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STRENGTH TRAINING

STRENGTH TRAINING - INTRODUCTION


There is no doubt among anti-aging experts that strength training shoufd
be an integral part of any anti-aging exercise program. The reason is
simple: our body mass decreases by 6-10% with each decade after
age 30. By age 70, we only have approximately 50% of our body
strength left. Have you ever noticed how an elderly gentleman shakes
hands with you? The fact the handshake is very weak is sometimes not
because he does not want to shake hard, but rather because the body's
ability to effect a strong handshake is no longer there. Decrease in body
strength leads to decrease in function, less energy, less balance, and
increase accident rate (the 7th leading cause of death among the
elderly). Increased strength, therefore, decrease chances of accident and
increases longevity.

STRENGTH TRAINING STRENGTHENS THE OLDEST


In 1994, Dr Maria Fiatarone, M.D. of the Human Nutrition Research Center of Aging of Tufts University in Boston, gave
multi-nutrient supplement and exercise training to a group of men and women, between ages of

63 and 98, in a nursing home. 83% required a cane, walker or wheelchair and 66% had
fallen before. Despite all this, they went through a high intensity, progressive weight
training for 45 minutes, 3 times a week for 10 weeks. These patients did 3 sets of exercise on traditional
weight machines. In only 10 weeks the results were remarkable. The muscles of these elderly grew in size and their strength
increased with the greatest benefit seen in those who were weakest to begin with but who did not have severe muscle atrophy.
Also noted was a significant increase in mobility after the study as compared to before. Patients were able to walk faster and
climb steps more easily. Three exercisers graduated from a walker to a cane, compared to one person from a group of nonexercising control, who went from a cane to a walker during that same period of time. Muscle strength increase

y174% on the average and the walking speed increase by 50%. Yes, it's amazing but real!

EXERCISE AND GROWTH HORMONE


Exercise, especially strength training exercise send a wake-up
call to your pituitary gland to release growth hormone (growth
hormone is a key anti-aging hormone). While the exact
mechanism is not completely understood, there is no doubt that
exercise stimulates growth hormone release, which has major
significant benefits in increasing longevity. Aerobic exercise
also results in persistent, long-term release of growth hormone
in spurts in the blood for 2 hours or even longer after you stop
exercise. Strength training like weight training causes spurts of
growth hormone to stimulate in the release in the body as well.
It is particularly interesting to note that while moderate intensity
of aerobic type exercise is sufficient to cause maximum
stimulation of growth hormone release (moderate intensity
exercise is defined as 40-50% of maximum oxygen obtained,
high intensity is 70%). It has been found that weight training at
70% of maximum lift causes free flow increase in growth
hormone release. At 85% of maximum lift capacity there is a
four-fold increase in growth hormone release into our body.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANTI-AGING


STRENGTH TRAINING AND BODY BUILDING
From an anti-aging perspective, the primary goal is to maintain
muscle tone and maintain muscle strength. You have the option
of building muscle size for the purposes of entering a body
building competition if you so wish. Since the goals are
different, the techniques and methodology are also different.

From an anti-aging perspective, we want to achieve the


following major benefits:
1. Increase in strength, to decrease accident and
increase longevity.

2. Burn calories and lose weight, replacing body fat with


lean muscle mass.

Reduce depression and relief stress.BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING

One important result of strength training is the increase in physical


performance as measured by your strength. Stronger muscles
enable you to lift and move things that are heavy. A stronger
muscle also provides endurance regardless of what hobby, sports
or day-to-day activities that you do. From an anti-aging
perspective, the primary goal is not really to increase the size of
the muscle but rather, to tone the muscle in such a way that the fat
is replaced by the lean muscle mass. It is not unusuai for those
who are in strength training program to gain a few pounds of
muscle as well as 30-40% more in strength and in endurance after
10-12 weeks of consistent weight strength- training. This is
achievable. The result of such strength-training program is that the
body composition changes. Take an average 170-pound man with
20% body fat, there is 34 pounds of fat and 136 pounds of lean
body mass. After strength training, provided everything remains
unchanged, he has now 17% fat with 29 pounds of fat weight and
141 pounds of lean body weight. This change in body composition
will have a direct effect on the appearance that results in firmer
look.

STRENGTH TRAINING AND METABOLIC


IMPROVEMENT
As we grow older, we generally lose about half a pound of muscle
every year as well as half a percent reduction in the basal of
metabolic rate. A reduction in the basal of metabolic rate means
your body is less able to use the food to convert into energy. As a
result, more of the calories that you consume are turned into fats.
This is the reason that as you grow older, your body composition
changes automatically without you doing anything. You notice that
you are getting more fat with less muscle. This is natural and will
happen if you don't do anything. Therefore, if you are interested in
maintaining your body composition as when you are young, you
have to be on a strength-training program. One of the biggest
mistakes that people make when starting a weight management
program is that they fail to incorporate exercise or a strengthtraining program.

STRENGTH TRAINING VERSUS MUSCLE SIZE


There is a common misconception especially among women that strength training will
inevitably lead to muscle sizes. While increase in muscle size is a component of
resistance training, the degree of size of muscle increase is subject upon the techniques
and the program of strength training exercises. You can actually increase fitness
,increase muscle tone and firmness of the muscle without increase in muscle size if you
know how to do it. Doing a few reps of (4-6) and increasing the weight will lead to
increase in muscle size. If you want to be like Mr. Universe, you really have to do
strength training. You must lift 2 ton a day and consume 4,000-5,000 kilocalories per day.

Doing more reps (15-20) with lower weights will lead to


increase in muscle tone and endurance. In anti-aging, you
want both, though you should do about 10-12 reps of each
strength training exercise.

DECREASE THE RISK OF INJURY, REDUCE


RATE OF ACCIDENT
Accident is a major leading cause of death in the elderly. This is
especially so in women who already have a disadvantage of
having onset of osteoporosis after menopause. Our muscles
serve as supporting structure for our skeletal framework. They are
the shock absorbers that allow us to balance ourselves so that we
do not fall and to act as cushions when we do fall. Strong
muscles translate into fewer accidents as we are better balanced.

STRENGTH TRAINING TERMINOLOGY


Exercise - the actual strength training complete movement of the
muscle group being performed. For example the biceps curl is an
exercise. Repetitions or reps - one full movement of the
exercise from start to the prescribed end-point and back to the
original starting position is called a rep. Often you perform each
exercise every repetitions, usually between 10-15, depends on
your experience level and interest. Sets - This refers to a
complete number of reps. For example, doing a bench press 12
consecutive times will complete 1 set. Usually, 1-3 sets make up
one exercise routine. The pause between sets is usually 1-1.5
minutes and this allows muscles to retain enough strength to
complete the next set effectively.

Positive phase - This is the phase of the exercise that requires


your muscles to contract. When you are doing a bench press for
example, the positive phase is when you press the weight
upwards, away from your body.

Negative phase - This is the phase whereby you slowly allow the
weight to return to home position. When this happens, your
muscle strengthens. For example, for the biceps curl, the
negative phase is when you slowly lower the weight back down
until your arms extend straight.

HOW MUCH TIME REQUIRED FOR


STRENGTH TRAINING
Most anti-aging experts agree that devoting 20-30 minutes to
strength training 2-3 times a week is sufficient for strength and
muscle development. Strength training need not be complicated.
Imagine 20-30 years ago, when weight machines were not
prevalent, you could still have a strong body. While machines
help us to focus on certain muscles and make our job easier, it
is by no means the only way to attain strength training. Strength
training can be accomplished through a variety of modulates
depending on the type of equipment you have.

STRENGTH TRAINING WITH NO EQUIPMENT


Contrary to popular belief, effective strength building exercise
does not require fancy machinery. For example, a simple pushup is sufficient to strengthen the chest, upper back and shoulder
muscles. Similarly, you can do a back extension for lower back
muscles and a pelvic tilt for the buttock muscles. For the lower
extremities, the lunge is an excellent exercise. For the calf
muscles, a simple but effective heel raise is all you need. For the
biceps, you can do pull-ups and for the triceps, you can do a
triceps bench dip. All these exercises do not require any
machinery and can be done on the go anywhere or virtually any
place. Most of them can be done either in a sitting or standing

position, whether you are on a plane or standing on a subway.


The question is whether you have the know-how and the
knowledge of how to perform these exercises and most
importantly, take the time and energy to do it. A complete set of
such exercise does not take more than 5-10 minutes.

STRENGTH TRAINING WITH DUMB BELLS


Dumb bells are cheap and effective ways to increase resistance
and provide good and lasting strength training. Again, do not be
intimidated by a full set of dumb bells, which you think you may
need to build your body. Simple dumb bells with weight from 1530 pounds for men and 10- 20 pounds for women is often all
that you need to get started for anti- aging purposes. Dumb bells
are convenient in the sense that they don't take up much space
at all. You can use them at home and you don't have to go to the
gym. You only need 1 set of dumb bells to work all 11 major
muscle groups. However, you do need to know how to use them
properly. For example, you can do squats with dumb bells, which
will increase the tone of your lower extremity as well as your
hamstrings. The calf raise increases the strength of calf
muscles; dumb beli biceps curl for the biceps and kick-backs for
the triceps, flies for the

chest and the seated press for upper back are just some of
exercises that may be done with dumb bells.

STRENGTH TRAINING WITH BAR BELL


If you are fortunate enough to have the space, and to
accommodate a barbell and a bench, you are able to do more

exercises than you are otherwise would just with dumb bells or if
you have no equipment at all. While all the major muscle
groups of your body can be trained without the barbell, the
barbell allows us to develop maximum strength through
resistance. Exercises such as the bench press for the chest, or
the overhead press for the back, the back-lift for the lower back,
the squads for the quads and hamstrings, and the standing curls
for the biceps are standard resistance exercises used world-wide
for strength training. The barbell is also good in that it offers
our muscles a three-dimensional training environment as
compared to machines, which have preset tracks of muscle
movement, and thus a two-dimensional environment.

STRENGTH TRAINING IN A GYM


If you have access to a gym, this is the best of all worlds. Gyms
usually have a multitude of machines, each focused on a specific
muscle group as well. In a gym setting, you are able to isolate
specific muscles and perform specific functions for those specific
muscles accordingly. Every imaginable exercise has its own
machine in the gym. Once you have a gym membership, do take
advantage of it and incorporate machines, strength training as
well as dumb beli and barbell exercises to achieve the same goal.
It should be remembered that a machine is not a replacement for
the other strength training exercises. This is because machine
training is mostly two dimensional in nature. While you may
achieve muscle toning, the muscle balance as well as the threedimensional aspects of the muscle strength training is not
achieved simply by machine training alone. Free weights are still
the gold standard and achieve the best results.

PAIN AND MUSCLE SORENESS


When your work your muscles that have not been worked for
a while, it is normal to feel a dull ache or soreness in the
muscles that were trained. This pain is caused by the microtrauma of muscle fibers from the connective tissues in the body.
This is normal and it is healthy. You have probably heard the
phrase "no pain, no gain". More appropriately, it should be coined
as "no strin, no gain". It is important to recognize that pain is a
signal that your body tells you that rest is needed. As such, give
yourself 1 or 2 days' rest and the pain

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Hgenerally goes away.

If the pain does not go away and is persistent,


consult your physician for further evaluation. Unrelenting pain is
something you should not experience. Any sudden onset of pain, any
popping sound or severe relentless pain are all signs that something abnormal is going on
in your body. Pain is a signal that your body sends you to warn you of impending danger.
In such situations, stop exercise and consult your physician immediately. Cramps -

Muscles cramp when they are in tense contraction without a


relaxation phase. This is often caused by over-exertion as well as
the lack of warm up. In addition, other factors such as the lack of
electrolytes can contribute to this problem. To avoid cramps, it is important
to have a proper warm up as well as keep hydrated before and during the course of the
exercise.

Injury - The purpose of strength training is to stress the


muscle to a point where the muscle fibers experience micro
trauma. With this, the muscle fibers can go on to a repair and
strengthening phase. Over-stretching or over-exertion of
any muscle group will cause injury, including tendonidis
fascia injuries, ligament, and muscle tears. When this
happens, prolonged rest as well as medical attention is
needed. It is of utmost importance that in the anti-aging

perspective, we want to train but we do not want injury. Injury


is counter-productive to any exercise program.

TREATMENT OF INJURY
If you are injured, you may stop the exercise immediately.
Common muscular and skeletal injuries are accompanied by
inflammation. In this case, an ice pack is a first course of
treatment. Keep your injured area elevated to reduce swelling
due to gravitaional pulling of body fluids. Keep the injured
area in a snug but not tight elastic bandage in order to
decrease the swelling, which can press on the nerves and
cause pain.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF STRENGTH


TRAINING EXERCISES
A. Isometric exercises are generally used to test muscle
strength and are not used to build muscle strength.
An example of an isometric exercise is holding a
handgrip for a prolonged period of time to measure
the grip strength.
B. Isokinetic exercise combines speed, movement and

resistance. This form of exercise usually requires


a significant amount of expensive equipment as
commonly seen in physical

therapy or rehabilitation. This type of exercise is


extremely useful for those who have severe
functions.

C. Dynamic constant resistance (dumbbell or free


weights). Free weight is inexpensive and readily
available. However, they are not as efficient as weight
machines. On a practicai basis, for those of you who are
not intending to be muscular, free weights are practicai
and provide easily obtainable results.
D. Dynamic variable. Nautilus equipment used in this type
of exercise allows the amount of resistance to change
during the exercise, which is something that free weights
cannot do. The advantage of Nautilus equipment allows
for a full range of motion. On the other hand, the
equipment is expensive and often hard to come by. In any
event, the exercise program is more important than the
type of equipment in the anti-aging program.

PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES OF


STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUT
To promote safety, prevent injury and increase performance,
warm up prior to any exercise program. Flexibility training and
stretching exercises is good and easy way to warm up your
muscles and increase blood flow. Start stretching the muscle
groups with progressively resistant exercises. Start with
weights that you can handle. For example, you should be
able to do 20 reps with ease. If your plan is to do 10 reps of
the chest press at 100 pounds, start a warm up set at 40
pounds and do 20 reps. Follow this with 2-3 minutes rest
before you start the main set. Of course, stretching is an
integral part of any exercise. It is important also to cool down
after a strength training session. With reduced blood flow, cardio
output is decreased and for those who are not used to it, some
light-headedness and dizziness may occur. Because of this, a

gradual cool down period is beneficial in those not inured to this


type of exercise.

TECHNIQUES OF STRENGTH TRAINING


Just as cooking a dish requires an organized system of first
heating up the pan and then adding oii and then finally adding
the ingredients, proper strength training programs involve
straining the muscles in a systematic and organized fashion.
For this reason, it is important to have a strength training that
is easy to understand and more importantly, easy to
remember. Very few of us are going to be muscle builders,
Our main purpose of strength training is to maintain muscle
tone. Therefore, a

simple, comprehensive and organized strength training


program is required. Here are some of the key points to
remember:
A. Start with the big muscle groups first and end with the
small muscle groups. Big muscle groups such as the
chest and the upper back should be started first to
increase blood flow to these areas. Part of the blood flow
to these areas will then overflow into the small muscle
groups and keep the small muscle groups warmed up
during the process.
B Always work muscles in opposing sets. After you have
done biceps, work on the opposing triceps.
C. Do every set and every exercise for a specific muscle
group together before moving on. For example, if your
routine consists of 3 sets of biceps curl, then do all 3 sets,
separated by rest period before going on to another set of

exercise. Part of the strength training is to stress the


muscle to cause micro-trauma. Without the sets to push
the muscles to the limit, you are actually teasing the
muscles and allowing it to rest while moving on to other
muscle groups. When you return to the original primary
muscle group, you have to start from scratch.
D. Do not over-eat before the strength training program or
too soon after the training program. During the weighttraining program, the blood supply goes towards the
muscles to carry oxygen and nutrients. After the exercise
program, cardiovascular output is decreased and the byproducts of the workout such as lactic acid need to be
carried out of the muscular system. Eating too much
before the strength training program causes a decrease
in cardiac output to the muscle as the blood is being
funneled to gastric and intestinal tract for digestion of the
food. Similarly, eating too soon after the exercise program
also has a similar effect.
E. Be energized before you start a strength training session.
While you should not have a full stomach going into a
strength training session, you should not go on an empty
stomach either. Strength training does require nutrients
and energy. A 30-minute session of leg press and squats
consumes approximately 190 calories of which 56
calories are from fat.

LIFTING SPEED
Speed plays a major and important role in the incidence of injury as
well as in strength and muscle development. Fast lifting creates
the momentum and often does not allow significant blood flow

to the muscle. Slow movement creates less momentum and


less internai friction. A good strength-training program
requires an even powering of muscles throughout the range of
motion that promotes blood flow to the specific muscle
targets, with a bias towards slow rather than fast. A common
mistake for beginning strength training is the tendency to lift
weights too fast and in a jerky motion. Each muscle has a
positive phase where the muscle is contracted and a negative
phase where the muscle is returning to its original state. It is very
important to make sure that the negative phase is 2-3 times longer
than the positive phase. Generally it is recommended that you
spend 1-2 seconds for each positive lifting phase and 3-4
seconds for each negative lifting phase. For example, if you are
doing the biceps curl, the reflection up to your shoulders would last
1 second while going to original home position of the extended arm
would take 2 seconds. If you are not strong enough to complete the
exercise, then you should reduce the weight so that you are more
comfortable. 80% of strength training comes from the mind.
This entails visualize that you are lifting the weights slowly and
progressively through the entire contract and relaxation phase of
each muscle group. Through this mental drill, your body will send
the necessary blood flow into those muscles for maximum
performance and strength training. If your motion is jerky, or too
fast, then you are not getting the maximum benefit from
strength training.

EXERCISE THROUGH A FULL RANGE OF


MOTION
It is important to exercise through a full range of motion for each
exercise group with emphasis on the end of each of the positive
phase. Often times the beginner trainer will simply go through the
motion and stop with about 10-15% of the full range of the motion
remaining. This last part is the most criticai part of any strength-

training program and should not be ignored. Not only does it give
the targeted muscle full strength training, it also allows the opposite
muscle groups full stretching and relaxation.

MAXIMUM REPETITIONS (1 RM)


The maximum repetitions is called (1RM), and is the most weight
you can lift at one time, correctly. Before you commence any
exercise program, you should have an idea what your 1 RM is for
each exercise. Most people can complete 8 repetitions with
80% of maximum

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resistance, 10 repetitions with 75% of maximum repetitions


and 12 repetitions with 70% of maximum repetitions. For
anti-aging purposes, 8-12 reps at 70-80% of maximum
resistance is a sound training recommendation. Without
knowing your own maximum repetitions, it is very difficult
to embark on an effective training program.

PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE
It takes a certain period of time for a muscle to get used to a
certain resistance level. This period, of course, varies from
individual to individual. The key to anti-aging strength
resistance training is to monitor your own maximum resistance
level on an on-going basis, perhaps once every 4-8 weeks.
Adjust the amount of weight, the number of sets and the
number of repetitions per set according to your maximum

resistance level. For example, you may be able to start off your
bench press from week 1 through 4 based on a maximum
resistance of 150 pounds. As you approach this number, try
increasing to about 180 pounds.

AVOID OVER-TRAINING
While part of the goal of strength training is to stress and
strengthen your muscle, you should not over-train. Signs of
over-training include weaknesses, soreness as well as
severe pain. Because of the intentional micro-trauma desired
during strength training, it is also equally important to provide
your body with adequate rest usually between 24-48 hours
between weight lifting sessions. Other than the abdominal
muscle, it is very important for the other muscle groups to have
the adequate rest before you stress them again. For the
advanced strength trainer, a push-pull technique is
alternating days for pushing exercises and days for pulling
exercises (eg. chest, bench). In this way, even though you
are training up to 4-5 days a week, you are ensured of a good
48 hours rest between training sessions. Many people also
make the mistake of doing too many sets per exercise and
concentrating on too little exercise groups. Anti-aging
exercises dictate that we have a balanced approach,
addressing all your 11 major muscle groups of the body.
While certain muscles are more aesthetically appealing. It is
important to recognize that all major muscle groups are
important to support our skeletal functions. For each of the
large muscle groups in the body such as the back, chest
and shoulders and hamstrings, 2-4 exercises per each
muscle is enough. For the smaller muscle groups such as
the biceps and triceps 1-3 exercises are enough. If you
have a history of injury to a certain muscle group, you may

want to increase the number of exercises to this area to


strengthen it during the training program.

PLATEAU
Sooner or later, if you are consistent in your training program,
you will reach a plateau and feel you are no longer improving. It
is absolutely important at this time that you change what you
are doing and start to incorporate creative ideas into your
program to improve in your session. These techniques
include different exercises, as well as changing the order of your
training. You may also add other advance exercise routine into
your workout. For anti-aging purposes, hitting the plateau is not
too much of a concern. If you can stay at the plateau at an ongoing basis, it really means that your muscles are in fine shape
and tone. If you want to progressively improve beyond the
plateau level, it will be a goal that is more for your ego than for
anti-aging purposes.

WAYS TO OVERCOME PLATEAU


The key to overcoming plateau is to introduce variety into your
exercise program such as the following:
A. Trying new exercises. For example, if you are used to
doing a bench press on the flat bench, you may want
to add the inclined bench press to your regiment.
B. Vary exercise orders. Your strength training program may
involve exercises in a certain, particular order. This order
can be changed to create variety and alleviate boredom.
Varying exercise sequences allows your muscles to warm
up in a different way and shock your muscles enough to

force new results. For example, if your regular routine is to


do your shoulders first, then your upper back and the
lower back, you may want to do it in the order where you
do the lower back first followed by the shoulders then the
upper back.
C. Vary the number of sets performed. If you have been
training with multiple sets of each exercise, you may
consider switching to the 1 or 2 set program for each
exercise. This is simply to add variety and to decrease the
boredom to your strength-training program.
D. Train with music. If you are the type that trains better
when you are more relaxed and music relaxes you,
train with your favorite music. It is a simple but
effective tool.

BEGINNING TRAINING TECHNIQUES


Most beginners would start training 2 or 3 days a week
completing 1 exercise for each muscle group of the body and
training every muscle group in each training session. This is a
safe, effective and good way to get started. For the majority,
such anti-aging muscle-toning program is all that is needed on
an on-going basis.

SPLIT TRAINING
If you want to increase the intensity and start training with more
exercise for each muscle group, then you would be well to start
a split-training program. There are different ways to split the
training. Generally it involves splitting the training days into 2 or
3 different workouts, training different muscle groups on different
days. For example, Monday and Thursday you may want to train
your upper body muscles and on Wednesdays and Sundays you
may want to train your lower muscles. A split-training program
allows you to increase the intensity by adding 2-3 exercises per
muscle group so you may work all 5-muscle groups per session.
One of the most effective split training program is called the
push/pull routine. On one day you train all the muscle groups
involved in the pushing motion such as your chest and your
shoulders. On alternate day you train the muscle that require
pulling motion such as the back and the triceps. This push/pull
method is very popular because it is very easy to remember and
it allows your problem muscles plenty of time to rest between
sessions.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DO STRENGTH


TRAINING?
2-3 workouts per week, approximately 30-45 minutes per
session with a rest day following each workout are a good
general rule of thumb. The rest day is important and should not
be skipped. It is during the rest day that muscular changes occur
and muscles recover from the stress and rebuilding begins.

THE OPTIMUM NUMBER OF SETS


Set - An exercise set is the number of successive repetitions
performed on a continuous basis without resting. The number of
exercise sets varies and depends on your goals and personal
preference. Generally speaking, most muscle groups require 3
sets, with the first set as warm up. A good program would be to
start off with first set at 40-50% of your maximum and followed
by the second set at 60% and the third set at 80-90%. The
number of repetitions within each set also varies depending on
the program.

Generally speaking, you should complete 15-20 reps on the first


set, 10-12 reps in the second set and 6-8 reps in the third set.
In another words, as your muscles warmed up to do higher
weights, you scale down the number of repetitions.

A set is a fixed number of repetitions or repeated exercise


movements. Most of the gains come with 1, 2 ,and 3 sets. After
that, you still get gains but the degree of gain levels off. This
means you have to work harder for fewer results. Don't forget to
rest for 1 minute between sets to prevent injury.

HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHOULD I LIFT?


There are 2 principles to help you determine this. Maximum
Repetitions (IRM) is the amount of weight you can lift using your
maximum strength for 1 time. After you have determined the
maximum rep for each particular exercise, then you should start
your routine at approximately 50-60% IRM level. This is
somewhat cumbersome for most people and most people
therefore prefer the second way, which is to use as much

weight as tolerable 12 reps at moderate but not maximum


exertion. The last rep should be fairly hard to perform. Use the
first few of the weight lifting sessions as testing sessions so you
can see how much you can handle. Once you are able to do
more than 12 reps comfortably, then you can increase the
weight 5-10% at a time so that you can do the 2nd set at 10
reps and the 3rd set at 8 reps.

TYPES OF LIFTING
There are 2 basic types of lifting people use to bring results. If
you do low reps combined with high weight, you will get
increase in strength. On the other hand, if you do high reps
using low weights, you will achieve endurance. This principie
becomes more important when you are training for specific
sports for anti-aging purposes, because our primary goal is to
increase strength as well as stimulate growth hormone
secretion. Therefore, you train with relatively high weights and
few repetitions.

11 MAJOR MUSCLE GROUPS


There are 11 most important muscle groups. As a beginner in
each session, you work with 11 most important muscle groups
starting with the larger groups before the smaller ones. Why? If
you fatigue the smaller muscle groups first, you cannot work the
larger ones adequately. A typical order of exercise is:
1. abdominal - start here for a parial warm up.

2. quads and hamstrings - since the legs


automatically bring the muscles of the lower back
into play, be sure you are thoroughly warmed up
before working the thighs.

3. chest - you will be working your shoulder as well as chest


muscles

4. back - By now the back muscle would have warmed up


from the thigh exercises and would be ready to go.

5. shoulders - medium size muscles.

6. triceps - small muscles.

7. biceps - small muscles.


8. calves - a small muscle.

WHY STRETCH BEFORE STRENGTH


TRAINING
Stretching before lifting is criticai in preparing the joints for
motion. It also extends the range of motion of the muscles
and helps to avoid injuries. Stretching after lifting is important
to reduce stress on the muscles and to "wind down". It also
helps relax the muscles just worked and reduces soreness.

HOW TO STRETCH BEFORE STRENGTH


TRAINING
Stretch until you feel a slight tension. Hold a position for
20-30 seconds. Relax a moment then extend the stretch
slightly further for another 10-20 seconds. Relax. Do not
bounce or jerk your muscles during the stretching routine.
Stretching should not cause pain. If you are having pain, then
you have to back off as it is a dangerous sign.

PROPER LIFTING POSITION


When you are lifting in a standing position such as close and
overhead press, your feet should be a little wider than
shoulder-width apart and well-balanced. Many lifters wear
shoes or boots with heels to help offset the shifting of the
center of gravity when lifting heavy weights. Sometimes a
board is placed under the heels when doing squats to help
maintain balance. It is important to keep your head and neck
straight during your lift. Many injuries are caused by twisting
the head, neck or trunk.

BREATHING
Do not hold your breath throughout the entire exercise. It can
stop the flow of oxygen to your brain and causes you to have
dizziness and even pass out. Breathe both in and out through
your nose and mouth. By breathing through only your nose,
you may not be getting enough oxygen.

HOWTOBREATHE

Inhale during the beginning of the lift, momentarily holding


your breath during the most difficult part, and then exhale
as you finish the lift. When doing a bench press, for example,
inhale as you lower the weight to your chest. At this time, hold
your breath momentarily as you begin to press the weight up.
Finish exercise by inhaling during the later part of the
movement. The same goes for other exercises generally
speaking.

SPECIAL STRENGTH TRAINING


CONSIDERATIONS FOR WOMEN
Women are physiologically different from men. The bone
structure of female pelvic girdle is proportionately wider than
male to facilitate childbirth. Women's knees, however, are the
same distance apart as the men's. Thus there is a greater
conversion convergence angle and greater stress on the knees.
Women are more likely to have knee problem during exercise
such as full squats and should, therefore, these exercises with
special care.

A) Menstruation
Over-training can lead to conditions known as amenorrhea
in which menstruation can temporarily stop. This is a condition
that generally cures itself once the training is cut back.

B) Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the woman should continue to keep fit. This
will lead to a more comfortable pregnancy and a shorter labor.

However, strenuous activity during pregnancy is not


recommended. The level of training should decrease as the
pregnancy advances and should increase again gradually
after birth.

BODY TYPES AND PERFORMANCE


AII of us are born with different body types. Some are blessed
with a body shape that is particularly fitted for moderately
intense, long hauling exercise such as cross-country skiing and
cycling. Others are blessed with a muscular build that favors a
strength-training program. Still others are light framed and are
low in both fat and muscle. These people are good at
endurance activities such as long distance running. The
important thing to remember is not what body type you have but
to have realistic goals and not to compare with others. Antiaging is a life-style that requires focus on your own body,
listening to what your body is telling you and to do the best
you can, given your body type, regardless of what other
people say.

USE YOUR BRAIN TO TRAIN


Most serious strength training instructors will tell you that
strength training is 80% brainwork and 20% physical work.
This is exactly true. Proper concentration on the form and the
muscle that you are working, the result that you will achieve will
be sub-optimal. Always pay attention to your technique and
make sure you are lifting slowly and without momentum. You
must direct your thoughts and focus to the center of the muscle

being worked. Try to complete the exercise without focusing on


the nature of the motion being completed. This results in poor
workouts with little muscle stimulation. Before you start off with
any exercise program, understand the importance of
concentration and understand the importance of the targeted
muscle group. Muscle building is an individual exercise and it is
an exercise that requires concentration. It may help to have a
buddy system in which a friend gives help and encourages you
from time to time.

MEASURING PROGRESS
Once you have embarked on a resistance strength training
program, you will soon notice increased muscle firmness if you
are following the program properly. From an anti-aging
perspective, size really does not matter. Your progress is best
measured by how you feel Your body will tell you how you feel if
you are honest with I yourself. Anti-aging exercises do not mean
that you are in a highly competitive muscle building exercise
program. What it means is that you tone your muscles to achieve
several end points; reduced loss of muscle mass, conversion of
body fat to lean muscle mass and increased strength and
firmness of the muscle. If you can achieve the above, regardless
of what your scale reads and what muscle size measurement is,
you have accomplished your goal.

For those who wish to have a track record of their performance,


its good to measure the circumference of each of the major
muscle groups such as chest, biceps etc as a gauge of your
progress once every three months.

IMPORTANCE OF COMBINING
CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE, FLEXIBILITY
TRAINING, GOOD NUTRITION WITH YOUR
STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM
You should now have a clear understanding at this time that the
strength-training program is an integral part of anti-aging
exercise regiment. Strength training not only increases your lean
body mass, but it combats aging and increases your chance of
living a longer life. Strength

training also provides some important benefits that cannot be


achieved by any other exercises. Strength training alone is
insufficient however. You must not forget to continue your
aerobic exercises as well as the flexibility training before
and after each exercise session. On top of this, nutritional
supplementation is a key foundation to any anti-aging
program.

HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED


Staying motivated for a few days or a few weeks is easy. The
consistency of staying motivated for a long period of time is a
challenge. Regardless of how motivated at the beginning, you
will need tools to maintain your motivation. If you are serious
about your health and want to increase your longevity, here are
some tips:

Set goals - Goal setting is an important part in any part of our


daily lives. Strength training is no exception. The importance is

to set goals that are measurable and realistic. As in any other


things in life, set goals that are achievable, one at a time. Antiaging is a life-long process. It is not a sprint and there is no
hurry. It is no use to train for a few months and slack off. It is
better to have a program that you can consistently achieve
minor goals. Allow 1-2 years for the overall goal, and with
smaller goals achieved every 6 months or so.

MAKE IT FUN
Having fun will reduce the stress of strength training.
Having fun also makes the time go faster. This is the key
component in any anti- aging plan. The key to having fun is to
get your friends involved as well as add variety to your training
regiment. The programs outlined here are basic programs to
get you started. Once you have mastered the basics and
variations of the basics, you will find it fun to alter it yourself. It
is also important to expect that some days you will feel
discouraged. Finally, workouts that are scheduled are usually
more successful. Most of us are busy and have many things on
our agenda. Making strength training a top priority in our lives
may required a certain adjustment period. This is
understandable. Scheduling a workouttime, therefore, is just as
important as scheduling your shower time.

YOUR VERY FIRST STRENGTH TRAINING


WORKOUT
The first rule of any workout is foremost to prevent injury. If you are a newcomer to the
gym you will need to familiarize yourself with the actual exercise movements before
lifting any heavy weights. Carefully study the exercise description and photos. Ask
someone for help a
sneeded. Don't feel embarrassed. Use lighter weights so that you get the hang of each

motion.

Here are some tips:


a. The name of the game in strength training for anti-aging
purpose is not building the largest muscle size. The goal
should be toned; strong and well defined muscles
that are strong. This is not a competition to see who
can lift the heaviest weight. Lifting weights with bad form
is a sure recipe for injury.
b. Take your time to practice how to do the exercise
correctly. There is no rush. You have plenty timed
ahead of you. Use bars without any added weights
and very light dumbbells. That is the smart way to
force yourself to concentrate on the form.
c. Concentrate on the targeted muscle during each
exercise so that you can find the right groove of
movement. Feel the targeted muscle working.
d. Keep you head up and eyes straight forward,
maintaining a slight arch in your back and keep
your feet planted firmly to give you the support.
As we get older, our back bears a heavy burden of
supporting the entire skeletal system. Injury of the
back will set you back in your exercise program.
Back exercises are criticai for anti-aging purposes.
The easiest way to guarantee a back injury is
improper posture.
e. Don't train to failure in your first workout. Just do 1-2
sets of 12 reps of each movement so that the exercise
action is firmly fixed in your mind.

f. That's it for your first session. Congratulate yourself for a


job well done and look forward to your second workout.

YOUR SECOND STRENGTH TRAINING


WORKOUT
Now that you have a feel of how each exercise should be
done and you are more familiar with the machines and
weights, you want to get close to determining your working
weight.

Start each exercise with a fairly light weight and see


how many repetitions you can do using proper form,
slowly and with precision. If you find that you can easily
perform more than the

number of reps indicated (12), add 5-10 pounds for your next
set. Likewise, if you cannot do the full number of reps in any
exercise, or if you feel that you are really pushing yourself to the
limit in order to fulfill the set, then the weight is too heavy. Lighten
up next time. Once you find a weight that allows you to perform
with good form and in the suggested number of reps, make a
note in your training log or diary.
Continue to use that weight until you become stronger and
the weight begins to feel light.

WORKOUT GUIDELINES FOR FIRST MONTH


OF STRENGTH TRAINING
The key to your entire first month of training is to continue
to learn good exercise form while visualizing on how each
movement should feel. Train with your brain!

It's easy to get easily excited as improvements are often


significant and readily visible in short period of time. Don't overdo
it and don't overtrain. Follow these guidelines:
a. Train 2-3 times a week, with a day of rest between each
session.
b. Work only the muscles in your plan. Don't get over zealous
and get sidetracked into other muscles. Let's leave that for
later.
c. If you are able to progress quickly, or if you have worked out
in the past to any significant degree, follow the first month's
plan for 2 weeks and move onto second month program.
d. Follow the plan and do the exact number of reps listed. You
can, however, continue to add more weights to those
exercises that feel easy.
e. Listen to your body. Certain days are better than others
for your body. Reduce the amount of weights if you feel that
your body is sluggish.
f. Eat well. Make sure you are taking your supplements,
and get a good night's sleep.

WORKOUT GUIDELINE FOR SECOND MONTH


OF STRENGTH TRAINING

kBy now, you should feel very comfortable with the exercise routine. You should have
experienced significant improvements in your strength. The focus for this month is to
help you transition into slightly more complicated exercises that involve several muscle
groups (especially for those who have gym and barbell access):

a. Continue to train 2-3 times a week, with a rest


day between each.
b. Follow the exact number of repetitions
indicated for each exercise.
c. Begin to challenge yourself to use slightly more
weight with each movement. Using progressively
heavy weights progressively will cause your muscle size
to increase. You may do so if you wish, knowing that this
is now more for muscle and bodybuilding than for antiaging purposes.

d. Start moving from 2 sets to 3 sets for each


muscle group towards the end of second month.

WORKOUT GUIDELINE FOR THIRD


MONTH OF STRENGTH TRAINING
Not only should your strength be increased from your effort of
the past 2 months, your body should show significant change in
contour and physique, whether you are working on gaining or
losing weight. Congratulate yourself and keep it up!
a. Continue to work out 2-3 times a week, doing three
sets of each exercise, with 1-minute rest between
each set.

BsBBIlilli

M__i__________

___

b. You can change the routine by varying the number of


reps you do. For example, use a lightweight to warm up
for the first set and do 12 reps. Take a 1-minute rest. For
your second set, use as heavy a weight as you can
reasonably handle for 6-8 reps. Rest 1 minute. Reduce
the weight sufficiently to permit you to perform a third set
mp
I

of 10 reps.
c. The amount of weight adjustment varies from person
to person and the range can vary anywhere from 525%. Trial and error is the best way. There is no penalty.

w
m

d. If you feel good on certain days, do a 4th set that's


heavy.
e. Ask yourself what is more important - toning or
size. The anti- aging program emphasizes toning
and endurance, so use lighter weights but higher
number of reps (10-12) to build the components of
the muscle fibers that builds shape and muscle
endurance. For body building purposes, low reps
(4-6) with heavier weights will work muscle fibers
for explosive contraction, resulting in increasing
power and size.

AFTER THREE MONTHS OF STRENGTH


TRAINING
By the end of your third month of training, you'll have laid the
foundation of a strong, shapely physic. If you had been doing
your cardiovascular training, eating a proper diet and taking
supplements, chances are you will feel younger and much better
about yourself. How much change will depend on each
individual? It is not unusual to see those who are committed to
the anti-aging program lose fat and gain muscle from five to
twenty pounds.

For anti-aging purpose, simply continue the same basic


workout, which is all you need. Don't be afraid to adjust the
weight and reps as you go. Have fun and enjoy yourself. If you

have a good day, train more. If you have a bad day, lighten up.
There is nothing wrong. There is nothing to prove to anyone.

If you are serious about bodybuilding, you may wish to make


some large- scale changes in your workout. One of the easiest
things to do is to change your routine. Experiment with other
exercises. You could also change the sequence of exercises,
set and rep combinations and rest intervals. The process of
continual change keeps your muscle guessing what is going to
happen next and keeps your muscles continually stimulated.

Everyone will have a different routine that fits them well over a
period of time. This is perfectly normal. Remember that there is
no perfect routine. Don't try to look for it. The most important
thing is to enjoy yourself and not get injured.

JUST DO IT
Now that you have all the information you need to start and
complete a strength-training program; you should have all the
tools that you need to do it safely and consistently. All that is left
is simply go and start doing it. If you do not have any access to
gym, free weight or bar bells, simply start the strength training
program by doing simple push-ups, pull-ups and back extension
exercises.