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As we reach our 50s retaining strength for daily living becomes a vital boomer issue. Even if you have been inactive it’s not too late to start. Studies show women in their 90s had a marked increased in strength level. And strength training does more than make you strong.

Here are a few Strength Videos ranging from beginner to intermediate. Click the indididual pictures to learn about each

BUILD MUSCLE, BOOST METABOLISM, BEGINNERS: Fabulous Forever® Easy Strength DVDTOTAL BODY STRENGTH STARTER WORKOUT WITH BAND Fabulous Forever® Stretch and Tone DVD longevity-strength1small.jpg fab-strength-2.jpg


Improved appearance

- Increased lean muscle mass

- Stronger bones

- Improved strength and power

- Increased functional fitness in older women

- Improved glucose tolerance

- Improved balance and gait in older women

Better Body Image

- Body fat and weight control(25 Year Old - 25% Body Fat, 65 Year Old - 43% Body Fat)

- Normal body fat range: 22-30%

- Muscle tone (Increase lean muscle mass and metabolic rate.)

Loss of muscle mass 30%-40% of muscle cells are lost between age 20-70. BMR slows down as we age due to reduced muscle mass, resulting in fewer calories being burned. Weight resistance can reverse this process.

Strength Training Benefits for Women

Lack of Exercise: Bones without regular exercise are greatly at risk.

- Weight bearing and resistance exercise can help maintain bone mass and may promote bone growth.

- Recent studies have suggested that weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss and may actually encourage bone growth.

- Tennis players have thicker bones in the radius of the dominant arm versus the nondominant arm. (Huddleston AL, et, al: Jama 244:1107-1109, l980) “The optimal program for older women would include activities that improve strength, flexibility, and coordination[which] may indirectly but effectively decrease the incidence osteoporotic fractures by lessening the likelihood of falling.”(ACSM Statement on Osteoporosis & Exercise 1995)

Diagnosing Osteoporosis:Bone Density Test (DEXA) World Health Organization Guidelines

Compares an individual’s bone density with the peak value for a healthy young adult. This comparison is based on standard deviations (SD)

- a measure of how far a person is below “normal”. 10-15% decrease in bone density from the young adult value = 1SD.

- A bone density measurement at any site more than 2.5 SD (approx. 25-35%) indicates osteoporosis

- bone density that falls between 1 & 2.5 SD is called osteopenia.

Strength training helps to lower risk for diabetes because it helps to regulate glucose metabolism. Working muscles require the energy delivered by glucose to keep it going. Too much body fat and too little muscle can cause an impaired ability to make insulin.

Gender Differences in Strength

When training levels are similar for men and women, the absolute amount of muscle mass account for strength differences. Women participate less in upper body weight resistance activities

The average woman has 50% less strength than the average men in their upper body. 25-30% less strength compared to men in their lower body.

Dispelling the Myths: Effects of Strength Training on Women

“My muscles will get big and bulky”

There will be a small increase in muscle mass but because women have low testosterone levels they will have much less muscle mass.

“Women can’t increase muscle strength as much as men.”

Studies have shown that strength gains for women are at least as much as men-in some cases even more because of women having lower initial strength levels. ? A woman’s strength program should be less rigorous than one designed for a man. Untrue: the same principles apply both to men as to women: low repetitions and high resistance for strength and power; high repetitions and low resistance for muscle toning and endurance.

Weight Machines vs. Free Weights

Weight machines:

Benefits - Safe, easy to use, works all major muscles, minimal skill required.

Weaknesses - High cost, limited amount of exercises, and restricted movement.

Free Weights:

Benefits - Variety of exercises, low cost, copies true movements, develops balance posture and skilled movement.

Weaknesses - Less safe, requires more skill and spotters.

Do’s & Don’ts

- Always breath out on the exertion. Holding your breath can elevate blood pressure.
- Never use a resistance that’s so heavy you can’t lift at least 8 repetitions.
- Each set should be at least 8-16 reps, no more than 16 reps.


- Warm-up: Flexibility Training (slow dynamic movement)

- Do at least one exercise for each major muscle group

- Exercise larger groups, then smaller

- Perform each exercise through full range of joint movement emphasizing completely contracted position

- Stretch out muscles worked (include posture and balance exercises)

- 30 minutes -1 hour weight resistance training, 2-3 times per week (every other day)

- Each exercise, 1-2 sets of 8-16 reps

- Use RPE scale to determine how much weight one should use.


- Weights: Depends on body size and strength levels. Beginners often start with 1-4 lbs and elastic tubing/bands if not ready for heavier weights.

- Muscle Endurance: To sustain muscular movement. (lower weight, more reps)

- Muscle Strength: The power or force that can be exerted by the muscles.

Muscle contractions: Definitions

Concentric: Shortening of the muscles a result of the contraction of that muscle. (Example: Bicep curl on the up movement.)

- Eccentric: A lengthening of the muscle during its contraction. (Example: Bicep curl on the down movement.)

- Isometric: A muscle contraction in which the muscle length is unchanged.

- Isokinetic: A muscle contraction with controlled speed, allowing maximal force to be applied throughout range of motion.

- Isotonic: Contraction in which the force of the muscle is greater than the resistance resulting from joint movement with shortening or lengthening of the muscle.