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Bending the Aging Curve

Bending the Aging Curve


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    As we age, it’s natural to see some loss of strength, flexibility, balance, and aerobic endurance. But today’s aging population isn’t willing to just sit back and accept these declines. They’re looking for ways to maintain a high quality of life throughout their older years. Bending the Aging Curve: The Complete Exercise Guide for Older Adults offers a systematic approach to designing exercise programs that will help older adults bend or straighten these curves of decline, resulting in more years of strength, vitality, and independence.

    Bending the Aging Curve provides fitness professionals with a multifaceted periodized training program specifically for older adults. With this book and DVD package, you will find the tools you need to help your clients slow the physical decline that can accompany aging:
    • Training strategies for improving body composition, flexibility, bone density, muscular strength and power, and cardiovascular fitness that can be customized to fit each client
    • 73 translational exercises that simulate everyday activities and help older clients to translate their new strengths into improved daily function and increased independence
    • A series of tests that will allow you to assess your clients’ strengths and weaknesses, design programs that address their needs, and keep them motivated during their training
    • A spreadsheet in which you can record clients’ test results and view their percentile rankings for their sex and age groups
    • Videos of the translational exercises that let you and your clients see these unique activities in action to ensure accuracy and safety
    • Video case studies of four sample clients that show the progression from testing to targeted training to the translational exercise cycle so you can better understand how to design programs that meet your clients’ varying needs and goals
    This one-of-a-kind resource presents a scientifically substantiated and practically proven training system that can extend the vitality of our aging population. Signorile offers an engaging explanation of the research behind his exercise diagnosis and prescription model while maintaining a focus on the practical components of program design. You will learn to use tests to diagnose your clients’ needs and then prescribe training cycles with the appropriate mix of work, active recovery, and skill practice to maximize functional improvements. The photos and step-by-step instructions for each of the tests and exercises found in the book and the video clips on the DVD make it easy to quickly implement this training system with your clients.

    Maintaining independence as we age depends on a multitude of factors. Bending the Aging Curve offers a comprehensive approach to designing exercise interventions that address all of these factors. With its targeted strategies, you’ll be able to help your clients stay active, energetic, and self-reliant, regardless of their age.


    A reference for personal trainers, fitness instructors, health educators, activity directors, and other health and fitness professionals who work with older adults; also a textbook for undergraduate courses in exercise and physical activity for older adults.

    Table of Contents

    Part I: Understanding the Aging Curves and Training Older Adults
    Chapter 1: The Aging Curves
    The Concept of Age
    The Diamond Analogy
    The Aging Curves
    Using Exercise to Bend the Aging Curves
    Frailty and Physical Vulnerability
    Prehab or Rehab: Changing the Oil or Changing the Engine?
    Exercise as a Targeted Intervention: Matching the Program to the Need
    Topical Bibliography

    Chapter 2: Testing
    The Exercise Diagnosis and Prescription Model
    The Exercise Diagnosis: Analysis of Needs
    What Makes an Effective Test?
    When to Test
    Testing Activities of Daily Living
    Topical Bibliography

    Chapter 3: Training Principles
    Overload and Adaptation
    Exercise Specificity
    Topical Bibliography

    Part II: Training Exercises: From Theory to Practice
    Chapter 4: Body Composition
    The Prevalence of Obesity and Its Consequences
    The Obesity Paradox
    Sarcopenic Obesity and Activities of Daily Living
    Sarcopenic Obesity and Fall Probability
    Testing Body Composition
    Training Interventions for Sarcopenic Obesity
    Topical Bibliography

    Chapter 5: Flexibility
    Defining Flexibility and the Stress–Strain Curve
    Possible Causes of Declining Flexibility With Aging
    Why Train for Flexibility?
    Types of Stretching
    Do Stretching and Flexibility Training Increase Flexibility?
    Stretching, Flexibility Training, and Injury Prevention
    Stretching, Flexibility Training, and Performance
    Practical Aspects of Flexibility Training
    Testing Flexibility
    Flexibility Program Design
    Flexibility Training Exercises
    Topical Bibliography

    Chapter 6: Bone, Falls, and Fractures
    Structure of Bone
    Factors Affecting Bone Strength
    Osteopenia and Osteoporosis
    Exercise Training to Prevent Osteoporosis
    Better Balance and Agility
    Testing Balance
    Balance Training
    Topical Bibliography

    Chapter 7: Muscular Strength, Power, and Endurance Training
    Sarcopenia: What Makes It Happen?
    Effects of Resistance Training on the Causes of Sarcopenia
    Resistance Training to Reduce the Effects of Sarcopenia
    Testing Neuromuscular Performance
    Resistance Training Exercises
    Topical Bibliography

    Chapter 8: Cardiovascular Training
    Increasing Cardiovascular Fitness: Benefits and Methods
    Testing Cardiovascular Fitness
    Cardiovascular Training and Program Design
    Topical Bibliography

    Part III: Putting the Program Together
    Chapter 9: Periodized Training
    Periodization: The Underlying Theories
    Fatigue During Time-Based Training Cycles
    Controlling the Fitness–Fatigue Balance During Training
    Applied Periodization Using Specific Training Cycles
    Topical Bibliography

    Chapter 10: The Translational Cycle: Active Recovery Meets Functional Practice
    Basic Concept of the Translational Cycle
    Translational Cycles and Periodization
    Timing of Translational Cycles
    Motor Learning Drills: The Need for Progression
    Matching Translational and Training Cycles
    Translational Exercises
    Topical Bibliography

    About the Author

    Joseph F. Signorile, PhD, is a professor in the department of kinesiology and sport sciences at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. He is a research health science specialist for the Miami VA Medical Center and has served as senior researcher at the Stein Gerontological Institute of the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged.

    Dr. Signorile’s research interests include prescriptive periodization training for older individuals, diagnostic test development for exercise prescription, electromyographic analysis of sport- and activity-specific training, and evaluation of training techniques concentrating on power development. He has written over 50 refereed articles and book chapters and presented at countless national and international scientific and industry meetings.

    Dr. Signorile is a member of the University of Miami graduate faculty and serves on its research council and the graduate school committee for doctoral curriculum evaluation. He serves on the board of the International Council on Active Aging. He is also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Geriatrics Society, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.