Strength training for the elderly/Osteoporosis Strength training for the elderly/Osteoporosis

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Thread: Strength training for the elderly/Osteoporosis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    6

    Default Strength training for the elderly/Osteoporosis

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    • starting strength seminar february 2021
    Well good morning everyone. I don't usually post on this forum, this one just feels too good to leave out.

    Long story short; I've been working as a physiotherapist at an assisted living center for elderly people in Finland for the last year and a half. Being an early intermediate barbell trainee myself I frequently, most of the time actually, use this approach with my patients. The results are amazing, but the method is often frowned upon by other medical personnel, which is naturally quite frustrating. However, there is one example in particular that I would like to share with you.

    Last year I started physiotherapy with this fragile 39kg 84 year old lady. Letís call her Eve for convenience. She had been wheelchair bound since 2008 due to a mixture of medical conditions; Alzheimerís, depression, severe arthritis and spinal stenosis to name a few. Eve needed assistance in many of her ADL-activities as well as her transfers between the bed, wheelchair, and the toilet seat due to poor strength and balance as well as loss of ROM. I suppose anyone would be depressed from this kind of dependent life.

    We started training. I substituted the barbell lifts for movements Eve war able to do and with what was available in our facilities; mainly the leg press, back extension and pull-down. In our first actual strength training session Eve could not complete a whole set of five reps at 5kg on the leg press, but we kept at it. A week later she succeeded at 3x5 @ 5kg. Fast forward 8 weeks of linear progression and Eve made 3x5 @ 40kg. At this point she also took her first independent steps with a rollator since 2008 and was able transfer from her bed to the wheelchair independently. Now, this is was a big moment for her. It is incredible to go from being totally dependent on other people to be able to go to the bathroom and take a dump all by yourself. Today, a year and a half later, Eve walks around independently with the aid of a rollator, her weight has gone up quite a bit and she feels stronger, more focused and alive than before. In anticipation for the upcoming training session Eves life has meaning once again.

    I wanted to take a moment to thank Mark and all the other good people behind Starting Strength whose dedication and expertise made this possible. Since my Bachelor in Physiotherapy did certainly not give me the knowledge needed to teach people walk again.

    Sincerely,

    Simon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    44,178

    Default

    This is a timely post, for several reasons. Allow me to be the first of a long line of people to thank you for doing this for her, and for our profession.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    33

    Default

    This a very inspiring post and I am grateful to you for sharing her story. Excellent work and very appropriate to acknowledge the good people here at SS. Well done, mate

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    137

    Default

    Great stuff Simon! Nice work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Yesler's Palace, Seattle, WA
    Posts
    14,017

    Default

    You'd think that your colleagues would see the positive changes in her life, and question their beliefs about the appropriateness of strength training for the population she represents.

    Keep at it, maybe they'll see the light.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    St. Peters, MO
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Thank you, Simon, for your post. I have several people in my life (wife, brother, sister) who could benefit greatly from getting under the bar. They seem to think that I must be a special case and that they can't train like that for some reason. "Eve's" story might help change their minds.

    Again, thanks. and give my congratulations to Eve!

    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Cleveland
    Posts
    498

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    Was she able to progress to barbell squats and deadlift or did she stick with the leg press available? Awesome inspirational testimony. Would love to read more.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Hertford, UK
    Posts
    1,627

    Default

    Outstanding and inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    44,178

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=10&v=2fx_LfZFxv0

    Looks promising. I wonder who pushed them in this direction? Do any of you Aussies know?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    403

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    starting strength coach development program
    That's incredible, Simon! Do convey our best wishes to Eve. Looking forward to hearing more about her progression.

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