lightheir wrote:But there's no evidence showing that it's detrimental for older folks to engage in weights or endurance activities requiring significant effort, as long as they're building it slowly and incrementally.
If one can do something for hours (running), or more than 25 (extremely light weights), then by definition it cannot be very hard from a strength perspective
, which is amount of force against an object.
Just look at the number of senior master competitors in most sports, and you'll find an incredible range of hi-level performers past the age of 55 in most majors sports whom are extremely healthy and fit.
I did not say that masters cannot compete in athletics. My father is a regional competitive mountain, road, and cross cyclist in his 60s. But are 50 pushups going to do anything beyond getting one to 'feel a bit gassed,' 'get the pump,' and sore the next day? That's not training or fitness, that's random exercise, which may be entertaining, but isn't methodical or useful, and is injury prone. Exercise is about how you feel now
, but it's not for real long term goals and improvement. And if an athlete does 'train' like that and win, it is genetics in spite of training.
I'd rather see 8 hard bench presses than 50 pushups any day. One looks like training, the other is goofing off. Exercise in this way does not respect the General Adaptation Syndrome
, the primary model for periodization in training. By GAS's reckoning, the user was not adapted for 150 pushups (they had not trained them progressively over time), the stressor exceeded what was recoverable, therefore injury and lack of progress. I suggest the book Practical Programming
as an informative read on General Adaptation as it applies to training for sports.
As well, doing 20+ reps is likely the way to go for older individuals. Lower weight - high rep exercises, reduce the change of a tendon tear or frank tendonitis compared to a hi-weight-low rep exercise. It's terrible advice to ask a off the couch person to go do a max single benchpress due to high risk of injury and strain, but it's perfectly fine to see if they can do a lot of assisted pushups (like with knees bent supporting weight on the floor) until they can move up to higher weighted actions.
This is anecdotal. I can just as simply say it makes quite a bit of sense to me that an older individual's joints/ligaments/cartilage are the weak links--not as limber as they used to be. Doing many light weights puts more repetitive strain on a joint than 5 heavy squats. How many exercisers are injured most of the time? It's practically a badge of honor for those that are ignorant of the General Adaptation approach to training. It's confirmation that they 'did something hard' and 'pushed their body to the limits' and now they get to 'rest and recover' through the injury. Unfortunately, they're fooling themselves.