You’re never too old to start this awesome workout
Age related muscle loss occurs gradually, but it is often a huge part of increasing weakness in seniors.
After age 50, muscle loss accelerates like crazy. Age related muscle loss, or sarcopenia, comes will all kinds of nasty side effects.
These side effects include a slower metabolism, increased risk of falls and fractures, and having to hire that neighbor’s kid that you don’t like to shovel your driveway in the next snowstorm.
Hitting the weight room can keep you self-sufficient longer, along with giving you many other health benefits. After all, no one wants to lose their ability to function independently.
Check out this article to find out how to maintain your strength as you age:
The older I get, the more I realize how important weight training is. It now makes up the majority of my workouts, and if you’re middle-aged or beyond, I encourage you to make this a regular part of your exercise routine.
Now, what do you have to gain by starting weight training – even if you’re already “older?” As ACSM explains:
“Given an adequate training stimulus, older adults can make significant gains in strength. A two- to three-fold increase in strength can be accomplished in three to four months in fibers recruited during training in older adults. With more prolonged resistance training, even a modest increase in muscle size is possible.
…With increasing muscle strength come increased levels of spontaneous activity in both healthy, independent older adults and very old and frail men and women. Strength training, in addition to its possible effects on insulin action, bone density, energy metabolism, and functional status, is also an important way to increase levels of physical activity in the older adult.”
By slowing your movements down, it turns your weight-training session into high-intensity exercise. The super-slow movement allows your muscle, at the microscopic level, to access the maximum number of cross-bridges between the protein filaments that produce movement in the muscle.
This is a beneficial and safe way to incorporate high-intensity exercise into your workouts if you’re older and have trouble getting around. You only need about 12 to 15 minutes of super-slow strength training once a week to achieve the same human growth hormone (HGH) production as you would from 20 minutes of Peak Fitness sprints, which is why fitness experts like Dr. Doug McGuff are such avid proponents of this technique.
The fact that super-slow weight training gives you an excellent boost in human growth hormone (HGH), otherwise known as the “fitness hormone,” is another reason why it’s so beneficial if you’re older. As you reach your 30s and beyond, you enter what’s called “somatopause,” when your levels of HGH begin to drop off quite dramatically. This is part of what drives your aging process. According to Dr. McGuff, there’s also a strong correlation between somatopause and age-related sarcopenia. HGH is needed to sustain your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which produce a lot of power. It’s also needed to stimulate those muscles.
“What seems to be evident is that a high-intensity exercise stimulus is what triggers the body to make an adaptive response to hold on to muscle,” Dr. McGuff says. “We have to remember that muscle is a very metabolically expensive tissue… If you become sedentary and send your body a signal that this tissue is not being used, then that tissue is metabolically expensive. The adaptation is to deconstruct that tissue…”
If you’re just starting out, consult with a personal fitness trainer who can instruct you about proper form and technique. He or she can also help you develop a plan based on your unique fitness goals and one that is safe for any medical conditions you may have. Just keep in mind that while you need to use caution, you do need to exercise at a level that is challenging to your body. Many make the mistake of exercising with not enough intensity, and this will result in many of your benefits being forfeited.