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Creating a Strength Training Programme for Seniors: Enhancing Mobility, Independence, and Fitness

As we gracefully accumulate those hard-won years—find ourselves deep into the fabulous 50's, becoming seasoned experts in the 60's, or even gallantly gatecrashing the stellar 70's—holding onto our dear independence and sterling mobility becomes more of a cliffhanger series than a Sunday stroll in the park.

For those of us who've had the privilege of celebrating a few more birthdays. It's about pursuing beneficial exercises and leaving the flashy, and occasionally risky, routines to those still navigating their youthful exuberance. Now that, dear friends, is ageing done right.

The focus shouldn't be on flashy exercises flaunted by fitness influencers but on functional, low-risk exercises that are most beneficial for your goals.

Objectives of an Efficient Strength Training Programme for Seniors

  1. A strength training programme for seniors should aspire to:

  2. Guarantee programme completion

  3. Deliver an enjoyable experience

  4. Promote learning, development, and progression

  5. Boost confidence and ability

  6. Simplify regular daily tasks

  7. Decrease the likelihood of injury

Exercise Selection: Emphasising Functionality and Safety

Choosing the appropriate exercises for seniors is key. It's fundamental to select exercises that offer the most benefits with the lowest risk of injury. Concentrate on compound lifts and movements that will assist seniors in their daily lives and concurrently prevent undesired discomfort or injuries.

It's critical for the people to learn proper full-body lifts. Emphasise functional exercises like sled pushes/pulls or farmer's carries over isolated exercises, such as seated machine chest press. Specifically, compound exercises have shown to improve overall strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility. They also boost muscle growth and burn more calories due their high intensity. These benefits are closely linked with functional strength, as a stronger, coordinated muscular system enhances performance in everyday tasks and maintains overall physical health.

Exercise Modifications: Simple Alterations for Personalisation

Occasionally, some modifications to exercises may be necessary to accommodate seniors' needs. These alterations should not deviate too much from traditional exercises but should be tweaked as necessary to facilitate progress. Modifications can address an exercise to either regress or progress it based on an individual's abilities. Examples of exercise adjustments include:

  • Barbell Squat / Box Squat / Goblet Squat / Goblet Box Squat / Belt Squat / TRX Squat

  • Barbell Row / DB Row / Seated Cable Row

  • Pull Up / Band Assisted Pull Up / Eccentric Pull Up / Inverted Row / Lat Pull Down

  • Bench Press / Block or Pin Press / DB Bench Press / Push Ups

  • Deadlift / TrapBar Deadlift / Block Pull / DB RDL

Sets and Reps: Customising for Progress and Goals

The determination of sets and reps will depend on an individual's goals and their state in the training cycle. For those new to strength training or returning after a long break, a straightforward 3x10 set and rep scheme is a good starting point.

This method allows time for the development of effective movement patterns, correct lifting techniques, and gradual conditioning of tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Alternatively, you could choose a 3x5 scheme for the main strength movement, followed by 3x8/12 for a less technical, more isolated exercise.

Ultimately, the secret to a fruitful strength training programme for seniors lies in its personalisation and focus on what works best for each individual. Employing a coach who understands seniors' needs (like us!) is a crucial step towards achieving lifelong mobility, independence, and overall fitness.

4-Week Strength Training Programme: From Warm-up to Cooldown

Welcome to our special 4-week strength training programme! This tailor-crafted regimen gradually builds up your strength, allowing your body to adjust, adapt, and, most importantly, to flourish. Below, you will find a week-by-week breakdown of the programme designed to strengthen your demanding muscle system. Remember its important to check with a fitness professional and your GP before starting any new physical activity. Devanney Strength or it's staff cannot be heild liable for your utilisation of this program.

Week 1


Kick things off with a pulse raiser. Hop onto a cycle, rowing machine, or take a gentle jog for 10 minutes. The goal here isn't to exhaust yourself but simply to raise your core temperature.

Movement Preparation:

Start with TRX exercises: Squats, Rows, and Push-ups. Aim for three sets of 10 reps each.


Goblet Squat: 3 sets x 8 reps. A box can be handy for depth guidance.

Bench Press: 3 sets x 5 reps.

Seated Cable Row: 3 sets x 10 reps.

Hollow Hold: 3 sets x 15 seconds.

Suitcase Carry: 3 sets x 20 meters.

Week 2


Repeat the gentle 10-minute pulse raiser.

Movement Preparation:

TRX Squats, Rows, and Push-ups again, three sets of 10 reps each.


Goblet Squat: 3 sets x 10 reps (Using a box for depth guidance). Lightly increase the weight from the previous week.

Bench Press: 3 sets x 8 reps.

Seated Cable Row: 3 sets x 10 reps.

Hollow Hold: 4 sets x 15 seconds.

Suitcase Carry: 4 sets x 20 meters.

Week 3


Retain the 10-minute pulse raiser warm-up.

Movement Preparation:

The eternal trilogy of TRX Squats, Rows, and Push-ups, three sets of 10 reps each.


Goblet Squat: 4 sets x 10 reps (Using a box for depth guidance). Try to increase the weight from last week.

Bench Press: 3 sets x 10 reps.

Seated Cable Row: 3 sets x 10 reps.

Hollow Hold: 3 sets x 20 seconds.

Suitcase Carry: 3 sets x 30 meters.

Week 4


Keep up the pulse raiser momentum.

Movement Preparation:

Maintain your TRX routine with the Squats, Rows, and Push-ups, three sets of 10 reps each.


Goblet Squat: 4 sets x 10 reps. Remove the box this week and incorporate a brief 1-2 second pause in the bottom position.

Bench Press: 3 sets x 12 reps.

Seated Cable Row: 3 sets x 10 reps.

Hollow Hold: 4 sets x 20 seconds.

Suitcase Carry: 4 sets x 30 meters.

By steadily and systematically increasing the weight, reps, or sets week by week, this programme aims to build both your stamina and strength in a safe, effective manner. Your body deserves to feel its best, and this regimen is a step in that direction. Happy training!

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