Lifting Weights As You Age
As our body ages, a few things happen that make strength training a little more challenging and traumatic to our body:
- Joint surfaces become rougher.
- Tendons become dryer with increased friction.
- Ligaments become tighter.
- Cartilage is less pliable and smooth.
There are physiological reasons why these changes occur. However, the fact is these changes are going to begin to make strength training with weights more traumatic to joint surfaces as well as ligament and tendon insertion points onto the bone.
These effects can be compounded if you are a 40+ person that has been lifting weights aggressively for several years or are a 40+ newbie to lifting weights.
For most 40+ adults, lifting weights is what they feel they need to do to get stronger, leaner and keep muscles well defined. However, very few of these individuals realize how strength training with weights can impact their body over time.
As a result, they don’t know what modifications to make to ensure that they stay injury free while strength training with weights.
Are Lifting Weights the Only Way to Get Stronger??
Muscles are dumb and do not realize the difference between strength training with weights or strength training using resistance bands. Knowing resistance bands create less joint and muscle pain post workout, it makes sense to consider strength training with bands and weights.
This is referred to as Contrast Training. By contrast training you can avoid excessive trauma to joints and tendons and therefore allow a 40+ body to strength train on a more routine basis without concern for injury.
Why Strength Train with Bands and Weights??
Reason #1: To change up resistance
Weights and resistance bands use a completely different type of resistance. This resistance not only strength trains the muscles differently but also creates a significantly different effect on joints and ligaments.
The following video compares the impact weights vs. bands have on the body.
Reason #2: To change up patterns and force angles
The best way to avoid overuse injuries with strength training is by changing up patterns of movement and how forces are applied to the body’s joints and muscles.
Gravity dependent free weights don’t allow you to create changes in forces and require you to use single patterns of movement.
Resistance band’s light weight pliability and gravity independence allows for 100’s of pattern variations and the ability to apply force from multiple directions. As a result, there is a much more joint, ligament and muscle friendly training effect provided.
Here is an example of how to change forces.
Reason #3: To strength train all movements
Few people consider movements like walking or running to be strength training options. It makes sense because how do you add resistance to these movements using weights? You can’t with weights but you can with resistance bands.
Repeated, short running, band resisted movements done in different directions can become a strength training series of exercises.
Considering the body was built to perform locomotion, it makes sense that strengthening various running patterns would be important to maintaining a high level of functionality as the body ages.
Here is a perfect example of how to contrast strength train locomotion.
The key to strength training the 40+ body safely comes down to:
- Not training the same pattern of movement all the time
- Not applying the same forces to joints and muscles in every workout
- Making all movements a strength training movement including locomotion
Following an exclusive program that only uses gravity dependent free weights will not provide the versatility and adaptability needed to keep the joints, muscles, ligaments and cartilage safe.
However, by contrasting band resistance with free weights it will allow the body to stay strong and safe from injury while strength training way beyond your 70’s and 80’s.
Stop Beating Up Your Joints Trying to Get Stronger and Leaner Using Weights Only
Let me help you figure out what the best resistance bands are for you to get stronger while keeping your joints and tendons happy.