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Fitness Professional's Guide to Strength Training Older Adults-2nd Edition

Fitness Professional's Guide to Strength Training Older Adults-2nd Edition


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    Bring the benefits of strength training to seniors—regardless of their fitness levels—with Fitness Professional's Guide to Strength Training Older Adults, Second Edition. This resource contains the information and tools you need to educate, motivate, and assist older adults in committing to and benefiting from individualized strength training programs.

    Baechle and Westcott, leading authorities in fitness and strength training, offer information and guidance based on their combined 50-plus years of experience as strength training athletes, coaches, instructors, and researchers. The authors’ summaries of current research will update your knowledge of the specific health benefits of strength training for senior populations, including those with chronic conditions. Guidelines for senior strength training provide a basis for your program design, and recommendations for program modifications will assist you in constructing strength training programs that meet each client’s needs, abilities, and limitations.

    Previously published as Strength Training for Seniors, this new edition has been retooled to assist health and fitness instructors at health clubs, YMCAs, community centers, nursing homes, retirement communities, and other organizations in helping older adults obtain the far-reaching benefits of strength training. Fitness Professional's Guide to Strength Training Older Adults includes these updates:

    • A new chapter on sport conditioning programs, which provides specific strength training exercises to boost performance and reduce risk of injury for older runners, cyclists, swimmers, skiers, golfers, tennis players, rowers, rock climbers, hikers, softball players, and triathletes
    • Updated research regarding program design and performance for special populations, including seniors with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, low-back pain, balance issues, arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, frailty, and poststroke impairments
    • Updated nutrition information and specific nutrition guidelines to help seniors properly fuel their bodies for aerobic exercise, muscle building, and daily living

    Precise illustrations and biomechanically sound instructions for exercises that use resistance machines, free weights, body weight, elastic bands, and balls help you review proper techniques and provide your clients with clear explanations. Unique teaching scripts offer strategies for communicating information that will help your clients avoid errors that cause injury or reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

    Use the sample 10-week workout to help your beginning clients establish a foundation of muscle strength to improve everyday tasks and increase cardiovascular capability. You’ll also find intermediate and advanced workout programs focused on increasing muscle size, strength, and endurance along with specific considerations for older adults at each fitness level. In addition, practical methods for client assessment assist you in measuring muscle strength, hip and trunk flexibility, and body composition; guidelines also help your clients assess their own progress.

    Featuring principles, protocols, and adaptations, Fitness Professional's Guide to Strength Training Older Adults has everything you need for designing and directing sensible strength training programs for seniors. Information is presented progressively, making it easy to apply for fitness and health care professionals with varied backgrounds and experiences. In addition, numerous references for each topic offer starting points for further study, and tables, figures, and logs provide guidance in exercise program design and education for your clients.

    Substantial research has shown that strength training can reverse many of the degenerative processes associated with aging and reduce the risk and severity of several health problems common among older adults. Use the information and tools in Fitness Professional's Guide to Strength Training Older Adults to help your senior clients understand the benefits of strength training, overcome their intimidation, and commit to a training program that will enable them to enjoy a more vibrant and active lifestyle.


    An applied reference for strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers, and fitness professionals at health clubs, YMCAs, community centers, nursing homes, retirement communities, and other organizations.

    A text for courses, seminars, or workshops on topics such as Fitness Instruction of Older Adults, Issues in Older Adult Fitness, Strength Training for Seniors, Guidelines for Physical Activity for Older Adults, or Balance, Mobility, and Fall Prevention. Also a resource for older adults interested in designing age-appropriate individualized strength training programs.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Why Seniors Should Strength Train
    Body Composition
    Metabolic Rate
    Gastrointestinal Transit
    Cardiovascular Disease
    Low-Back Pain
    Depression and Self-Confidence
    Visual and Auditory Impairments
    General Fraility

    Chapter 2: Training Principles and Teaching Strategies
    Principle 1: Training Frequency
    Principle 2: Number of Sets
    Principle 3: Training Resistance or Loads
    Principle 4: Number of Repetitions
    Principle 5: Exercise Selection
    Principle 6: Training Progression
    Teaching Strategies

    Chapter 3: Exercise Execution Procedures and Instruction
    Full Range of Movement
    Controlled Movement Speed
    Warm-Up and Cool-Down
    Machine and Free Weight Exercise Instruction

    Chapter 4: Basic Workout Programs
    Recommended Load Assignments for Exercises
    Weeks 1 and 2
    Weeks 3 and 4
    Weeks 5 and 6
    Weeks 7 and 8
    Weeks 9 and 10

    Chapter 5: Intermediate and Advanced Workout Programs
    Intermediate Training Considerations
    Muscle Size
    Muscle Strength
    Muscle Endurance
    Advanced Training Considerations

    Chapter 6: Alternative Exercises and Programs
    Planning Your Program
    Guidelines for Reps, Sets, and Rest Periods
    Bodyweight Exercises
    Elastic Resistance Exercises

    Chapter 7: Progress Assessment
    Muscle Strength
    Assessing Hip and Trunk Flexibility
    Body Composition
    Personal Perceptions

    Chapter 8:Working With Special Populations
    Cardiovascular Disease
    Low-Back Pain
    Depression and Self-Confidence
    Visual and Auditory Impairments
    General Frailty

    Chapter 9: Sport-Specific Strength Training
    Tennis Players
    Rock Climbers and Hikers
    Softball Players

    Chapter 10: Nutrition for Senior Clients
    The Basic Nutrients
    Three Steps to Better Nutrition
    Energy for Exercise and Protein for Muscle Building
    Eating, Exercise, and Encouragement

    About the Author

    Thomas R. Baechle, EdD, CSCS,*D; NSCA-CPT,*D, competed in Olympic-style weightlifting and powerlifting and was an instructor of weight training and a strength and conditioning coach for 20 years. Currently he is a professor and chair of the exercise science department at Creighton University, where he directed phase III cardiac rehabilitation for 16 years. He is a cofounder and past president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and for 20 years was the executive director of the NSCA Certification Commission.

    Baechle has been recognized as the force behind the creation of the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer examination programs. He has received awards for outstanding teaching and service from Creighton University, the NSCA’s most coveted awards of Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year and Lifetime Achievement, and other awards from international associations and organizations. Baechle also served on state and regional boards associated with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and as president of the National Organization of Competency Assurance, and he has served on various other regional, national, and international boards. Baechle has authored, coauthored, or edited 13 other books, including Weight Training: Steps to Success, which has been translated into 10 languages and has sold almost 200,000 copies.

    Wayne L. Westcott, PhD, CSCS, is fitness research director at Quincy College in Quincy, Massachusetts. As an athlete, coach, teacher, professor, researcher, author, and speaker, Westcott has more than 38 years of experience in strength training and is recognized as a leading authority on fitness.

    For over 25 years, Westcott has focused on strength training instruction and research for adults 50 to 100 years of age. His landmark study at the John Knox Village Nursing Home increased awareness of the benefits of strength training for seniors with various health conditions and fitness levels and led to the implementation of strength training centers in more than 500 nursing homes.

    Westcott has served as a strength training consultant for numerous national organizations and programs, including Nautilus, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the National School Fitness Foundation, the International Association of Fitness Professionals, the American Council on Exercise, the YMCA of the USA, and the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation. Through his work with these organizations, he has also received numerous awards, including the Hall of Fame Award from the International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA), Fitness Industry Leader Award from the National Strength Professionals Association, the Massachusetts Governor's Council Lifetime Achievement Award, the IDEA Lifetime Achievement Award, the IFPA Lifetime Achievement Award, the President's Council Healthy American Fitness Leader Award, and the Alumni Recognition Award from Pennsylvania State University.

    Westcott has authored or coauthored 24 books on strength training, including Building Strength & Stamina, Strength Training for Seniors, and Complete Conditioning for Golf. In addition, he has served on the editorial boards of The Physician and Sportsmedicine, ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, On-Site Fitness, Prevention, Shape, Men's Health, Fitness, Club Industry, American Fitness Quarterly, Nautilus, Bottom Line Women’s Health, and Fitness Management. Westcott also serves on advisory boards for the International Council on Active Aging and the National Association for Health and Fitness. He is also an executive committee member for the New England chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.

    Westcott lives in Abington, Massachusetts, with his wife, Claudia. He enjoys staying physically active through running, cycling, and strength training.

    Sample Content

     Wayne Westcott discusses common barriers to participation in strength training for older adults.  Wayne Westcott explains the importance of strength training for older adults.  Wayne Westcott outlines what makes a good trainer.  Wayne Westcott shares tips on successful strength training for older adults.