Interview on Proven Strategies for Adding Muscle and Increasing Strength at Any Age
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and record a podcast episode with Phil Faris, a Best Selling Author, business consultant, coach, and the host of “Never Too Late for Fitness Radio”. His podcast interviews experts, innovators and trendsetters in the areas of business, health, fitness, and leadership to share tips and expertise with listeners looking to live a longer, healthier life. You can listen to our episode here, titled “Dwayne Wimmer: Vertex Fitness Owner Shares Proven Strategies for Adding Muscle and Increasing Strength at Any Age”, which aired on WCKG radio.
Our conversation focused on gaining strength and maintaining fitness for people over fifty, but we touched on many other fitness topics as well. It’s well documented that you lose muscle mass as you age; that’s why maintaining personal fitness is so important as you get older, and also why so many folks think that it’s impossible for them to do. But in fact, strength training has been scientifically shown to reduce the pain and limited mobility associated with osteoporosis and arthritis—some studies have shown that it can even be as effective as taking prescription medications.
We also discussed my work in founding and growing the Fitness Leaders Alliance, which is an organization dedicated to the training of more highly qualified personal trainers. Its focus is on ethical business practices, scientifically proven methods, and the importance of continuous professional development to the fitness industry.
The biggest factor to adding a strength training regimen is how much it can improve the quality of life. Most of the seniors I see have never done anything like strength training before, so my studio is a great fit due to the private and one-on-one nature of the workouts here. When they come in, they find a very private, welcoming setting that focuses on them while they’re here.
The changes that my clients see to their quality of life are real and significant. One client told me once that they could walk up the hill outside of their house without stopping anymore after doing strength training with me. Another told me that they could carry a case of water into their house from the car now. One grandmother told me that she could sit on the floor and play with her grandkids without needing help to get back up. Getting stronger really made a difference in these client’s lives in small, everyday ways.
We customize the intensity of our workouts for everyone that comes in, based on their starting condition and individual needs. As I told Phil, it’s a shame that many gyms don’t accommodate older folks in this way. Many of these clients have never done anything like this before, and they may think that just moving a few weights without challenging themselves in any way is going to make them stronger. Muscles need to be put into a state of overload in order to change and adapt and get stronger, which is why picking up a five pound weight all day long will never make your muscles any stronger.
The metaphor that I used is that building up your muscle strength is just like building up calluses on your hands. If you brush a feather against your hand, your skin will not change or adapt because it is not being given any real stimulus or overload. If you rub something rough against your hands, like a file or the strings of a guitar, your skin will get tougher and form calluses to adapt. Your muscles work the same way. The key for seniors is to create this muscle overload in a safe, effective way to gradually make changes over time.
To hear more of my talk with Phil Faris, tune into my episode of Never Too Late for Fitness Radio HERE.