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Importance of Resistance Training for Elderly Populations

 

What is Resistance Training?

Resistance Training can be defined as a form of exercise, whereby external weights provide progressive overload to skeletal muscles in order to make them stronger and often result in hypertrophy (growth in overall size of muscle cells) (Alix-Fages et. al, 2022; Phillips and Winett, 2010), which can lead to several benefits.

 

Benefits:

Less chance of falls and subsequent physical inactivity:

Araujo et. al (2022) found that middle aged or older people who could not stand on one leg for more than 10 seconds were more likely to die in the next seven years, compared to people who could. Why could this be the case?

 

People with less balance can be more prone falls. When in older age, this is more likely to lead to serious injury to lower bone density. If this results in a hip fracture, then there is no guarantee they will reach pre-injury level of recovery, leaving a lack of mobility and pain. With many people, this can result in them stopping activities which they used to enjoy, such as regular walks, and meeting up with friends to do things. This decrease in physical activity and increase in isolation can further accelerate the negative effects of the fall such as increased risk of depression and heart disease from being physically inactive

 

Reduce risk of chronic diseases and keeping one’s independence:

Furthermore, regular resistance training (2-3 sessions per week) has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis and type 2 diabetes. (Fragala et. al, 2019),  as well as being important in managing sarcopenia (the gradual loss in muscle mass due to age). Avoiding these chronic diseases can help people keep their independence in their old age, thus increasing their quality of life. For example, if someone can avoid osteoporosis and arthritis, then they can move with much more ease. This allows them the ability to complete activities such as playing with grandchildren and climbing stairs.

 

The snowball effect of being able to do these things can also have a positive effect on one’s mental health as they will be able to live with more confidence, less anxiety and more social interactions instead of potential isolation due to lack of mobility.

 

Seeing these benefits first hand:

As a personal trainer, one of the main protocols I take when working with older clients is to incorporate exercises which improve their balance and stability into their training programme, at a level suited to them. This can start off as simple as dowel assisted front foot elevated split squat, progressing all the way to unassisted single leg Romanian deadlifts. When performed consistently and accompanied by adequate nutrition, results are seen quickly so never think that it’s too late to start resistance training.

 

Reference List:

  • Alix-Fages, C., Del Vecchio, A., Baz-Valle, E., Santos-Concejero, J., & Balsalobre-Fernández, C. (2022). The role of the neural stimulus in regulating skeletal muscle hypertrophy. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 1-18.
  • AraujoCG, de Souza e Silva CG, Laukkanen JA, et al, Successful 10-second one-legged stance performance predicts survival in middle-aged and older individuals British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 21 June 2022. doi:1136/bjsports-2021-105360
  • Fragala, Maren S.1; Cadore, Eduardo L.2; Dorgo, Sandor3; Izquierdo, Mikel4; Kraemer, William J.5; Peterson, Mark D.6; Ryan, Eric D.7Resistance Training for Older Adults: Position Statement From the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: August 2019 – Volume 33 – Issue 8 – p 2019-2052 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003230
  • Phillips, S. M., & Winett, R. A. (2010). Uncomplicated resistance training and health-related outcomes: evidence for a public health mandate. Current sports medicine reports9(4), 208.
  • Zhang, J., Ang, M. L., & Kwek, E. B. (2015). Who Will Walk Again? Effects of Rehabilitation on the Ambulatory Status in Elderly Patients Undergoing Hemiarthroplasty for Femoral Neck Fracture. Geriatric orthopaedic surgery & rehabilitation6(3), 168–172. https://doi.org/10.1177/2151458515583111

 

Calorie Banking

Definition:

Saving a larger portion of your calories for one particular meal of the day or day of the week

 

Why/When?

This can be a useful tool to help stay on track with your total calories whilst minimising the sacrifice you have to make to your social life.

 

Example:

  • You want to consume 1800kcal per day in order to be in a calorie deficit.
  • Monday-Thursday you do this ‘normally’ by having around 500kcal per meal and a 300kcal snack.
  • However, on Friday you’re meeting friends at a restaurant.
  • Therefore, you don’t snack in the day and have 300kcal for breakfast and the same for lunch.
  • This leaves 1200kcal for dinner and any alcoholic drinks you may have. Allowing you to have a more caloric meal such as a big pasta dish, with a couple of pints of alcohol too, without exceeding your calorie limit.

 

Important to note:

This tool will help ensure you lose the same amount of weight compared to spreading your calories out normally but it is may affect how much fat is lost. This is because if you’re using this tool to consume alcohol every night, then more weight will be lost from muscle tissue as oppose to fat tissue. However, using calorie banking one day per week to consume alcohol in moderation will not have significant effects on your body composition. In short, calorie bank in moderation and it can be a very useful tool for helping you stay on track with your nutritional intake.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Nowadays, many people have heard about SMART goals. An acronym telling us that our goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound. Although I completely agree with this, there is more that needs to be considered when setting a goal.  This is not only to increase the likelihood of achieving it, but also to increase the enjoyment during the process of doing so.

 

Categorising Goals:

Goals can be split into 2 categories: process goals and outcome goals. To define each in my own words, an outcome goal is the desired end result and process goals are targets you will need to meet during the process of achieving the outcome goal. In my opinion, both are critical for success.

 

When someone embarks on a journey to achieve better health and fitness, they will often set themselves an outcome goal. For example, ‘I want to lose 10lbs in 3 months’ or ‘I want to run 5k in under 25 minutes in 6 months’. However, they rarely set processes for their goals along the way which will help them get there.

 

Which is better?

I believe neither outcome or process goals are better than the other. Setting process goals is expected to increase one’s motivation for a task. (Zimmerman and Kitsantas, 1997).  On the other hand, setting process goals, such as ‘set time aside for 3 runs per week’ without an overall outcome goal which you really want to achieve, may also leave you unmotivated. Therefore, setting both, effectively, is crucial.

 

Setting goals effectively:

Knowing how to do this, effectively, however, can be easier said than done. Referring back to the first paragraph, this is where SMART becomes very effective. This should be applied to all of your goals, both outcome and process, to increase the chance of success.

 

The issue with this for many people though is that they may not have the required amount of knowledge on a topic to fulfil the ‘realistic’ part of SMART. For instance, I know nothing about cars. Therefore, if someone approached me and said set a realistic goal for yourself for how long it would take for you to fix this cars engine, I wouldn’t know where to start. Therefore, I would have two options, either devote a lot of time to learning about car engines, or hire a professional to do this for me. I believe this is the same approach people should take to their own bodies. Don’t second guess when it comes to your training and nutrition, either devote the time to learn how to eat and train effectively or hire a professional to guide you the right way.

 

Reference List:

  • Zimmerman, B. J., & Kitsantas, A. (1997). Developmental phases in self-regulation: Shifting from process goals to outcome goals. Journal of educational psychology89(1), 29.

Are Low Carb Diets better for losing body fat?

A common belief is that a reduction in the consumption of carbohydrates will directly result in a reduction in body fat. Generally, the rationale behind this, is that less carbohydrates in their diet will result in less insulin, the ‘fat storing hormone’, being released and thereby storing less body fat.

 

In the context of fat loss/gain, caloric intake is important and carbohydrate intake is not.

Although studies have shown that those who consume more sugar gain more weight (Ruanpeng et. al. 2017), these studies do not compare groups consuming high carbohydrate diets and low-moderate carbohydrate diets with equal caloric intakes.

 

When calorie intake is controlled, i.e. both groups consume the same number of calories, differences in weight loss are not significant. (Te Morenga, 2013)

 

Understanding Energy Balance:

This is because weight loss is determined by energy balance. When we consume more calories than we expend then this puts us in a calorie surplus, meaning there is an excess of calories i.e. energy. When this occurs, this surplus of energy is stored as increased weight. Other factors determine how this weight is added. For example, if protein intake is high and someone is regularly resistance training, then more of the added weight is likely to be gained as an increase in muscle tissue. However, if someone is not resistance training, protein intake is low and sleep duration and quality is poor, then the vast majority of this added weight will be an increase in fat mass.

 

Satiety Matters:

People often over consume on calories due to their diet involving many foods that are not satiating. This can be why people have successful results when reducing carbohydrates out of their diet, because their over consumption of calories may be due to their previous diet having many low nutrient, low satiating sources of carbohydrates, such as sweets. Where some people then go wrong, is blaming all carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and fruit, which have been shown to be much more satiating.

 

Overall, selecting meals to consume on your diet when fat loss is your goal, the only significant factors should be calories, protein (amount needed will be determined by your age), satiety (how full it leaves you feeling), nutrient density (the amount of beneficial nutrients in a food) and most importantly, how much you enjoy the meal. This is because adherence to a plan is going to be crucial. If you don’t believe you can eat like this for the rest of your life then it’s simply too strict.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

 

  • Ruanpeng, D., Thongprayoon, C., Cheungpasitporn, W., & Harindhanavudhi, T. (2017). Sugar and artificially sweetened beverages linked to obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. QJM: An International Journal of Medicine110(8), 513-520.
  • Te Morenga, L., Mallard, S., & Mann, J. (2013). Dietary sugars and body weight: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and cohort studies. Bmj346.

Resistance Training Benefits for Females

What is Resistance Training?

Resistance Training can be defined as a form of exercise, whereby external weights provide progressive overload to skeletal muscles in order to make them stronger and often result in hypertrophy (growth in overall size of muscle cells) (Alix-Fages et. al, 2022; Phillips and Winett, 2010), which can lead to several benefits.

Mental Health:

Firstly, Ramirez and Kravitz (2012) looked into the benefits of regular resistance training and found that it has been shown to improve numerous aspects of mental health including: lessened anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, self-esteem, memory and cognition. The way in which resistance training helps achieve this is not yet clear, but the benefits to mental health could well be consequences of the physical benefits that resistance training provides. For example, when we start training regularly, our sleep may improve. In turn, we see a reduction in stress hormones (Maggio et. al, 2013), which then can have a positive effect on our level of anxiety.

Fat Loss:

When wanting to lose weight, we need to be in a calorie deficit. When in this calorie deficit, weight can be lost via losing body fat, water, and muscle tissue. Regular resistance training helps preserve muscle mass when in a calorie deficit (Miller et. al, 2018). This, in turn, results in more of the weight lost being from body fat tissue, as opposed to muscle tissue. It is important to note that protein intake and sleep must also be sufficient to maximise muscle preservation, and therefore fat loss, in a calorie deficit. (Nedeltcheva et. al, 2010; Stokes et. al, 2018)

Frailty and Functionality:

As we age past the age of 35, we experience a gradual loss of muscle mass of around 1-2% per year, this is known as sarcopenia (Cruz-Jentoft and Sayer, 2019). Once we reach our 60’s and older, sarcopenia may contribute to a loss of functionality in daily tasks such as climbing stairs with ease, or playing with grandchildren.

Resistance training in elderly populations has been shown to increase their ability to go from sitting to standing with less postural sway and more proprioception, which is linked to more functional ability and lower risk of falls. (Faigenbaum and Myer, 2010)

‘I Don’t Want to Look Bulky’:

This is a common worry with female clients. Fortunately, there is about as much chance as accidentally adding significant amounts of muscle mass accidentally as there is as taking driving lessons and accidentally ending up in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Putting on significant amounts of muscle mass requires consistent training on a hypertrophy focussed plan, being in a calorie surplus, and consumption of adequate protein for a number of months before noticeable increases are seen. Overall, resistance training can be used as an excellent tool to improve one’s quality of life, regardless of age or goals.

Reference List:

  • Alix-Fages, C., Del Vecchio, A., Baz-Valle, E., Santos-Concejero, J., & Balsalobre-Fernández, C. (2022). The role of the neural stimulus in regulating skeletal muscle hypertrophy. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 1-18.
  • Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., & Sayer, A. A. (2019). Sarcopenia. The Lancet393(10191), 2636-2646.
  • Faigenbaum, A. D., & Myer, G. D. (2010). Pediatric resistance training: benefits, concerns, and program design considerations. Current sports medicine reports9(3), 161-168.
  • Maggio, M., Colizzi, E., Fisichella, A., Valenti, G., Ceresini, G., Dall’Aglio, E., … & Ceda, G. P. (2013). Stress hormones, sleep deprivation and cognition in older adults. Maturitas76(1), 22-44.
  • Miller, T., Mull, S., Aragon, A. A., Krieger, J., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2018). Resistance training combined with diet decreases body fat while preserving lean mass independent of resting metabolic rate: a randomized trial. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism28(1), 46-54.
  • Nedeltcheva, A. V., Kilkus, J. M., Imperial, J., Schoeller, D. A., & Penev, P. D. (2010). Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine153(7), 435–441. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00006
  • Phillips, S. M., & Winett, R. A. (2010). Uncomplicated resistance training and health-related outcomes: evidence for a public health mandate. Current sports medicine reports9(4), 208.
  • Ramirez, A., & Kravitz, L. (2012). Resistance training improves mental health. IDEA Fitness Journal9(1), 20-22.
  • Stokes, T., Hector, A. J., Morton, R. W., McGlory, C., & Phillips, S. M. (2018). Recent perspectives regarding the role of dietary protein for the promotion of muscle hypertrophy with resistance exercise training. Nutrients10(2), 180.

 

 

CLIENT SUCCESS STORY – RYAN COOPER

Ryan spent years feeling intimidated to join a gym believing that people would place judgement on him.

He reached out to us at Soma for our personal training services to help him with his body composition goals and with the focus on building some lean muscle mass and improving his posture.

To his own disbelief he never thought that he would actually enjoy his training sessions, due to our coaches professional approach to programming to all of our clients requirements to succeed.

Upper Body Workout

Our personal trainers present your free upper body workout, please try it out. If you have any questions fire away!!!

LINK TO VIDEO:

https://youtube.com/shorts/Byg0w2gWT3s?feature=share

A1) Cable External Roatations @ 90 degrees

10 reps x 3 sets

B1) Half Kneeling Ipsilateral Pull Downs

8 reps x 3 sets

C1) Cable Chest Press

8-10 reps x 3 sets

D1) Single Arm Dumbell Row

6-8 reps x 3 sets

E1)Pronated Grip Upper Back Row

10 reps x 3 sets

F1) Lengthened Position Bicep Curl mechanical drop set into Mid Range Bicep Curl

8-12 reps x 8-12 reps x 3 sets

G1) Shortened Position Tricep Extension mechanical drop set into Mid Range Tricep Extension

8-12 reps x 8-12 reps x 3 sets

Client Success Story – The Process

Matt came into Soma with the goal of putting on some muscle purely for aesthetic purposes. He began his personal training program for just twice per week along with following his nutritional protocol in which was tailored bespoke to him and his social life on the weekends with focus on making the correct nutritional choices when eating out on the weekend.

 

As you can see he has developed a good amount of muscle mass in the 8 week period however this is just the beginning of his journey. We have now increased training frequency to 3 times per week and made adjustments to his nutritional protocol to help drive further adaptations towards his hypertrophy goals.

From a functional perspective following his functional assessment we found limitations in his movement and function of his shoulder and hips which have also improved over the 8 weeks (shoulder external rotation, getting in the overhead position and hip internal rotation). Thank you Matt for trusting our coaches in the process and for your consistent work ethic.

Stay tuned to see Matt further progress his physique with the coaching and guidance of his personal trainer.

Strength and Conditioning for the Endurance Runner

Thankfully, the general misconception that endurance athletes should only perform lightweights for a high number of reps has been exposed for quite a while now. It’s well understood that the majority of an endurance athletes’ time in the weights room is better spent lifting heavy weights (>80% of their 1 Rep Max) for a small number of reps (3-5 typically), as well as plyometric training (lifting a light load, explosively for a small number of reps) as this has been shown to have benefits such as helping maintain one’s running economy in the late stages of races. (Barnes et. al, 2013)

 

However, what isn’t as well understood is how to go from being a runner with little/no experience with weight training to one that can safely and effectively implement it into their training.

 

Firstly, learning correct exercise execution is critical so that athletes know how to do the exercise correctly when under load. This will not only minimise the risk of injury but also allow the athlete to perform the lift in the most efficient way, thus allowing for more weight to be lifted for a given amount of effort.

 

How does resistance training fit into the endurance runners training programme? The comprehensive answer to this question is too long for this article and will differ for each and every athlete. However, to answer in general terms, resistance training can be periodized. This means splitting up the year (macrocycle) into blocks with specific goals (mesocycles). Many runners will be familiar with the concept of periodisation and apply it to their endurance training, the same can be done with their resistance training, alongside their current training.

 

How resistance training is periodised will differ depending on the coaches ideology. In general, however, athletes will perform a strength endurance phase in the off season, a basic strength phase during off-season and pre-season, a strength/power phase during pre-season and then peaking and maintenance phases during competition season. (See Table for a visual representation of this)

 

Period General Preparatory Specific Preparatory Precompetitive Main Competitive Post Competitive
Stage of Competitive Season: Off-Season Off-Season/Pre-Season Pre-Season In-Season Post-Season
Phase: Strength Endurance/ Basic Strength Strength/Power Peaking or Maintenance Active Rest
Intensity: Low- Moderate

30-75% 1RM

Moderate-High

80-95%

1RM

Low to High

80-95% 1RM

30-85% 1RM

Low to High

50-90% 1RM

 

Low
Volume: High:

3-6 sets

12-20 reps

Moderate

2-6 sets

2-6 reps

Low

2-5 sets

2-5 reps

Very Low Low

*Post-Season does not necessarily have to include resistance training.

 

I hope this gives you a better idea of how resistance training can fit into a runners training schedule in order to benefit your performance. If you wish to get a more in-depth understanding on how trainers at SOMA can help implement these concepts into your training, please contact us.

 

References:

  • Barnes, K. R., Hopkins, W. G., Mcguigan, M. R., Northuis, M. E., & Kilding, A. E. (2013). Effects of resistance training on running economy and cross-country performance.

 

How You Can Finally Build Lasting Motivation For The Gym

 

 

 

‘You don’t need motivation, you need discipline!’ Scroll through the fitness pages of social media and quickly you will come across this misguided comment. In reality, when trying to build long term habits, there’s only one significant factor that will influence whether this habit will stick in the long run. This factor is called intrinsic motivation. (Texira, 2012)

Intrinsic motivation can be defined as the innate, natural propensity to engage one’s interests and exercise one’s capacity, and in doing so, seek and conquer optimal challenges (Deci and Ryan, 1985). In other words, intrinsic motivation is enjoyment derived the process of doing an activity, as opposed to partaking in something solely for the outcome goals. In terms of the gym, this would mean the process of attending the gym would have to be enjoyable, as opposed to only attending for the outcome goals of a more muscular body or heavier squat PR (these being examples of extrinsic motivation). There’s

absolutely nothing wrong with setting these outcome goals, in fact it’s openly encouraged as they can help a great deal but having this extrinsic motivation without a plan on how to build intrinsic motivation for the process of achieving these goals often leads to abandonment of these goals for the vast majority of people.

 

So how can you build intrinsic motivation if you don’t actually enjoy going to the gym? Well, in there’s 3 psychological needs that need to be fulfilled in order to achieve intrinsic motivation for an activity: competence, autonomy and relatedness (Deci and Ryan, 1985). As a personal trainer, I strive to achieve all three of these needs with my clients. Firstly, I help them feel competent by teaching correct technique and forming exercise plans bespoke to their anatomy and ability, so that they are challenged but not out of their depth. Autonomy is given, as the client is always in control of what the goal of the programme is, as well as what foods they eat, in order to achieve their nutritional targets. Lastly, myself and everyone at Soma help clients build relatedness by creating a welcoming and supportive atmosphere that clients look forward to being part of.

With extrinsic motivation towards New Year’s resolutions often tailing off at this time of year, I hope this article can provide you with the guidance you need to get back on track!

 

References:

  • Teixeira, P. J., Carraça, E. V., Markland, D., Silva, M. N., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: a systematic review. International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 9(1), 1-30.

 

  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Cognitive evaluation theory. In Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior(pp. 43-85). Springer, Boston, MA.

Written By

Coach Shay Ward