Art of Aging: The importance of weight training for seniors

Thursday, October 19, 2017 01:09PM
Art of Aging: The importance of weight training for seniors - Tamala Edwards reports during Action News at noon on October 19, 2017.


Seniors hear a lot about staying fit, but not so much about weight training.

Sports Performance Coach Tim Caso has been lifting weights competitively since he was just 11-years-old. Now in his late 50s, he's literally written the book on the value of weight training for seniors.

"First thing it does - it helps your metabolism, it builds muscle mass. It also improves bone density. It does a tremendous benefit to your self-confidence, because you feel you're young," he said.

At the Philadelphia Sports Club, Caso walked us through one of his workouts that he says should always start with a 5 to 10 minute cardio warm-up.

"Get those juices flowing. Second thing you want to do is stretch out, make sure your muscles are loose and ready for a workout," he said.

Caso says his full body workout program is for all ages, but he's geared it specifically toward older lifters and incorporates Olympic Weight Lifting training methods.

"The leg press will build your body, it will build your legs and having strong legs is number one," he said.

Caso recommends back squats and sumo deadlifts to strengthen your entire lower body and back. To protect shoulders from the nagging injuries that tend to crop up with age, he says hang from a bar.

"A good bench press will release a lot of growth hormones and help build your body in a symmetrical fashion. Lat pulldown is a great movement, it's another compound exercise - works your arms, works your shoulders and works your back," he said.

Caso says compound exercises, those that simultaneously work more than one muscle group, are the key.

"If you do these compound exercises you won't have to do any of the little stuff because you're building your body in a comprehensive manner," he said.

And it's not just vanity muscles you're building. A recent Penn State study, found that older adults who strength train at least twice a week are likely to live longer.

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