Sunday, March 1, 2009

Baby Boomer Personal Trainer

Once she retired, my baby boomer mom really started getting into fitness (but on her own, not with a baby boomer personal trainer). It's really cute to see her put on her backpack, bike helmet, and ride off into town to go do her exercises at the gym.

It's like a trip back in time to see what she would have been like at 10 years old.

But what if my mom wasn't internally motivated? What if I had to find a baby boomer personal trainer for her?

Would it be best to ask a young beach bunny cardio queen personal trainer to train her, or would she be better off training with someone closer to her age?

Researchers from the University of Texas asked this same question, and put 131 subjects through a 14-week, trainer-lead fitness program. One group of subjects worked with a trainer who was in their peer-group, while the other group worked with student trainers.

Reference J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2009 Feb;21(2):116-22. The effectiveness of a peer-mentored older adult fitness program on perceived physical, mental, and social function.

Surprisingly, only the peer-trained group significantly improved physical, mental, and social function at the end of 14 weeks.

So if you are thinking of buying some training sessions for your mom or dad, don't bother with the cardio bunny or young-buck bodybuilder trainer.

Instead, get a peer-group baby boomer personal trainer for your parents if you want more results.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
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Workout in the Morning

The best time to workout might be in the morning, but not because you burn more fat...

Back when I trained clients full time, I always wondered what possessed my CEO clients to get up at 5am and workout. Couldn't they at least wait till 7 or 8?

But as I've grown older, and busier, it's easy to see why folks want to workout in the morning.

First, it gets the workout done before other people and problems can get in the way. Plus, recent research shows that you will have a better workout when you are "mentally fresh".

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Welsh researchers put subjects through a cardio workout to exhaustion after one of two mental tasks.

Reference: J Appl Physiol 106: 857-864, 2009.

The first task was cognitively demanding and caused mental fatigue. The second task was a control task, and simply required watching neutral documentaries.

Results showed the mental fatiguing task significantly reduced the amount of exercise the subjects could do. The subjects simply tired out much quicker if their minds were already fatigued.

If you want to get more results in less time, you are better off doing your workout when you are mentally fresh.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS