As we age, a natural progression occurs, leading to a decline in muscle mass and physical activity levels. By the time we reach 80, we experience a reduction of approximately 30% in muscle mass compared to our peak, and muscle strength diminishes two to three times faster than muscle mass. Preserving our physical strength becomes paramount, underscoring the significance of resistance training.
**Why You Need Resistance Training**
Resistance training becomes indispensable in countering the decline of muscle mass as we age. Incorporating this training into our routines goes beyond mere aesthetics or improved athletic performance—it becomes crucial for maintaining a higher quality of life and independence as we grow older.
Though building muscle mass in later life can be challenging, consistent resistance training helps retain the muscle we already possess and may even lead to gradual muscle growth. This is especially vital since age-related muscle loss can result in weakness, reduced balance, and coordination, thereby increasing the risk of falls and fractures.
Additionally, resistance training offers further benefits to bone health by promoting increased bone mineral density, effectively preventing osteoporosis. Dietary considerations also play a vital role here, emphasising the importance of consuming a high-protein diet with adequate caloric intake.
Apart from the physical benefits, resistance training also positively impacts movement efficiency, functional independence, and hormonal balance. Surprisingly, its psychological advantages are often overlooked. By conquering challenges through resistance training, individuals can cultivate confidence, trigger dopamine release, and experience a profound sense of accomplishment. Nonetheless, it’s essential to strike a balance among the three training characteristics and be mindful of diminishing returns.
**SBX Resistance Training**
The SBX programme builds its foundation on strength development and maintenance, incorporating resistance training in key areas such as Squat, Bend, Lunge, Push, Pull, and Core.
Throughout the training period, the SBX strength work ranges from absolute strength (slow, controlled, heaviest – SBX BUILD) to strength speed (faster, slightly lighter dynamics – SBX PSI, SBX FUSION) and finally to speed strength (faster, lighter – SBX LEVELS, SBX ENDURE).
**Sets, Reps, and Rest**
The SBX training protocol relies on regimens proven effective over decades of training. The goal is to strike the right balance of volume and intensity, maximizing gains without risking overtraining or injury.
For motor learning and muscle growth, it is generally recommended to perform 6-12 reps in 3-6 sets. Alternatively, for endurance training, performing 10-20+ reps in 3-5 sets is advisable. Depending on class emphasis, these rep ranges may vary in BUILD and other formats.
Regarding rest intervals, they should be adjusted based on intensity and volume. For growth and endurance, rest intervals are generally shorter, ranging from 60 seconds to 2 minutes. Frequent supersets, involving training different muscle groups one after another, allow for continuous work while still providing some rest to specific muscles.
**The Importance of Eccentric Strength and Tempo**
Eccentric strength, which involves muscles resisting force while lengthening, plays a critical role in SBX resistance training. Proper eccentric loading takes the pressure off tendons, ligaments, and joints, leading to improvements in overall strength, flexibility, and mobility.
In resistance training, the tempo or speed of movement is a crucial factor. It includes various phases of movement: concentric (muscle shortens), eccentric (muscle lengthens), and isometric (muscle does not change length). The speed of the exercise depends on the intention behind it. For instance, slow eccentrics are used for motor learning, joint strength, stability, and muscle activation, while slow concentric help maintain positions and increase muscle endurance.
**Resistance Training: A Lifelong Path to Strength and Health**
Incorporating resistance training into your regular fitness routine can significantly contribute to maintaining physical strength and overall health as you age. It is essential to remember that it is never too late to start resistance training. The key lies in finding a routine that suits your abilities and goals and sticking with it consistently.
To get the most out of the SBX programme, it is recommended to attend both weekly BUILD sessions and an additional 2 to 4 sessions (depending on training goals and fitness level). This approach ensures a well-balanced strength training regimen and allows adequate time for recovery.