Community-based Strength Training
StrongPeople Strong Bodies is a community-based strength training program aimed at mid-life and older individuals.
The benefits of strength training for older individuals have been studied extensively and include:
- Increased muscle mass and strength
- Improved bone density and reduced risk for osteoporosis and related fractures
- Reduced risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression, and obesity
- Improved self-confidence, sleep, and vitality
The StrongPeople Strong Bodies Program includes progressive resistance training, balance training, and flexibility exercises. Classes typically have 8 to 12 participants and last approximately 45-60 minutes. The curriculum includes two sets of resistance training routines, each with 8 to 10 exercises that can be used within the program. Both routines begin with a 5 to 10 minute warm up that may include walking, marching, or light calisthenics (e.g. toe touches). The resistance training exercises work all of the major muscles groups, utilizing a combination of dumbbells, adjustable ankle weights, and body weight. Classes conclude with a 5 to 10 minute cool-down that includes upper and lower flexibility exercises.
Generally, classes meet twice per week for 12-week sessions. Many leaders offer back-to-back sessions. Some take one to two-week breaks between sessions or offer the class seasonally.
StrongPeople Programs are implemented in local communities by allied health professionals, fitness specialists, and community leaders trained in the curriculum at day-long training workshops. The curriculum provides individuals with the primary functional materials to be used by community leaders to start programs within their town or county. In addition, together with the workshop, it provides information on fostering leadership and developing community projects such as working with local agencies to make neighborhoods more conducive to physical activity initiatives, such as an older adult walking program.