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Proper Strength Training for “Older Adults” with Robert Linkul, CPT

Jun 22, 2022

Today, I am blessed to have Robert Linkul with me. He is the head personal trainer and the owner of Be STRONGER Fitness. Robert has his masters degree in personal training from the United State Sports Academy (University of Alabama) and a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from California State University of Sacramento. Linkul is the Southwest Regional Coordinator with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and was named the NSCA's 2012 Personal Trainer of the year. Robert serves as the chairman for the NSCA's personal trainer special interest group and is the career development columnist for the NSCA's personal training quarterly publication. 

Linkul is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT *D) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS *D) with distinction. Robert has also earned a Master Sandbag Instructors Certification from Alpha Strong and is a CPT and CSCS exam preparation symposium instructor for the NSCA. Robert has been in the personal training industry since 1999 and has developed a semi-private group training style that few in the industry have mastered. 

In this episode, Robert Linkul opens the show by speaking about his past injuries and how they inspired him to start training older adults. Robert dives into the basics of weight training and exercise when it comes to adults over the age of fifty-five. However, if you have physical limitations, Robert explains why it’s critical to be proactive about those now. Then, Robert discusses hormonal health and how your food and sleep are making a massive impact. Tune in as we chat about giving your muscles plenty of rest and why weight training won’t make women bulky. 


[01:30] About Robert Linkul and The Inspiration Behind His Business: Training the Older Adult (TOA)

  • Robert was an NCAA hammer thrower in Sacramento, pursuing the Olympic Games in 2008.
  • One day, Robert was warming up, and his back blew apart. Robert had emergency back surgery, which was the end of his hammer-throwing career.
  • Later, Robert discovered his left lung was full of a carcinoid tumor; he had his lung removed. Nine months later, the doctors found another tumor in his thyroid. 
  • Eventually, Robert’s hips wore out; he had both replaced. 
  • Robert runs Training the Older Adult (TOA) programs. He collects data, designs programs, and implements those programs for his clients. 

[07:30] What You Need To Think About When Training Older Adults

  • Older adults include people who are over the age of fifty-five. 
  • Biological aging matters; how well have you taken care of your body? 
  • The clock is ticking - older adults can’t waste any time. 
  • If you want to be a stud when you’re 70, you must start at 50. 
  • Resistance training is a must; you have to move an external load. 
  • Gravity will beat you if you don’t densen your bones and muscles. 
  • Older people need to start training 60 minutes each day of the week. 

[12:10] Be Proactive When It Comes To Your Limitations 

  • You have to be proactive when it comes to limitations.
  • If you can’t do daily activities because of your limitations, you need to be proactive about surgeries. 
  • Once you get limitations addressed, then you have an arthritic grace period.
  • If you start resistance training, you will flare arthritis. Do enough daily to reduce pain, improve quality of life, and increase dexterity. 
  • Eventually, resistance training will help break through your arthritic pain. 

[18:40] Lifting Weights: Remember To Give Your Muscles Time To Repair 

  • Every muscle fiber is different.
  • You’ll want to train twenty-four to forty-eight hours apart. When you damage your muscles, they will grow back bigger or stronger. 
  • Remember, damaged muscles need time to repair. 
  • If you constantly damage your muscles, you are on your way to an injury. 
  • Three days a week for weight lifting is an excellent place to start. However, you should be exercising every single day. 

[27:00] Does Lifting Weights Make Women Get Bulky? 

  • For women, there is no chance you will get bulky. 
  • If your muscle has not been trained, it will start to grow when you train it. 
  • Your plants don’t keep growing and growing; eventually, they stop. The same thing will happen with your muscles. 
  • If you’re eating a clean diet and exercising with resistance, there is zero chance you will get bulky.
  • If you don’t want to get big, do three to four sets anywhere between ten and fifteen reps. You lift too light if you can do more than fifteen reps. 

[47:35] Eat Unprocessed Food and Sleep Well To Regulate Your Hormones 

  • Make sure whatever you’re eating is as unprocessed as possible. 
  • Your fuel should be as clean as you can make it. 
  • The less processed your food, the more your body will be able to run naturally and maximize your hormonal systems.
  • You are going to have hormonal responses to resistance training. 
  • Sleep is a critical component of your overall health and hormonal system. 



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