We’ve talked a lot about strength training guidelines for adults on our podcast. I thought I’d provide a quick recap of those guidelines and give you some ideas on how to get in quality strength workouts.
Strength Training Guidelines
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), healthy adults should perform strength training at least twice a week on non-consecutive days. Each session should include 8 to 10 repetitions that stress each of the major muscle groups or 10 to 15 repetitions for those who are older and frail.
If you go with longer repetitions, you’ll use lighter weight.
You can certainly train more than twice a week but you want to make sure you cover all of the major muscle groups at least twice a week. So, perhaps you do upper body and alternate with lower body twice a week. That gives you four days of strength workouts.
Major Muscle Groups
If we’re supposed to train every major muscle group twice a week, we need to know what they are. Plan on training these parts of the body:
Benefits of Strength Training
Why should we strength train at all? Isn’t it sufficient to just walk 10,000 steps every day?
The ACSM describes a variety of benefits of strength training. They are:
- Maintain muscle or fight the loss of muscle mass
- Prevent osteoporosis
- Decrease the risk of heart disease
- Decrease the risk of falls or the likelihood of injury if you do fall
- Increase quality of life
Examples of Strength Training
You often hear strength training also referred to as resistance training. The goal is to put your muscles under tension using resistance. You can do that with weights like dumb bells and kettle bells, resistance bands, machines at the gym, or body weight exercises.
Examples of typical resistance exercises that can be performed using free-weights, machines, or body weight for the major muscle groups are:
|Chest||Supine Bench Press||Seated Chest Press||Push-ups|
|Back||Bent-over Barbell Rows||Lat Pulldown||Supermans|
|Shoulders||Dumbbell Lateral Raise||Shoulder Press||Arm Circles|
|Biceps||Dumbbell Curls||Cable Curls||Side planks|
|Triceps||Dumbbell Kickbacks||Press downs||Dips|
|Abdomen||Weighted Crunches||“Abs” Machine Crunches||Prone Planks|
|Quadriceps||Back Squats||Leg Extension||Body Weight Lunges|
|Hamstrings||Stiff-leg Deadlifts||Leg Curls||Hip-ups|
If you aren’t sure how to do any of these, there are lots of demonstrations available on YouTube and a variety of strength training apps.
Don’t forget that the ACSM also recommends that you get in some cardio workouts during the week. I’ll write that up in a future post.