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Strength Training Past 50-3rd Edition by…
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Strength Training Past 50-3rd Edition

by Wayne Westcott

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I'm sorry to say that it took me a year to review it! I requested this book thinking that I would start a new exercise regime right away. It took longer than I thought to start exercising again, which meant that I avoided reading books about exercise because they made me feel guilty.

Well, I'm sorry I waited. This book is a solid reference that I am sure I'll use over and over again in the coming years. It offers a thorough, non-trendy, overview of strength training. The "past 50" part appears to lie primarily in a pep talk chapter ("Benefits of Strength Training"), the nutrition chapter, and fitness models who are past 50. Everything else I think would apply equally to people of any age who want to maintain basic fitness.

Features I especially like: The "Exercise Finder," a table that lists all exercises in the book according to primary muscles worked, other muscles worked, single-joint or multi-joint, and page # where you can find more information. Anatomy images that show each muscle group. A table that shows average machine weight loads for men and women at different ages (good for getting started in the gym). Fitness assessment tests that anyone can do (one of them requires a leg extension machine, the others can be done anywhere). Exercises for machines, free weights, and alternative equipment (e.g., fitness balls, resistance bands). Sample workouts for all fitness levels--brief and "standard," along with versions for advanced exercises and particular sports. The book also gives detailed instructions (with pictures and warnings about when you need a spotter) for every exercise, it provides advice for hiring a trainer, it explains the principles underlying different kinds of workouts (so you can build your own), and it supplies nutrition information.

The nutrition information is based on USDA "My Plate" recommendations, and I think it's a good metaphor for the fitness advice in the book. You'll find conventional information here. Nothing trendy--no gluten free diets, no crossfit, high rep/low weight, or super-slow workouts, just the kind of time-tested, solid advice that every exerciser needs to know.

I'm giving this book four stars instead of five because some people past 50 have past injuries or other reasons to modify certain exercises. This book doesn't give many modifications. Also, I think advanced exercisers who want to continue past 50 won't find anything here that they don't already know.

I wish that I'd reviewed this book when I first got it, but nothing in this book is outdated. It's definitely a reference that I'm glad to have on my shelf. ( )
  iBeth | Jul 6, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The third edition of this title is a very welcome update from a publisher long regarded to be among the leading, if not the leader, publishers of books in the field of athletics. Essentially the books is divided into two sections. The first encompasses strength assessment and instructs about planning and documenting workouts among other things. It is useful for those learning, for the first time, to get stronger as well as those far more experiences...including lapsed athletes. It can also be useful for people working to overcome injuries. The second section is composed of exercises that are illustrated with pictures that provide guidance on how to perform the exercise. It works well with the preceding section in that the first section refers to exercises shown in the second section. With the baby boom generation, of which I am, now 50 and beyond this work should be in every public library, academic library, and every personal library of boomers and near boomers who want great, easy to understand, guidance on how to assess their current strength level and to increase or maintain it. ( )
  ElnEm | Sep 24, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Westcott and Baechle provide the reader with a fantastic comprehensive guide to over 50 weight training. From the basic benefits of fitness and improving strength to how to begin your program, to how to conduct each exercise, the authors address virtually every, and yes I said every, aspect of a strength training program. Equipment, safety, nutrition, baseline assessments, how to get a trainer, and lots of training programs for ideal fitness are all here. This is one of the few "one stop shopping" books on fitness I have seen. Also the publisher, Human Kinetics, provides on- line support in tables and graphics to supplement this gem of a training kit. Before you get started, buy the book and really read it! You will be off to a good start and a healthier life! ( )
  difreda | Aug 2, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As America ages the need for exercise programs for those over 50 becomes important. Studies indicate that a sedentary life causes depletion in muscle tone and overall physical well-being. Wayne Westcott and Thomas Baechle attack this problem head on in Strength Training Past 50. Their program is a life long affirming approach, starting with what the benefits of good health are to the over 50 and the proper assessments needed before you begin to gauge what you must do to be safe. Prominent is the warning to consult your physician before any regime of exercise. The one-size fits all approach is negated by Westcott and Baechle--free weights, machine exercises, home and fitness clubs are all given coverage. Training programs are comprehensive and cover both basic to advance as well as sport-specific programs.

The publisher, Human Kinetics, specializes and promotes exercise and wellness books. This is the 3rd edition of Strength Training Past 50. I recommended this book to my fellow over-50 brother4s and sisters. The writing is straightforward, illustrations are numerous and kinetic studies and health well being discussed and validated. If you have the 2nd edition, you’ll find the 3rd much improved. There is a stronger, more robust presentation of the benefits of strength, with additional images. Nutritional needs are brought up-to-date with government findings and studies relevant to an aging population. The need for protein for both exercising and sedentary adults is promoted and the means to achieve this is updated--a move from the earlier Food Pyramid model to the more current MyPate.gov and discussed in detail.

Exercise and eating well are absolutely the means to a healthy life. Strength Training Past 50, third edition, is an excellent resource for achieving this life. ( )
  David_Chef | Jul 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There’s more technical information here than in most exercise books. This is not a “read it and remember it” book. This is a manual with descriptions of how the way you exercise will affect the results you get. Expect to use this book as a reference for what will happen if you changed your routine slightly; or how to change your routine to get slightly different results.

The first thing that struck me about this book is that there must be a good demand to warrant a “3rd edition”. After reading through it I can see the attraction in that this book contains verifiable facts, backed by comparative studies on the relevant target audience. No generalizations are made; the authors demonstrate with impressive statistics: which exercises work best (for whichever format you prefer--free weights, machines, or any alternative equipment), in which order you should do the exercises, how many reps/set work best, how many sets per session, how much time to rest between reps, when/how to breath during sets, how quickly/slowly to do your reps, how many times a week to workout, etc. Every “trivial” question I’ve always wanted to ask is answered here. Depending on how much time during the week you want to devote to exercising they give you a routine for it: a short routine for the most important muscle groups, and longer routines for a more ambitious program (including an Advanced Training chapter, if you’re really into strength training and want to know how you can push yourself a bit further and without overdoing it).

For what it’s worth, what this book does not provide is a strong emotional incentive for working out. Other books I’ve read devote as much as half the book to “stoking you up” to pump iron; getting you excited and raring to go. The one chapter in this book on the benefits of strength training focuses on the proven physical and mental reasons for making the effort, with a longer list of benefits than I’ve ever seen before (I’ve never seen anyone talk about the studies showing that strength training helps fight cancer!) For my part, that’s all to the good—the quick emotional high just as quickly fades once you hit the weights. But it’s much more difficult to ignore the 73 medical studies (including bar charts showing the quantitative results of some of the studies) that demonstrate exactly what you can expect from your efforts.

Here’s a brief sample of the kinds of studies that are used to justify this book: “The impact of resistance exercise on the cognitive function of the elderly;” “Comparison of two versus three days per week of variable resistance training during 10 and 18 week programs;” “Strength training for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee;” “Strength-training research: sets and repetitions”.

The exercises themselves are indexed at the front of the book by muscle group/type of exercise/page number. The individual exercises are described with no more than one exercise per page (or 2-pages if necessary) with graphic illustrations of how to position yourself for the exercise and how to perform the exercise (how to do the first part of the muscle movement—whether it’s up, down, forward, backward—and then how to do the return half of the muscle movement). This takes 110 pages of the book.

Other chapters deal with specific exercises for specific sports: swimming, running, cycling, skiing, golfing, etc. And, of course, there’s a chapter on nutrition.

The “take-away” for me is that I’ve lost my fear of “wasting my time with no results.” I now KNOW that if I do even the minimal routines recommended here I’m guaranteed results. And the "bottom line" has been affirmed: for results, you need to push the muscles to "failure". ( )
1 vote majackson | Jul 12, 2015 |
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"Increase your strength to improve your health, your appearance, and your performance with Strength Training Past 50. Strength training offers many benefits for active adults, including enhanced athletic performance, reduced risk of disease, and decreased symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Whether your are just getting started or have been training your entire life, Strength Training Past 50 has you covered."--page [4] of cover.… (more)

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