I guess, rightly or wrongly, the words “Personal Training” conjure up images of the young, striving for nicely defined muscles and new levels of fitness or the incipient middle-aged, striving to get back to where they used to be (or wish they had been!) after years of work and family distractions. With total respect to the many who are running marathons at advanced ages, the plus 55s still might not be the first group you think of as a natural group of training candidates – especially for weight training and conditioning.
As one of those now firmly in the age group who worry as much about the brain going North as the stomach going South, I was fascinated to see the findings of a new study from the University of Sydney in Australia. Researchers found that muscle strength gains in people over 55 were related to improvement in cognitive function – “the stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain”. If we accept that the brain is a muscle and apply the “use it or lose it” principle, then I suppose we should not be surprised. But fascinating to see it borne out by some science and research and uplifting to think we can do something positive for ourselves in this area that increasingly poses challenges for society.
Which brings me back to that reaction to “Personal Training”. Put aside any preconceptions and focus on yourself, on the “personal”. Good personal training should be exactly that – a structured approach put together for you so you hit your personal goals, not a random ramble round the same old bits of gym equipment. We all have different goals and aspirations and we should demand that our trainers understand what they are and lead us to them.
So while I am not much interested in training for a marathon, on the basis of this research I am very keen to see what sort of programme I can do to improve strength and conditioning as the years pile on. And that truly individual and tailored approach that involves understanding you as much innovative training techniques is what we really pride ourselves on here at Mightify…..whatever your age!