The objective of this study was to know the reasons why the elderly practice bodybuilding. The research has a descriptive character, the sample was composed of 23 senior citizens with ages ranging from 50 to 80, who already did bodybuilding and who had been practicing for more than 6 months. The research was done in three fitness centers of São Paulo. A questionnaire was used to collect data, the results indicated the following reasons for senior citizens to seek fitness centers for physical activity (bodybuilding): quality of life, medical advicandmakingnewfriends.Weconcludedthatbodybuildingisextremely important for the elderly. Some of the seniors who answered the questionnaire claimed that through bodybuilding they felt better in several ways. Some showed interest in friendships, so the fitness center is a place to escape from loneliness, but they also pointed out that it helped a lot in the matter of socialization and appearance.
The aging process reduces
physical activity making everyday chores almost impossible. Older adults find
themselves forced to rely on training to perform basic tasks, so many seniors
are looking for fitness centers for physical activity. The main focus is on
bodybuilding. The practice of bodybuilding is an important factor as it helps
prevent many diseases such as osteoporosis, obesity, hypertension, arthritis,
cholesterol, diabetes. It also increases bone density, muscle mass, improves
strength, balance and coordination. In this way, the elderly can make small
daily efforts more easily, with a better disposition, safety and principal
without depending on anyone. The objective of this study is to investigate the
causes that led the elderly to practice bodybuilding and which benefits this
practice has brought to their lives. It is believed that the elderly have been
living a life with more quality and health, not only in the physical part but
also in the social environment. We performed a quantitative field survey, using
a questionnaire with 23 elderly people practicing bodybuilding.
Brazil is undergoing a very
accelerated aging process . The aging process is a sum of several
factors that involve
the biopsychosocial aspects,
since in the elderly the transformations are progressive, such as cellular losses, decreased muscle
strength, hearing impairment, and visual impairment among others, which may
even cause immobility . Regular physical activity
makes the elderly
more dynamic with a lower incidence of diseases. With this, senior citizens will have better
quality of life and self esteem, improving not only the
physical part but their social environment. The most recommended physical
activity is bodybuilding. It can
increase muscle strength which improves
the basic daily movements of the elderly . The aging process
of the muscular system reduces
static, dynamic and maximum strength, as well as the strength and maximum velocity. However, they can be
increased for seniors who
practice regular daily bodybuilding programs .
The aging process starts at
conception. So, aging is a dynamic and progressive process in which both
morphological and functional, biochemical and psychological changes determine
the progressive loss of capacity and fitness to the environment. This causes a
higher incidence of pathological processes, which is as a natural expected
A well-planned bodybuilding
program can result in innumerable benefits for the elderly, such as increased
muscle mass, muscle fiber hypertrophy, increased bone density, and improved
performance in both daily life activities and in activities that require muscle
strength. There seems to be endocrine system improvements related to strength
Among the general benefits are:
increase in muscle power
muscle fibers of both type 1 and type 2
risks of cardiovascular disease
risks of developing diabetes
of overall posture
injuries due to falls
The list tends to continue as
studies find other important benefits for improving the quality of life of the
Among the many benefits that
exercise practice promotes for all ages, one of the most important is
protection of functional capacity mainly in the elderly. Functional ability is
understood as the performance in everyday activities or activities of daily
living, basic activities that become very important for the elderly. The
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) can be classified according to various
indexes, they are referred to as: bathing, dressing, getting up, sitting,
walking a short distance; that is, basic personal care activities and Instrumental Activities Of Daily Living
(IADL) such as cooking, cleaning
the house, shopping, that is, more complex
activities of daily livin [7,8].
A physically inactive lifestyle
may be the primary cause of the inability to perform ADL. However according to
his study a program of regular physical exercises can promote more qualitative
rather than quantitative changes, such as changes in the way of moving,
increase in the speed of exercises . That is;
the elderly become more agile in carrying out any activity, either basic or
complex, and adopting safety measures to carry out the task .
Besides benefiting the
functional capacity, physical exercise promotes
improvement in the physical fitness of the elderly, the components of physical fitness
suffer a decline that can affect their health and mobility . The main diseases related to aging are:
arthritis, arthrosis and osteoporosis. Thus, with so many diseases reaching
a senior age, we can conclude that the majority
of the elderly choose to the practice
physical exercise (bodybuilding) 
to have a better quality of life and not only in the physical part but also in
the social environment. In addition, physical
exercise, in particular resistance training (bodybuilding), provides means to prevent the diseases that most affect
the elderly, with several
benefits. Among them are agility, flexibility, strength and endurance, making
the elderly more independent to carry out their daily lives activities [10,11]. According Tthe lack of exercise and the
capacity of response of the elderly are the main health problems related to
aging, diseases acquired over the years, therefore the importance of the
practice of physical activity precisely to prevent such diseases .
Argue that before prescribing an
exercise for the elderly it is important to know the losses at muscle level. As
a greater index, muscle fatigue, decrease in speed of conduction and
regeneration capacity. All these morphological and functional changes occur
over time and can be evidenced by a combination of three factors - aging,
presence of disease, and sedentary lifestyle [7,12-14].
This research is characterized
by data collection procedure. We used a questionnaire with 13 questions that is
widely used as a research tool. A survey was conducted with senior citizens
with ages ranging from 50 to 80 years. Ten worked out at New Sports Base
Fitness Center, 10 at the Space Fit Fitness Center and 3 at the Fire Fitness
Center, all located in the São Paulo region. As
a base we chose places that had the largest number of elderly people practicing
We collected data at the fitness centers
mentioned above, the questionnaire was answered by the groups
of elderly, 23 in the total, who attend the fitness centers and that practice bodybuilding.
We explained what the research and our goal would be like between 50 and 80
years old, including 10, We collected the data in the fitness centers cited
above, the questionnaire was answered by the groups of the elderly in the total
23, that attend the fitness centers and that practice bodybuilding. We
explained what the research and our goal.
First part of the questionnaire:
Graphics 1 and 2: Age of respondents and Sex of respondents:
In the first graphic, we divided the
elderly into 3 groups: 50 to 60 years, with 15 people, 65%; 61 to 70 years,
with 6 people, 26% and 71 to 80 years, with 2 people. In the second graphic to
specify the sex, with the majority female, 20 women, 87% and 3 men, 13%.
4.2. Health in General
Graphc 3: In the first chart on health in general, we asked if
there were any health problems. Eleven of them said they did, 48% and 12 of
them said they did not 52%.
Graphc 4: Some examples of diseases more common among the
elderly and the option of "others" for diseases not described in the
Graphics 5: The second question was whether they used
medications: 13 of them said "yes", 57% of the total and 10 of them
"no", being 43% of the total:
Graphic 6: The third question asked if they were currently
undergoing any treatment: Six of them said they were, 26% of the total and 17
of them said that they were not 74%:
Graphics 7: The
fourth question was whether the elderly were in pain, 15 of them said they did,
being 65%, and 8 of them said that they did not 35%.
8: Among the elderly who said yes, 14 affirmed
those who felt pain at times and 1 of them reported
experiencing pain at all times.
The fifth alternative question, if they had problems with insomnia: 5 of them said yes 22% and 18 of them not 78%.
Graphics 9: The first question: What made you practice
bodybuilding? Some of the reasons were: 13 of them refer 52% for Medical
Advice, 3 of them to Improve their appearance 12%; 2 of them to socialize 8%
and 7 of them for other reasons 28%. Second question:
Graphic 10: Does any member of the family train together with
you? 6 of them answer
Graphic 11: Third question: Has your stress or anxiety
diminished? 17 of them yes 74% and 6 of them not 26%:
Graphics 13: Fourth question: Did you feel better in your daily
life, after you started to work out bodybuilding? 22 yes 96% 1 not 4%:
Graphic 14: Improvements in the physical
capabilities as the chart below shows:
Graphic 15: Fifth and last question: Would you recommend
practicing bodybuilding? 23 of them yes 100% and none no:
Compared with Gislaine Cristina
and Adriana Baratela (2007) who made a research with 24 elderly women between
60 and 80 years in 2007. Our research had 20 elderly people between 50 and 80
years old, 87% of the elderly female. In the item health problems, the elderly
women had fewer hypertension problems. But the old women feeling pain were
minimal. In our research there were more senior citizens with hypertension
problems. But a great part of elderly had illnesses, a similarity in those who
had no health problems.
Comparing Gislaine Cristina and
Adriana Baratela (2007), among the reasons that led to the practice of
bodybuilding, the search due to medical advice was lower, but most of them due
to reasons of social contact.
In our research, most of them of
the elderly sought bodybuilding because of medical indication, however a great
part seek bodybuilding for other reasons. Comparing Gislaine Cristina and Adriana Baratela
(2007), there are improvements with practice, in the majority
of the elderly women there was improvement in the muscular agility, but
in the other capacities there were not so many
In our research, similar to that
of Gislaine Cristina and Adriana Baratela (2007), most participants improved
their muscular capacity and agility, while the great majority improved in other
capacities: flexibility, strength and endurance.
Our research made it possible to
conclude that with old age the human being loses vitality. The body becomes
weak, walking slows down, the body
loses muscle mass, bones become weak, and the probability of illness increases.
Especially when sedentarism and aging go hand in hand. However, it has already
been demonstrated that physical activity
brings numerous benefits, not only for the elderly
but also for people of all
ages. But bodybuilding is recommended
for seniors because it is an activity that provides great health benefits for
the elderly and all those who practice it.
We conclude that bodybuilding is
extremely important for the elderly. Some elderly people answered a
questionnaire about the practice of bodybuilding, claiming that they felt
better in several ways. Some have shown an interest in friendships, so the
fitness center is a place for the escape from loneliness, but also that it has
helped a lot in the matter of social activity and improving appearance. The
elderly are becoming more and more aware of the importance of bodybuilding to
their lives, showing an increased interest in pursuing their dreams and well-
being. Bodybuilding, also called strength training, provides greater autonomy
for the elderly, that is, they gain functional independence, more vitality to
perform their daily tasks.
Graphc 1 and 2: Age
of research participants and Sex of the research participants.
3: Sex of the research participants.
Graphc 4: Health
Graph 5: Use of
Graphic 6: Elderly
who undergo medical treatment.
Graphc 7: Represents
who feels pain or not.
Graphc 8: People
who have difficulty sleeping or not.
Graphc 9: You
represent the reasons that led them to choose bodybuilding.
Graphc 10: Represents
whether or not a family member trains with the elderly.
11: Represents whether or
not the participants already had stress or anxiety Graphic 12With the practice
of bodybuilding has there been improvement? Twenty two of them, yes 96% and 1
of them not 4%.
Represents whether the practitioners felt or did not improve with the practice