This is a two-fold explanation: 1) how long it takes to train per session and 2) how frequently we recommend training. We believe – and basic muscle physiology principles state – that the best way to stimulate a muscle is by short, intense bouts of exercise. Not in long, drawn-out workouts, which simply can’t be as intense. Ideally, a resistance training workout should only last 20 to 30 minutes. Longer workouts are typically less intense and can release catabolic hormones (which we don’t want). When it comes to exercise, “more” is not necessarily “better.” Working out is merely a method of stimulating your results. Your actual gains or improvements occur when your body “recovers” from the exercise. If you exercise before your muscles are completely recovered from a bout of exercise, you’re just … beating a dead horse. You need to find the right “dose” of exercise for you. Too little exercise limits your progress, but too much or too frequent exercise doesn’t allow your body to recover properly and may hinder your progress as well. The ideal frequency of your training may change over time based on things like your specific genetics or how intensely you train. Our clients typically train only once or twice per week, with only a handful ever training more frequently than that. The best way to know how frequently you should train is through very detailed and accurate record keeping. Your personal trainer at SMX will always monitor your training. Once a fair amount of data is compiled by your trainer, we can dial in and fine-tune how frequently and what intensities are ideal for you to maximize your results.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.