Tag: wight lifting

Smart Season

Written by Emily Creamer Collins, Master Trainer
This morning as I was mindlessly eating a Christmas cookie for breakfast - after having eaten several of them last night - I realized that I needed to get a grip on my food intake for this holiday season!
But how??
I beat myself up for a while and figured it was a lost cause but then I remembered a cool tip I learned my while getting my Personal Training certification.
It’s about setting SMART goals.


Most of us know that goals provide the roadmap to help make our dreams a reality. But setting goals is not always simple!
It’s more than a general statement of what you want, like in my example, “I want to avoid gaining weight.” Goal setting requires a well-conceived plan of action. Determining what you want is the starting point, but to be most effective we’ll need to write SMART goals.
The acronym SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Let’s break it down…


When writing goals, state exactly what you want to accomplish. Get down to the nitty-gritty. Getting fit is not a goal, it is an idea. Fitting into a size-six dress for a holiday party, or losing three pounds of body fat during the month of December are specific goals. See the difference?



Your goals need to be quantifiable.
Measuring progress toward your goals allows you to ascertain whether your strategy is working. For example, “drinking less alcohol” is not measurable, but “to limit my alcohol intake to one drink at each holiday party” is measurable.


Goals should be challenging yet achievable based on your time constraints, resources and motivation.
For example, planning to exercise everyday even if it means skipping all social and family gatherings is a poor goal because it conflicts with other commitments.
A better goal would be, “I plan to exercise at 7:00am Monday through Thursday so my other commitments are not conflicted.”


Realistic goals are goals within reach.
Unattainable goals set you up for failure, discouragement and loss of interest. An example of an unrealistic goal would be, “I will eat a perfect diet throughout the entire holiday season.”
Instead, set reasonable goals that are manageable such as “I will bring a healthy lunch to work rather than eating fast food.”


Your goals should always have a specific date of completion.
The date should be realistic, but not too distant in the future. Allow yourself enough time to achieve your goal, but not too much time, as this could negatively affect your motivation and willpower.
Tasks are much easier to accomplish when there’s a deadline.
A poor time-specific goal would be “I will lose 10 pounds by the time the next holiday season roles around.” One year is too much time for this goal. A better goal would be, “I will lose 1 pound per week within the month of December (end date 12/31).”
Let’s try to be SMART this season! Give it a try, and I will too. We can compare notes!

Building Muscle After 50

Article reprinted with permission by author Mark Nutting.

Learn More about Mark at https://www.linkedin.com/in/marknutting and at https://twitter.com/marknutting


In a recent article in the New York Times, Can You Regain Muscle After 60, author Gretchen Reynolds discussed research done in which “men and women in their 60s and 70s who began supervised weight training developed muscles that were as large and strong as those of your average 40-year-old.” This is important because what keeps us able to do what we want as we age, is muscle. Strength, power, and your resting metabolism depend on gaining, or at least not losing, muscle. So, how do we do that?

Keep what you have

Let’s start with the idea of not losing what you have. In a previous post, How Many Years Do You Have Left?, I mentioned sarcopenia, or the physical declines that come with muscle loss. Sarcopenia is predominantly caused by a lessening of physical activity as we get older. One of my favorite examples of someone not slowing down as he got older, was my father-in-law, Karl Stirner. Karl was a metal sculptor (he passed early in 2016 at the age of 92). He hauled iron around on a daily basis until he was almost 90. His strength always amazed me. That continued physical activity kept him young and physically capable of living life on his terms. The same can be true for you. If you are physically active, stay that way. If you’ve had a physical job all of your life and you find yourself retiring or changing jobs, find other ways (maybe more fun ways) of staying active.

Start now!

What if you’ve never been never been active or worked out or it’s just been a really long time since you have? You need to start to build muscle. The best way to do this is resistance training. This includes free weights, machines, tubing, body weight, etc. As long as the exercise is challenging to you within a general repetition range of 8 – 20 repetitions, it’s going to help you build strength and muscle. However, start small, start light. With the prospect of doing this for the rest of our lives, we can take our time building the intensity and the volume of the program. This will help minimize the risk of injuries. I will often only give 5 or 6 exercises to someone just starting out. One set of 12 repetitions for each of the exercises on day one and then see how they feel the next day. If they are not too sore and have no issues, we can start to progress the program. Ultimately, the program has to become very challenging or you won’t have enough stimulus to build muscle.

Feed your muscles!

Finally, you need to support muscle growth by eating enough calories and enough of those calories coming from protein. That will be my next post. In the mean time, know that you can (and should) build strength and muscle no matter what your age.  If you’re doing it, keep doing it. If you’re not, get started. It’s never too late.

Weight Lifting Might Lead To 46% Reduced Risk Of Death

Article by Lisa Jones, Lifehack.org

Milk apparently is not the only thing that does a body good. Now research has shown that strength training into older age can actually help to prolong life. It only takes a trip to the gym twice a week to reap the benefits of this form of body good exercise.

The Study

Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Columbia University discovered that older individuals who took part in strength-training only twice per week helped the individuals who were 65 years of age or older to live longer. The research sample they had for this specific group was small, and really only came in at 10 percent of the age group’s overall count, but the evidence obtained is priceless.

The data came to the researchers through surveys that spanned over 15 years of the participants lives, and from information found on their death certificates from the years 1997 to 2001. This research found that the older adults who took part in strength training twice a week had a 41% reduction in cardiac death, and a 19% lowered chance of being killed by cancer.

Pump it up

Exercise of any type can help to prolong a life, and strength-training provides plenty of perks. When it comes to older age our muscles are one of the first things that start to deteriorate. With strength training muscles stay healthy and strong. This is important as these muscles help provide cushion and balance to help keep older individuals safe from falls.

According to an article in Men’s Health titled “Lifting Weights As You Age Cuts Your Risk Of Early Death By 46%” falling accidents are said to be the number one reason why older individuals collect disability.

Working the muscles also helps to cut down on body fat, which is great for helping to reduce cholesterol levels, and even helps to slow or even stop diabetes that many older individuals acquire as they age.

Strength training can also help keep the bones strong, and we all know the importance of strong bones as we age. This type of exercise also has the ability to keep the heart pumping and blood flowing.

Oxygen is another benefit of exercising, which is something that our brains need always, but even more so as we age. When oxygen is flowing through the blood in our veins it helps to keep the brain alert and active. It, unfortunately, will not stop Alzheimer’s from occurring, but it could help to prevent it from happening early.

Getting Started

At the time that this study took place only 10% of the older population took part in strength training. This is a small portion of individuals in this age group that would benefit from this type of exercise routine.

Sharing the research with individuals of any age could help get more people in strength training programs. Many gyms are able to help guide older individuals in the type of training exercises that they should be able to do, and they are there in case any emergency occurs.


There are social groups that work together on exercise programs for the elderly, and some may already be in the area. If there are not any programs in the area where the individual lives a few short phone calls to places like the Community Action Agency or Senior Support Services may get the ball rolling so that a strength-training program can be started.

While exercise is beneficial to most individuals it should be advised that anyone who would like to start strength training should consult with their physician first. Exercise does help to improve the over-all quality of life, and strength-training does that in abundance.