Monday, February 21, 2011

Effects of Strength Training on Aging

Exercise science research has long stated that we tend to lose roughly 0.5 lbs. of muscle each year starting around the third to fourth decade of life depending on activity level. This does not sound like much but after a decade your down 5 pounds of metabolically active muscle tissue. In order to prevent this from happening you NEED to perform regular strength training sessions 2-3 times each week.

New research from the University of Michigan Medical School has shown that through regular strength training over a five month period subjects were able to add 2.5 lbs. of muscle mass. The study looked at 39 different strength training studies than included more than 1,300 individuals who were age 50 or older.

Let me ask you a question. If you knew you were losing muscle mass as you age and that this negtively effected your balance and overall functionality and that a magic pill - strength training - would stop it from happening...would you try it? Source: NPR Health, Seniors Can Still Bulk Up On Muscle By Pressing Iron, by Patti Neighmond


Banjo Steve said...

Right on. Strength training at pretty much any adult age makes sense. However, 3 times a week? If one is properly doing strength training, sufficient time for the muscles/body to regenerate is needed. My research indicates that twice a week, with at least a day in between, is fine for your average senior citizen.

Aerobic activities, on the other hand, can certainly be done on a regular basis. We don't just need to work hard, we also need to work smart!.

Michael Wood said...

Hi Steve - you can definitely get great results with strength training twice a week. If the intensity is high enough you could even perform it 1x wk for maintainence. But, there is research that has been done that shows when you perform strength training 3x wk you can increase strength levels by an additional 15%when working out 3 vs. 2x a wk

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