Bill’s Story – Weight Training for Men Over 50

Weight training for men over 50 is something that I believe in strongly. Here is Bill’s review that I asked him to write. Personally I feel uncomfortable asking for reviews. Unsolicited ones hold more weight in my view. However I have spent a bit of time with Bill and asked if he could share his story.

Yes it helps my business. But I think the most important part is for men’s health. Weight training for men over 50 would have been frowned upon recently. However the evidence is mounting that it is an essential part of fighting off old age.

Bill’s Weight Training Story

I have recently purchased weight training equipment from Sam’s Fitness and Sam has asked me to write about my training and the equipment I bought. I am happy to do this – I am very happy with the quality of the equipment Sam sold me. Sam’s is a small business run by someone who does serious training himself (try shaking Sam’s hand!) and Sam is very good to deal with.

wb prs powertec power rack system lat pulldown

I am 51 years old. Previously I have done some form of amateur sport consistently for 30 years: competitive running, cycling and tae kwon do. I have always intended to do regular weight training. The more sport I do and the older I get the more I am convinced that weight training should be part of anyone’s training schedule.

Even if you do not play a sport you still get great health benefits from weights and you feel so much stronger and less injury prone. Many books and articles have been written by sport scientists in the last 30 years about this, but I am just talking from the point of view of someone who tries to stay fit. The problems with weights are the expense of gym membership and the time involved in getting to the gym on a regular basis.

No Time For The Gym

On several occasions in the last 30 years I have joined a gym only to let membership lapse because of time difficulties. With kids, career and other commitments it can be very difficult. On one occasion my gym went out of business costing me a couple of hundred dollars.

The alternative to joining a gym, of course, is to buy the equipment yourself. This sounds expensive. However if you stick to buying quality basic equipment. Plus you consider the cost of a couple of years gym membership it starts to make sense.

When I turned 50 I knew that I had to buy the equipment. I believe that the importance of doing weights increases as you get older. Plus I wanted to make sure that I stuck to doing weights this time for the long term.

The Search For A Home Gym

I started to investigate what I should buy and from where. When I started by looking in the big chain stores at all the gym machines and I was not too happy with what I saw. For one thing, a lot of the equipment seemed too flimsy. I am no champion weightlifter but I could see that I would quickly reach the limits of some of the equipment in the big stores.

I also got tired of talking to salespeople who knew less than me about weight training. That is not because I know a great deal, but because they knew almost nothing.

Eventually I found two resources which led me to the gym equipment I eventually bought.

Sam’s Fitness

First, I found Sam’s Fitness, a small business specialising in importing a few selected brands for people like me wanting serious home gym equipment. It was run by someone who has a great deal of practical knowledge and experience in weight training. Sam had encountered similar problems to me with commercial gyms and in finding decent home equipment. Further he had the initiative to set up a business importing quality home gym equipment himself.

The New Rules of Lifting

The second resource was the book “The New Rules of Lifting” by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove.

The book confirmed my belief that free weights are better to use than the machines for a lot of reasons. Plus it also introduced a new philosophy of simplifying weight training. No biceps curls or leg extensions in this book. All the exercises are variations of the six basic human movements of squat, lunge, deadlift, push, pull and twist. They all involve many muscle groups, not just one group as do biceps curls and leg extensions. After a few months on this program I can testify that I have never worked so hard or gained such results in the gym. Check it out!

Building The Home Gym

So with Sam’s help I built a pretty serious home gym. I have free dumbbells, bars and plates, a bench and, most importantly, a safety rack with adjustable spotting bars. The rack also has a cable attachment for seated rows and lat pulldowns, the only exercises I perform that do not use free weights.

The importance of the safety rack with its spotting bars cannot be overstated – I have maxed out with both squats and barbell bench press and the spotting bars have saved me every time. Even if you stick to dumbbell bench presses, you still need the rack for squats and some types of lunges and you DO have to do squats and lunges if you want real results.

So I am training hard and my two teenage sons are joining me, an added bonus of quality time together. No travelling time to the gym, no waiting for machines or exercise stations (supersets are now possible), no gym fees and I am happy! If you are considering building a home gym, I recommend that you buy from someone like Sam who is an experienced lifter and who has gone through the process of finding and importing good quality equipment for people serious about their training. Good luck, Bill