Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weight lifting as a mental aid

In the early 60's, I read an article on weight lifting.  Ever since, I have done some regularly.  My latest reading on exercise is Gretchen Reynold's The First Twenty Minutes.  My wife has been more enthusiastic about her weight lifting class than about other ones and that is saying a lot.  She has taken many dance, dance aerobics, stretching, and yoga classes but this Body Pump class really lfts her mood.  She says the people in the class get tired and groan but come out laughing a cheerful mood.

I read long ago muscle growth comes first, then endurance, then strength.  But I am not sure that is supported by research.  I usually do 8 lifts of a reasonable weight, skp a day, lift 9 times, skip, lift 10.  After the weekend, same pattern until 15.  Next lifting day, I do 8 again with a minimally increased weight.  Lynn's class uses light weights of 5 or 10 or so, up to 22 lbs for squats with a bar across her shoulders.  But, her class does 75 or 100 lifts!

I don't have the patience for that, although Reynolds cites research that older people may need more repetitions for get muscle change.

I read that for strength, it is the first lift that counts and that subsequent ones have less effect.  Again, research may not back that up.  Many scientists keep in mind thousands of years of evolution and hunter-gathering when bodies were called upon to do many things at random times and people could not follow a nice, neat schedule.  Since I am in my 70's, I want to be careful and avoid injury.  Healing is slow and boring.  So, the other day, in a room of weight machines, I tried a special squat machine and lifted 90 lbs. once, then 120, then 180, then 220.  Since, I have done that several times, slowly and carefully. I feel great.  I have no interest in world or even neighborhood records or attracting babes.  Just feeling good and maintaining my body somewhat.

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