As we age, our bodies begin to automatically lose muscle. During our 30’s and 40’s we lose about .5 pound of muscle every year. After the age of 50, the rate of loss may double to about 1 pound of muscle per year. Strength declines with age as well at about 3 times faster than muscle mass. With the loss of muscle, our body fat percentage naturally increases. In addition, lower activity levels and a poor diet equal greater fat storage. Less muscle mass and higher fat levels lead to a slower metabolism. A slower metabolism means we burn fewer calories. The result: weight gain, increased fat, and higher risk of disease. Without intervention, we become a frail, older adult without the muscle or strength to support our own skeletal system.

Are we doomed? I say an emphatic NO!!! There is much evidence supporting that adults who engage in regular strength training exercises can avoid muscle loss and even reverse the effects of lost muscle. I’ve experienced this myself. Several years ago I had become very frail due to a debilitating respiratory illness. In just two years of a regular strength training program, I was not only able to recover to my pre-illness state, but increased more muscle mass than I’ve ever had in my life! Studies show that even frail, senior adults in their 90‘s have increased muscle mass and strength and lowered their body fat percentage through just ten weeks of a strength training program.

This is why strength training is so important – be it free weights, machines, body weight exercises, or any type of resistance training. Lifting weights and adding loads to our skeletal structure increases muscle. Strong muscles equal strong bones. Thus, resistance training can help lower the risk of such diseases as osteoporosis and reduce the risk of falls and fractures.

If you’re thin and think “I don’t need to exercise”, you still need to strength train to maintain muscle. Actually, it’s just as important for thin adults to strength train because they already have a low amount of muscle mass. This is one reason why being thin does not necessarily equal healthy.

Are you new to strength training? Not sure what to do or how to use the free weights and machines in your gym? Consult with a Personal Trainer. They can teach you correct technique and form – a vital component to weight lifting. Especially when using free weights, improper technique can result in injury. Learn how to strength train correctly before beginning a training program. A Certified Personal Trainer can also identify muscle imbalances and perform body fat analysis to design an exercise program that best suits your specific needs.

So, why strength train?

*Increased muscle
*Greater strength
*Stronger bones
*Increased metabolism
*Burn more calories
*Reduced body fat
*Lowered risk of disease

Knowing all these benefits, why would you NOT strength train?

By:  Sharon Powell


Geithner, C., McKenney, D. Strategies for Aging Well. Strength and Conditioning Journal. October 2010.

Baechle, T., Westcott, W. (2010) Fitness Professional’s Guide to Strength Training Older Adults. Illinois: Human Kinetics

Copyright ©2011


  1. Vera says:

    Great info. Sharon…… Thanks for sharing.

  2. Margorie says:

    Nice post. Its realy nice. More information help me.

  3. Keyla says:

    This information is off the hziool!

  4. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, great written and come with almost all significant infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .

  5. Hello, I truly liked reading the information on your website. Appreciate it

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    • Sharon says:

      Wow! Thank you so much! More fastidious content on fitness, personal training and bodybuilding to come.
      Sharon Powell
      Female Fitness Trainer

  7. Stafon says:

    All of these atriecls have saved me a lot of headaches.

  8. Jimbo says:

    It’s relaly great that people are sharing this information.

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