What’s Wrong With Body Weight Training After 50?

It All Depends On Your Goals: Now and Later

The news is out that your group fitness program is NOT contributing to your bone density building. A study of one of the most popular group strength training programs showed that only at one spot is there significant increase in bone density. Subject participating in the free group fitness strength training classes were tested at the “osteo zones” and had improved only in the lumbar spine. No change in hip or wrist bone density.

Body weight would predictably have an even lesser effect on bone density.

The protocol best known to positively influence bone density is 10-rep to fatigue multiple sets using heavy loads. That is you would eventually (not immediately if you’re just beginning) lift 2 or 3 sets of heavy weight that caused temporary fatigue on each of 2 or 3 sets at 10 or fewer repetitions.

Using “Power” has also been associated with even greater bone density when slow and controlled is compared with a power lift (1 count) and a slow controlled lower (3-4 seconds).

Body weight can’t compare. If you think posture and exercise we need to focus on pulling exercises and drawing the shoulders together. When we think of body weight exercises most of us would be challenged to do a body weight pull up. We gravitate instead to push ups, which significantly tighten already short and tight anterior shoulder and chest muscles. It’s hard to get a good balance of major muscle group strengtheners with body weight alone.

For more details on body weight training listen to the freshly released podcast on the same topic. WellU After 50 podcast.

Body weight can be a convenient way to maintain on vacation or traveling. It can provide a great compliment to different weight training exercises. It just can’t do all the heavy lifting when it comes to bone density.


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Circumference outside of both arms, at the armpit

Right Triceps
Halfway btwn shoulder & elbow, arm extended.

Find the widest point of girth at the hips

Right Thigh
Standing with weight on both legs, measure halfway between knee cap and hip flexor

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Standing with weight on both legs, find the largest point of calf.

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