My father has been training with a personal trainer for about 3 years now. He goes 3 times a week for 30 minutes and gets in cardio and weights (how, I’m not sure!) and that’s all his exercise. He’s 61 years old with a bit of a beer belly (less now though) and the balance of a 90 year old I sometimes think. He used to be really active when he was younger and then let it slide and really only got back onto the fitness train 5 years ago.
Today he joined me for my training session with J and I was very careful to make sure that he knew that he didn’t have to do anything he didn’t want to do or feel comfortable with. I told him that I get my cardio in for 25-30 minutes before my training – all he needed to do was warm up. Nope, he got in 25 minutes of cardio.
Then we started training. First, J had me doing lunges on the Smith machine with 20lbs for the first set. I did it and then it was Dad’s turn. Oy. Two lunges in he twisted slightly and strained his quad. That was it. There’s my dad, limping along and my trainer looking at me asking “did I break him?” LOL
So we sent him to the bikes to keep the muscle stretching as there was no ice around and he was determined not to go home and I continued legwork. Then he joined us again for upper body work.
And proceeded to pick up weights that were too heavy and refuse to budge. I’m all for pushing yourself – heck, I push myself everytime – but I start lights and move up in weight. So there I am working along and my dad is pushing himself and I know that he’s going to hurt like heck tomorrow. He hasn’t trained for 3 weeks and strained a muscle and probably pushed himself a little too hard just to prove that he could do it.
And this is the problem I have and I think the reason many people don’t weight train.
They try it once, push themselves with heavy weights, hurt like heck the next day/week and never do it again.
The important thing is to know yourself and know your limitations. My dad is 61. Yes, he’s a strong guy but his body is not as young as he thinks it is. He has a bum knee and a damaged shoulder. He has bad balance and while his upper body strength is good, he is still 61 years old. Even he admitted yesterday that he keeps forgetting that.
I’m not advocating staying within your comfort zone but just be aware.