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Strength Training Past 50 [Paperback]

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Book Description

July 6 1998 Ageless Athlete
Muscles lose size and strength with age, resulting in physical weakness and a variety of degenerative problems. But muscle loss may be largely avoided with regular strength training, and a large amount of muscle tissue already lost can be replaced, regardless of your age. Strength Training Past 50 presents research-based guidelines to help anyone over 50 develop and perform a sound, safe strength training program. Wayne Westcott, PhD, and Tom Baechle, EdD, two of the world's most recognized strength and conditioning experts, have developed this comprehensive, practical guide for the over-50 fitness market, one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry. Wayne Westcott is one of the fitness industry's most visible and respected experts, whose articles have appeared in Shape, Fitness, Prevention, Men's Health, and other popular publications and whose research has contributed much of the mounting evidence showing the great benefits of strength training for people past 50. Tom Baechle is the author of Weight Training: Steps to Success, which has sold more than 100,000 copies, as well as several other books. He is also editor of Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, the definitive text in its field. Strength Training Past 50 uses data collected and analyzed in a five-year study that examined the effects of regular strength training on previously sedentary adults. Results showed that regardless of gender, age, or physical condition, the 1,132 men and women who participated in the strength exercise program made significant improvements in terms of added muscle, lost fat, and reduced resting blood pressure. In fact, in this group, in which the age range was 21 to 80, participants over 60 responded just as well to strength exercise as everyone else. Research clearly shows that you're never too old to get great benefits from strength training. Strength Training Past 50 explains and shows the most effective way for mature a

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Strength training is an equal-opportunity exercise system; studies show that anyone who tries it can benefit. Muscle loss is inevitable through the years if you're sedentary. But no matter how old you are when you start, strength training has nearly immediate benefits: more muscle mass, more strength, less fat. This book gives older exercisers all the information they need to get started, including advice on testing for strength and how to pick a qualified personal trainer.


""Wayne Westcott's and Thomas Baechle's advice is cutting edge, medically sound, and is the key to staying active and feeling healthy long after you've turned 50. It is just what this doctor ordered,"" Nicholas A. DiNubile, MD- Orthopaedic Consultant to the Philadelphia 76ers and Pennsylvania Ballet- Author of "FrameWork" and Executive Producer and star of PBS special, Your Body's FrameWork "Dr. Wayne Westcott has, once again, outdone himself, presenting in an easily understandable style the principles of safe and effective strength training for seniors. The importance of this aspect of fitness training for the older population cannot be overstated. Improving health, strength, and fitness while enhancing function and avoiding unnecessary injuries through strength training are particularly important in this age group. We once again applaud the latest effort by Dr. Westcott, one of the leading authorities on strength and fitness," Lyle J. Micheli, MDClinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical SchoolO'Donnell Family Professor of Orthopaedic Sports MedicineDirector, Division of Sports Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best training system out there... Oct. 27 2003
By A Customer
I am 44 and I am getting back in weight training after more than 10 years. Previously I used the book "Weight Training: Steps To Success" written by one of the co-author. This is a great book for beginners, but the program was too aggressive that I quit after six months because of either exercise burn-out or injury (its was a long time ago). I bought this book because I thought that it would be more gentle since it is written for older exercisers and I am also a lot older than before.
This book is about strength training- you put your body against challenging weight in order to increase strength. It is not a general fitness book nor a toning book where light dumbbells are used. So this book is the same as any other strength training book. Conventional free-weight exercises like squat with weight, bench press, shoulder press, etc. are used. The program in this book is similar to the Baechle's book mentioned above. The modification is that number of sets are lower. But the intensity (weight used) is the same- lift as hard as you can.
The book has a 10 week basic program where one does five exercises and gradually increases up to 10. Each exercise is performed with one set and 12 reps. During this period, the weight is gradually increased up to 140% of the starting weight. The book offers two tracks: one with the Nautilus machine and the other with dumbbells (there are two optional barbell exercises -back quat and bench press, and one required exercise-barbell bicep curl). After the 10 week program, there are 12 week cycle options to build strength, muscle, or endurance. This is where the number of sets are added, the repetitions and the weight are varied.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
At 67 I had developed upper back pain associated with spinal arthritis. Upon the advice of a reviewer, I ordered the book, bought some free weights, and immediately began training to strengthen the muscles that support my spinal column. After a month of carefully following the recommended workout schedule, I found myself completely pain free. Although the results are proof of the pudding, I was particularly impressed with the authors' emphasis on safety and their guidance on how to find your point of beginning and to progress without injury.
The photos and descriptions of individual exercises were essential in making sure that the exercises were done correctly and to the greatest benefit.
In my opinion the price of the book is a gift compared to the feeling of well being derived from carefully following the given plan, which, by the way, is adaptable to each individual's capabilities and needs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
"Strength Training Past 50" provides the information you need to get started with a strength training program, including -
* Reasons why you should strength train (this section is a great motivator).
* What equipment to buy (if you're doing it a home).
* Which exercises to perform. (This is the largest section. It has a two-page spread format: on the left, instructions for performing the exercises, on the right, photos of ordinary-looking people doing the exercises. It includes techniques using both free weights and machines.)
* Building an effective program. (This section answered one of my questions: how to determine when to increase weights and how to do it.)
You can read this book in one sitting. (I skipped the "eating for strength" chapter.)
The photos show people using fancy Nautilus machines, which are a far cry from the equipment I use at my down-at-the-heels gym. Unless you have access to the machines pictured, you'll probabl! y need someone at your gym to show you comparable equipment and exercises to do.
All in all a good reference book for strength training. I recommend it. (I'm 62.)
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3.0 out of 5 stars What if you have lifted before? March 30 2000
Strength Training Past 50 is a very good book and anyone past 50 who has an interest in fitness or has been directed by a physician to lose weight should read the book. The program in the book must be carefully followed, particularly the weight and repitition recommendations. This program was designed for a very broad age range and a broad range of physical fitness levels typically found in adults past 50. It's strength is that it is an excellent introduction to resistance training for those who have not lifted or have not lifted for a significant period of time. If you are 50 or older, male or female, and not an experienced lifter, you may expect to lose weight, gain muscle mass, energy, and a positive self image by following the program in this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just for Seniors March 31 2003
I'm ordering a second copy of this book for my brother. I've shared my first copy with a number of friends. The introduction -- which outlines the value of weight training at any age -- is worth the modest price. I've followed the book for a year since I bought the book, and have seen steady gradual progress in weight reduction and increased strength. Not a quick-fix approach, but instead a well-written plan to incorporate weight training into daily life, for both men and women. Geared towards newcomers, but also has information that will those with prior exercise experience. It stresses safety and gradual improvement.
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