Let’s paint out a scenario. You’re at home, as always everyone in the house that week has seemingly changed full outfits three times a day and the laundry basket weighs a tonne. Let’s now say the maximum weight you can lift from the ground is 10kg. The laundry basket is 9kg. This essentially means that to do a simple household task like the washing is making you work at 90% of your capacity. This then means you are worn out and utterly exhausted from completing one basic task. I’m already exhausted just writing that. 😩
Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was an amazing pill you could take that would help you lift heavier things off the floor? There is! (Kind of)
...We really love exercise over here.
(Especially lifting heavy things) 🏋️♀️
People often underestimate exercise and use it as just a way to lose weight or “look better”. When in reality there are so many more benefits to simple things in everyday life that really make the difference.
We’re going to dive in a bit to some technical terms for the moment so the rest of this makes sense - but you can just impress all your friends by throwing around these terms later.
Let’s talk about one repetition maximum (1RM). This is the maximum amount of weight that someone could lift for a particular exercise.
In terms of exercise prescription, this is an important number to determine the exercise intensity for a workout and intensity for a particular person.
We know from research that the recommended percentage of 1RM to improve strength is 60-70%.
So in order to get better at picking heavy things up off the floor you have to practice picking heavy things off the floor. Seems logical. Work at about 6/10 effort and do this a few times a week and over time the maximum amount of weight you can lift from the floor will increase (as long as following the principles of progressive overload - (blog about this coming soon so stay tuned!)
So if your maximum increased to 15kg, then the 9kg laundry basket would only be 60% of your 1RM as opposed to the previous 90% and therefore meaning less fatigue to complete the task! Brilliant! This can also translate to other tasks like playing with the grandkids and getting the shopping bags from the car.
And don’t worry if that didn’t make sense or it seems too complicated to go at on your own. Lucky for you there’s a whole bunch of expert physiotherapists at Be Mobile Physiotherapy that absolutely love all of this stuff and can help you with getting started on that exercise program to stop you living at maximum effort.
*Thanks to the Senior Rehab Podcast for the inspiration for this blog.
It’s a great podcast that I like to listen to while driving around to patients during the day to keep on top of everything that is new in physio and adults 55+.