Building Strength for Seniors

by Paul Cooper
(Ballwin, MO 63021 )

I am 69 years old and would like to build strength, not big muscles.

Is the best method lighter weights using sets of reps and building up to heavier lifts or lift heavy weights fewer times from the start. I do not need to lose weight.

I am only interested in strength building.

Thank you.

Aaron's Answer…

For building strength, just lifting heavier weights infrequently is a good place to start - and stay. Lifting heavy, for less reps, is how you specifically build strength.

But if you're just starting to lift weights for the first time, start with a more moderate lifting plan. For Example: 8 - 12 reps per set, 1 - 3 sets per exercise, 5 - 7 big exercises).

Your body might not have the conditioning (muscle AND tendon strength) to start immediately lifting heavy, and the whole experience of lifting weights will be new for you. Go slowly in the beginning, since you really don't want to get hurt, and perhaps start on machines - they're easier to work with in the beginning than free weights.

You can try out one of the simple exercise plans on this site (like this one from Body By Science, which targets building pure strength on machines).

And here's the good news - in the beginning, any lifting will make you stronger. Any weight training is better than no weight training, and will make you stronger than before you started.

I hope this helps!

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