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        FITNESS TIP FOR 8/15/2002      

Resistance Weight Training Is For Everyone From Youth to Senior
By Dennis B. Weis The "Yukon Hercules"

It is a strange paradox that a majority of people who 
use weights only do so for a short period in their 
lives.  Why is this true?

By the time he completes his schooling, the average 
American has learned of weight training.  Not only that, 
all but a few of these people have used a barbell or 
dumbbells at least once.  Some of them stumbled upon 
progressive exercise in a neighbor's yard while 
teenagers.  Others have turned to the weights in an 
effort to become better high school or college athletes.  
Then there are other people who don't see the 
importance of weight training until the years start to 
slow them down.  But, regardless of when they were 
introduced to weights, it is conservative to guess that 
75% of all people under fifty years of age have been 
started on a training program.  Yet, the number of 
ACTIVE people weight training in the nation is incredibly 
small when compared to the participation in activities 
such as golf, bowling, or fishing.  What happens?

Generally, people use weights for one of five reasons:  
to overcome weakness or a handicap; to develop an 
outstanding physique; to become a strong man or lifter; 
to stay healthy and physically fit; or to succeed in 
athletics.  Each is an excellent reason for starting, but 
it doesn't necessarily KEEP the person training.  As 
soon as a person overcomes his physical handicap, he 
is not usually interested in going further.  Both 
bodybuilders and lifters will train avidly during the 
peak years of youth but begin to resent the "grind" as 
they grow older.  Athletes look upon weights as a means
to an end, usually don't enjoy this form of exercise, and 
drop it when their competitive days are over.  So only 
the "keep fit" individual is likely to continue weight 
training throughout life, and in this approach lies 
rewards overlooked by all the others.

Benefits Of Weight Training

It should be obvious that a life free of pain or sickness, 
with vitality and physical ability, is the greatest gift a 
man can possess.  This blessed state is far more to be 
desired than a Mr. America physique, tremendous 
strength, athletic titles, great fame, or wealth.  In youth 
we ignore this fact, but as the years pass the beautiful 
body disappears, the power steadily slips away, and 
the athletic triumphs are only dimly remembered.  No 
one needs to be reminded of the uselessness of 
riches or fame when you are suffering the anguish of 
sickness or great pain.  No, the only constant, the 
one treasure that remains valuable throughout life, is 
abundant, glowing health and fitness.

Weight training is not the only way to achieve perfect 
physical condition, but it IS the easiest.  Thirty minutes 
of serious exercise each day, combined with a daily 
run, will build as much physical fitness as any one 
couldd desire.  The same amount of time, with the 
exertion adjusted a bit as he ages, will KEEP that 
person in superb condition throughout a long healthy 
life.  Compare this pleasant prospect with those hours 
of work that must be endured by the bodybuilder, the 
lifter, the athlete.  Is it any wonder that their interest 
steadily fades until it finally flockers out and we then 
refer to them as ex-weight men.

If you are young, it's natural to strive for the top, 
working to extremes and enjoying the maximum 
rewards of weight training.  Still, you should give a 
thought to the long life stretching ahead of you, to 
be enjoyed to the fullest or to be miserably 
endured as your physical powers fail.  Learn now to 
care for your body properly, to keep it healthy and 
efficient as the years go by.  When it is time to forsake 
the physique shows, the lifting platforms, and the 
athletic fields, be prepared to accept the change 
gracefully - not to abandon the weights, as so many 
do, but simply to move into a new phase of their use.  
The iron game can then become your enjoyable 
hobby; the weights will now be symbols of pleasure 
instead of the grim challenges they once were.  All of 
your training sessions will be happily anticipated 
and rewarding, too, as you live each year of your life 

No, it is not weight training that is at fault when so 
many abandon it.  It is their APPROACH to the iron 
game that determines how long their interest 
remains.  Each of us should adjust our viewpoint 
in this regard and try to get the new recruits off to 
a good start.  I expect to be training as long as I 
live - moderately, sensibly, happily.  I urge you to 
join me.  With some outdoor running and a sound 
nutritional regime, you'll have a program of life 
insurance that millionnaires can't buy!

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