Yes! After obtaining a physician’s approval, for the over 50 group, it is important to incorporate strength training/weight resistant exercises as to increase the bone density, especially for women over 50.
Your body is so smart that it automatically adjust to its lifestyle. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, your bones will realize that they are not being used and will become smaller and more brittle over time. If you live an active lifestyle, your bones will adjust in the opposite direction by becoming stronger to support the activity in your body.
Therefore, it is important to training with weights in any boot camp class for any age, especially those over 50.
I would not make the exercise selection dependent on the perception of what a 50+ group cannot do. Somebody in that age category signing up for “Boot Camp” is not likely a novice exerciser or a frail little old lady.
You can modify any exercise up or down as the need presents itself. The one thing I would avoid, though, at least initially until I get to know the group, are fast directional changes because many people do not train like that by themselves, and the body may not prepared for it. After all, in a class setting, people are more likely to overdo things because of perception of peer pressure or competition.
I agree 100% with Karin.
As a boot camp instructor and a woman over 50 I can tell you first hand that you need not change the exercise selections just because you have older participants.
You take those exercise selections and modify if they are deconditioned and
being older does not necessarily mean that you are! I have a 67 yr.old in my class that puts the 30-something yr old to shame with the amount of pushups he can do!
I run my boot camp class as a circuit with stations for each exercise. Each week this changes. I may pair up exercises as a superset (opposing or same muscle group) 1 min ea. with a 15-20 sec rest to switch to next station. I add variety by introducing different exercise apparatus at each circuit (especially if you don’t have enough for each person) So I may have a TRX, Bosu, Medicine Ball, Body Bar, Stability Ball, etc….at each station with a description of each exercise to be performed. I go to each station and offering modifications, whether to make the exercise more challenging or less.
Leigh Crews did a workshop on Bootcamps for Zoomers (active older adults). Perhaps check the video library here and see if it’s available. It’s a good resource. I took the session at IDEA in 2009 or 2010. She goes through the contraindications in program design and then a multi-station workout. It was challenging but the moves were very safe.