Dr. Helen

Strength Training For Life After 40

My husband Glenn received the book The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40 in the mail recently. Since I was the first to see it, I took it to read while sitting at the doctor’s office today. Maybe this book can keep those of us who tend towards illness out of these offices. Surely there are better ways to spend one’s time, like on working out.

What I learned in a few hours of reading the book is that it is full of great information for those over 40 who want to be strong and combat the effects of aging. From the description:

The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40 directly addresses the most pervasive problem faced by aging humans: the loss of physical strength and all its associated problems – the loss of muscle mass, bone mineral loss and osteoporosis, hip fractures (a terminal event for many older people), loss of balance and coordination, diabetes, heart disease related to a sedentary lifestyle, and the loss of independence.

The worst advice an older person ever gets is, Take it easy. Easy makes you soft, and soft makes you dead. The Barbell Prescription maps an escape from the usual fate of older adults: a logical, programmed approach to the hard work necessary to win at the extreme sport of Aging Well. Unlike all other books on the subject of exercise for seniors, The Barbell Prescription challenges the motivated Athlete of Aging with a no-nonsense training approach to strength and health – and demonstrates that everybody can become significantly stronger using the most effective tools ever developed for the job.

My favorite parts of the book are the elaborate training programs with details of what and when to do each exercise and how to build endurance and strength as one ages from 40’s and up. There is a focus on eating and nutrition for various ages and even a later chapter for novice programs for athletes over 70. Wow, that gives me hope for the future that one could still build strength in their eighth decade.

This book would make a great gift for yourself, family member or friend. It is huge and filled with detail and information on how to age positively and that is a welcome change from the books that focus on the negative aspects of age that one has little control over.