WELLNESS: ANAEROBIC EXERCISE
Anaerobic exercise makes its greatest contribution
to building and maintaining muscle mass. It is achieved
through low impact exercise, and weight training.
Scarcopenia, or age-related loss of muscle mass, begins
as early as age 20 or 25, and accelerates noticeably
after age 60.
In physically inactive persons there is a loss of
about -0.5% (minus one half of one percent) of muscle
mass every year between age 25 and 60, and a parallel
decline in muscle strength.
From age 60 on, the rate of loss doubles, to about
1%; and it doubles again at age 70; and again at age
80, then again at age 90... until it kills us, usually
before age 100.
Although sarcopenia is mostly seen in physically inactive
individuals, it is also evident in physically active
individuals. This suggests that physical inactivity
is not the only contributing factor, and that improper
nutrition, a decline in hormones, anaemia, and perhaps
other factors are also causes.
Low Impact Exercise
Low impact exercise is provides lower levels of aerobic
benefits, but concentrates on providing both an effective
toning of muscle, without building muscle mass, and
can also be used in such ways to signal the muscle into
muscle fibre building action.
They are also useful for maintaining bone density,
reducing the risk of osteoporosis and its complications
Such exercises include:
Walking – adding a few hills steps up the aerobic
- Cycling – especially good are the new elliptical
cycles which exercise both arms and legs
- Step and Toning Routines
- Muscle contractions held for 30 seconds
- More advanced yoga routines
- Low-impact aerobic exercises — such as swimming,
cycling and pool exercises helps you keep you fit
without putting excessive stress on your joints, making
these exercises good choices if you have conditions
such as arthritis.
Free Weight Training [FWT]
Free weight training uses simple hand weights. One
should always start with FWT before progressing to RT.
Learning the correct technique is important, not only
to avoid injury, but also to maximise results. For instance,
a slight outwards twist movement in a bicep curl, moves
the action to concentrate on the belly of the muscle,
rather than the total muscle length. Professional instruction
is highly advisable, or at least consult a free weight
training book or video.
Resistance Weight Training [RT]
Once a reasonable level of activity and muscle fitness
has been obtained using FWT, resistance training [RT]
can be introduced. Resistance training uses gym machines
that incorporate weights, pulleys and cables, to provide
a controlled resistance as well as weight to the movement.
RT has been reported to positively influence the neuromuscular
system, hormone concentrations, and protein synthesis
rates, all contributing to maintaining muscle mass.
A 2-week supervised RT program muscle protein synthesis
rates increased up to 182% from baseline in seven 78
to 84 year olds.
RT Training Program
RT programs must be designed by qualified fitness
training professionals, who take into account factors
such as: age, weight, general fitness, muscle strength,
and any medical conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular
disease, diabetes, dementia, pulmonary disease, chronic
renal failure, peripheral vascular disease and arthritis.
Number of Exercises - A program with
8 to 10 exercises, one for each major muscle group:
pectorals, latissimus dorsi, deltoids, abdominals, gluteals,
quadriceps and hamstrings. Multi-joint exercises are
recommended, as opposed to single-joint movements.
Intensity - perform 10 to 15 repetitions
per exercise. As strength increases, increase in repetitions,
followed later by an increase in resistance.
Progression - Systematic changing
workout cycles to include higher intensity sessions
with moderate intensity sessions is advisable.
Sets – start with 1 set per
major muscle group, building up to 2 - 3 sets Multiple
set programs result in greater strength gains over time.
Frequency - RT should be preformed
up to 2x per week, separating workout sessions with
at least a period of 48 hours.
Begin a RT program with about 8 weeks of minimal resistance
loads to allow adequate time for the joint connective
tissues to adjust to RT
Learn the correct technique for each exercise
Maintain normal breathing throughout
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NEXT: Compound Exercises
Exercise Index | Benefits
| Body Type | Guidelines
| Personality | Aerobic
| Anaerobic | Compound
| Fat Burning | Body Shaping
| The Core | Weight Training
| Stretching | Troubleshooting