Many gym users never progress beyond the beginner stage; they don’t get noticeably stronger or build significant muscle. Why? They get stuck, insisting on doing the same routine week in and week out. Or, they get hurt because they use the equipment incorrectly or add too much weight, too quickly.
If you are over 50 and want to build strength and muscle, you need a more complete workout than a 30-year-old body builder. The right exercise mix includes some cardio and weight-bearing exercises that tax your muscles. Too much cardio will burn the muscle you so desperately need to build, and too little weight will not provide the results you seek.
There are three ways to effectively build strength: confuse the muscle, overload the muscle or use eccentric overload to work the muscle. You confuse the muscle when you change the weight and number of repetitions from one set to the next, or by varying the way you perform the exercise, for example, changing the handle on the lap pulldown. To overload your muscles, increase the weight until it taxes your maximum capacity. To take advantage of eccentric overload actively resist the weight during deceleration.
The next time you are in the gym take a good look at your routine. Don’t just go through the motions. Unlock your workout by stimulating your muscles to perform at their maximum capacity. And remember, if you are not getting the results you want, meet me in the gym.