Weight training is extremely popular among bodybuilders, athletes, and individuals looking to get into shape. Because of this, videos of this portion of society lifting heavy objects, crazy weights, and showing off insane feats of strength cloud the internet. Unfortunately, older adults and individuals with disabilities see these videos and may think that lifting weights is dangerous for themselves. This is because their ideas of resistance training is based off of the ideas they see online and throughout society.
So, is lifting weights safe for seniors and individuals with disabilities? Of course it is safe! Is the type of crazy lifting mentioned above safe? Well.. probably not. Most seniors or individuals with disabilities are not conditioned or used to lifting at the high level seen in these videos. To be completely honest, they really don’t need to be. The amount of benefit that they would get from lifting like those individuals is very small and could lead them to injury. Compare this to adding in a couple of days of resistance training a week, which would lead many health benefits.
They key is to make sure you are lifting
- With controlled form
- A weight that is within your capability
- Objects or machines that you are familiar with
Doing these three things will make sure you stay safe when you are working out and not injure yourself. A good rule of thumb is to pick a weight for yourself where you feel the muscles working after 10-12 repetitions, but not to where you are failing repetitions at that point. The overall weight will vary based off of your experience and comfort with the exercises.
Now that we’ve established that lifting is safe, we should talk about frequency. How much lifting is enough for health benefits for seniors and individuals and disabilities? Well, the American College of Sports Medicine currently recommends resistance training
- 2x a Week
- 1 Set
- 8-12 Repetitions
- Every Major Muscle Group
This can be accomplished a variety of different ways, including group fitness classes, free weights or machines, or doing a workout routine on your own. We wrote a great article on virtual exercising options that seniors can do from the comfort of their own home, here:
If you are interested in learning why seniors should lift in general, make sure to check out our article here.
We hope you are comfortable to try some lifting now. Remember, always ask for help when needed!
We are here to help you not just survive in your life, but THRIVE!