Best Exercises for Women over 60 + Workouts To Avoid

Best Exercises for Women over 60 and The Workouts To Avoid

Woman Running in athletic wear

One of the most common questions we get from someone beginning an exercise routine is “What are the best exercises for me?”

While there are tons of resources on the best exercises for losing weight or the best exercises for specific conditions, women in their 60s are in a unique time in their life. Not considered a young adult, but just barely considered a senior. This requires specific guidance.

So what are the best exercises for women over 60?

There are many factors to consider while answering this question: cardio vs. weight training, what to do and what not to do, how often to exercise, and what’s worked for real-life people.

In this article, we’ll cover it all.

If you’re a woman over 60 this is for you. If you’re not, well, stick around, you may be able to help someone who is.

Jump to a Topic:

woman over 60 lifting weights with a personal trainer

Should Women Over 60 Lift Weights?

Yes, women in their 60s (and all ages, really) should lift weights. Muscles aren’t a young man’s game. Men and women can gain both strength and muscle at all stages of life.

A big reason why this is so important is muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60. Muscle loss can also contribute to limited physical ability, low energy, and decreased metabolism.

Muscle Loss Over Time Infographic

Research shows there are enormous benefits of strength training for women 60 years or older such as:

  • stronger bones
  • improved balance
  • a lower fall risk
  • enhanced memory and focus
  • reduced blood pressure and blood glucose
  • increased protection against the development of many chronic diseases.

Should Women Over 60 Do Cardio?

The short answer – it depends on why you’re doing it. The long answer, we need to dive a little deeper…

Cardio is an aerobic activity that significantly increases the heart rate, thus conditioning the cardiovascular system. The most common cardio activities are walking, biking, running, and swimming.

Many people do cardio with the intent to achieve fat loss, which is not all that efficient. But many others do cardio to meet psychological and emotional needs.

Going for a walk or run can be a great way to decrease stress, clear your mind, enjoy nature and improve your overall feeling of well-being.

A potential problem is that cardio activities create more opportunities for getting injured. High-intensity cardio like running, sprinting, jumping, or anything that involves explosive movement involves high levels of force.

And we know that force is the leading cause of injury in exercise.

Force formula translated for exercise

Because women in their 60s are at higher risk of injury such as falling (WHO), some of these activities might want to be avoided.

Running, jumping or any high-impact activity can also be hard on the joints. Genetics and pre-existing conditions also play a part here. Some of us are blessed with knees that will never give out, making it possible to withstand activities like this, with little to no challenges.

While the rest of us experience joint issues, cartilage loss, or an injury that makes activities like this painful and unsustainable.

If you’re in the latter group, activities like walking and swimming might be ideal for you, especially in your 60s. Both create little to no impact on the joints – and they’re fun!

Slow-motion strength training (SMST) can produce cardiovascular conditioning, fat loss, and muscle strength gain. When doing SMST, there is no need to do cardio or aerobics. But if it's something you like to do, then choosing one that is most enjoyable and safest on the body is ideal.

To answer the question of whether or not women in their 60s should do cardio- here’s our answer:

  • If you’re doing it to lose weight, no. Focus on increasing lean muscle mass with effective strength training and nutrition. This is a much more efficient way to lose fat.
  • If you’re doing it to meet physiological or emotional needs and enjoy an activity that does not hurt or result in injury, then go for it!

As always, partner any aerobic activity with weight-bearing exercises to avoid accelerated muscle and bone loss.

Weekly exercise schedule Monday through Sunday

How Often Should a 60-Year Old Woman Exercise?

It is recommended for women over 60 to exercise twice a week.

When we say exercise, we specifically mean high-intensity strength training. Anything else is considered recreation… and it's important to have both. Read more about exercise vs. recreation to learn the distinction and why it's so important.

Because high-intensity exercise is so demanding on the body, it requires ample time to fully recover between training sessions. By taking more time than necessary to recover, you potentially miss out on time spent doing another results-producing training session!

Training once a week is a good option for some people. Compared to working out twice a week, once a week exercisers can expect to achieve approximately 70% of the results of those who train twice a week.

This may be ideal for someone who has extremely low energy levels, is battling multiple health issues, or has a budget best suited for once-a-week training.

Graph of the body's total recovery resources

On the days in between high-intensity workouts, it is okay to be active and move the body.

Remember when we talked about doing activities that meet psychological and emotional needs? Consider rest days a great opportunity to do those activities and avoid other high-intensity or strength training exercises.

In short, most women over 60 get the best results from working out twice a week, or once every 72-96 hours.

What Are The Best Exercises For Women Over 60?

The best exercises for women in their 60s are ones that are going to help build and maintain muscle mass. These exercises should also be safe on the joints and support bone strength.

Dr. Bocchicchio, a creator of slow resistance training, also states that exercise should be something we can retain throughout a lifetime.

The best exercises should be:

  • Safe: injury and pain-free
  • Efficient: can be achieved promptly, ideally 20 minutes, twice a week
  • Effective: achieve temporary muscle failure and produce measurable results
  • Sustainable: can be done for a lifetime

Several specific strength training exercises are beneficial for a 60-something woman, but we suggest focusing on these 5 impactful exercises: Leg Press, Chest Press, Lat Pulldown, Leg Curl & Abdominals.

Leg Press

The Leg Press Machine is an incredible piece of equipment because it allows you to fully target the biggest muscle groups in the body: the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at bone density changes in women between 65 and 75 years old following a year of strength training.

During the study, the trend of bone loss that comes with age not only stopped but also reversed.

The leg press was the only major lower body exercise performed. In addition, it was credited with helping the lower back, as no direct exercise was performed for the lower back muscles. By improving bone density, the leg press reduces the risk of fractures in high-risk populations… that’s women over 60.

The leg press provides as much or more bang-for-the-buck as any one exercise does.

Chest Press

The chest press is a highly effective way to strengthen the pectorals (chest muscles), triceps, and anterior deltoids. These muscles are critical in lifting movements. Your anterior deltoids are responsible for lifting your arms in front of you.

Holding groceries, blow-drying your hair, lifting a suitcase into an overhead bin, or pushing a heavy door open are examples of activities that can become easier with stronger deltoids.

Chest Press Machine and Anatomy Graphic of muscles

Lat Pulldown

The lat pulldown could be considered the “leg press” of the upper body.
This exercise targets the Latissimus Dorsi (the “lats” or wings of the back), Trapezius (“traps” or upper back), Pectoralis Major (chest), Posterior Deltoids (shoulders), Biceps brachii (front of the upper arm)

Training the lats improves the shape of your back. As lean muscle tissue is added to the lats, it gives a ‘V’ shape to your back. Gaining muscle in your lats might help make the appearance of “love handles” become less noticeable.

The pulldown also helps improve aesthetics with your arms. The biceps and shoulders are key players in this exercise and will help make your upper arm muscles more defined.

Leg Curl

The hamstrings are large muscles that make up the back of your thighs and are the primary movers worked in the Leg Curl. In addition to the hamstrings, this power exercise also targets the calves.

These main muscles targeted by the Leg Curl are largely responsible for the appearance of your thighs and lower legs and train the muscles that are partly responsible for walking, squatting and bending the knee.

The hamstrings contract to provide knee flexion, which is the technical name for the movement
performed during the Leg Curl. Each hamstring is a group of four muscles that start on your pelvis (around the bottom of your buttocks), cover the backs of your thighs, and attach to the lower leg, just below your knee. The hamstrings have two major functions: to flex your knee and pull your thigh backward (hip extension).

This exercise is crucial in maintaining overall leg strength and function.

Leg Curl Machine and anatomical graphic of muscles

Abdominal Machine

The Abdominal Machine works – you guessed it – the abdominals, specifically the rectus abdominis. Believe it or not, the rectus abdominis does not exist only to make you look good in a bathing suit. It is also functionally significant. The abs are critical muscles for respiration.

In addition, they are major stabilization muscles. Strong abdominals help with balance and stability in everyday activities, sports (like golf and tennis) and can help to prevent falls.

By consistently doing these big five exercises, you strengthen all the major muscles in the body, creating and maintaining a strong foundation for future workouts and everyday activities.

Exercises Women Over 60 Should Avoid

Are there any exercises that women over 60 should not do? This is not an easy answer, and here’s why…

We know women in their sixties who are thriving, have more energy than ever and are just as strong as they were in their 30s. We also know women in their sixties with decades of injuries, are caretakers for others or are in a fragile state.

A quick Google search will tell you to avoid all heavy lifting or to walk and do water aerobics. We’re not going to do that.

It would be crazy to say that all women 60 to 69 should never do one type of exercise. But for some of the most common injuries or limitations we see in 60-year-old women, there are some exercises to be careful with.

Joint Issues

If you’re someone who experiences joint issues such as osteoarthritis or experiences chronic inflammation, high-impact movements like running, jumping, and burpees are probably not for you.

Shoulder Injury

Postural issues, limited range of motion, rotator cuff injuries – these should all be exercised with care and adjusted to account for the specific injury. Some exercises to avoid or alter are overhead press, skull crushers, full range of motion on chest exercises, pushups, lat pulldown, chest fly, and lateral raises.

We have worked with clients with ALL of these injuries. Most are capable of doing all exercises with alterations. If possible, avoid NOT doing these and work with someone who can help you safely accomplish a workout with a shoulder injury.

Knee Injuries

Injured knees are unfortunately very common in women over 60. However, this does not mean avoiding leg exercises. Finding a way to safely exercise the lower body is extremely important because working the biggest muscles in the body has the greatest overall effect on gaining muscle and bone density… and losing fat.

With that being said, it's vital to know how to do leg exercises with proper form to avoid further injury.

Exercises such as squats and lunges require very specific mechanics to be effective and safe. We recommend only doing those exercises if you’re very familiar with how to do them, or are working with a trained professional.

What about the exercises that are painful, no matter what? We’ve had clients over the years experience discomfort on the leg extension, despite alterations made to their range of motion, seat settings, and amount of resistance. So, we don’t do those!

Pain is a helpful indicator. Anything that hurts, besides the burning of muscles hitting temporary muscle failure, is your body’s way of saying, “Hey, something isn’t right.”

Listen to your body, and remember this rule of thumb: If the exercise isn't safe, it's not worth doing.

Woman over 60 recovering from exercise

The Perfect Workout Case Studies: Exercise Routines for Workouts for Women Age 60-69

For over 20 years we’ve helped more than 40,000 people improve their health and fitness – many being women in their 60s. Each person who works with us has a different body with limitations, a history of injuries, different wants, needs, and goals to achieve. This creates a need for customization.

Below are case studies of real clients and their ideal workouts based on their age, goals, limitations, and preferences. Identifying information has not been included to maintain client privacy.

Woman over 60 exercising with a personal trainer

Client A: Busy 64 Year Old Nurse With Multiple Injuries

64-year-old woman, from Orange County, CA
Works part-time-two 12 hours shifts as a nurse in addiction and psychiatric units. Also cares for her ill mother.

Goals:

  • Increase strength, lean muscle mass, endurance, flexibility, and improve posture
  • Strengthening of the upper body, lower body, strengthen around hips and knees.
  • Wants to be able to do everyday daily activities again without having to compensate for her injuries, ie. squat down, lift to a cabinet for a jar, reach under her sink.
  • Wants to be able to garden again.

Medical:

  • Arthritis/Joint Degeneration – neck, R-hip capsule
  • High Blood Pressure – well managed with medication
  • Joint injury – L-knee ligament, R-hip labrum tear
  • Spinal Injury – C-spine fused C3-6, surrounding discs herniated
  • Thyroid Condition – Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • Surgeries – L-foot, hysterectomy
  • Low back pain

Customized Workout:

This Client trains 20 minutes, twice a week for maximum results in the shortest possible time.

Compound Row: Targets upper back muscles. Client performs an isometric hold, contracting the primary muscles and holding for approximately 2 minutes. This allows her to focus on working the major muscles without straining the neck, a common side effect of this exercise.

Chest Press (vertical grip): Targets chest and back of arms. Avoided for a long time due to spinal injury (neck). Recently introduced with very lightweight to gradual work on range of motion and resistance increase.

Hip Abduction: Targets outer gluteal muscles. Client performs the exercise for approximately 2 minutes, at a slightly lower intensity level to account for labrum tear and arthritis. Back support is included to adjust for spinal injuries.

Hip Adduction: Targets the inner thigh muscles. Client performs an isometric hold, contracting the primary muscles and holding for approximately 2 minutes. This allows her to maintain strength without moving the affected joint (hip)

Preacher Curl: Targets the upper arms and forearms. Client performs the exercise with a decreased range of motion (3-hole gap ~ 3-inch decrease).

Abdominal Machine: Targets abdominals. Client performs an isometric hold, contracting the abdominals for approximately 1:30-2 minutes. This helps her to engage and fatigue the muscles without overextension or flexion of the spine.

Leg Extension: Targets quadriceps and muscles surround the knee. Client performs this exercise about every 4-8 workouts adjusting for left knee ligament injury.

Leg Curl: Targets hamstrings. Client performs this exercise about every 4-8 workouts adjusting for left knee ligament injury.

Leg Press: Targets all major muscles in the lower body: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves. Client performs the exercise with a limited range of motion (sitting further away from the footplate) to account for spinal injuries and knee injuries. Lumbar support is used.

Client B: Very Active Before Injuries

A 63-year-old woman from Chicago, IL
This client used to live a very active lifestyle: walked 20-25 miles a week, did yoga, weightlifting, and pilates.

Goals:

  • Reverse Osteoporosis
  • Be able to go on walks again
  • Build bone density and muscle in thighs and legs
  • Regain strength and fitness level she had before.
  • Improve muscle tone – shoulders, arms, thighs, calves. No timeline. Exercise pain-free!

Medical:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Osteoporosis/ Osteopenia
  • Tear in the labrum, where the biceps tendon connects. Doctor says to work on pulling motions*
    • the neck does not have complete ROM in her neck
    • pain when pressing or reaching right shoulder rotated forward

Customized Workout:

This Client trains 20 minutes, twice a week for maximum results in the shortest possible time.

Compound Row: Targets upper back muscles and arms and helps with *pulling motion. Client performs with palms facing toward each other to keep shoulder joints closed, decreased range of motion (5-hole gap ~ 5-inch decrease).

Hip Adduction: Targets the inner thigh muscles. Client performs an isometric hold, contracting the primary muscles and holding for approximately 1-2 minutes. This allows her to maintain strength without moving the affected joint (hip).

Time Static Crunch: Targets abdominals. Client performs isometric bodyweight exercise alternative to the machine that requires overhead positioning of the arms (shoulder injury).

Leg Press: Targets all major muscles in the lower body: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves. Client performs exercise normally, along with lumbar support.

Client also does the following exercises with no major adjustments: Hip Abduction, Tricep Extension, Leg Extension, and Leg Curl.

Client C: New to Strength Training & Ready to Enjoy Retirement

A 63-year-old woman from Dallas, TX
Recently retired and wants to be able to enjoy vacationing and everyday activities without worrying about getting injured or not being able to “keep up.”

Goals:

  • Lose 50 pounds
  • Wants to be much healthier. Strengthen and tone all over. Get back into shape.
  • Be more active. Have the energy to do her daily activities without feeling winded or like she can't do it
  • She would love to enjoy an upcoming trip by walking everywhere (many steps)
  • Strengthening up legs, toning the upper and lower body
  • Wants to feel more confident and stronger to be able to enjoy life without worrying about hurting

Medical:

  • Two knee replacements
  • Scope on Left knee: scar tissue removed a bundle of nerve fibers located directly below patella
  • Occasional right shoulder pain

Customized Workout:

This Client trains 20 minutes, twice a week for maximum results in the shortest possible time.

Chest Press (Vertical Grip): Targets chest and back of arms. Client performs the exercise with a 4-hole gap, which decreases the range of motion and helps prevent additional shoulder pain. This exercise is performed each workout to help aid her goal of overall strengthening and fat loss.

Abdominal Machine: Targets abdominals. Client performs the exercise with legs out from behind the stabilizing pads and lifts knees slightly up toward the chest. This helps to prevent any additional strain on the knee and can help achieve better muscle-mind connection.

Leg Extension: Targets thighs and muscles surrounding the knee. Client performs exercise normally but does so with caution to avoid any knee pain. This exercise is particularly important to help strengthen her legs for walking and maintain strength around the knee.

Leg Press: Targets all major muscles in the lower body: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves. Feet are placed higher up on the footplate, creating a more open and easier angle on the knee joints. Client occasionally performs an isometric hold toward the lower turnaround of the exercise when experiencing pain or pulling sensations in the knee. This exercise is performed each workout to help aid her goal of overall strengthening and fat loss.

Tricep Rope Pulldown: Targets triceps. Client often performs this exercise instead of Tricep Extension due to shoulder pain in a raised position.

Client also does the following exercises with no major adjustments: Lat Pulldown, Leg Curl Hip Abduction, Hip Adduction, Preacher Curl, and Compound Row.

Summary

You might be thinking, all the roads we’ve taken in this article have led to slow-motion strength training. And while that might be mostly true, it's not the only thing a woman over 60 should ever do to move her body or achieve overall wellness.

Women over 60 can and should be exercising. For the purpose of exercise, high-intensity weight training is recommended. It's safe, effective, efficient, and sustainable for just about every age and injury.

Women over 60 should do cardio activities that bring them joy, stress relief, and socialization. These activities should be safe for the body and not interfere with the true purpose of exercise.

Exercising twice a week is recommended to get maximum strength training results. All other recreation should be done on a desired basis.

The best exercises for women over 60 are compound movements that target the biggest muscle groups in the body, such as leg press and lat pulldown. These help to build and maintain muscle mass, increase bone density, and help with fat loss.

Injuries and limitations should be considered when exercising. Working with a trained professional like a Certified Personal Trainer is ideal when working out around injuries. However, pain is a key indicator of when NOT to do a certain exercise or movement. So, use your best judgement.

The Perfect Workout team with in studio and virtual personal training

If you want more information on how to incorporate slow-motion strength training into your workout routine, we have a free introductory session. If you’d like to know more about how to work with a trainer online, get a free consultation call with a Personal Trainer.

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  1. Rhodes, E. C., Martin, A. D., Taunton, J. E., Donnelly, M., Warren, J., & Elliot, J. (2000). Effects of one year of resistance training on the relation between muscular strength and bone density in elderly women. British journal of sports medicine, 34(1), 18-22.
  2. Paw, M.J., Chin, A., Van Uffelen, J.G., Riphagen, I., & Van Mechelen, W. (2008). The functional effects of physical exercise training in frail older people: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 38(9), 781-793.
  3. Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D. (and others) Effects of Regular and Slow Speed Resistance Training on Muscle Strength, Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 2001, Vol 41, Iss 2. Pp 154-158
  4. The Nautilus Book, Ellington Darden, Ph.D., Copyright 1990 Contemporary Books, Chicago, IL, P. 85
  5. Body Defining, Ellington Darden, Ph.D., Copyright 1996 Contemporary Books, Chicago, IL, Pp 19,34,35 4 Peterson JA. Total Conditioning: A Case Study. Athletic Journal. Vol. 56: 40-55, 1975

How He’s Stayed Active at 71 with Lyme Disease

How He’s Stayed Active at 71
with Lyme Disease

Before and After Photo - The Perfect Workout Client Jody Calcara

After a lifetime of being active and in great physical shape, Jody Calcara had to navigate a disease that affected his strength and stamina.

Despite his love for running, biking, and kayaking, that kind of lifestyle got harder and frustrating.

Luckily, the solution to his problem and the gift of better health was found in his own son’s workout routine.

7 years ago, our client Jody was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

“Lyme disease, caused by bacteria, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash” (CDC). Symptoms of EBV can include: fatigue, fever, inflamed throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, enlarged spleen, swollen liver, and rash (CDC).

The combination of the two – and the aging process – caused Jody to experience chronic neck, shoulder, knee, and lower back pains. It all made him feel more and more fatigued.

He tried to exercise on his own but struggled to keep up with workouts that made a difference in his strength and energy levels.

Meanwhile, Jody’s son was getting trained in our Mill Valley studio and said it kept him in great shape without having to spend hours doing it. He thought his dad could benefit from slow-motion strength training too, so he referred him in.

Jody tried his introductory session at the studio, fell in love with the method, and set out to improve his health.

When Jody joined in 2020, his goals were to:

  • Increase and maintain his energy levels
  • Lose weight
  • Gain muscle

After training in the studio and eventually switching to Virtual Training, Jody made significant progress and loves the way he looks and feels.

“Before The Perfect Workout, I couldn't discipline myself to do enough exercises to make any difference, but with the trainers I've worked with, I get pushed to get to the burn and now I actually feel and look much better.”

Now at 71, he:

  • Is down 15 pounds
  • Has increased his Leg Press weight by 20%
  • Has the energy to keep up with hikes, kayaking, biking
Before photo of a male client
Before
After Photo of male client
After
His proudest achievements so far are keeping his body fit, losing weight, and even having biceps again like he “did in his younger days.”

“This is a great way to keep your body in shape with just two short workouts a week. The trainers work with you and your limitations, but also gradually push you past some of the limits. It could add years to your life and make those years more productive and enjoyable.”

We’re happy to say, Jody is living proof of that!

Strength Training: Exercise for ALL Ages

Strength Training for all Ages

Women sitting down after strength training session

My friend recently decided to “retire” from playing full-court basketball. Since his 43rd birthday, he’s suffered a few aches, pains, and minor injuries after each day of full-court games with younger friends. He is now going to opt for half-court games with friends, which involves much less running. “Full-court basketball is a young man’s game,” he told me. “I had to stop playing at some point.”

Full-court basketball, all-nighters, dying one’s hair pink…there are some things that we enjoy in our teens and early 20s but aren’t a good fit for adulthood. Strength training…is NOT one of those things.

Strength training is a lifelong exercise choice. It’s safe and effective, regardless of age. The goals people have for strength training generally change with age. However, the probability of reaching those goals doesn’t change. Whether 35 or 95 years old, strength training will improve your health and fitness.

A Workout For All Ages

Whether you're a busy mom looking for something quick and efficient, or a senior in need of a safe way to exercise you age, we have a program for you. While each body is unique, our principles of exercise remain the same – this allows us to serve people of all ages and abilities. Select your age range below to learn more about The Perfect Workout for you.

Before we get to talking results, let’s talk safety. Strength training, especially using The Perfect Workout’s slow-speed method, is extremely cautious. Injuries in exercise and sports are caused by an excess of force on tendons, ligaments, bones, or other tissues in the body. The lack of bouncing, jumping, and rapid movements make strength training an activity with very little force, even when a very challenging weight is used. While the exercises are challenging, they do not put an extreme level of stress on the body. 

If strength training was dangerous, the highest risk population for experiencing injuries would likely be older adults. Therefore, let’s look at the injury rate for older adults who strength train. A research article published in the journal Sports Medicine discussed the results of 22 studies with adults, 75 years old and older. Out of the 880 older adults who strength trained in these studies, only one person had a negative health experience. Just one person! The conclusion: strength training is very safe and highly unlikely to cause injury. 

Safety is important, but we also want results. Strength training leads to many health and fitness benefits. The needs and goals for strength training often differ with age. Let’s discuss what strength training offers people at the various stages in their lives.

Strength Training in Your Twenties and Thirties

Strength training provides a range of benefits for younger adults. Men and women can gain strength and muscle within two months. That muscle also enhances male and female attractiveness, according to studies on physical characteristics that men and women find appealing.

Adult athletes also benefit from strength training. Long distance times, sprint speed, and vertical jump all improve after a few months of training. In addition to performance, athletes also become more resistant to injury.

Strength Training in Your Forties and Fifties

The same athletic benefits apply to adults in their 40s and 50s. In addition to the aforementioned running benefits, men and women can improve their golf game through strength training. Three months of strength training increases driving distance by seven percent while also reducing the risk of common golf injuries (i.e. lower back pain). 

Reducing or preventing lower back pain, plus enhanced strength and muscle, are benefits for all adults in this age range. Other important benefits are preventing age-related weight gain, improving sleep quality, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases that often occur in this age range. Examples of those diseases include heart disease, many types of cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

young man strength training with dumbbell

Strength Training in Your Sixties and Afterwards

Muscles aren’t a “young man’s game.” Men and women of all ages can gain both strength and muscle. The previously mentioned research article from the journal Sports Medicine showed that just 1-3 days of strength training per week led to big improvements in strength and muscle size for adults who are 75 years old or older. Other benefits frequently experienced by those 60 years or older are stronger bones, improved balance, a lower fall risk, enhanced memory and focus, reduced blood pressure and blood glucose, and increased protection against the development of many chronic diseases.

man strength training with a dumbbell

Strength training offers a wide array of benefits, for fitness and health. While you might eventually retire from all-night parties and playing full-court basketball, there’s no need to retire from strength training. Strength training is safe and healthful exercise for life.

  • Alvarez, M., Sedano, S., Cuadrado, G., & Redondo, J.C. (2012). Effects of an 18-week strength training program on low-handicap golfers performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(4), 1110-1121. 
  • Grgic, J., Garofolini, A., Orazem, J., Sabol, F., Schoenfeld, B.J., & Pedisic, Z. (2020). Effects of resistance training on muscle size and strength in very elderly adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Sports Medicine, 1-17.
  • Nickols-Richardson, S. M., Miller, L. E., Wootten, D. F., Ramp, W. K., & Herbert, W. G. (2007). Concentric and eccentric isokinetic resistance training similarly increases muscular strength, fat-free soft tissue mass, and specific bone mineral measurements in young women. Osteoporosis international, 18(6), 789-796.
  • Paw, M.J., Chin, A., Van Uffelen, J.G., Riphagen, I., & Van Mechelen, W. (2008). The functional effects of physical exercise training in frail older people: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 38(9), 781-793.
  • Sell, A., Lukazsweski, A.W., & Townsley, M. (2017). Cues of upper body strength account for most of the variance in men’s bodily attractiveness. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284(1869).
  • Singh, D. (1993). Adaptive significance of female physical attractiveness: role of waist-to-hip ratio. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65(2), 293-307.
  • Winett, R.A. & Carpinelli, R.N. (2002). Potential health-related benefits of resistance training. Preventive Medicine, 33(5), 503-513.

Her Plan to Live to 100: Strength Training

why strength training is part of her plan to live to 100

Personal Trainer Falls Church

Linda Maldonado broke her ankle in 2014 and it left her feeling hesitant that she could stay active and do the things she wanted to do. She was concerned about the future.

But her vision for the next several decades was to thrive. And she wanted to optimize her health and become strong enough to live to 100… yes, 100!

And with The Perfect Workout, Linda realized she could do all of that. Keep reading to learn how building muscle and strength has let her continue being as active as she wants to be in her 70s.

Life Before Strength

Linda joined The Perfect workout the month she turned 70. She wanted to develop as much strength as possible to counter her osteopenia and improve her balance.

Years earlier, Linda came across research showing the benefits of slow-motion training, but was worried she’d get bored with it.

So she continued to exercise on her own, going to the gym for cardio, lifting free weights and taking yoga classes. But after some time she felt like that approach wasn’t helping her get any closer to her goals.

I want to optimize my health and stay strong for the next several decades. I plan to live to 100 at least!

Linda Maldonado

But that only makes sense if those decades are full of health and vigor. (Learn more about how slow-motion strength training can help you live longer.)

Linda searched for slow-motion strength training and found the Falls Church, Virginia studio just minutes away from her home – perfect.

Personal Trainers Falls Church

Optimizing Her Health

Before The Perfect Workout and after her broken ankle, Linda was no longer sure she felt up to a trip to Machu Picchu with all those steps and altitude.

“Now, with the strength I’ve gained has come the confidence to do whatever I can – and we did climb two days at Machu Picchu in 2018, each day achieving 150 flights of stairs! With surprisingly NO pain or problem in the days afterward. That felt like a huge achievement.”

Just as the pandemic lockdown started in early 2020, Linda fell on her hands during a walk and injured her elbows, so she wasn’t able to lift any weight for several weeks.

Luckily, The Perfect Workout had launched their new 1-on-1 Virtual Training Program. Linda met with her trainer Melissa, virtually, twice a week, focusing on lower body exercises with the equipment she had at home (free weights and a ball).

Fitness Trainer Falls Church

“That worked really well – she was creative and flexible and always came up with great ideas.”

Especially in a time like quarantine, having the option to train virtually was a beneficial option for Linda, but she’s very happy to be back in the COVID-safe studio working with her trainer in person.

100 Here She Comes!

Linda will be the first to say, “This really does work!”  

The 20 minutes of exercise are challenging and intense but she can see and feel positive results.

“When I told my husband I leg-pressed 270 lbs, he said I must mean 170… hard for him to believe!”

She decided she always wants to keep up with her 20-minute training sessions. In fact, she first started training at The Perfect Workout just once a week, but quickly realized she would get better results with two sessions a week. It truly is all you need to get results, and in a fraction of the time.

Having the right method is one big lever to getting successful results. And the other is having the right trainer. Both of which Linda is experiencing on her path to living to 100.

“Having a personal trainer makes a huge difference. The trained staff know how to observe you, listen to you, make changes and tweaks that work for improved effectiveness. I always feel safe and I know my trainer has the skills and interest to make this the best possible experience for me.”

Whether you’re also on a path to 100, wanting to optimize your health, or have a specific goal like reversing Osteoporosis, becoming healthier starts with just 20 minutes, twice a week.

Start training with a Personal Trainer today!

The Wakeup Call that Helped Her Get Strong at 71

The wakeup call that helped her get strong at 71

personal trainer 70 women

Most people will wait for something bad to happen to take control of their health.

For some it's getting a scary diagnosis, for others it's watching a loved one struggle with cancer, and for Nancy Pang, it was a painful wakeup call.

The wakeup call

A few years back, Nancy Pang took a nasty fall that resulted in a fractured shoulder. But this wasn’t her first fall.

Previously she had fallen while walking on the cement. Before she could figure out what tripped her up, she suddenly found herself on the ground in pain.

“I fell hard on my right hip and I was black and blue for weeks. I could not walk at first.”

It took Nancy a week to be able to gain the strength to walk around her house, but it was a couple of years before she was walking around normally again.

At the time, she was working an all-consuming job that required her to be on her feet, walking school campuses throughout the day. Not being able to get around easily was a big setback for her.

It was then she realized she couldn’t get through an average day without struggling to walk, and her travel plans may not be possible anymore.

“That was a wakeup call.”

Nancy knew that if she couldn’t manage her own luggage, and walk around easily, especially to some of the European destinations she had plans for, she wasn’t going anywhere.

Nancy decided it was time to gain strength, improve her balance and gain the confidence to do all the things she had set out to do.

In 2017, she joined our SW San Jose Studio and has stuck with it ever since!

the perfect workout client

The accountability of a coach

Sticking with one workout for over 3 years is a big accomplishment for Nancy because it's the longest she’s ever stayed with a fitness program.

One of the biggest factors of Nancy’s consistent success is the accountability of a coach.

At The Perfect Workout, our Certified Personal Trainers are trained to coach every client through a safe and effective workout. This allows our clients to work with any trainer, any time.

“They're all good. So it's a credit to your company to make sure that people are skilled and competent. They know what they're doing.”

Nancy has been working primarily with one trainer, Jeffrey Blockson and loves the careful attention he’s given her during her workouts.

“Jeff is terrific. He's caring. He's mindful and takes things into consideration, which I really appreciate. And he's creative, changes it up all the time, so that it's never the same and doesn't get boring.”

For someone like Nancy, who admittedly gets bored with programs easily, this is an important part of having a coach. She gives Jeffrey a lot of credit for his ability to adapt to her preferences and needs.

She believes his coaching and encouragement have helped her gain more confidence and his knowledge of the body and workout have helped her get an exceptional workout each session.

“Nancy is a trainer's dream! She's very serious, attentive, and persistent, both during and after our sessions. It's always a pleasure working with her, while seeing and hearing about her progression, physically and mentally! She's an amazing example of true strength!” – Jeff Blockson

Her sustainable results

During her time at The Perfect Workout, Nancy has achieved many of the goals she had when she first joined.

She’s lost weight, and improved her strength, her posture, her balance, the arthritis in her hands, and the confidence to avoid another fall.

“I have less of a fear of falling. Because I know I have better muscle tone. I have more confidence in just moving.”

Read one client's story of how he DID fall, and saved himself from injury. ??

avoid falling senior workout

Her attempt to workout on her own

Shelter-in-place was announced and before she knew Virtual Training was an option Nancy thought, “Oh, no, I can't go to my workouts. What am I going to do? I had a real concern about losing all the gains that I've made over the years. And I said, I can't let this happen.”

So when Virtual Training was offered to the Bay Area, Nancy was excited about the opportunity to continue with her personalized workouts. Since starting, she’s been all-in with her at-home workouts with Jeffrey and loves the convenience of them.

“It's such a great solution.”

Many have tried to do these workouts on their own at home, without the guidance of a trainer, and when Nancy tried she quickly learned it was much more difficult to achieve a good workout.

“I have a tough time remembering all the exercises in chronological order. When Jeffrey's there, he's got it ordered and he's selected the exercises so that it's a full, whole body workout. And I'm sitting there going… I don't know if I did that?”

Nancy quickly learned she didn’t exactly know how to piece the workout together, didn’t know how long to go on each exercise or how to push herself to muscle success like her Trainer does.

When her Trainer is there, “he’s watching, counting and encouraging and saying 10 more seconds. Give me one more. And so the intensity goes up. So when I'm doing it by myself, it's much harder to coach yourself.”

Not only is her Trainer there to encourage her, he’s also there to coach her through all the nuances of perfect form, breathing and ideal speed- all while hitting that crucial point in the exercise, muscle success.

After doing the workout on her own, Nancy doesn’t think it's nearly as effective as working with her Trainer.

“Once I lose form, I’m not really spending my time well. I'm not getting the same benefits.”

And she doesn’t think that she would actually keep up with the workouts if she didn't have that accountability piece.

“That would be easy to just say, oh, I'll do it tomorrow and then tomorrow comes… are you going to do it tomorrow?”

Having the scheduled, paid-for workout on her calendar at a specific time and a Trainer waiting for her, makes her show up each time. If she doesn’t, she knows it's her loss.

“With this program. I call it an investment in myself. And as I age, I don't want to be what I've seen others become. Which is not being able to walk, not being able to pick up my own luggage, pick up my own groceries without the difficulty of falling. It's very damaging when we fall now. At my age, it takes a whole lot longer to recover.

Nancy Pang

She's not going anywhere

The benefits of slow-motion strength training are endless and it's a workout you can do well into your 70s, 80s, and even 90s. You can’t say that a lot about a lot of other workouts.

“Because it's safe and you're not throwing weights around. You're not trying to pick up something that's heavier than you can really safely manage. And so that's key because like I said, we injure ourselves, then it takes a long time to repair.

I've stuck with it. I'm not going anywhere.”

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