlights:
I haven't lost pounds or kilos but I've definitely slimmed down - my clothes fit better
My skin texture has improved - less wrinkly and crepey
My whole body is more toned and feels much stronger
I'm holding myself more upright
Riding my bike and my yoga practice are both more effortless
I can feel my heart working hard and I get sweaty - without spending hours on a treadmill
The horrible hip pain I used to get is pretty much gone
No more knee niggles - my knees feel much stronger and look less podgy
My lower back niggles a lot less
What led me to the gym was (a) an osteoporosis diagnosis (see my blog post), and (b) a really weak and painful left hip. I thought it was sacro-iliac stuff as I'd had that before. I booked in for some physiotherapy on the NHS and they diagnosed it as my actual hip joint and basically old age. (Yikes!) I was referred for 4 sessions of physio-led gym training. It was amazing! My hip improved after just one session. It felt as though there were muscles around my hip which were weak or just not firing up. My right leg/hip was so much stronger than my left - so I started out doing more on my left leg. I'm now working them both evenly.
When those sessions ended, I joined a local gym and booked a one-to-one with their gym trainer to make sure I knew how to use their machines safely.
Here's what I do:
5 minutes quite fast on the rowing machine to warm up
3 sets of 8 reps on each machine. I try to have 3 machines on the go at once (depends how busy it is) - working different parts of the body. I rotate my sets around the 3. This means I don't need to pause between sets.
I increase the weight after one set, if I can. As my aim is strength, I want to work as hard as I can - almost to the point where I can't do it.
I shake out and stretch briefly as I finish each body part.
The biggest muscles in the body are: deltoids, lats, glutes, quads and hamstrings. I focus on them.
I'm NOT a fitness expert (just a muscle expert!) - this article is intended to inspire you to find your own experts near you. Kinesiology can also help identify and address imbalances in muscles. Let me know if I can help.