Strength Training Programs
Aging affects almost all of the factors of muscle strength. Since these age-related changes are similar to some of the effects of inactivity, it has been postulated that they are partly due to lack of physical activity and to not the aging process itself. If this is true, it can be suggested that strength training may slow down or reverse some of these alterations.
A program of regular resistive training, carried out over an appropriate period of time, results in a myriad of physiological adaptations. Muscle hypertrophy and increases in strength, alterations in body composition, hormonal and neural adaptations, and changes in cardiovascular capacity have all been documented subsequent to various resistive training protocols. Up to the present, these adaptive responses have most frequently been shown in young men and women.
Brief isometric exercise programs are useful. The most effective isometric training regimen would seem to be one in which maximal contractions are used and in which the product of contraction duration times the number of contractions per day is large. The advantages of this program lie in its brevity, its lack of special equipment needs, and its effectiveness. However, since most ambulation, self care tasks, and athletic events include some dynamic requirements, one should not rely entirely upon isometric exercise to train for these tasks.